The Treaty of Westphalia (1648) defined relationships between states in mutual respect of their sovereignty. For some ten years, the duty to protect his people has been imposed on the sovereign; a concept that is still somewhat vague and legally imprecise. If this ‘duty to protect’ is not assured by the sovereign power, it is the international community’s right and duty to assume the responsibility; specifically the United Nations, which is the legitimate guarantor of peace and international security. However, for various reasons, the UN is not always capable of assuming this responsibility. Who, then, should act in its place to avoid massive loss of life? Is the EU in a position to do so?