One year after the creation of the EU’s new “diplomatic corps”, the European External Action Service, little reflection has taken place on the use of instruments by the EU. The debate on European foreign policy during the EEAS’ inaugural year has centred on the European reaction to the Arab Spring, and most significantly, on the military intervention in Libya. The framing of the military operation outside the EU framework of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) has attracted criticism from observers.
Is it possible for the EU to be effective in the absence of an “army”? What other tools does the EU have at its disposal? Is it easier to frame and maintain common stances when employing tools without military implications?