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Evaluating the Effects of Brexit on the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy

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Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) is one of the few intergovernmental felds in the current European Union institutional framework with unanimous decisions, except for the Permanent Structured Cooperation, which allows stronger cooperation among its members in the feld of defence. Member States (MSs) of the European Union transferred their sovereignty to the European Commission in several policy felds to some extent, but as foreign and defence policies are two of the most important pillars of national sovereignty, Member States usually insist on their primacy in this area, complemented by their commitment to NATO.

On the other hand, growing uncertainties, especially as a result of the looming Brexit talks and the unusual approach of US President Donald Trump’s tenure at the White House, which signals a more combative approach from the American side regarding NATO commitment and the 2 percent pledge (which, according to the Wales Summit in 2014 requires all NATO Member States to spend at least 2 percent of their GDP on defence) amplifes the necessity for a more coordinated European approach to defence and security. In that sense, UK’s exit could be a revival point for the France–German axis in CSDP as well, however only in some extent due to NATO’s primacy.

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