An agency of the EU


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.


  • Defence & technology: the US between Silicon Valley and European allies

    In response to concerns of losing technological superiority, the US is implementing the Defense Innovation Initiative. This intends to ensure that the Pentagon leverages breakthrough technologies from the traditional defence industrial base and commercial-technology sector alike. Also, what role can Europe play in the US third offset strategy?

  • EU-CELAC: partners in crisis management?

    Highlighting improving cooperation in this field between the EU and individual CELAC countries, this Alert shows how in particular the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) might be a suitable partner in the area of crisis management with which the EU could work more closely.


  • Sanctions against Iran: the role of pivotal rising powers

    Rising powers can play a pivotal role in enhancing the multilateral sanctions regime against Iran. But their readiness to support the endeavours of the major sanctioning actors is not a given.

  • Defence: solidarity, trust and threat perception

    Is the mutual solidarity between EU and NATO member states strong enough to collectively defend Europe if worse comes to worst? And what could be done to assure European allies, especially in the east, about the transatlantic alliance’s ironclad guarantee to defend them?