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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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    15November 2013

    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.

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    06November 2013

    This report is based on a conference on European defence jointly organised by the EUISS and King’s College London in September. It focuses on CSDP with a view to informing official debates leading up to the upcoming European Council meeting in December. In particular, the report stresses the importance of EU member states strengthening their political and financial commitment to CSDP, as well as the key role of the EU institutions in fostering cooperation and coordination.

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    18October 2013

    As the conflict in Syria rages on, this brief provides a succinct analysis of the causes and consequences of the longest, and bloodiest, of all forms of human conflict. Why do civil wars break out? And more importantly, how can they be brought to an end?

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    13September 2013

    A decade after the UN and the EU signed a Joint Declaration on UN-EU Cooperation in Crisis Management, this brief examines the achievements and obstacles faced by the two organisations in this field. With the December 2013 European Council on defence looming, what opportunities exist to further enhance this partnership?

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    13September 2013

    For the EU to continue to attract civilian and military contributions from member states it needs to show its comparative advantage over other actors in bringing about lasting peace and security. This brief explores the question of the ‘added value’ of the CSDP compared to NATO and UN as well as to other EU instruments deployed in response to crises.

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    13September 2013

    This alert examines the role of the EU as a security provider in the light of recommendations contained in a report issued by HR/VP Catherine Ashton in the run-up to the European Council in December. The report underlines the need to enhance the CSDP with credible defence capabilities.

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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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