On the face of it, there is overwhelming support in Europe for a common foreign and defence policy. But is there agreement on what a 'European defence policy' might actually mean? Or do EU citizens only favour common action when it is 'common' on their own terms? To provide some answers, this brief takes a detailed look at the polls on the matter and explores the assumptions that underlie them.
The EU Battlegroups (BGs) reached full operational capability on 1 January 2007. However, they have never been deployed since, raising serious doubts about the viability of the overall initiative. This brief examines how, if the EU member states really want the Battlegroups to be Europe’s flagship military rapid response tool, they may have to address the challenges that continue to plague the BGs’ credibility and effectiveness.
The unmanned revolution in military affairs is reshaping global power and the conduct of warfare. This brief highlights the implications of drone adoption for the EU: from industrial base issues to force structure, from public support to the development of appropriate battle-networks.
This alert explores the Communication ‘Towards a more competitive and efficient defence and security sector’, adopted by the European Commission on 24 July, demonstrating how it makes an important contribution to the efforts to bolster the Common Security and Defence Policy.
Europe's defence industry currently remains fragmented both across countries and business sectors. Yet given the downsizing of defence budgets, greater consolidation can now be expected through a mix of Europe, NATO, extra-EU and purely national solutions.
The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention will convene in Geneva for the 7th Review Conference between 5-22 December 2011. Because scientific research and the industrial application of this science contain certain inherent dangers, this paper argues that it is imperative that the stakeholders in industry and academia are brought into the BTWC discussions.
The EU's military planning capacity is in need of a major overhaul. The lack of a permanent operational planning headquarters undermines peacekeeping performance, and more broadly, the development of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). This Occasional Paper seeks to reconcile the need to address existing deficiencies in military planning and command and control with the general resistance to a permanent military operational headquarters.
The 1999 Helsinki Summit saw EU governments committing to a reform of their military capabilities, better equipping their armies for peacekeeping missions. In this latest EUISS Policy Brief, Daniel Keohane and Charlotte Blommestijn examine just how much progress has been made in the past ten years.
EU governments are gradually coming around to the idea that they need to open up their defence markets. The European Commission is currently proposing new procurement and trade directives aimed at streamlining defence market legislation. The proposed directives would open up the defence market, improve European cooperation on armaments and lead to a more competitive European defence industry.
Cooperative programmes do not have a very positive image in some EU Member States because they have often implied delays, unanticipated costs, and long rounds of negotiations between partnering nations. Participating in a multinational programme without a shared approach and common understanding is bound to lead to problems.
Since the end of the Cold War, the armaments sector in the Visegrad countries has gone through an important downsizing process. Shrinking home markets and the disruption of the Warsaw Pact cooperation mechanisms have put defence industries in the region under enormous pressure.
Up until now, EU member states have excluded armaments from the European integration process and have cooperated in this field outside the EU framework. However, there is a fair chance today that this will change: both the work of the Convention on the Future of Europe and the debate on the recent Commission Communication on a common defence equipment policy indicate a greater openness among national governments vis-à-vis possible EU involvement in armaments.
The work of the Convention on the Future of Europe and the final report of its working group on defence have illustrated that armaments might well become one of the key issues on the agenda of the next Intergovernmental Conference (IGC). The purpose of this Chaillot Paper is to provide practitioners, experts and policy-makers with necessary background information.
In Europe, arms and dual-use exports raise complex questions. They fall between two policy spheres that are organised in a distinctly contrasting manner. On the one hand, they are an intrinsic part of commercial policy that lies within the exclusive competence of the European Community (EC). On the other hand, they come under the aegis of security and defence policy, a jealously guarded area of responsibility of the EU member states.
With considerable delay in comparison to aerospace and defense electronics, a restructuring process is occurring in Europe’s land armaments sector. National consolidation in the big arms producing countries is paralleled by an increasing number of transnational link-ups.
A few months ago, the Institute published a Chaillot Paper by Burkard Schmitt dealing specifically with the new industrial integration strategies of the big European armaments groups (Chaillot Paper 40, ‘From cooperation to integration: defence and aerospace industries in Europe’, July 2000). This Chaillot Paper examines the prospects for transatlantic cooperation in this field, and also the constraints on it.
The first session focused on threat perceptions and threat assessments. The key question was whether a threat exists that justifies NMD deployment. Do the so-called ‘countries of concern’ really intent to threaten the US homeland and, even more importantly, do they have the financial and the technological means to scale up their existing arsenal to true intercontinental range?
What was of particular interest in this seminar was that it combined both a discussion of the technical, immediate aspects of European defence and a more general reflection on developments in American policy and the direction being taken by European construction.
Over the last two years, two processes have considerably modified the European strategic landscape: the development of a common security and defence policy within the European Union on the one hand, and accelerated restructuring of defence industries on the other.
Changes in the post-Cold War strategic landscape have, among other things, affected WEU countries' Defence Industrial and Technological Base (DITB). The further evolution of WEU, with respect to the recently defined EU reform and that impending in NATO, heightens the importance of solving the problems hampering European armaments cooperation, which directly affects WEU's operational capabilities.