EU Battlegroups: From standby to standstill

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This chapter addresses the past, present, and future of the European Union (EU) Battlegroups. It outlines the origins and the main features of the Battlegroups. The chapter highlights the most pressing obstacles to deployment, illustrated by some concrete examples from the past. It argues that the political reluctance to put troops at risk is likely to stay, in spite of steps that have been taken to facilitate future deployment. The chapter draws attention to the fact that the future of the EU’s rapid response mechanisms without taking into account the increased prominence of ad hoc coalitions and the questions about prioritization which arise due to inter-organizational overlap. It highlights that making the Battlegroups actually deployable requires solving problems related to their set-up, their funding mechanism, and mustering the necessary political will. For the Battlegroups, standby nations cannot opt-out of deployment once unanimity has been reached in the Council.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMultinational Rapid Response Mechanisms
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Institutional Proliferation to Institutional Exploitation
EditorsJohn Karlsrud, Yf Reykers
Place of PublicationLondon/New York
PublisherRoutledge/Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781351005333
ISBN (Print)9781138543980
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2019

Publication series

SeriesGlobal Institutions Series

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