Normative foundations of foreign EU security policy from a theological-ethical perspective. Developed by the example of Mali

The Com­mon For­eign and Secu­ri­ty Poli­cy (CFSP), as the inter­na­tio­nal poli­cy area of the European Uni­on (EU), was the out­co­me of a series of trea­ties from 1993 (Maas­tricht) until 2009 (Lis­bon). In June 2016, the CSFP High Rep­re­sen­ta­ti­ve out­lined the policy’s princi­ples in a report on EU Glo­bal Stra­te­gy.


The EU aims to use the instru­ments con­tai­ned in the CFSP to offer a sub­stan­ti­al con­tri­bu­ti­on to world­wi­de peace and secu­ri­ty. Addi­tio­nal moti­ves, such as increa­sed self-reliance (next to domi­nant part­ners such as the USA) and grea­ter influ­ence in poli­cy­ma­king (in the face of increa­sing glo­bal mar­gi­na­li­za­ti­on) also inform the EUs actions as it seeks to rea­li­ze its own inte­rests.

In the Glo­bal Stra­te­gy, as in the trea­ties, the EU con­si­ders its­elf led by ethi­cal princi­ples. Howe­ver, the ethi­cal terms (“values,” “princi­ples”) and metho­di­cal pre­cepts (“princi­pled prag­ma­tism”) used in the­se docu­ments are vague and are in need of cla­ri­fi­ca­ti­on as well as a cohe­rent sub­st­ruc­tu­re.

This pro­ject joins several other fields in con­tri­bu­ting to this cla­ri­fi­ca­ti­on by see­king to deli­ne­a­te an ethi­cal stan­dard for EU secu­ri­ty poli­tics from the per­spec­tive of a Catho­lic theo­lo­gi­cal ethic.

Afri­ca and the EU are lin­ked in a spe­cial way, so that the EU also bears a spe­cial secu­ri­ty poli­cy respon­si­bi­li­ty in this per­spec­tive. Its enga­ge­ment in Mali will be medium- to long-term. It is the­re­fo­re a good examp­le for a stu­dy.

The pro­ject as a who­le (begin­ning Sep­tem­ber 2018) is sub­di­vi­ded into three (exem­pla­ric) steps – epis­temic, nor­ma­ti­ve, and eva­lua­ti­ve:

  • How does the EU con­cep­tua­li­ze secu­ri­ty poli­tics and what are its signi­fi­cant con­tri­bu­ti­ons to secu­ri­ty poli­tics?
  • How can stan­dards for this be for­mu­la­ted in the con­text of the Catho­lic soci­al doc­tri­ne?
  • What are the impli­ca­ti­ons for exem­pla­ric fields/projects/missions: how should the past be eva­lua­ted; what should future actions look like?


Project Supervisor

Dr. Mar­co Schrage