The EU has always been portrayed as an economic power. Military matters were not its business, and it spread its message using soft power tools. But recent years have seen closer and closer cooperation between EU states, leading to debate over the rival roles of the EU and NATO.
This paper looks at the responses of non-EU forces to Operation Atalanta, the first European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) naval mission, and claims that the international impact of this operation has been more positive than anticipated. It views the non-EU reactions as further evidence that the EU is becoming more than simply an economic power devoid of strategic muscle.
Laurence McGivern is studying an MA in International Relations and European Studies at the Central European University, Budapest.
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