During the second half of 2006, the European Security and Defence Policy continued to make progress, in terms both of missions undertaken and civilian and military resources committed. The Euro-American crisis over the Iraq war, the setback to the Constitutional Treaty, the enlargement in 2004; none of these appear to have put a brake on the Union’s move towards stronger operational capability, even if it is not certain where it is heading. New operations are scheduled in Afghanistan and in Kosovo. Fresh objectives, in the short or long term, should contribute to a clearer definition of ESDP as an operational instrument. The European Defence Agency is performing its role in the development of capabilities and in forming a European armaments programme. The integration into ESDP of some political considerations, such as human rights and equality of the sexes, should also be noted.