Security Provider or Security Consumer? The European Union and Conflict Management

Esther Barbé, Benjamin Kienzle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
87 Downloads (Pure)


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
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Foreign Affairs Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007


Dive into the research topics of 'Security Provider or Security Consumer? The European Union and Conflict Management'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this