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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.


  • 25 May 2016

    The 2016 EUISS Washington Forum took place on 25 May and was hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP).

  • 24 May 2016

    Two EUISS Senior Analysts were hosted by the Atlantic Council in the US capital to discuss developments in defence industries in the Middle East.

  • 17 May 2016

    On 17 May 2016, the EUISS hosted a launch event for the recently published Chaillot Paper ‘Envisioning European defence: five futures’. This launch event provided a forum for analysts, policymakers and interested stakeholders alike to better understand how the choices of today will impact the European defence of tomorrow.

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    19 April 2016

    The EUISS Yearbook of European Security (YES) 2016 is the Institute’s annual publication compiling key documents and data related to the EU’s external action for the year 2015. YES is an indispensable publication that aims to inform experts, academics, practitioners and, more generally, all those wishing to know more about the EU and security-related matters through the showcasing of crucial facts and figures.

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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.

  • 06 April 2016

    As part of the series of expert seminars supporting the drafting of the EU Global Strategy, the EUISS and PISM co-organised the seminar 'The EU and NATO in a more contested world: enabling a genuine strategic partnership' in Warsaw on 6 April 2016.

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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.

  • 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.

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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.



  • 24 September 2007

    The EUISS and the Asia Centre co-hosted the second Sino-European dialogue on security which focused on crisis prevention and crisis management, non-proliferation in the Korean Peninsula, promotion of stability in Africa, and the transparency of EU and Chinese defence policies.

  • 27 June 2007

    This seminar aimed at reviewing standard political and economical formula in implementing peace. As five ESDP operations have taken place in Africa, this seminar also aimed at identifying the international and local contexts in which the EU is developing its crisis management instruments.

  • 30 May 2007

    This conference, jointly organised with the German Presidency and the Council of the European Union, examined the challenges posed by missile proliferation and focused on the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC).

  • 16 March 2007

    This seminar was organised with the support of the Council General Secretariat, the European Commission, and the EU Satellite Centre and sought to raise awareness of the security dimension of GMES and to obtain guidance for implementation.

  • 29 January 2007

    In cooperation with the EUISS, the German Presidency of the European Union organised a conference held in the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin on ESDP: addressing operations, institutions and capabilities.

  • 25 September 2006

    The EUISS held a conference on the Biological and Toxins Weapon Convention (BTWC) in order to examine the challenges associated with the implementation of the BTWC and possible implementation assistance requirements.

  • 30 June 2006

    This Task Force focussed on Montenegro after the independence referendum and relations with Serbia; domestic developments in Serbian politics especially in the light of the possibility of parliamentary elections in the autumn; and the prospects for a viable settlement of Kosovo's 'final status' this year.

  • 03 March 2006

    In response to the growing interest in Chinese affairs and the manifest uncertainty in the EU about how to approach this new emerging superpower, the EUISS organised on 3 March 2006 a brainstorming seminar dedicated to the development of European security thinking on China.

  • 01 February 2006

    This EUISS seminar sought to explore some of the key issues affecting the development of ESDP, its direction and its long-term sustainability.

  • 15 January 2006

    The Institute organised a seminar on future patterns in burdensharing. Among the key issues analysed was how to define burdensharing in light of today's multifaceted menaces and the type of instruments required to facilitate such cooperation.



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    18 June 2015

    This Brief examines the debates within the EU over the provision of military equipment to third states in order to bolster their capacity for crisis management. What are the technical, legal and political constraints which exist?

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    12 June 2015

    This Chaillot Paper looks at CSDP operations and missions, and explores how they fit into the broader crisis management environment and multilateral efforts towards international peace. It highlights the inherent constraints facing CSDP and how these inevitably limit its overall impact or degree of success. The paper also examines the EU’s added value and the extent to which CSDP is moving forward at various levels.

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    13 May 2015

    The year 2014 was dubbed a ‘game-changer’ for European security. Will 2015 be similar with regard to European defence spending? This Brief explores three possible scenarios.

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    05 May 2015

    Despite economic growth returning to Europe, defence budgets continued to fall in 2014. Given the worsening security situation in Europe’s neighbourhood, a renewed commitment to defence would represent an important demonstration of solidarity – both within the Union and to partners across the Atlantic.

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    30 April 2015

    In the light of the country’s recent signing of a Framework Participation Agreement with the EU, and the upcoming White Paper on defence that Canberra is due to release before the end of the year, this Alert examines Australia’s record of security and defence cooperation with the Union and its posture as a security actor in the international arena.

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    27 April 2015

    Produced for the occasion of the EUISS conference with HR/VP Mogherini in April 2015, the leaflet goes back to basics on the EU’s external action. Infographics and illustrations, as well as a glossary of terms and relevant actors, present facts and figures about the European Union’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), as well as its broader external action activities – in an easily accessible manner.

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    15 April 2015

    The EUISS Yearbook of European Security (YES) is an indispensable publication that aims to inform experts, academics, practitioners and, more generally, all those wishing to know more about the EU and security-related matters through innovative, evidence-based analysis and the display of crucial facts and figures.

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    02 April 2015

    In 2014 the world spent more on defence than ever before, with three players standing out as essential drivers of this trend: China, Saudi Arabia and Russia. Are their heavy investments in defence having an impact on their behaviour in their respective regional environments?

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    13 March 2015

    With the EU-led operation in the Central African Republic (CAR), EUFOR RCA, coming to an end after a little less than a year, this Alert assesses the outcome of the mission. What lessons can be drawn from the experience of its launch and deployment?

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    17 February 2015

    The Nordic Battlegroup (NGB), led by Sweden for the third time, is ready for action if called upon by the EU. But what are the implications of choosing to deploy it or not?