Military Capacity Building as EU’s New Security and Development Strategy: The New Rules for Peace Promotion?

Part of the Norm Research in International Relations book series (NOREINRE)


The security-development nexus has served as an organising principle to the EU to achieve its fundamental norm of promoting sustainable peace and development. This principle implies that security is not possible without development and vice versa. While the security-development nexus has always had a tendency to place a greater accent on security to the detriment of development, the EU is now trying to defend itself and the international order by primarily making third states more militarily capable. A new initiative, the Capacity Building for Security and Development, has been created to provide non-lethal military capacity, including equipment and training. This shift has been controversial for sectors within the Council, the Commission, the Parliament and civil society, who have contested the shift away from civilian goals and the possible redirection of development funds for military capacity purposes. Drawing on interviews with EU representatives and relevant documents, the chapter analyses this contestation as well as the impact on EU’s legitimacy and authority. It shows that there is significant overlap between ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ contestation and that while the contestation itself does not jeopardise EU’s legitimacy and authority, it raises concerns about how the EU is responding to challenges, which may end up compromising both its legitimacy and authority.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain

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