In the final alert of 2013, EUISS Director Antonio Missiroli offers his take on the Conclusions of the European Council on defence. Can its outcome be considered a turning point for European defence? And what developments lie on the horizon of a debate that is far from over?
Enabling the future. European military capabilities 2013-2025: challenges and avenues
Report - No16 - 06 May 2013
James Rogers, Andrea Gilli
Edited by Antonio Missiroli
In recent decades, a remarkable degree of strategic mobility and military reach, significant social and human capital, and an advanced industrial and scientific base have endowed the European Union with capable and effective armed forces. However, as centuries of European (or Western) dominance are currently giving way to a more multipolar and less governable world system, protecting common ‘strategic interests’ without adequate military capabilities may become ever more difficult.
Although Europeans remain relatively well-equipped to mobilise the tools needed to tackle potential threats, within the EU there is limited awareness or recognition of the emerging challenges, a basic disinterest in strategic matters, and relatively few voices calling for effective and sustainable armed forces. In addition, the European political and institutional landscape regarding defence and military matters is extremely segmented. It is in this context that this Report seeks to place European military capabilities in a broader perspective and highlight potential avenues for exploration and development over the next decade.