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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 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.

  • 14March 2008

    This high-level seminar held in Rabat in partnership with the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation examined Morocco's relationship with ESDP, including Moroccan involvement in EU and other peacekeeping missions to date, and priorities for cooperation between the EU and its Mediterranean partners.

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    03March 2008

    The debate over missile defence in Europe is likely to remain on the political agenda for the foreseeable future as discussions evolve on both sides of the Atlantic. This policy brief provides basic background information on missile defence and highlights some of the principal political and security aspects associated with missile defence in Europe.

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    01November 1998

    The Baltic Sea area has for centuries been a hub of international activity and exchange, embodied in particular by the Hanseatic League, with resulting conditions of intense cooperation and shared prosperity. It is therefore not surprising that, contrary to widespread fears, the situation in the region did not break loose after the bitter divisions imposed by the Cold War: in more ways than one, the region constitutes another 'mediterranean' area, with a potential for political solidarity and common security.

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    01April 1998

    There has been an unprecedented growth of humanitarian action since the end of the Cold War. Its expansion has coincided with the proliferation of humanitarian organisa­tions. Thus, both the quantitative and the qualitative roles of the humanitarian agencies have significantly changed.

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    01April 1998

    A European security policy is in the making. It received a decisive impulse in 1997, in particular with the Amsterdam Treaty. It will have to take into account a much transformed international scene in which the traditional balance of power and coexistence mechanisms are pushed aside by a renewed attempt at cooperative security that is not bound by rigidly pre-established formulas.

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    01January 1998

    This analysis presents a set of recommendations aimed at improving the competitiveness of the European defence industry, while maintaining a stable and equitable transatlantic relationship in the field of defence. The European armaments industry is faced with declining domestic and international demand, spiraling development and production costs and intense international competition, particularly from the American industry.

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    01December 1997

    Concerned as they are by the many crises occurring on their very doorstep, the European public, politicians and analysts seem hardly to recognize other conflicts in Europe that have not happened and need not happen. Crisis prevention and peace-building have been sidelined by conflict management and peacekeeping.

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    01October 1997

    Pendant la Guerre froide, le facteur nucléaire a structuré et sous-tendu les relations internationales. Il était à la base des stratégies militaires du monde occidental, déterminant toutes les fonctions de défense.

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    01October 1997

    Since 1814, Sweden's security policy has been anchored to varying degrees of neutrality. Throughout this timeperiod, its interpretation has been flexible and trademarked by an ability to adjust to different external conditions; effectively enabling the country to combine participation in international affairs with an adherence to non-alignment.

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    01October 1997

    The war in Bosnia has witnessed a broad swing in the moods of the "international community" and of European nations particularly. In the wake of the end of the Cold War and of the victory in the Gulf War, expectations run high at the outbreak that collective security would have been able to deal with regional disturbances.

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    01July 1997

    With the end of the Cold War, security has acquired very different components. In Europe, it has broadened to include conflict prevention and crisis management, in an attempt to substitute persuasion for enforcement. It has essentially become a political rather than a military concept whose features are foresight, transparency and accountability, and which combines political and economic as well as military measures.

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    01June 1997

    Changes in the post-Cold War strategic landscape have, among other things, affected WEU countries' Defence Industrial and Technological Base (DITB). The further evolution of WEU, with respect to the recently defined EU reform and that impending in NATO, heightens the importance of solving the problems hampering European armaments cooperation, which directly affects WEU's operational capabilities.

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