Global and Operational: A New Strategy for EU Foreign and Security Policy

Written by | Thursday, October 8th, 2015

Sven Biscop (Istituto Affari Internazionali)

A new EU global strategy for the foreign and security policy is being prepared these days, which constitutes the first revision of this policy since the European security strategy was adopted 12 years ago. Moreover, given the current events, the new strategy will have to include important ideas about the equality of the entire continent with respect to providing a high degree of security, freedom and prosperity.

The whole strategy should thus respect the European social model. Furthermore, it should have three functions – to define the strategic priorities, to set a limited number of targets and promote the EU’s role in the world.  In other words, the authors of this strategy will attempt to pinpoint the most important threats and challenges to European interests based on the geopolitical analysis of the regional and global standing, which will in turn allow them to identify priorities and objectives of this policy.

Given the original strategy, some parts will have to be amended, mostly due to the fact that some ideas are already outdated – for example like those about equality as being dependent on prosperity. Although Europe is still the most prosperous place on earth, it is becoming an increasingly unequal place as a result of the financial crisis and other related events. Thanks to the support of the European social model, inequality in Europe has not reached the same levels as in the United States. Nevertheless, inequality has risen in a quite dramatic way at the Member States level because the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and some countries have helped dismantle their social models.

Egalitarianism moreover causes more problems than nationalism or great power ambitions. In fact, egalitarianism has become the building block of the European Union, which people in other parts of the world so much long for. Thus, being blessed with Europe’s freedom and high security, Europeans often do not realize the power of the threats stemming from the contemporary international developments. For Europeans, a free and equal Europe has become a world of its own, whose citizens have started overlooking the geopolitical standing of the Union. Europeans should therefore come to terms with the new foreign and security situation so that the new strategy has a chance to succeed.

(The study can be downloaded here:

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