POSTS BY Tuomas Iso-Markku

All for one? EU’s toothless mutual defence clause

The current crisis has put the spotlight on a source of threat that already seemed forgotten in the European context: aggression against states on their own territory. Not just NATO, but also the EU has a clause in place, which specifically refers to cases in which one of the member states would fall victim to an armed attack. EU member states introduced the so called ‘mutual defence clause’ with the Lisbon Treaty as a carefully worded compromise. Since then, the clause has remained merely symbolic with little political, let alone operational, relevance. However, the current crisis raises the question whether the ‘mutual defence clause’ could receive new political or even practical significance in the development of Europe’s common security and defence policy.The current crisis has put the spotlight on a source of threat that already seemed forgotten in the European context: aggression against states on their own territory. Not just NATO, but also the EU has a clause in place, which specifically refers to cases in which one of the member states would fall victim to an armed attack. EU member states introduced the so called ‘mutual defence clause’ with the Lisbon Treaty as a carefully worded compromise. Since then, the clause has remained merely symbolic with little political, let alone operational, relevance. However, the current crisis raises the question whether the ‘mutual defence clause’ could receive new political or even practical significance in the development of Europe’s common security and defence policy.

Continue Reading →