As a significant global economic player, the EU has increasingly become self-conscious in areas of foreign and security policy. Recent experience has made clear that if the EU is to have a truly effective common policy on foreign and security policy, it must have the capacity to take more responsibility for regional security. For the EU to play such a role, its ability to manage and project military force will need to be significantly enhanced, particularly in terms of its institutions and military capability.
For the same reason the EU made a strong commitment to developing an effective EU led crisis management capacity. By 2003 the EU must be in a position to deploy within 60 days up to 50,000-60,000 troops capable of a full range of so-called Petersberg tasks including: humanitarian and rescue missions, peacekeeping, combat force tasks in crisis management and peacemaking missions.
According to the EU however the initiative should not be seen as a duplication of NATO. Neither should the establishment of a European Force be confused with the concept of a European army. Whether a European army, or a common defence for Europe is more capable of handling the future needs and challenges of the EU is not the subject of this book. Essentially it is about whether a military crisis management system is practical and realistic and how the planned initiatives within the agreed limits are to be transformed into operative policy.
Preben Bonnén is from Denmark and Research Analyst at the COMPAS Group on Security and Defence Studies (Trinity College), Toronto, Canada, who specialises in the fields of European and Nordic Security and Ballistic Missile Defence.