The European Security Continuum and the EU as an International Security Provider

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The European Union has long been seen as a distinctive or sui generis actor in international politics, epitomised by the notions of civilian or normative power, or more recently by the “Comprehensive Approach”. However, these conceptualisations of the EU as a distinctive international security provider are being challenged by the blurring of the traditional internal-external security divide. The threats and challenges identified in the various EU security strategies increasingly transcend geographic and bureaucratic boundaries, creating a European security continuum, which complicates the conceptualisation and operationalisation of the EU as a security provider. Significant friction continues to exist in the formulation and implementation of security policy as EU institutions and capabilities struggle to overcome the traditional architecture separating internal and external security. In parallel, the cross-fertilisation of internal and external security norms and practices undermines understandings of the EU's role as a normative international security provider.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-174
Number of pages19
JournalGlobal Society
Issue number2
Early online date09 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - 03 Apr 2015


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