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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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    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.

  • 31October 2008

    The Institute’s 2008 annual conference took place on 30-31 October in Paris. It opened with the traditional address by EU High Representative Javier Solana, who outlined the current challenges in EU foreign policy, particularly in the light of the global financial crisis.

  • 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.

  • 18September 2008

    This seminar was the third in the EUISS’s 2008 series on the implementation of the European Security Strategy. Taking place in Helsinki on 18-18 September, it focused on the EU’s security and defence policy (ESDP).

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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...

  • 06June 2008

    The first seminar in the series addressing 'European Interests and Strategic Options' was held in Rome on 5 and 6 June 2008 in cooperation with the Istituto Affari Internazionali and addressed the Union’s goal to develop ‘an international order based on effective multilateralism’.

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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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  • 16July 2002

    It is now widely accepted that Europe does not spend enough on defence. Most European defence budgets were dramatically cut back after the cold war and have remained at a very low level ever since. This governmental parsimony has had a damaging effect in two respects. First, it has resulted in glaringly obvious gaps in Europe's military capability.

  • 01June 2002

    It is known all too well that Europe has a defence budget problem. Both the quantity and the quality of its defence spending are largely insufficient to provide for the capabilities the EU needs to fulfil its declared ambitions

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    01June 2002

    All three Central European candidates for EU membership have gone through an evolutionary (and learning) process as regards the development of ESDP: from scepticism and worry – that it could undermine NATO – to qualified acceptance and more direct involvement.

  • 14May 2002

    Tous les alliés européens de Washington sont perplexes, voire inquiets, devant les évolutions stratégiques des Etats-Unis, et en particulier devant leur attitude à l'égard de l'Otan. Ils constatent en effet que l'unilatéralisme américain, cette méfiance envers toute démarche et institutions multilatérales, s'applique aussi à l'égard de l'Otan, qui était jusque-là perçue comme l'organisation internationale favorite de Washington

  • 01May 2002

    Europeans spend much less than Americans on defence but are quite ready to engage in crisis management in so far as it entails a strong commitment to peace-building, especially (but not exclusively) in their immediate neighbourhood. Their political, financial and military presence in the Balkans - under different flags - is a good case in point. Comparing EU and US military budgets is therefore misleading and to a certain extent unfair:....

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    01May 2002

    Par la résolution 1 244 du Conseil de Sécurité, pour la première fois dans l’Histoire, les Nations unies se sont vu confier au Kosovo à partir du mois de juin 1999 une mission d’un nouveau type, visant non plus simplement à maintenir la paix mais à la construire, dans toutes ses dimensions, politique, démocratique, administrative, juridique, économique…

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    01May 2002

    Many observers have mocked the divisions among Europeans, their absence and therefore their impotence, in the search for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But that is to forget that it is above all the strongest player who lacks the will to act, and that today it is in particular in the European theatre that the Union’s performance, or lack of it, should be judged.

  • 01April 2002

    On 4 February 2002, George Bush presented Congress with the bill for a total, permanent mobilisation of America against terrorism and its consequences: a budget of $2,130 billion, including an additional $48 billion for the Pentagon in October 2002, which is the biggest rise in military funding for 20 years.

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    01April 2002

    This is the second volume in our special series of Chaillot Papers presenting core documents on the EU’s security and defence policy. Unlike the first volume, which focused on the whole period from St-Malo to Nice (December 1998 - December 2000), this volume and subsequent ones will recapitulate developments regarding ESDP during the preceding year.

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    01April 2002

    This paper collects the papers delivered by a group of mostly young researchers from the ten Central European candidate countries in response to a grid of common questions submitted to them by the Institute for Security Studies in 2001. The considerations that follow summarize the main results of the project, compare the national views, and put them in a broader political context.

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