The European Union (EU) has alternately been described as a civilian, normative and ethical power. Even though these conceptualizations differ among themselves, they share a positive view of the EU as a foreign policy actor guided by the common good and disinclined to use military power. This article argues that these conceptualizations do not accurately capture the foreign policy behaviour of the EU. Similarly to other powers, the EU is a self-interested actor seeking to maximize its own security. To this end, it mixes the use of military and non-military means as necessary. Hence, the EU is a normal power, no different from other polities striving to minimize external threats to their security. Its ‘non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD)’ policy will serve as case study to show that the EU is a normal power.