University of Twente Student Theses


Dependence on the US for EU defense

Meussen, Niek (2019) Dependence on the US for EU defense.

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Abstract:The main focus of this thesis is the dependence on the United States for the defense and security of the European Union. The main research question is: ‘to what extent does the internal and external balancing by the E.U. member states against emerged threats and challenges in the last decade influence the level of U.S. inclusion in E.U. defense?’. The analysis is based upon the theoretical framework of the international relations theory of neorealism. NATO was the sole external balancing option for decades, now alternative balancing options are emerging in PESCO and the European Intervention Initiative (EI2). The level of US inclusion in European defense is determined by the degree of relevance and indispensability of NATO. In the current form, the EI2 seem to remain a cooperation platform aimed at increasing participants willingness to deploy their armed forces. This could alter after Brexit to better accommodate the UK in involving them into EU defense. Although PESCO has some long-term future potential of becoming Europe’s primary external balancing option, the NATO alliance appears to remain the unrivaled alliance for the ‘narrow purpose’ of collective defense. However, for an alliance of collective interests an external balancing option in PESCO has been born.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:89 political science
Programme:Management Society and Technology BSc (56654)
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