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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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    29 August 2014

    This compendium offers the busy expert on the go a limited selection of the main types of ‘strategic’ documents released by the EU in order to highlight the developments that have occurred in this domain over the past few years.

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    25 July 2014

    This Alert by the EUISS Director outlines how a more fitting internal modus operandi for the Commission could be established, in particular with regard to foreign policy matters. And with defence topping the EU’s agenda last year, might it also be time to create a dedicated commissioner with specific responsibilities for security- and defence-related industry and markets and research?

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    13 June 2014

    Trade has often been touted as an area where Washington and European capitals – with a little help from Brussels – could create common ground. While regulatory challenges abound, what role does energy play in the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership?

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    23 May 2014

    The EUISS Yearbook of European Security (YES) 2014 is the Institute’s annual publication compiling key documents and data related to the EU’s CFSP and CSDP for the year 2013. The 2014 edition also includes chapters on new actors in the Arab political landscape post-2011 as well as on the evolution of defence spending across Europe. Visually appealing maps, graphs and charts provide added clarity on some of the key issues facing the European Union and its external action today.

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    24 April 2014

    In recent years, the EU’s crisis management policy has gradually broadened in range and scope, as it seeks to adapt its response mechanisms to the increasingly complex crises facing the world today. This book brings together key elements from an international conference devoted to challenges and opportunities for cooperation between crisis rooms that was organised by the European External Action Service in December 2013.

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    11 April 2014

    This Alert examines EU-Africa relations in light of the recent high-level summit held in Brussels. What are the expectations of both partners? And how can a deeper, more comprehensive bilateral relationship be achieved?

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    21 March 2014

    Although the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will not directly cover to the defence sector, dual-use goods and technologies are increasingly blurring the lines between defence and civilian commercial realms. What impact will the TTIP have on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that operate in the European defence sector, and what of the future of the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base?

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    28 February 2014

    In the wake of the 7th EU-Brazil summit held on 24 February, this Alert examines the EU-Brazil partnership at a critical juncture. Brazil’s future as an emerging power seems currently threatened by flagging economic performance and massive countrywide protests, leading the country to partially withdraw from its proactive foreign policy posture, while the EU’s own domestic concerns are overshadowed by troublesome events in its wider neighbourhood.

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    21 February 2014

    In light of the negotiations set to begin on a Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Cuba, this alert – the first of its kind dealing with a country in Latin America – advocates the adoption of a new strategy towards the isolated island nation and highlights how, this time, there are good reasons to be hopeful of success.

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    17 January 2014

    This alert explores the EU’s security engagement in Somalia. It highlights the fact that, despite its sizeable financial contribution to the force, the EU does not have leverage on AMISOM’s operational command or its troop architecture. EU tools are not currently being used to their full potential in the country and their eventual effectiveness is ultimately dependent on other partners’ efforts.

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  • 07 June 2002

    The Madrid conference was organised in cooperation with the Real Instituto Elcano, under the aegis of the Spanish Presidency of the European Union.

  • 18 March 2002

    A conference on 'European Defence after 11 September' took place at the Institute on 18 March 2002. The meeting addressed the impact of 11 September and the fight against terrorism on the EU and the ESDP in particular.

  • 08 February 2002

    The sixth meeting of the Institute’s task force on South-Eastern Europe took place in Paris on 8 February and addressed the so-called ‘Albanian Question’ with a number of prominent experts from the region as well as European policymakers.

  • 21 May 2001

    A seminar entitled ‘Enlarging Europe: CFSP perspectives’, took place in Paris on 21 and 22 May 2001 (Antonio Missiroli). The aim of this seminar was to address issues which lie at the juncture between two policy processes that are still perceived, if not pursued, as separate and distinct, namely the enlargement of the European Union and the development of CFSP/ESDP. Such separation, or distinction, concerns especially the candidate countries, who still see the EU as a mainly economic organisation and its CFSP as a mainly declaratory policy, NATO remaining the main security provider on the continent. The discussion aimed precisely at filling this gap and focused on both the attitudes of current members and candidates vis-à-vis enlargement and CFSP/ESDP, and the possible interactions between the two enlargements. In fact, late next year, key decisions are expected on both fronts – at the North Atlantic Council in Prague and at the European Council in Copenhagen, respectively – and it proved interesting, during this seminar, to assess the state of affairs and the likely scenarios seen from the participants’ viewpoints.

  • 02 April 2001

    A seminar entitled ‘Defining a European Strategic Concept’, took place in Paris on 2 April 2001 (Julian Lindley-French). This seminar examined the relationship between the evolution and development of the political and military aspects of European defence.

  • 12 March 2001

    A seminar entitled ‘Police for Peacebuilding: what role for the EU?’, took place in Paris on 12 March 2001 (Maartje Rutten). The aim of the seminar was to look at the process of establishing the EU pool of 5,000 police officers. The discussions centred on lessons learned from previous involvement of police in crisis management operations, the specific challenges for the EU in assembling police and ideas for enhancing implementation of the EU plans in this field. Participants comprised representatives from the EU Committee for Civil Aspects of Crisis Management, the Situation Centre/Crisis Cell at the Secretariat General at the EU Council of Ministers, the EU Military Staff, Europol, UN, OSCE, WEU, Gendarmerie and Carabinieri, in addition to many academics.

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