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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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  • 02 October 2017

    On 2 October 2017, the EUISS and the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU organised a high-level conference on hybrid threats. During three panels focusing on the current state of play, cyber resilience and strategic communications, the conference encouraged debate about the efforts made by the EU to counter hybrid threats.

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    27 September 2017

    This Alert explains the importance of the defence dimensions of Europe's cyber security efforts. In addition to exercises and training, the Union is now increasingly in a position to financially invest in cyber defence.

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    05 July 2017

    This Brief presents an overview of the European Union Police Mission in Afghanistan (EUPOL Afghanistan) – analysing the difficulties and challenges that the Mission faced from the time it was launched in 2007 until its closure in 2016. The Brief also identifies several ‘lessons learned’ that could be of benefit to future missions of this type.

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    07 June 2017

    This Brief looks at the new ‘military planning and conduct capability’ (MPCC) structure. How did this come into existence? And what does it mean for the EU in terms of command structure?

  • 30 May 2017

    This EUISS event launched two new EUISS publications at the one-year mark of the issuance of the EU Global Strategy. With the EUISS ‘Yearbook of European Security’ as the go-to source for facts and figures relevant to the EU and its external action, and ‘After the EUGS: building resilience’ as the third in the series of the EUISS books devoted to the EU Global Strategy and its implementation.

  • 19 May 2017

    The seminar discussed a more tailored approach to Security Sector Reform (SSR) in the EU’s South, looking at challenges in the fields of criminal justice, policing, border control, and counter-terrorism.

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    17 May 2017

    The EUISS Yearbook of European Security (YES) is the Institute’s annual publication compiling key documents and data related to the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). This 2017 edition offers a comprehensive picture of the actors, institutions and processes that underpinned the Union’s foreign and security policy and external action in 2016.

  • 27 April 2017

    The EUISS and the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU organised a high-level conference on the EU Global Strategy (EUGS). Following a panel focusing on how the EUGS has driven the EU’s and member states’ foreign policy since June 2016, the conference encouraged debate on the security and defence aspects of the EUGS and the EU’s crisis management strategy for Libya.

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    26 April 2017

    Through carefully targeted financial incentives the European Commission hopes that the European Defence Fund can help change the rules of the game for European defence cooperation. But how might the Commission structure or modulate it?

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    26 April 2017

    This Alert looks at the coordinated annual review on defence (‘CARD’) announced at the end of 2016. How could CARD change the way defence cooperation operates in Europe?

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    09 December 2016

    Russia’s recent actions in eastern Europe and significant military build-up along its Western border and in the enclave of Kaliningrad has rattled many nerves. This Brief explores how, as a consequence, all the countries in the Nordic-Baltic region are now rearming.

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    18 November 2016

    Artificial intelligence and autonomous systems are already disruptive technologies in civilian sectors, and the same is likely to happen when they become more prevalent in the military realm. This Alert focuses on the non-lethal applications of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems, and how they might impact military capabilities and alter command structures down the road.

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    18 November 2016

    Europe’s shifting security landscape demands concrete action if the EU is to play a role in protecting the continent. This Alert takes a look at some of the pilot projects being launched to deliver tangible results on security and defence.

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    10 November 2016

    Because of the intertwining of internal and external security matters, the EU’s model of dealing with crisis is being challenged. This Brief looks at how integrating different approaches and distinct practises across the EU may come to represent the key change for policymakers.

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    10 November 2016

    Civilian CSDP missions were downsized in 2016, paradoxically at a time when security needs are growing – with threats largely of a non-military nature. This Brief shows how these changes call for renewed investment in civilian CSDP so that it can find its place in the evolving global crisis management architecture.

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    09 November 2016

    Since lifting its historic ban on arms exports in April 2014, Japan has faced an obstacle-ridden path in becoming an arms exporter. This Alert explores the track record of transfers of Japanese military equipment in the past 18 months, and how the transfers contribute to Tokyo’s strategic ambition of becoming a fully-fledged security actor in the region, even at the expense of economic benefits.

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    28 October 2016

    This volume presents a compilation of memos following the EUISS workshop on the Security and Defence Implementation Plan (SDIP), in which leading experts and analysts outline their preferred level of ambition and priority areas for EU security and defence.

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    26 October 2016

    In this Alert, the EUISS Director looks at how the EU Global Strategy offers a new perspective for the EU Security and Defence Implementation Plan (SDIP). How can the Union best achieve its goal of making Europe and Europeans feel safer – Secure, Able, Forward-looking, Engaged and Responsive.

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    29 July 2016

    Both Russia and ISIL/Daesh have engaged in aggressive messaging and deceptive media campaigns, albeit with distinct narratives, targets and audiences. This Report analyses the ‘what’ and the ‘how’; and also draws attention to strategic communications efforts undertaken by the EU.

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    29 July 2016

    This Brief seeks to explain why (and when) coups happen. What conditions are needed to persuade the military to attempt to topple a government? And what elements increase the likelihood of success or failure?

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