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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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    26September 2014
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    This leaflet, produced for the occasion of the EUISS annual conference 2014, goes back to basics on the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). Infographics and illustrations, as well as a glossary of terms and relevant actors, present facts and figures about European security – in an easily accessible manner.

  • 11September 2014

    The EUISS held its annual conference on 11/12 September in central Paris. This year’s event, entitled ‘European security in a changing global environment’, was an opportunity to convene numerous policy planners and think tankers from across the Europe to discuss European security during a period of major institutional change within the Union.

  • 09September 2014

    La version abrégée du Yearbook of European Security (YES) en français propose des faits, données, chronologies, documents et cartes essentiels à la compréhension de la politique de sécurité de l’Union européenne au cours de l’année 2013.

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    18July 2014

    This Brief takes a look at the discussions surrounding ‘exit strategies’ of EU CSDP missions. However defined, work on exit strategies may begin with CSDP – but eventually draws on, and takes to task, all other connected components of EU foreign policy.

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    11July 2014

    EU member states have long avoided applying EU law to defence by extensively relying – implicitly or explicitly – on Article 346. Using recent case law, this Brief shows how this is now becoming increasingly difficult.

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    04July 2014

    This Brief examines the increasing importance of dual-use technologies and their impact on the structure of defence firms in Europe. How is this phenomenon now affecting the capabilities – and the governance – of European defence?

  • 19June 2014

    The EU Military Staff, in cooperation with the EU Institute for Security Studies, organised a High-Level Conference entitled ‘Learning by doing - Military lessons learnt within the Comprehensive Approach’ in Brussels on 19-20 June 2014.

  • 06June 2014

    On 6 June 2014, the EUISS co-hosted the third seminar of a series of events on the role of the military in CSDP with the French MOD think tank, l'Institut de Recherche stratégique de l’Ecole militaire (IRSEM).

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    23May 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.

  • 23May 2014

    On 23 May, the EU Institute for Security Studies hosted a double event in Brussels ‘Crisis management 2014: the EU record’ in order to present both its ‘Yearbook of European Security: YES 2014’ and the EUISS/EEAS book ‘Crisis Rooms: towards a global network?’

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    16March 2009

    This paper looks at the emerging geopolitical situation in the Eurasian coastal zone, concentrating on the geostrategic activities of China, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the United States. This zone, it argues, is both critically important for the EU in terms of shipping for manufactured goods and energy supplies, and likely to experience great power competition and general disorder over the coming decades.

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    01February 2009

    This report follows on from the series of seminars organised in 2008 by the EUISS on the European Security Strategy. It contributes to the debate on policy options generated by the December 2008 European Council, which put forward guidelines for the implementation of the Strategy in the coming years, and looks at how to increase the consistency and coherence of EU external action.

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    01January 2009
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    EULEX Kosovo is finally up and running after a long planning phase. It began operations on 9 December 2008 and has been breaking new ground for the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) as the EU's largest civilian mission.

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    31December 2008

    This paper examines the proposals on European defence under discussion during the 2008 French EU Presidency. While Americans and Europeans alike support stronger EU-NATO cooperation, the output has so far been unsatisfactory. The paper examines initiatives for a stronger, more unitary European security structure.

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    19November 2008

    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.

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    04November 2008

    This issue of the EUISS newsletter looks at the need to avoid confrontational bipolarity in the wake Georgia conflict, assesses prospects for a regional solution to the Afghanistan conflict, and examines ESDP ten years after the St Malo Anglo-French summit. It also gives a round up of the Institute’s recent seminar series on the European Security Strategy, as well as the latest publications and press clippings.

  • 28October 2008

    It has become a cliché to observe that Europe’s armies need many new military capabilities. But EU governments are still doing very little to remedy the problem. European armed forces struggled to fight alongside the US during the Kosovo war in 1999 because they lacked sophisticated equipment.

    As a result EU governments signed up to a number of “headline goals” to improve their military prowess. But it is hard to find much concrete evidence of real improvements in European military equipment over the last decade.

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    23October 2008

    This chronological compilation brings together official documents on European security and defence, including statements, decisions and other material from the relevant EU structures. It is a valuable reference tool for all those interested in the EU’s common foreign and security policy, allowing for quick identification of the key issues on the agenda for the year 2007.

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    10October 2008

    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.

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    25September 2008

    En mettant la priorité sur la prévention, l’Union européenne pourrait maximiser l’usage de ses ressources et le soutien des capacités des gouvernements et des sociétés pour lutter contre le fléau des armes légères, explique Damien Helly, chargé de recherche de l’IESUE sur l’Afrique, la prévention des conflits et de la gestion des crises.

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