Calle Håkansson

Welcome to Calle Håkansson's dissertation defence

Title of the dissertation

The New Role of the European Commission in the EU’s Security and Defence Architecture: entrepreneurship, crisis and integration


Professor Ana Juncos, the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies, University of Bristol, UK

Examination committee

  • Professor Douglas Brommesson, the Department of Political Science, Linnaeus University, Sweden
  • Associate Professor Gunnhildur Magnusdottir, the Department of Global Political Studies (GPS), Malmö University
  • Professor Magnus Ekengren, the Department of Political Science, Swedish Defence University
  • Associate Professor Rikard Bengtsson, the Department of Political Science, Lund University (substitute)

Public defence chairperson 

  • Associate professor Astrid Hedin, the Department of Global Political Studies (GPS), Malmö University

About the event

The defence will be held in English.

Find Calle Håkansson's thesis in Diva



In recent years, the European Union (EU) has strengthened its foreign, security and defence policy in a remarkable way. Several new supranational security and defence initiatives have been launched and implemented, which have given the European Commission a new and central role in European security and defence policy. These swift developments are puzzling, since foreign policy and security and defence policy have long been understood as the ‘last bastions of sovereignty’ for EU member states and have thus been regarded as the least-likely cases for supranational integration. This thesis shows how the Commission has been the central driver behind these changes; it does so by conducting three focused case studies/articles to explore and explain the evolution of a new and enhanced role for the European Commission in EU security and defence cooperation during the period 2014–2023.

By researching the establishment of the European Defence Fund, the EU Military Mobility project and the new policies and initiatives developed after Russia’s full-scale war of aggression against Ukraine in 2022, this dissertation analyses new competences for the European Commission within EU security and defence policy.

This dissertation conceptually and analytically builds on diverse strands of integration literature, drawing on neofunctionalism, the Commission’s policy entrepreneurship and agenda setting, and crisis pressure to retrace in detail these three important empirical processes. The main contribution of this dissertation is to show how the European Commission’s initiatives and strategies have been indispensable in the strengthening of EU integration within security and defence.

This thesis consists of an introduction outlining the overall research agenda and three stand-alone articles: 

  1. Håkansson, C. 2021. The European Commission’s new role in EU security and defence cooperation: The case of the European Defence Fund, European Security, Vol. 30:4, 589-608.
  2. Håkansson, C. 2023a. The strengthened role of the European Union in defence: The case of the Military Mobility project, Defence Studies, Vol. 23:3, 436–456.  
  3. Håkansson, C. 2023b. The Ukraine war and the emergence of the European commission as a geopolitical actor, Journal of European Integration, 1-21.