GGI-Cambridge Workshop Report: St Malo and European SecurityDownload
Report produced after the workshop organised at the University of Cambridge, titled: ‘St Malo and European Security and Defence: Much Ado about Nothing?!’
At the bilateral meeting at St Malo in 1998 France and the United Kingdom agreed to move European integration forward and establish a European Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). In the subsequent years, the European Union (EU) brought to life the necessary institutions, procedures, and capabilities for civilian and military crisis management operations under CSDP.
Fourteen years after St Malo and ten years after the first CSDP operation was launched, the workshop allowed many of the visionaries involved in shaping the origins of European security cooperation to reflect on what had been achieved. The gravity of including security and defence in the European Union framework in 1998 is often sidelined in today’s debates. The EU has integrated in many ways beyond what was deemed feasible and had surprised many practitioners and academics in the first years by the dynamic development that unfolded.
At the same time, CSDP was an innovation and not a revolution. It allowed member states to continue business as usual in defence. Instead, duplication and excessive storage of tanks, jet fighters and equipment for territorial defence persists in most member states. Despite the current challenges, CSDP proved its value and the firm opinion was that European security cooperation is there to stay. Yet, much more needs to be done to ensure its relevance.