On 20 September 2016, the EUISS held a second workshop on European defence to discuss the forthcoming Security and Defence Implementation Plan as part of the EUGS follow-up process.
The EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy (EUGS) is quite candid about the challenges facing European defence and it understandably calls for defence cooperation to become the norm rather than the exception. The new strategy provides Europe with a realistic analysis of the present challenges and it lays the foundations for further action on security and defence. Far from calling for a panoply of new initiatives, the EUGS prudently makes the case for a calculated and proactive consolidation of existing EU policies and instruments.
While it may seem frivolous to some to talk about the streamlining of institutions and existing policies at the present time, the EU can ill-afford not to further rationalise its defence policy. The forthcoming publication of the European Commission’s Defence Action Plan (EDAP) and the likely creation of a European Defence Research Programme (ERDP) make institutional streamlining and creative thinking in this field vital.