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The EU's Common Security and Defense Policy : The Cases of Ukraine and the Baltic States


  • Greta Berkelyte

Summary, in English

Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine and annexation of the Crimean peninsula raised security concerns in the Baltic States as potential targets of invasion. This anxiety was strengthened after the EU launched a civilian Advisory Mission (EUAM) in Ukraine as a response to Russia’s illegal actions. Such a soft response to Russia’s foray into Ukraine has raised doubts about the EU’s credibility as a significant security actor on the international stage. Even though the EU has capabilities to intervene militarily, it does not use these capabilities at its disposal. This thesis, through the two case studies, tries to find out why the EU is so soft in the Ukrainian crisis and if the EU is credible security actor in the Baltic States. The overarching questions addressed in this paper are why the EU has not intervened militarily in Ukraine and whether the EU’s soft power model would be exercised in the Baltic States in case of Russia’s intervention. In order to answer these questions the paper looks through the EU’s previous deployments and the critique it received regarding those deployments. Moreover, the study is complemented by other researchers’ work who carried out studies on this topic. The two case studies of this thesis- the Ukrainian crisis and the Baltic States- are analyzed through the lenses of realism and constructivism. Realism highlights the importance of national interests, meanwhile, constructivism brings attention to identity and meaning-making factors which may influence the EU’s actions in international environment. The paper has also benefited from the survey results provided by the officials from the Baltic States. The results showed that the EU deployed a civilian mission because of identity and image related reasons, which can be translated as supranational responsibility for peace- keeping. However, any hard means were opposed by the member states because of economic and national interests with Russia. Meanwhile, the Baltic States perceive Russia as a real threat to their national security due to both identity related and national- political interests, and the risk of Russia’s intervention is evaluated as very big. The analysis shows that the Baltic States run the risk of experiencing the EU’s soft response in case of Russia’s intervention.







Examensarbete för masterexamen (Två år)


  • Social Sciences
  • Law and Political Science


  • Constructivism
  • soft power
  • EU
  • CSDP
  • Realism
  • Military intervention
  • Ukraine
  • Baltic States
  • Russia


  • Eleonora Narvselius