European Union’s New Foreign And Security Policy: A Summary


The European Union’s (EU) official Foreign & Security Policy (FSP) global strategies highlights the continuing trend of external preemptive protection and intervention to guarantee national safety with simultaneous  application of grander internationalism.

Another pledge by a “superpower” to govern world affairs beyond its own geographic borders. That underlying rhetoric in the recently published Global Strategy for EU’s Foreign & Security Policy is now common in the international arena of politics and, therefore, brought surprises. In the context of global strategies and an overall foreign policy, the idea is to set forth a framework which best describes your intentions and will, ultimately, serve as a guide for your political actions and relations with nation-states in the ‘international ‘society.’ Therefore, the EU’s pledge towards encouraging its participation in the broader world is absolutely necessary.

The EU, since it created the office of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign & Security Policy in the Lisbon Treaty, then signaled its commitment to centralizing its foreign diplomatic decision-making. The current High Representative, Federica Mogherini, in her foreword suggested that the insecurity and susceptibility to external threats were prevalent causal vectors that molded the FSP.

“The crises within and beyond our borders are affecting directly our citizens’ lives. In challenging times, a strong Union is one that thinks strategically, shares a vision and acts together. This is even more true after the British referendum,” she stated in the foreword.

 The EU since it created the office of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign & Security Policy in  the Lisbon Treaty, then signaled its commitment to centralizing its foreign  diplomatic decision-making.

Europe’s greatest security threat is radical Islam and the EU’s commitment to ‘pre-emptive’ action, which is suggestively geared towards the Middle East and associated Islam-based terror groups, like Al Shabaab. Mogherini has previously spoken about the EU’s support for the “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign in Nigeria, which gave insight about the EU possibly externally extending its operations on foreign shores. The union has previously aided in peace-building missions and incrementally enhanced its presence in recent years. “There is such a contradiction between our solidarity when these girls are far away, and our lack of solidarity when they are at our door,” she stressed at the “Call To Europe V: Islam in Europe, FEP Conference.”

“The idea of a clash between Islam and “the West” – a word in which everything is put together and confused –has misled our policies and our narratives. Islam holds a place in our Western societies. Islam belongs in Europe…Some people are now trying to convince us that a Muslim cannot be a good European citizen, that more Muslims in Europe will be the end of Europe. These people are not just mistaken about Muslims: these people are mistaken about Europe, they have no clue what Europe and the European identity are.”  – Federica Mogherini

Security Policy Foundations

Beyond the exhaustive text, the EU has simply decided to adapt further local security integration in key areas and, more importantly, become more expansive beyond its borders to counter peripheral threats to its interests. The continued spread of the unrelenting threat posed by ‘terrorist’ threats has forced Europe to act. The solution, though, is reminiscent of cyclic interventionism utilized by Western states, often resulting in aspects of power politics.

The security strategy for the union is centered around five interdependent pillar points: System and Defence, Counter Terrorism, Cyber Security, Energy Security, and Strategic Communications. These form the core of the security initiatives to be employed in the coming years. The System and Defence are the most pivotal as it indicated the EU’s desire to be self-reliant on its own security rather on NATO.

Opening statement by Federica Mogherini, Vice-President of the EC, on the global strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy, extracts from the plenary session of the EP.


The aim is to achieve a grand European Security framework, solely governed by the EU, responsible for combating and eliminating threats or crises on European soil. In foresight, this ultimately safeguards non-NATO EU states but, also, emphatically, enables the EU to respond more swiftly and autonomously towards ‘securitized‘ issues.

It has long been known that preventing conflicts is more efficient and effective than engaging with crises after they break out…Early warning is of little use unless it is followed by early action…We must develop a political culture of acting sooner in response to the risk of violent conflict.

The EU’s desire for security autonomy will be determined by the levels of authority and powers given to the European Union Military Committee (EUMC). The EUMC is the highest military body set up within the council that governs the EU’s military actions. The most obvious indications will then point towards the creation of an EU army, albeit incrementally. The basis of the external policy will surely demand more than just mission-based military task teams.

The FSP is an interdependent framework of proposed heightened interventionism and internationlism. The EU, on the basis of a need for self-protection of its borders, has adopted the US foreign policy doctrine of the Clinton and Bush Jr. administrations, at least in writing. The concept of ‘pre-emptive peace’ takes an important precedent and, will inevitably, govern its internal conflict, border management, and external operations. However, the EU has to learn from traditional Western States, including those of its own, that extensive exertion of military force and influence often brings the conflict and threats closer to home.

Michael Harrison
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