Security provider or security consumer? The European union and conflict management

Esther Barbe, Benjamin Kienzle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


© 2007 Kluwer Law International BV. The 'frozen conflict' between the Moldovan central state and the separatist Transnistrian region has caused numerous security problems in the immediate neighbourhood of the EU - from flourishing criminal networks to a controversial Russian military presence. This article examines how the EU has responded to these security challenges, both on a rhetorical and practical level. The theoretical framework that guides the analysis assumes that in contrast to earlier concepts of the EU as a foreign policy actor, in particular the civilian and normative power Europe concepts, the EU is not a singletype actor. EU foreign policy is rather characterized by two conflicting approaches: on the one hand, by a security provider approach and, on the other hand, a security consumer approach. In the case of EU conflict management in Moldova, it is argued that the EU has turned from a passive security consumer into an emerging security provider, though the possibility exists that due to Russia's influence the EU may become once more a security consumer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-536
JournalEuropean foreign affairs review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


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