Although the sad track record of the EU Battlegroups has attracted considerable scholarly attention, analyses have largely focused on obstacles related to the provision of the Battlegroup troops and to the consensus within the EU Council, hence taking a supply-side perspective. This article calls for complementing this perspective with an analysis of the demand for their deployment. That implies analysing whether and why the EU Battlegroups were (not) considered as an option by those actors taking the initiative to intervene in a particular crisis. Applying a rational-institutionalist approach, this article explains the absence of the Battlegroups from three recent crises: Libya (2011), Mali (2013) and the Central African Republic (2013-2014). Using data from document analysis and elite interviews, it shows that once a rapid military reaction became urgent, the EU Battlegroups were not even considered as an option by those initiating an international reaction.