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Andreas Gravdahl

Andreas Gravdahl
European Integration
Fakultet for samfunnsvitenskap
07. desember 2018

Discovering the EU's new security and defence development

PESCO – have you heard about it? Neither had I. Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) is the newest security and defence development of the EU. It is an intergovernmental structured mechanism to pursue the goals of the EU’s grand security strategy; the European Union Global Strategy. Together with Prof. Stefan Gänzle and Prof. Tanja Klenk, I was given the opportunity to contribute on their research project.

By the end of this year’s participation on the European Integration Summer School (EISS), I was curious to explore the security and defence policy-area of the EU. I was one of the students taking the 'Research Essay' (ST-421 course) and after doing some ‘googling’ it wasn’t difficult to choose my topic; PESCO. 

To assess this new european development, I had to map all relevant scientific literature, policy documents as well as contacting the Ministries of Defence (MoD) of participating member states. Due to its relatively new establishment in December 2017, there isn’t comprehensive literature on PESCO existing today. Therefore, I had to do some research of European Security and Defence literature, both in the library of UiA, and on the web. I discovered a considerable amount of literature on this topic, but because PESCO is kind of ‘sui generis’ (unique), I had to be selective of what I mapped in the bibliography. 

I contacted the MoD’s of several member states and I did get replies of their experiences and expectations towards their participation of PESCO. It was exciting getting this close to the people dealing directly with implementation of PESCO in their respective country. Certainly, not every member state replied but those who did were helpful explaining this military cooperation. The correspondence with the MoD’s made me realize that there are many possibilities students have gathering relevant data, and it is not that terrifying taking a phone call to e.g. officials of the Netherlands.

I have enjoyed cooperating with Gänzle and Klenk, and I have learned ways of better structurize my own way of working. PESCO is something I will definitely consider writing my master’s thesis about.