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Motives for European Union Common Security and Defense Policy Mission Selection

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Master's thesis

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The European Union EU currently lacks a comprehensive agreement on where the EU will engage in crisis management missions under the Common Security and Defense Policy CSDP framework. This thesis investigates the motives for why the European Union engages in military or civilian operations under the framework of CSDP. Predominant research suggests the three dominant factors motivating the EU to engage in CSDP are national interests of the Member States the EU is a supranational institution seeking to balance against the U.S. and national political parties dominate foreign policy of the Member States. These three dominant factors lead to the development of three hypotheses for why the EU engages in military operations under the framework of CSDP. The first hypothesis suggests the EU elects to undertake CSDP missions as a means of balancing against United States hegemony. The second hypothesis suggests the EU undertakes CSDP missions because of the national interest of the dominant nations, specifically, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The final hypothesis suggests that the national political parties and their political stances influence when the EU will engage in military or civilian operations under CSDP. These hypotheses are tested using three case studies to examine what the dominant factor is in CSDP mission selection. The three cases represent missions outside of Europe where there is significant risk for EU troops and, therefore, significant political risk for EU Member State politicians. The three CSDP missions used in the case study section are the EU mission EUFOR Artemis to Bunia the Democratic Republic of Congo, EUPOL Afghanistan and EUNAVFOR Somalia. After examining the three cases within the boundaries of the three hypotheses, this thesis concludes that the national interests of the dominant Member States are the most significant motive selection.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Defense Systems

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