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With the signing of the Lisbon Treaty in 2010 and its subsequent implementation, the European Union has gradually assembled the constituent elements of a sui generis ‘foreign policy’, bringing together various competencies, instruments and resources that were hitherto spread across different institutions and bodies.
The Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) is a constitutive part of EU foreign policy. Through its nearly 30 military operations and civilian missions over the last decade, the EU has contributed to regional and global stability with a variety of activities.
The waning distinction between internal and external security challenges is increasingly shaping the EU’s role and broadening its tasks. Transnational challenges – terrorism, organised crime or proliferation of weapons of mass destruction – not only pose a threat to European internal security, but also have a serious impact on the stability of Europe’s immediate neighbourhood.
There are many ways to think about the future – but some are more productive than others. Horoscopes, prophecies and ancient dream interpretations, for instance, are not exactly useful: whereas horoscopes and dreams are too vague, prophecies are too doomsday-like to give a clear idea of what can be done to shape the future. This is what foresight is really about: choice, decision and action – and not prediction, as is often assumed.