Opening up the ESDP to the South: A Comprehensive and Cooperative Approach to Euro-Mediterranean Security

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Sven, Biscop (2003) Opening up the ESDP to the South: A Comprehensive and Cooperative Approach to Euro-Mediterranean Security , Security Dialogue 34(2): .

The European Union currently lacks a strategic concept for its European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). However, two themes can already be discerned within the EU’s security policy: a focus on the periphery of the union and a comprehensive and cooperative approach to security. These can be seen in the objectives of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. However, there have been few concrete developments within this project because of paralysis of the partnership’s political and security basket. The main reason for this is the persistence of conflict in the Middle East, though a lack of trust between the northern and southern shores of the Mediterranean has also obstructed implementation of the partners’ security commitments. Opening up the ESDP to participation by the EU’s Mediterranean partners would make them less suspicious of the union’s security policy. At the same time, it would provide a basis on which a close, institutionalized security partnership could be built, beginning with enhanced dialogue and the adoption of confidence- and security-building measures. This process could ultimately lead incrementally to the establishment of Euro-Mediterranean arrangements for crisis management and the emergence of a truly joint security policy.

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