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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence

Publication Details

Clonan, T., 2008: EU's Military Ambitions Clear: Lisbon Treaty Analysis, Dublin: The Irish Times.


Many of those who oppose the Lisbon Treaty cite its European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) and Common Security and Foreign Policy (CSFP) provisions as cause for concern in terms of how they might impact on Irish neutrality or serve to create a pan-European army to rival NATO. Those clauses of the Lisbon Treaty which address security and defence issues are worthy of debate, and may cause concern in some quarters. They do not however impact directly on Irish neutrality. Nor do they amount to a charter for the creation of a standing European army. Much of what the Lisbon Treaty addresses in military terms – simply reiterates ESDP and CSFP aspirations that have already been stated in previous EU Treaties and Summits. In relation to the concept of a ‘Common European Defence’ – this issue was addressed eleven years ago at Article 17 of the Amsterdam Treaty 1997 wherein it stated ‘CSFP shall include all questions relating to the security of the Union, including the progressive framing of a common defence policy … which might lead to a Common Defence, should the European Council so decide’. Further reference to Common European Defence was made at the EU Summit of Cologne 1999 where it was intended ‘to give the EU the necessary means and capabilities to assume its responsibilities regarding a common ESDP’.