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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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    05May 2015

    Despite economic growth returning to Europe, defence budgets continued to fall in 2014. Given the worsening security situation in Europe’s neighbourhood, a renewed commitment to defence would represent an important demonstration of solidarity – both within the Union and to partners across the Atlantic.

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    30April 2015

    In the light of the country’s recent signing of a Framework Participation Agreement with the EU, and the upcoming White Paper on defence that Canberra is due to release before the end of the year, this Alert examines Australia’s record of security and defence cooperation with the Union and its posture as a security actor in the international arena.

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    27April 2015
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    Produced for the occasion of the EUISS conference with HR/VP Mogherini in April 2015, the leaflet goes back to basics on the EU’s external action. Infographics and illustrations, as well as a glossary of terms and relevant actors, present facts and figures about the European Union’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), as well as its broader external action activities – in an easily accessible manner.

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    15April 2015

    The EUISS Yearbook of European Security (YES) is an indispensable publication that aims to inform experts, academics, practitioners and, more generally, all those wishing to know more about the EU and security-related matters through innovative, evidence-based analysis and the display of crucial facts and figures.

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    02April 2015

    In 2014 the world spent more on defence than ever before, with three players standing out as essential drivers of this trend: China, Saudi Arabia and Russia. Are their heavy investments in defence having an impact on their behaviour in their respective regional environments?

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    13March 2015

    With the EU-led operation in the Central African Republic (CAR), EUFOR RCA, coming to an end after a little less than a year, this Alert assesses the outcome of the mission. What lessons can be drawn from the experience of its launch and deployment?

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    17February 2015

    The Nordic Battlegroup (NGB), led by Sweden for the third time, is ready for action if called upon by the EU. But what are the implications of choosing to deploy it or not?

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    06February 2015

    Le Mali accueille quatre opérations extérieures destinées à contribuer à la restauration de la stabilité dans le pays. Deux des opérations sont européennes, EUTM Mali et EUCAP Sahel Mali, et offrent un exemple de mise en œuvre de l’approche globale de l’UE. Mais quelle est la nature de ces missions et comment vont-elles affronter les nombreux défis mettant en danger la stabilité régionale ?

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    19December 2014

    A collaborative project by the entire EUISS research team, this Chaillot Paper analyses changes in the contemporary global environment according to eight distinct but interconnected perspectives. The publication aims to offer a comprehensive background analysis to the policy debates that will inform the drafting of the Report on the international geopolitical environment that the High Representative is due to present in 2015.

  • 06November 2014

    In partnership with the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, the EUISS presented the abridged German version of its Yearbook of European of European Security 2014 on 6 November in the Austrian capital.

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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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    01September 2008

    Since its first autonomous military operation in the Congo in 2003, the EU has increased its role in military crisis management around the world. This paper looks at the often disappointing results of EU-UN cooperation, using the example of the EU’s later operation in the Congo in 2006...

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    28March 2008

    The newest ESDP mission to Kosovo is a display of unity by the European Union, focused on the goal of ensuring stability grounded on the rule of law, including strict respect for minority rights, in the newly-independent state. The EU must achieve its objective while remaining a magnet for Kosovars and at the same time for the Serbs.

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