The main goal of this study is to present the results of a post-structuralist-inspired critical discourse analysis of the EU's normative justification discourses as a central element in its legitimation efforts as a crisis management actor since the creation of the CFSP and the ESDP, until the 2016 EU Global Strategy. We argue that the EU places itself in a superior hierarchical positioning vis-à-vis those for whom the policy is meant. In line with criticisms made in the EU actorness academic debate, especially since the Lisbon Treaty, we argue that the EU gives more importance to curating its own identity and presenting itself as bringing value-added, than on its effectiveness, neglecting the latter in its normative justification as a crisis management actor. Finally, we claim that the EU's alleged 'responsibility' to not only manage others' crises, but also - and especially - to uphold what it considers to be 'normal' and 'natural' in the social world (i.e. its own values, ideals, and standards), reflects an underlying 'civilising' attitude.