The European Intervention Initiative
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Developing a shared strategic culture for European defence
In September 2017 President Emmanuel Macron suggested a European Intervention Initiative (EI2) as part of his vision of a “sovereign, united and democratic Europe”. Some commentators labelled his proposal, which stands outside of existing structures (e.g. the European Union), as the launching of a European intervention force. In reality, EI2 is aimed at bringing able and willing European countries together to prepare themselves better for future crises – not by creating a new standby force but by ultimately creating a shared strategic culture. At the invitation of France, ten European countries have joined the initiative.
The key challenge is how a shared strategic culture can best be achieved.
The key challenge is how a shared strategic culture can best be achieved. To answer that question, this report will start with a short background description of EI2 and what has been achieved so far, followed by an analysis of what constitutes a ‘strategic culture’. Based on that analysis the ten EI2 countries will be assessed according to several criteria related to their current national strategic cultures.
Strategic cultures are notoriously resilient to change, but can particular entry points for strategic cultural convergence be identified that make the most impact? The report concludes with recommendations on these entry points in order to best achieve a shared strategic culture.
About the authors
Dick Zandee is Head of the Security Unit at the Clingendael Institute. His research focuses on security and defence issues, including policies, defence capability development, research and technology, armaments cooperation and defence industrial aspects.
Kimberley Kruijver is Junior Research Fellow at the Clingendael’s Security Unit. Her research concentrates on (European) security and defence matters.