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CFSP and CSDP policies in a rapidly changing world

14/04/2015, Rome

The second workshop organised by Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) and Luiss School of Government (SOG) on "Which role should the EU play in international relations? Understanding the post-Lisbon foreign policy at times of change" took place at LUISS University campus on April 14th.

The event was introduced by Prof. Sergio Fabbrini, Director of the Luiss School of Government and saw the participation of Prof. Anand Menon, Professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs at King’s College; Dr. Rosa Balfour, Director of the Europe in the World Programme at the European Policy Center and Nicoletta Pirozzi, Senior Fellow in the European Affairs area at IAI as moderator.

The workshop focused on the EU's fragile cooperation in the foreign, security and defense policy (CFSP and CSDP).

According to Rosa Balfour, while the European External Action Service has the potential to bring together the Commission technical expertise with national diplomatic skills, cooperation among member states is based on bilateral or “minilateral” decision-making process (e.g. Germany and France in the case of the Ukrainian crisis).

According to Anand Menon, such lack of unity results highly inefficient and costly, especially when it comes to CSDP, where the creation of a European army appears to be a chimera. Lacking of the financial resources to provide an effective security system, EU member states cannot sustain coherent actions (e.g. the Libyan crisis).

Both Rosa Balfour and Anand Menon sustained that the EU heavy relying on the US or NATO is certainly a shortsighted strategy. While southern and eastern European neighbors are becoming more unsecure, the US is turning to Asia as a potential strategic and security partner beyond the EU. Hence, to have a more effective foreign, security and defense policy EU member states should cooperate more, harmonize their intents (e.g. sanctions against Russia) and share their security costs.

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