As the European Union (EU) comes to terms with a rapidly changing global environment, hardly anyone disputes the fact that the EU needs to do more to provide for its own defence and security. The continued economic rise of China, the UK’s departure from the EU and growing confrontations with Russia jeopardise the EU’s global strength and influence.

While reinforcing European defence through deeper partnerships with like-minded countries (‘partners of choice’) is already on the EU agenda, building wider partnerships will be more interest-based and tailored to the specific issue or partner. As the EU aims to bolster its position on the global stage, it will be crucial to define and project to the outside world what it views as it strategic ambitions. There is no doubt that building the EU’s credibility as a peace actor and its security and defence structures can help support multilateral efforts to maintain, sustain and build global peace.

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