The European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) process, launched five years ago at Saint-Malo, made significant steps forward in 2003 – despite the seriousness of EU divisions over Iraq. This progress will be accelerated as a result of the November 2003 agreement between France, the UK and Germany to harmonise their approaches to defence and security. The present report offers an interim assessment of the challenges faced and the cha llenges met by ESDP since 1998. It focuses on four main questions:
Conceptual/Doctrinal: what is the rationale behind the emergence of this unprecedented new EU policy area? What are its aims, purposes and missions?
Existential: what is the collective entity involved in the ESDP and how does that entity relate to other proximate actors – neighbours, allies, international organizations?
Institutional/Political: what is the optimum institutional framework which will allow the (enlarging) European Union and its member states to formulate, reach agreement on and implement a security and defence policy?
Military/Strategic: what should be the optimum military capacity to be available to the EU in support of its ESDP, within what budgetary envelope?