Democratic Republic of the Congo Flag painted on old wood plank background

Whereas most interpretations of European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) operations are either normative or functionalist, this article argues that what motivated the European Union member-states to launch military operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is nothing less than a classic struggle for power in order to project power in Africa and counterbalance the United States. Therefore, realism and its theoretical offspring are relevant for analysing ESDP operations as they provide a convincing framework for understanding the motivations of the European Union to intervene in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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