Nosce Te Ipsum: Positioning the EU's CSDP as a Regional Ordnungsmacht

Item Reference: 
BRIGG 2010/2
Publication Date: 
Publication Place: 
Publication Language: 
College of Europe/UNU-CRIS
Series Title: 
BRIGG Working Papers
Working Paper Type: 

The European Union's (EU) Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) is an instrument which still lacks strategic guidance. It remains unclear whether CSDP should be primarily used in the EU's vicinity or on a global scale. This paper discusses to what extent it would be beneficial for the Union to focus CSDP on a regional rather than global level. It argues that positioning CSDP as a regional Ordnungs-macht helps the EU tackle long-standing structural security challenges while at the same time offering a viable approach to the EU's global responsibilities. The paper thus proposes a policy reorientation of CSDP that shifts the EU's aspiration from being a global actor to becoming a regional Ordnungsmacht. Such a change would narrow the existing capabilities-expectations gap and strike a balance with other regional actors such as the US, Russia and Turkey. Simultaneously, a withdrawal of CSDP from the global arena could be matched by an increase of EU support to other regional security organisations as is shown by the example of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).