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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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    21October 2014

    As the Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) programme celebrates five years of successful flight operations, this Alert provides an overview of this multinational initiative which has provided even very small European countries with a strategic transport capability that they would not have been able to achieve on their own.

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    17October 2014

    What steps is the US taking in order to ensure that it remains technologically superior to its rivals when it comes to defence matters? Is there still a role for Europe in the race to stay ahead of the game?

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    17October 2014

    This Alert offers a preliminary sketch of what a Europe-wide security of supply regime could look like. Should such a regime follow an emphasis on maintaining open markets and ensuring competitiveness, or should it follow an insistence on greater protection and a ‘buy European’ ethos?

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    07October 2014

    This Brief explores the hitherto unimplemented provision of the Lisbon Treaty. What procedures would allow for an Article 44 operation to take place? And what can be done to assuage any concerns associated with the use of the Article?

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    03October 2014

    This Alert explores the motives driving Latin American countries to institutionalise security cooperation with the EU. In spite of the asymmetric levels of engagement in CSDP missions and operations, Latin American states can reap considerable benefits from their participation through other policy channels.

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    30September 2014

    This Alert analyses the implications of the Union’s recent formalisation of security cooperation with South Korea. Aside from obvious practical benefits, what symbolic value does it have for both partners in their attempts to gain greater recognition as security actors?

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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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    11August 2009
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    In the last year, the EU has been conducting two major military operations in and around Africa as well as continuing its police mission in Afghanistan. This Summer issue looks at the EU's engagement in these regions. It also gives a bird's eye view of an ESDP operation as seen from the EU Satellite Centre and finally Karl von Wogau, Chairman of the European Parliament Sub-Committee for Security and Defence, takes stock of the development of ESDP.

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    15July 2009

    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 2008.

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    01April 2009

    The EU engages in aspects of security sector reform through EUPOL Afghanistan, the police mission launched in 2007, and through the European Commission’s contributions to justice reform in the country. Based on an analysis of past efforts at police reform by the EU and other European and international actors, this paper identifies a set of internal and external coordination challenges that hamper mission success.

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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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