Europe's Foreign Policy and the Nature of Secrecy

24 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2017

Date Written: October 26, 2017


What is the role of secrecy in crafting EU foreign policy? This paper analyzes the concept of secrecy in governance, and argues that to some degree secrecy is of functional necessity for policy-makers. Despite common associations of secrecy with anti-democratic practices, when it comes to foreign policy, some level of secrecy is actually necessary for good governance. Furthermore, the counter-point to secrecy, transparency, does not automatically lead to more democracy in governance processes. Indeed, historically, transparency has sometimes been used an instrument of control and domination. Thus, the relationship between secrecy and transparency is not simply zero-sum. The author considers the case of the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) to explore these arguments.

Keywords: CSDP, CFSP, Governance, Policy-Making, Secrecy

Suggested Citation

Cross, Mai'a K. Davis, Europe's Foreign Policy and the Nature of Secrecy (October 26, 2017). GLOBUS Research Paper 6/2017, Available at SSRN: or

Mai'a K. Davis Cross (Contact Author)

ARENA Centre for European Studies ( email )

P.O. Box 1143
Oslo, Oslo 0318
+47 22 85 88 68 (Phone)

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics