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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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    28October 2009
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    This year, the European Security and Defence Policy celebrates 10 years of collective endeavour. In a special issue, the ESDP newsletter revisits the developing structure, the endorsement of the European Security Strategy and the 22 missions which have been launched during the 10 years of ESDP. In Javier Solana’s words, “Ten years ago, ESDP was an aspiration; now it is a reality on the ground, with crisis-management operations making a real difference to people’s lives across the world.”

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    19October 2009

    This book breaks new ground by providing the first comprehensive review of every ESDP operation to date. It explains how the EU institutions responsible for international crisis management have developed and functioned, reviews the civil and military resources available to the ESDP, and analyses the key partnerships between the EU and other international organisations.

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    08October 2009

    Articels in this ISSue: Álvaro de Vasconcelos looks back to 1989 and draws conclusions for Europe today, Ahmet Davutoglu outlines his vision of future EU - NATO cooperation and the role of non-EU allies in contributing to the European Security and Defence Policy and Jean Pascal Zanders looks at Obama and the the first steps toward disarmament.

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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.

  • 28July 2009

    The Institute organised a conference jointly with the Swedish Presidency of the EU and in collaboration with the Swedish Institute of International Affairs in Brussels on ESDP. The event was also the occasion for the launch of the Institute's new book 'What ambitions for European defence in 2020?'

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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.

  • 09March 2009

    European Security Strategy 2003-2008 Building on common interests

  • 04February 2009

    The seminar’s goal was to initiate a first discussion on the implications for the EU of the cyber security agenda and related threats; to raise subject awareness; and to identify a number of critical issues for the possible development of a policy under the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).

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    01December 2003

    Space is a strategic asset, and its importance both in terms of technology and security cannot be overestimated.

  • 01October 2003

    Three paradoxes characterise the Union's attitude to the rest of the world. The first is typical of post-Cold War realities: with very few exceptions, it is now much easier for the Europeans to agree a view on external crises than on American policy. Terrorism provides a classic example of this.

  • 01October 2003

    The debate on how to reform Europe's armaments sector has a long history. However, since the work of the Convention on the Future of Europe, discussions have entered into a new phase.

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    01August 2003

    Up until now, EU member states have excluded armaments from the European integration process and have cooperated in this field outside the EU framework. However, there is a fair chance today that this will change: both the work of the Convention on the Future of Europe and the debate on the recent Commission Communication on a common defence equipment policy indicate a greater openness among national governments vis-à-vis possible EU involvement in armaments.

  • 01July 2003

    For the first time in its history the European Union has set about drawing up a common strategic concept. This is a major event. From necessity during the Cold War and then from a lack of consensus, the Union left strategic thinking to the United States and member states. That has changed for two reasons: divided, Europe is powerless, and an enlarged Europe cannot afford to shirk its responsibilities

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    01June 2003

    During the last year, the Institute has participated in a consortium of policy research organisations in the United States, Europe, Russia and Asia that aims to strengthen the G-8’s ‘Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction’ initiative. The consortium, led by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS, Washington, DC), seeks to support and promote cooperative threat reduction (CTR) activities.

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    01June 2003

    The financing of EU-led crisis management operations is a somewhat neglected yet nevertheless crucial factor affecting the external effectiveness and internal consistency of the Union’s foreign and security policy.

  • 21April 2003

    Curiously enough, after Iraq, CFSP may be in trouble but ESDP seems to be faring well. The main reason is that there is no longer any significant transatlantic or intra-European divergence over how to deal with Balkans: we all agree on both the principles and the means to be applied to the region, and act accordingly.

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    01April 2003

    Aiming to reach operational status in 2008, the Galileo satellite system is planned to offer positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) services worldwide. It will join the ranks of the current GPS and GLONASS systems, allowing users to pinpoint their exact locations.

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    01April 2003

    Could it be that Europeans, like Americans, believe that from now on ‘the mission determines the coalition, and not the other way round’? That was the new American strategic dogma established as transatlantic doctrine by Donald Rumsfeld after the 11 September attacks.

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