What should be the European Union’s role in international politics? How should the EU deal with the challenges posed by instability, terrorism, radicalisation and conflict to the South and the East? Can the EU’s commitment to democratisation, human rights and international law be upheld or does it require rethinking and reorientation? The European Council tasked the EU High Representative and Vice President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, to address these questions in a Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy (EUGS). This article unpacks the EU’s journey towards a comprehensive foreign and security strategy—the EUGS. It does so by comparing the elements and main messages of the 2003 the European Security Strategy, under the leadership of Javier Solana, EU High Representative at the time, with HRVP Mogherini’s EU Global Strategy 13 years later, of which the author was the lead pen-holder.