The EU Global Strategy is a broad and ambitious document in terms of its geographic scope and thematic priorities. However, the EU cannot devote equal attention to all aspects of the EUGS, so there is still scope for more clarity regarding the EU's core strategic aims. This article argues that in addition to fostering internal cohesion, the EU's strategic priority must involve stabilising its own neighbourhood. This task has challenged the EU for decades because of an inherent credibility deficit regarding the EU's own capabilities, yet the EUGS does not diagnose and remedy this problem as effectively as it could have. Therefore much more work will need to be done in terms of reforming EU institutions and developing common capabilities if the EU hopes to achieve its central internal and external security goals as outlined in the EUGS and related policy statements.
Bibliographical noteAcknowledgments: I would like to thank the European Research Council (grant no. 203613) for supporting the research drawn upon in this article, much of which appears in Michael E. Smith, Europe's Common Security and Defence Policy: Capacity-Building, Experiential Learning, and Institutional Change (Cambridge University Press: forthcoming). I would also like to thank the editor and referees of Contemporary Security Policy for very helpful comments.
Disclosure: The author was funded for five years (2008-13) by the European Research Council (grant no. 203613) and is currently funded through a consortium for three years (2015-18) by the Horizon2020 programme of the EU (grant no. 653227).
Author biography: Michael E. Smith is Professor of International Relations at the University of Aberdeen. He is a former Fulbright Scholar to the EU, and specializes in international cooperation in security and technology, particularly in the US and Europe. His publications include Europe's Common Security and Defence Policy: Capacity-Building, Experiential Learning, and Institutional Change (Cambridge, forthcoming); International Security: Politics, Policy, Prospects (Palgrave 2010); Governing Europe’s Neighbourhood: Partners or Periphery? (Manchester 2007); and Europe’s Foreign and Security Policy: The Institutionalization of Cooperation (Cambridge 2003). He has also published in the Journal of European Public Policy, the Journal of Common Market Studies, Contemporary Security Policy, the European Journal of International Relations, and the European Foreign Affairs Review (among others), as well as chapters in the State of the European Union, The Institutions of the European Union, International Relations and the European Union, The Institutionalization of Europe, European Integration and Supranational Governance (among others).
- global strategy
- security policy
- European Neighbourhood Policy