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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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    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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    26 April 2017

    Over the past decades, defence cooperation has helped European countries preserve their security. Defence cooperation in the second machine age may, however, need to evolve and move beyond traditional joint procurement programmes to pertain also to new domains.

  • 31 March 2017

    On 31 March 2017, the EUISS held a closed event in Brussels on the ‘Integrated Approach’. This Seminar aimed at analysing the Integrated Approach and the opportunities it creates for a more effective EU external action, in particular in conflict prevention and stabilisation.

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    13 April 2016

    This Chaillot Paper – a collective endeavour on which the five authors have collaborated – outlines five possible future scenarios for European defence. The aim is to develop plausible and coherent descriptions of what European defence might look like a decade or two from now in order to point out the choices and decisions that need to be made today.

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    08 April 2016

    While the EU is drafting a new strategic framework for Security Sector Reform (SSR), this Alert examines the main challenges that the EU faces in this field.

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    01 April 2016

    China’s army-centric military structure – based on a 1950’s Soviet model – had long mismatched the country’s status as world’s second largest economy. This Alert looks at how the push for military reforms reflects Beijing’s changing domestic and regional priorities.

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    15 March 2016

    In response to the worsening security environment, cuts to European defence budgets are finally being reversed. In this Brief, defence spending data from 2015 are spliced by region and by category to show how the calculus is changing in defence ministries across Europe.

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    04 March 2016

    Intelligence support for the EU’s foreign and security policy has developed from being a small cubicle within Javier Solana’s office into dedicated all-source intelligence units. But what challenges still exist in European intelligence cooperation, and what can be done to bolster it further?

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    26 February 2016

    2015 saw Russia, Saudi Arabia and China invest heavily in their militaries, while Europeans have largely reversed long-standing defence budget cuts, too. Increases in defence spending have, however, had very different implications for the military activities of the respective regional powers.

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    23 February 2016
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    In 2015, the European Commission invited key personalities from European industry, government, the European Parliament and academia to advise it on establishing a Preparatory Action on Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)-related research. This Report is the result of several months of regular conversation and consultation among a group of experts encompassing the ‘sherpas’, officials from the European Commission and the EUISS.

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    17 February 2016

    With Africans increasingly taking charge of security governance on their continent, this Brief assess to what extent the African Union’s partnership with the EU is truly strategic. Have the two continents finally managed to overcome the donor-recipient dynamic which long dominated their relationship?

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    17 December 2015

    A month after France invoked the mutual defence clause of the Lisbon Treaty, this Alert looks at the symbolic significance of the article and the implications of its invocation. What does it mean for the Union as a security actor?

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    27 November 2015

    How successful has the EU been in implementing gender mainstreaming and achieving gender balance in its CSDP missions and operations?

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  • 18 March 2016

    On 18 March 2016, the EUISS coorganised a closed seminar on the forthcoming EU-wide Strategic Framework for Security Sector Reform (SSR), which is to be released by mid-2016.

  • 11 March 2016

    This seminar, jointly organised by the EUISS, the Dutch Embassy in Paris and the French and Dutch Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence, aimed at stimulating dialogue about the changing nature and increasing importance of national and supranational security policy in Europe.

  • 25 February 2016

    This seminar was co-organised by the EUISS, the European Security and Defence College (ESDC), the Egmont Institute, and the Netherlands Presidency of the Council of the EU.

  • 02 July 2015

    On 2-3 July 2015, the EUISS and the European Security and Defence College (ESDC), with the support of the European Parliament and the Luxembourg Presidency of the EU, organised an expert seminar on learning and training.

  • 06 November 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.

  • 11 September 2014

    The EUISS held its annual conference on 11/12 September in central Paris. This year’s event, entitled ‘European security in a changing global environment’, was an opportunity to convene numerous policy planners and think tankers from across the Europe to discuss European security during a period of major institutional change within the Union.

  • 19 June 2014

    The EU Military Staff, in cooperation with the EU Institute for Security Studies, organised a High-Level Conference entitled ‘Learning by doing - Military lessons learnt within the Comprehensive Approach’ in Brussels on 19-20 June 2014.

  • 06 June 2014

    On 6 June 2014, the EUISS co-hosted the third seminar of a series of events on the role of the military in CSDP with the French MOD think tank, l'Institut de Recherche stratégique de l’Ecole militaire (IRSEM).

  • 23 May 2014

    On 23 May, the EU Institute for Security Studies hosted a double event in Brussels ‘Crisis management 2014: the EU record’ in order to present both its ‘Yearbook of European Security: YES 2014’ and the EUISS/EEAS book ‘Crisis Rooms: towards a global network?’

  • 12 May 2014

    From 12 to 16 May 2014, the EUISS co-ran, in cooperation with the Cypriot Ministry of Defence, the fourth module of the 9th CSDP High Level Course 2013/2014 of the European Security and Defence College (ESDC).

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