This Brief seeks to explain why (and when) coups happen. What conditions are needed to persuade the military to attempt to topple a government? And what elements increase the likelihood of success or failure?
The transatlantic relationship has been and remains the cornerstone of the EU’s foreign and security policy. However, in a context where the US is increasingly looking towards Asia and is less willing to take a lead in international affairs, expectations on Europe have been raised. The impact of austerity measures on transatlantic defence budgets further highlights the necessity for Europe to take on more responsibility in international security.
As President Obama has stated: "We want strong allies. We are not looking to be patrons of Europe. We are looking to be partners of Europe". He spoke specifically of European defence capabilities, but his statement can also be applied to other areas of transatlantic cooperation. Indeed, EU-US security cooperation - particularly in the civilian aspects of peace-building and across the spectrum of the comprehensive approach - has increased over the past decade, and there is now a strong basis on which to build.
The rise of new global power centres has added a new dimension to transatlantic debates. Both partners must redefine the relationship to preserve security and prosperity but also to maintain influence in an emerging global system where the US - and the EU, as part of ‘the West’ - may no longer be the sole, or the dominant, player.
The EUISS pays particular attention to developments in US foreign policy and debates over strategy and burden-sharing in security and defence; but also to EU-US cooperation in foreign and security policy and to a broader transatlantic agenda that includes cyber and energy security and other emerging foreign policy challenges.
Recent developments to the east and south of Europe have pushed European defence back onto the agenda in Washington. What steps has the US taken to guarantee the security of its transatlantic allies? And are they enough?
Recent terrorist attacks in Europe have strengthened transatlantic counter-terrorism cooperation after trust was shaken by the 2013 revelations by Edward Snowden about American surveillance activities. New initiatives seek to address European data protection concerns while deepening collaboration at the EU-level, primarily through Europol.
On 1 February, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the Zika virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Are the health crisis management structures currently in place, not only in Latin America but also in the EU, ready to face this challenge?