An agency of the EU
Interactive map of the worldMENAThe AmericasAsiaRussia and eastern neighboursWestern BalkansAfrica


The EUISS conducts its research both topically and regionally, focusing on key issues of strategic importance to EU foreign policy. Alongside the immediate priorities in the EU's neighbourhood, the EU also focuses on emerging regions such as the Far East, as well as on traditional allies such as the United States.


The EU’s relations with the ‘Middle East Region’ actually cover three different but overlapping areas, each of which has its own peculiarities and distinctive relationship with Europe. They are the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Gulf Region. 

Russia and eastern neighbours

Russia is the biggest neighbour of the European Union – and one of its most difficult partners. The EU’s Eastern neighbourhood is a region in transition. Diverging foreign policy orientations, frozen conflicts, and low levels of inter-state cooperation further fragment and polarise the region.


The diversity of the African continent and its states, the distinct privileged historical links that exist between some Member States and their former colonies, and the corresponding cultural and linguistic affinities, all represent an extraordinary potential for cooperation, and this extends to the as yet barely developed area of peace and security.


Reflecting the evolving priorities of EU foreign policy, the EUISS has begun developing research on Asia. The aspects the Institute focuses on are: the global implications of the rise of China and India, China’s role in Africa and the Middle East, security and international relations in East Asia, and non-proliferation.

Western Balkans

EU policy in the Western Balkans is based on stabilisation through integration. Following the 1999 crisis in Kosovo and NATO intervention, the EU member states recognised that a comprehensive policy for the whole region was needed, and in 2000 the Stabilisation and Association Process (SAP) was launched.

The Americas

The strength of EU-US relations rests on historical bonds, converging interests and commonality of values. Cooperating with the US represents an important aspect of almost all areas of EU foreign policy. Elsewhere across the Atlantic, rising powers such as Brazil and Mexico are also of increasing importance.

Alerts and Briefs

  • Women in Daesh: jihadist ‘cheerleaders’, active operatives?

    This Brief examines the overlooked role of the women in the organisation, and argues they are every bit as dangerous as their male counterparts. But how should European security forces address this issue?

  • Colombia: Nobel present, uncertain future

    Last week, Colombians voted against the peace agreement that the government and the FARC had reached in August to end the country’s civil war. How did this happen? And how will the process move forward?

  • Georgia: a pre-election snapshot

    With Georgians set to go to the polls on Saturday 8 October, this Brief examines the changing dynamics of the country’s domestic politics and foreign relations over the last few years. What should be the priority for whoever wins the next parliamentary elections?


  • Civil-military relations in the MENA: between fragility and resilience

    This Chaillot Paper examines the flaws and failures that have so far impeded a more functional and balanced relationship between civilian and military authorities in the Middle East and North Africa. The paper also highlights the importance of security sector reform (SSR) in consolidating the rule of law and, more generally, sustainable systems of governance.

  • Strategic communications – East and South

    Both Russia and ISIL/Daesh have engaged in aggressive messaging and deceptive media campaigns, albeit with distinct narratives, targets and audiences. This Report analyses the ‘what’ and the ‘how’: the respective narratives of each actor, their specificities, their few similarities and their numerous differences. The analysis also draws attention to strategic communications efforts undertaken by the EU.

  • Sense and sensibility – Addressing the South China Sea disputes

    This Report, based on the work of the EU committee of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP EU), focuses on the territorial disputes that currently put peace and stability in the region at risk.