To all appearances the Riga summit seems a minor one: few decisions were taken because Afghanistan was the major topic of discussion. The only thing that was new was the offer of a partnership with Serbia and Bosnia. This was hardly surprising, since many issues (including the contact group on Afghanistan, partnership and energy security) had been left at working group level, and with the Secretary General in particular. All of which serves to illustrate the lack of political declarations, the lack of inspiration and the lack of drive. To the satisfaction of France the idea of an overall partnership was postponed until a later date.
From a broader perspective, the military reality in Afghanistan has brought out into the open a number of matters of dissent that had been thought silenced or pacified, and problems that had been thought resolved. After Riga it is now clear that the expansion of NATO missions poses a problem, both with regard to operations well away from Europe and to those tasks which are not strictly military, a problem which gives legitimacy to the ESDP. From this point of view, the Riga summit was not insignificant.