WiSi Online Special: The EU Non-Intervention in Libya

The 2011 Libya crisis constituted a text-book scenario for EU military engagement after the ratification

of the Lisbon Treaty. In his award-winning work, Ole Spillner analyses why the EU did not carry out a military operation despite the will of some member states.

Based on a liberal theoretical perspective, Spillner assumes that governments translate domestic preferences into their foreign policies. These domestic preferences are constituted by public pressure and foreign elite opinion. Drawing on newspaper analysis and document analysis of parliamentary debates in France and Germany, this paper shows that French public pressure and foreign elites’ opinion favoured an intervention, while the German public and foreign policy elites’ were more sceptical about EU military engagement.