Transatlantic security relations since the European security strategy: what role for the EU in its pursuit of strategic autonomy?

Michael E Smith* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

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19 Citations (Scopus)
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Transatlantic security cooperation entered a new era after the 9/11 attacks in America, the launch of EU crisis management/security assistance operations, and the release of the European Security Strategy (ESS) in 2003. Since then, years of practical experience have inspired the EU to enhance its ambitions in this realm by developing a Cybersecurity Strategy, a Maritime Security Strategy, and most recently, the 2016 EU Global Strategy (EUGS). As these efforts respect NATO’s primary role in European defence, there is more scope for practical EU-US collaboration regarding crisis management and security assistance operations. However, although there have been some clear successes here, the EU is also increasingly willing to forge its own path in this realm and possibly diverge with US priorities. This article evaluates the recent record of, and prospects for, EU-US security collaboration regarding various problems mentioned as strategic priorities in the ESS, EUGS, and related documents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-620
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of European Integration
Issue number5
Early online date8 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

I would like to acknowledge the support of the European Research Council (grant #203613) for funding the research drawn upon in this article. I am also grateful to the editors of this special issue and to the anonymous referees of the Journal of European Integration for their comments on an earlier draft. Finally, I would like to thank the European University Institute for the award of a Robert Schuman Fellowship, which provided a very congenial atmosphere to complete this article.


  • CFSP
  • CSDP
  • security
  • defence
  • NATO


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