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EU foreign policy

With the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009 and its subsequent implementation, the European Union has gradually assembled the constituent elements of a sui generis 'foreign policy', bringing together various competencies, instruments and resources that were hitherto spread across different institutions and bodies. Although the process is still on-going and progress is, in parts, uneven, certain traits of a more coherent common approach to foreign policy-making are now evident. In the Balkans, the Horn of Africa (both offshore and onshore), the Sahel, or the Middle East, joint and combined forms of external action - including diplomacy, enlargement, CSDP and development activities - are now producing more effective and lasting results.

Analysing the specific actors, instruments, policies, and strategies at the disposal of the Union and assessing their scope and outreach is also a way to illustrate what the EU does in the world - something which is not always known or appreciated by those who directly benefit from its external action, or indeed by European citizens at large. Monitoring performance, in turn, also contributes to improving it, in a constructive manner and on the basis of factual evidence.

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    16July 2015

    The EU stands out as a responsive sanctioning actor. This Alert argues that by signalling its commitment to reward compliance through a phased exit strategy, the Union lends credence to the reversibility of sanctions.

  • 28May 2015

    On Saturday 8 May, the EU institutions opened their doors to the public at the annual EU Open Day in Brussels. Once again the EUISS took part in this event with a stand in the Atrium of the Justus Lipsius building.

  • 22May 2015

    On 22 May, the Atlantic Council hosted the European Union Institute for Security Studies for the latter’s annual transatlantic conference in Washington DC.

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    27April 2015
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    Produced for the occasion of the EUISS conference with HR/VP Mogherini in April 2015, the leaflet goes back to basics on the EU’s external action. Infographics and illustrations, as well as a glossary of terms and relevant actors, present facts and figures about the European Union’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), as well as its broader external action activities – in an easily accessible manner.

  • 21April 2015

    The EUISS organised a conference at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels on 21 April which gathered a number of think tankers, academics and EU and national officials to debate the rapidly-changed global security environment with the HR/VP.

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    15April 2015

    The EUISS Yearbook of European Security (YES) is an indispensable publication that aims to inform experts, academics, practitioners and, more generally, all those wishing to know more about the EU and security-related matters through innovative, evidence-based analysis and the display of crucial facts and figures.

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    02April 2015

    The EUISS is now helping with the preparation of the HR/VP’s report assessing the ‘changes in the global environment’ which is to be delivered in June. In this Brief, the EUISS Director gives a first overview of some of the themes this report may include.

  • 13March 2015

    On 13 March, the EUISS and the China Institute for Contemporary International Relations (CICIR) held their annual exchange of views in Beijing.

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    13February 2015

    This Alert takes a look at the EU restrictive measures imposed on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine. What were the alternative solutions? And would they have been more effective?

  • 30January 2015

    On 30 January 2015 the EUISS, in cooperation with the Latvian EU Presidency and the Institute for European Politics in Berlin, organised a conference on EU-Central Asia relations.

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    06May 2013
    Rapporteur(s):

    What sort of armed forces are Europeans likely to have (and need) by 2025? How might Europeans better organise themselves to take part in the new global competition for wealth, influence and power? This report seeks to place European military capabilities in a broader perspective and demonstrate how the only way to safeguard common ‘strategic interests’ and counter potential risks is to do more together.

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    06May 2013

    On 30 April 2013, the ECHR ruled that Yulia Tymoshenko had been subjected to arbitrary and unlawful detention before her trial in 2011. Yet, even if Tymoshenko’s case epitomises much of what is currently wrong with Ukraine’s politics, the problems facing the country are complex and cannot be reduced to the (mis)treatment of one politician.

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    29April 2013

    Quatorze ans après la fin de la guerre, le récent accord du 19 avril normalise pour la première fois les relations entre la Serbie et le Kosovo. Il représente une étape décisive pour les deux parties vers l’intégration européenne et confirme également l’importance de l’action de l’UE dans la région des Balkans occidentaux.

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    22April 2013

    Budget cuts in the US are causing concerns not only because of their effect on security and defence spending, but also because of the particular way in which much of them are set to be administered. This brief argues that as a result of sequestration, the EU would do well to identify and take seriously its strategic interests and to invest in its own operational capabilities.

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    26March 2013

    The US ‘pivot’ towards Asia has generated debate in Europe about whether the EU should upgrade its presence in the region. Yet, as this alert shows, the EU and its member states already began their own, largely undetected, rebalancing towards Asia roughly a decade ago. Does the EU now have the possibility of becoming – even inadvertently – an Asian (minor) power?

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    26March 2013

    After a period of relative stability and significant progress in its reform efforts, Moldovan politics has (re)entered a phase of instability, creating uncertainty about its future direction and its relationship with the EU. This notwithstanding, Moldova potentially remains the best example of a successful transformation under the Union’s Eastern Partnership.

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    08March 2013

    Au cours des dernières années, si l’IdS a indéniablement gagné en importance, il demeure encore méconnu comparativement à la PSDC. Leur histoire est pourtant parallèle et leurs activités complémentaires, de façon à renforcer l’approche globale prônée par l’UE dans la Stratégie européenne de sécurité.

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    07March 2013

    China is poised to become the EU’s most important commercial partner, while simultaneously being a serious challenger in trade and a competitor for resources. It is against the backdrop of this dichotomy that this report offers a number of suggestions to assist EU policymakers in developing a more coherent approach towards China.

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    04March 2013

    Sanctions seem to have become one of the EU’s weapons of choice to effect change beyond its borders and the case of Belarus testifies in particular to the Union’s ambition to conduct coercive diplomacy. Yet, despite the various steps taken by the EU over the past years, little lasting success has been achieved so far in enforcing meaningful change in Europe’s ‘last dictatorship’.

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    20February 2013

    With various political and institutional initiatives across the Union indicating a growing interest in the analysis of trends and factors that may affect Europe’s position in the years and decades to come, the EUISS Director digs deeper into the nature, practice and record of strategic foresight.

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