European Foreign Affairs Review

Volume 24 (2019)

Volume 24 (2019) / Issue 4

Stelios Stavridis, Radka Havlová, '‘Civilian Power Europe’ and the Syrian Conflict' (2019) 24 European Foreign Affairs Review, Issue 4, pp. 469–490


The Syrian war has entered its eigth year. This will however not be the focus of this article. Although an easy way to dismiss the existing ample critique of the role of the European Union (EU) institutions and its Member States in that conflict would be to argue that it focuses of the conflict, this article will present an analysis of why adopting the concept of ‘civilian power Europe’ (CPE) will show that the way the EU has reacted to this conflict to date in Syria offers a more accurate description. In order to do so, the article consists of three parts: the first presents the main CPE characteristics before it turns to how in practice the EU’s decisions and actions on the Syrian conflict can be considered from that particular perspective. The final part pays attention to the role of the European Parliament in order to further contribute to explaining how and why this parliamentary institution has greatly contributed to the EU acting as a civilian power in Syria – in line with CPE’s emphasis on the importance of both democratic prerequisites and inputs.

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ISSN: 1384-6299
ID: EERR2019026