This article reviews the gloomy saga of the EU Battlegroups, focusing on four questions: Where do they come from? What do they look like? What have they been hindered by? And where do they go from here? It builds upon earlier findings in the literature and adds novel insights based on original data. In doing so, the article pays particular attention to the standby nations' constant calculation of political and financial costs. It argues that recognizing these cost-benefit calculations allows for identifying the most crucial areas to be tackled to make the EU Battlegroups functional. In addition, the article stresses that these considerations play out in a setting wherein the Battlegroups are just one among many policy instruments available for rapid response.