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ESDP in Practice: Crisis Management without Strategic Planning

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In 2003, the EU declared its civilian and military crisis management instruments ready for deployment. Since then, EU member states have demonstrated their capability to act as a global security player. They have deployed civil missions and military operations to Sub-Saharan Africa, the Balkans, the Eastern neighbourhood, the Near and Middle East, and even to Asia. Th ese engagements have encompassed a variety of approaches and tools to crisis management and stabilisation, ranging from the training of security forces and the support for the rule of law, to the provision of a military or civilian presence, to safeguard elections or to monitor border arrangements and ceasefire agreements, to the fight against piracy or other forms of organised crime. Altogether, by the end of 2009, the EU had conducted 23 missions and operations under the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). The EU has made considerable progress on its way to becoming a global security actor. However, case studies show that many ESDP engagements face substantial shortcomings – chief among them the lack of long-term, strategic planning for future deployments, a binding and institutionalised “lessons learned” process as well as a consistent follow-up by member states and EU institutions involved.


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