A Secure Europe in a Better World: European Security Strategy

A Secure Europe in a Better World: European Security Strategy


The European Security Strategy was approved by the European Council held in Brussels on 12 December 2003 and drafted under the responsibilities of the EU High Representative Javier Solana.

The ESS is the policy document that guides the EU’s international security strategy. It addresses the need for a comprehensive security strategy that encompasses both civil and defence-related security measures. The Strategy itself is not necessarily an

operational document with a detailed plan of action. Rather it lays down overall objectives of EU external actions and the principal ways of achieving these. With the emergence of the ESDP, it is the first time that Europe has actually formulated a joint security strategy.

The ESS includes a number of references linking security, development and environment, including the statement that:

“Security is a precondition of development. Conflict not only destroys infrastructure, including social infrastructure; it also encourages criminality, deters investment and makes normal economic activity impossible. A number of countries and regions are caught in a cycle of conflict, insecurity and poverty.

Competition for natural resources - notably water - which will be aggravated by global warming over the next decades, is likely to create further turbulence and migratory movements in various regions.”

According to the Strategy "the development of a stronger international society, well functioning international institutions and a rule-based international order" is one of the strategic objectives of European security policy.


European Council
European Council
Place published
Date / journal vol no.
12 December 2003