Recent years have witnessed renewed efforts to advance integration in the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), including in the domain of military and civilian capability development. The adoption of a Civilian CSDP Compact (CCC) and the creation of a European Peace Facility (EPF) are prominent examples of recent steps taken towards further integration. Still, despite recent progress, CSDP reforms have often been slow to materialise, lag behind the reform ambitions of key EU foreign policy actors, and fail to address important shortcomings experienced by CSDP. This article addresses why this might be by exploring the evolution of CSDP crisis management through a failing forward approach, which charts the course of integration dynamics, identified by neofunctionalism and liberal intergovernmentalism, through time, revealing its cyclical nature. Our case studies of the EPF and the CCC demonstrate how the long-term integrative dynamics in EU military and civilian crisis management are marked by a cycle of crisis followed by incomplete institutional reforms, policy feedback, experiential learning and subsequent, yet again incomplete, efforts to remedy institutional shortcomings and policy failure.

Julian Bergman & Patrick Müller (2021) Failing forward in the EU’s common security and defense policy: the integration of EU crisis management, Journal of European Public Policy, DOI: 10.1080/13501763.2021.1954064