This book analyses whether the EU’s drift towards European strategic autonomy presents a challenge or a window of opportunity for its small member states to advance their security interests.

The volume presents small states’ perceptions of European strategic autonomy, highlighting their expectations and concerns. The chapters focus on the depth and breadth of European strategic autonomy, national security considerations, assessment of the impact on transatlantic relations, the expected outputs, and its potential impact on the EU’s institutional structure. It also shows how systemic circumstances and the interests of powerful states, either belonging to the EU (France, Germany, and Poland) or having a significant say in European security architecture (the US), establish opportunities and constraints for the small states to shape European strategic autonomy. In particular, the study focuses on the diverging interests of the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania), Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, and the Netherlands. It demonstrates that, in most cases, European strategic autonomy is perceived not as an alternative to NATO but as a supplementary element that could facilitate the development of national military capabilities, indigenous defence industries and resilience to non-military threats. Ultimately, the book suggests that national approaches towards European strategic autonomy mainly stem from pragmatic national security and foreign policy considerations, while largely ignoring grand strategic ideas.

This book will be of much interest to students of European politics, security studies, and international relations.

The Open Access version of this book, available at www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.

chapter 1|13 pages


Small States, International Institutions, and European Strategic Autonomy
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chapter 2|20 pages

European Strategic Autonomy

The Origins Story
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chapter 3|17 pages

Revisiting France's Commitment to Defence Integration

A Case of Political Functionalism
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chapter 4|12 pages


The Renewed Quest for Strategic Autonomy 1
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chapter 5|18 pages

Poland's Resilient Atlanticism

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chapter 6|12 pages

US Foreign Policy during the Biden Presidency

A Reset in the US Approach towards the EU Strategic Autonomy?
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chapter 7|16 pages

Through the Estonian Looking Glass

Can NATO's Credible Deterrence and EU Strategic Autonomy Succeed Simultaneously? 1
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chapter 8|12 pages

Military Capabilities First, Politics Later

Latvia's Approach to European Strategic Autonomy 1
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chapter 10|15 pages

European Strategic Autonomy

Opportunities and Threats for Denmark 1
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chapter 12|15 pages

Dutch Security and Defence Policy

From Faithful Ally to Pragmatic European 1
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chapter 13|14 pages

A Reluctant Supporter

The Hungarian Perspective on European Strategic Autonomy 1
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chapter 14|13 pages

Shared Values and Common Borders

Why Greece Views European Strategic Autonomy as an Opportunity 1
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chapter 15|11 pages


Domination of Pragmatism towards the European Strategic Autonomy
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