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ESDP Newsletter No. 1

01 December 2005
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Historically speaking, security and defence are late arrivals on the European agenda. But like all young things, the European security and defence policy is growing fast. This has been particularly true in recent years.

We have put in place the necessary decision-making structures and launched a process to enhance European capabilities, which has been given fresh impetus with the creation of the European Defence Agency.

But the most striking manifestation – and raison d’être – of this policy is our capacity to back our diplomacy by action on the ground, i.e. our crisis management operations. As I write, the EU is conducting nine operations and missions, in the military, police and rule of law fields, in regions as diverse as the Balkans, Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia.

The demand for Europe’s comprehensive approach to crisis management is enormous. And the more we do, the more we are asked to do.

Thus we are rapidly building a Europe that is actively engaged in the world and that is capable of using the full range of its instruments, including crisis management capabilities. This is what Europeans demand. This is also increasingly what the world insists upon.

Beyond the structures and the acronyms lie people, faces and stories. Above all, there is a European ambition. I hope this newsletter will give you an insight into them.