The EU's Foreign and Security Policy

Nicole Alecu de Flers, Laura Chappell and Patrick Müller

in The EU's Decision Traps

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199596225
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729140 | DOI:
The EU's Foreign and Security Policy

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As decision-making in European foreign and security policy has remained an intergovernmental process where unanimous decision-making is the norm, this policy field seems a likely case for becoming entangled in the ‘joint-decision trap’. Nevertheless, this chapter reveals that through various mechanisms, the member states have managed to escape the trap to an extent that many analysts had not expected. Besides functional adaptation to changed external circumstances, learning from joint foreign policy experiences — particularly from the failure to address joint problems — is identified as an important mechanism. Additionally, the institutionalization of European foreign policy cooperation has facilitated the emergence of important procedural and substantive EU norms which, through elite socialisation processes, influence the outcome of policy-making. This is illustrated in the case study on the EU's military mission EUFOR RD Congo, which was successfully deployed even though key participating states like Germany and Poland have no immediate defence interests in Africa.

Keywords: European Security and Defence Policy; Common Security and Defence Policy; EUFOR RD Congo; Poland; Germany; joint-decision trap; socialization; learning

Chapter.  9730 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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