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The European Union and Mutual Assistance: More than Defence


The first activation of the European Union’s “Mutual Assistance Clause”, following the 13 November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, demonstrated that this article can be used very flexibly, not just to help defend French territory but also its expeditionary operations. But if flexibility is an asset, improvisation is not. In order to maximise the potential of the clause, the role of the EU institutions needs to be clarified, in addition to that of the member states, and new capacities must be created at the EU level, notably in intelligence and planning.
Keywords: EU; security; defence; terrorism