A SECURE EUROPE IN A BETTER WORLD
EUROPEAN SECURITY STRATEGY
Brussels, 12 December 2003
As a union of 25 states with over
450 million people producing a
quarter of the world's Gross National
Product (GNP), the European Union is
inevitably a global player... it should
be ready to share in the
responsibility for global security and
in building a better world.
No single country is
able to tackle today's
complex problems on
Europe has never been so prosperous, so secure nor so free. The violence of the first half of the
20th Century has given way to a period of peace and stability unprecedented in European history.
The creation of the European Union has been central to this development. It has transformed the
relations between our states, and the lives of our citizens. European countries are committed to
dealing peacefully with disputes and to co-operating through common institutions. Over this
period, the progressive spread of the rule of law and democracy has seen authoritarian regimes
change into secure, stable and dynamic democracies. Successive enlargements are making a reality
of the vision of a united and peaceful continent.
The United States has played a critical role in European
integration and European security, in particular through NATO.
The end of the Cold War has left the United States in a dominant
position as a military actor. However, no single country is able
to tackle today’s complex problems on its own.
Europe still faces security threats and challenges. The outbreak of conflict in the Balkans was a
reminder that war has not disappeared from our continent. Over the last decade, no region of the
world has been untouched by armed conflict. Most of these conflicts have been within rather than
between states, and most of the victims have been civilians.
As a union of 25 states with over 450 million
people producing a quarter of the world’s Gross
National Product (GNP), and with