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Security and defence

The Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) is an integral part of EU foreign policy. Through its military operations and civilian missions, the EU has contributed to regional and global stability. Since it's inception, the CSDP has responded to a shifting regional security context. It has played a vital role in crisis management in the EU's near and wider neighbourhood but it is also an essential part of the EU's broader approach to the protection of Europe and capacity building.

Although the Lisbon Treaty consolidated the EU's crisis management apparatus, the EU Global Strategy has set a new level of ambition for EU defence. In addition to the CSDP playing an operational role in the EU's integrated approach to crises, the EU Global Strategy has stressed the need for the EU to become a more capable and effective defence actor. Initiatives such as the European Defence Fund, the coordinated annual defence review (CARD) and more coherent financing for EU operations and capacity building efforts are all aimed at supporting the EU's strategic autonomy and the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base. The EUISS continues to support the development of CSDP through outreach activities and expert publications.

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    04March 2016

    Intelligence support for the EU’s foreign and security policy has developed from being a small cubicle within Javier Solana’s office into dedicated all-source intelligence units. But what challenges still exist in European intelligence cooperation, and what can be done to bolster it further?

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    26February 2016

    2015 saw Russia, Saudi Arabia and China invest heavily in their militaries, while Europeans have largely reversed long-standing defence budget cuts, too. Increases in defence spending have, however, had very different implications for the military activities of the respective regional powers.

  • 25February 2016

    This seminar was co-organised by the EUISS, the European Security and Defence College (ESDC), the Egmont Institute, and the Netherlands Presidency of the Council of the EU.

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    23February 2016
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    In 2015, the European Commission invited key personalities from European industry, government, the European Parliament and academia to advise it on establishing a Preparatory Action on Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)-related research. This Report is the result of several months of regular conversation and consultation among a group of experts encompassing the ‘sherpas’, officials from the European Commission and the EUISS.

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    17February 2016

    With Africans increasingly taking charge of security governance on their continent, this Brief assess to what extent the African Union’s partnership with the EU is truly strategic. Have the two continents finally managed to overcome the donor-recipient dynamic which long dominated their relationship?

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    17December 2015

    A month after France invoked the mutual defence clause of the Lisbon Treaty, this Alert looks at the symbolic significance of the article and the implications of its invocation. What does it mean for the Union as a security actor?

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    27November 2015

    How successful has the EU been in implementing gender mainstreaming and achieving gender balance in its CSDP missions and operations?

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    20November 2015

    A week after the shocking events in Paris, the EUISS Director looks at France’s decision to seek the solidarity of its EU partners. Could member states now make use of instruments they created some time ago and have rarely thought about since?

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    13November 2015

    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?

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    28October 2015

    This Brief examines the rise of hybrid threats, focusing in particular on Russia’s ongoing info-war against the West. Could the ‘psychological defences’ developed by several countries in Western Europe during the Cold War to counter Soviet propaganda now inspire the EU?

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    11September 2013

    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.

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    26July 2013

    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.

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    08July 2013

    As the twelfth year of military engagement in Afghanistan draws to a close, NATO troop numbers are set to be significantly reduced and reoriented to training Afghan forces rather than carrying out executive security functions. But how will international actors (including the EU) recalibrate their approach in order to ensure stability in both Afghanistan and the wider region?

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    03June 2013

    This alert examines President Obama’s recent speech at the National Defense University, in which he laid out the US approach to counter-terrorism and redefined the parameters of the ‘global war on terror’. But if this speech marks a new beginning, what are the possible ripple effects across the Atlantic for Europe?

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    29May 2013

    The Institute’s Yearbook of European Security (YES) contains key facts, figures, chronological lists, documents and maps relating to the EU’s external security dimension. Its purpose is to present a comprehensive picture of what the EU has achieved in the security policy domain during the preceding year/s. The inaugural edition covers 2011 and 2012, and includes a mapping section on foresight practices and trends in governments.

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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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    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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    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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    28January 2013

    The launch of the EU Police Mission (EUPM) was for many the first tangible outcome from the EU CFSP. This joint report contributes, through the identification of key lessons and recommendations, to collaborative lessons learning for police reform in BiH, CSDP and the EU’s external action in general.

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    25January 2013

    Les mesures restrictives sont les instruments de prédilection de l’Union européenne (UE) pour imposer des mesures de coercition aux pays tiers. Distinguant les différents cas de figure en cause en fonction de leur coût juridique potentiel, il s’agira ici de proposer un guide pratique du choix des mesures restrictives appropriées.

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  • 18September 2003

    The European Union Institute for Security Studies organised, in cooperation with the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, a seminar for the PSC, which was held in Brussels on 18 September 2003.

  • 01September 2003

    With the current 'big bang' enlargement nearing its conclusion, it has become crucial to assess if and to what extent the European Union can and will widen further. The ISS devoted a seminar to this issue, with participants from both current and future member states.

  • 28June 2003

    The Rome conference was the second transatlantic conference organised by the EU Institute for Security Studies in 2003. It focused on the EU and US strategic concepts, EU-NATO cooperation, armaments cooperation, and future trends for transatlantic links.

  • 01April 2003

    The April 2003 Transatlantic Conference, The EU and the US: partners in stability?, was held in Paris. Bringing together officials and academics from both sides of the Atlantic, the conference analysed the state of transatlantic relations after the invasion of Iraq.

  • 07March 2003

    The 8th meeting of the Institute’s Task Force on South-Eastern Europe was held on 7 March 2003 in Paris. Attended by a number of European and American officials and experts, this session assessed the convergences and divergences between EU and US policy in the Western Balkans today and the next imperatives of the international community’s agenda for the region.

  • 01January 2003

    The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is one of the major security threats facing Europe today. However, a genuine European assessment of the threat is still lacking. This prompted the EUISS to invite a group of European experts and officials to present their analysis of current trends in missile-, nuclear-, biological- and chemical proliferation.

  • 25November 2002

    A transatlantic ‘brainstorming’ on Iraq brought together more than 40 officials and experts from both sides of the Atlantic. In the seminar, the options for tackling the Iraqi threat, from UNSC-sponsored inspections to military intervention, were considered. Special attention was paid to the difficulties of the aftermath of a war and occupation, and the implications for the transatlantic alliance and the Middle East region.

  • 07November 2002

    On 7 November 2002, at the request of Michel Barnier, chairman of the Working Group (Defence) of the Convention, the EU Institute for Security Studies organised a seminar in Brussels on the future of European defence policy.

  • 11October 2002

    A major conference on 'The UN, the EU, NATO and other regional actors: partners in peace?' was hosted by the Institute, in cooperation with the International Peace Academy, on 11-12 October in Paris. The conference focused in particular on the interplay between the United Nations and other organisations in terms of peace operations in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

  • 11September 2002

    A seminar on 'The EU and Russia: a Security Partnership?', in association with the Russia and Eurasia Programme of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, took place at the Institute on 25 March 2002.

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