13/05/2024 |

‘Under the Radar – 20 years of EU military missions’: New Report by TNI

For two decades, the EU has been gradually moving towards becoming a de facto military power. This has happened beyond the sight of the European public, with scant oversight from democratic institutions or judicial accountability. Over the past 20 years, the EU has been deploying overseas military missions, most of them on the African continent.

A new briefing, published by The Transnational Institute (TNI), critically reviews 20 years of the EU’s CSDP military missions, with a focus on the 10 most recent or current missions.

The report finds that while the official rhetoric suggests that the military missions are aimed at increasing stability in the respective countries, in reality the EU is driven by its own interests and the development of these missions and their deployment exemplifies a colonial logic, focused on controlling access to crucial raw materials, important trade routes, securing profits for the military-industrial complex, and the EU projecting itself as a ‘hard power’. 

These missions operate under an EU flag and mandate and deploy military personnel on foreign soil to conduct military training of national armies. Soldiers trained have been responsible for severe human rights violations, as well as coup d’états, and some of them have joined non-state armed groups. While ‘terrorism’ is often cited as the justification for EU military presence in the Sahel, evidence suggests a reverse causality – military interference provokes non-state armed groups, which in turn is used to justify further militarisation. Despite its poor track record in bringing about peace and stability, the EU continues to deploy new missions.

Find the full report here: https://www.tni.org/en/publication/under-the-radar