How much does Europe matter on the international scene? To what extent is it capable of defending its citizens' interests and security and of promoting, in accordance with its original intents, the stability of an increasingly complex and unpredictable international order? Recent crises - from the Balkan conflict to the Iraqi war - have made it evident that, even though the European Union and its currency have laid the bases for competition with the United States at an economic level, there remains much to do as regards foreign, security and defence affairs. This volume discusses this as yet incomplete feature of European integration, from the post-war period up to international terrorism. Despite everything, the current insecurity syndrome encourages further cooperation among European countries. And yet, anticipated scenarios and dilemmas demand courageous choices: is Europe to be a civilian power or a plural superpower? In the first case, Europe could make the most of its diplomatic, economic, and peace-keeping skills, but would not be able to deal with challenges entailing the use of force; in the second case, it would be able to defend its own and the international order's security by itself, but it would also need to be willing to resort to war.
Marco Clementi teaches International Relations at the University of Pavia.