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Europe in Danger: What next for EU security and defence?

25 January 2022
HRVP Borrell © European Union, 2022


From the return of power politics and zero-sum conflicts to the instrumentalisation of migrants and cyberattacks, Europe is under threat. The classical distinction between war and peace is diminishing and the European Union faces increased competition, intimidation and coercion. International politics is increasingly transactional, EU values and multilateralism are being challenged, whereas democratic freedoms and international law are questioned. In short, Europe is in danger.

How can the Union operate in such an increasingly competitive strategic environment? How does it avoid ‘strategic shrinkage’, where it is at risk of being always principled but seldom relevant? The European Union has no choice but to build up its ability to provide security for its citizens, to protect its values and interests and to contribute to international peace and security. If the Union wants dialogue, diplomacy and multilateralism to succeed, it needs to develop both the language and capabilities of power. The Strategic Compass is expected to address these questions.

Looking ahead to 2022 and beyond, Josep Borrell Fontelles, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission (HR/VP), delivered a keynote speech on 25 January 2022 at the Bibliothéque Solvay, Brussels.

In his speech, the HR/VP outlined what is at stake for EU security and defence and outlined his political priorities for the year ahead. The speech was followed by a panel discussion with European personalities. EUISS Deputy Director Florence Gaub opened the event and gave the concluding remarks.

Watch the recording of the event