The Pursuit of Justice Through EU Security Strategies

Nikola Tomić, University College Dublin

Ben Tonra, University College Dublin

GLOBUS Research Paper 2/2018


The EU has developed its role in global affairs through several treaty revisions, institutional developments, political statements and official strategic documents. The strategic documents and political statements embody both the EU’s more particular short-term interests and concerns, as well as its more universal and long-term normative aspirations or ‘milieu goals’. How the EU has sought to balance these and to project them globally through its formal strategy statements in the realm of security is the core research question of this paper. Furthermore, this paper assesses these attempts as part of a greater endeavour of the GLOBUS project to conceptualise global justice and the Union’s role therein. The EU is a (self-)proclaimed normative power that is seen in some quarters as promoting universal values and global justice. However, what is ‘just’, as this article will discuss, is contested even when it is (rarely) defined. The article will therefore review three related but distinct concepts of global justice and highlight the outlying indicators of these ideal types of justice. Based on these, the article develops hypotheses on the EU’s role in the pursuit of global justice and tests these against the EU’s dis­courses embodied in the three main strategic documents: ‘A Secure Europe in a Better World – European Security Strategy’ (European Council 2003), ‘Report on the Imple­mentation of the European Security Strategy – Providing Security in a Changing World’ (European Council 2008) and ‘Shared Vision, Common Action: A Stronger Europe – A Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign And Security Policy’ (EEAS 2016).

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Tags: Cooperation and conflict By Nikola Tomić and Ben Tonra
Published Feb. 28, 2018 12:08 PM - Last modified Mar. 6, 2020 11:57 AM