Germany's Limited Leadership in the EDA: The International and Domestic Constraints on Defence Cooperation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Drawing upon extensive semi-structured elite interview research, this chapter examines Germany’s role in the development and functioning of the EDA. It argues that Neoclassical Realism provides the strongest analytical leverage in understanding German EDA policy. The chapter finds that the ‘balance of threat’ provides a strong imperative for Germany to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the EDA to develop European military capabilities and foster a more competitive European defence equipment and armaments market. Yet Germany has displayed very limited leadership within the EDA. The alliance security dilemma within CSDP; variance in external vulnerability and a variety of domestic-level factors have conspired to weaken Germany’s ability to provide leadership within the EDA. However, the chapter finds that there are grounds for greater optimism about a more proactive German role in the EDA as the domestic-level variables which impede Germany from leadership within the institution are of an intervening nature and are slowly giving way to the imperatives of the ‘balance of threat’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe European Defence Agency
Subtitle of host publicationArming Europe
EditorsKarampekios Nikolaos, Iraklis Oikonomou
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)978-1-13-879997-4
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2015

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in European Security and Strategy


  • European Defence Agency
  • German defence policy
  • CSDP Ghent Framework
  • Pooling and sharing
  • Neoclassical Realism

Cite this