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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.


  • 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.

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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.

  • 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.

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    23 February 2016

    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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    20 November 2015

    A week after the shocking events in Paris, the EUISS Director looks at France’s decision to seek the solidarity of its EU partners. Could member states now make use of instruments they created some time ago and have rarely thought about since?

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    13 November 2015

    In response to concerns of losing technological superiority, the US is implementing the Defense Innovation Initiative. This intends to ensure that the Pentagon leverages breakthrough technologies from the traditional defence industrial base and commercial-technology sector alike. Also, what role can Europe play in the US third offset strategy?



  • 01 May 2005

    Convened at the request of the HR’s Personal Representative for the non-proliferation of WMD, Annalisa Giannella, the seminar examined the main challenges for the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference and explored possible ways to reach a common EU position.

  • 22 April 2005

    The EUISS co-sponsored a Conference on Democracy and Global Islam organised by the Center on Institutions and Governance based at UC Berkeley's Institute of Governmental Studies. The conference was the first of its kind to discuss the impact of globalising Islam on Europe's growing Muslim population with regard to US security.

  • 07 April 2005

    This seminar was organised by the G17 Institute with the assistance of EUISS in Belgrade and sought to introduce Serbian and Montenegrin policy makers, academic experts and journalists to the European Security and Defence Policy and the EU’s Security Strategy.

  • 07 March 2005

    On 7 March 2005, the EUISS organised a seminar in collaboration with the Luxembourg Presidency and the Council of the European Union in order to identify potential ESDP contributions to the fight against terrorism.

  • 21 January 2005

    Given the importance the recent Green Paper on Defence Procurement, the Institute invited representatives of the EC, the European Defence Agency, member states, industry and academics to discuss the various options available to improve transparency and openness of defence markets between EU member states.

  • 14 October 2004

    When does energy constitute a security threat for the EU? How should the EU respond to existing and potential threats to its energy security? The seminar, in cooperation with the Dutch presidency of the EU, raised these critical questions which face the European Union and its member states.

  • 17 September 2004

    Taking place in Riga on 17-18 September 2004, the conference was the second event that the EUISS organised in a new member state. It was organised jointly by the EUISS and the Latvian Institute of International Affairs with the support of the Latvian Ministry of Defence.

  • 10 September 2004

    For the third consecutive year, Javier Solana, High Representative for CFSP, opened the Institute’s Annual Conference, held in Paris on Friday, 10 September 2004.

  • 02 July 2004

    The EUISS Balkans Task Force met in Paris on 2 July, 2004 to discuss the domestic constraints and possibilities in Serbia and Kosovo, and evaluate the state of play in EU policy towards the region.

  • 14 May 2004

    This conference, organised jointly with the Institute of International Relations, Prague, took place soon after accession of the Czech Republic to the EU. The Prague office of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation contributed to the organisation of the event, and the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted the participants.



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    06 February 2015

    Le Mali accueille quatre opérations extérieures destinées à contribuer à la restauration de la stabilité dans le pays. Deux des opérations sont européennes, EUTM Mali et EUCAP Sahel Mali, et offrent un exemple de mise en œuvre de l’approche globale de l’UE. Mais quelle est la nature de ces missions et comment vont-elles affronter les nombreux défis mettant en danger la stabilité régionale ?

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    19 December 2014

    A collaborative project by the entire EUISS research team, this Chaillot Paper analyses changes in the contemporary global environment according to eight distinct but interconnected perspectives. The publication aims to offer a comprehensive background analysis to the policy debates that will inform the drafting of the Report on the international geopolitical environment that the High Representative is due to present in 2015.

  • 28 October 2014

    Das EUISS Yearbook of European Security (YES) 2014 stellt als jährliche Publikation des Instituts Schlüsseldokumente und -daten der Gemeinsamen Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik (GASP) und der Gemeinsamen Sicherheits- und Verteidigungspolitik (GSVP) der EU zusammen.

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    28 October 2014

    This report aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of the objectives, methods, critical success factors and results of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS); and to capture the knowledge and experience resident in the governments and organisations that have contributed to the Group.

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    21 October 2014

    As the Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) programme celebrates five years of successful flight operations, this Alert provides an overview of this multinational initiative which has provided even very small European countries with a strategic transport capability that they would not have been able to achieve on their own.

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    17 October 2014

    What steps is the US taking in order to ensure that it remains technologically superior to its rivals when it comes to defence matters? Is there still a role for Europe in the race to stay ahead of the game?

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    17 October 2014

    This Alert offers a preliminary sketch of what a Europe-wide security of supply regime could look like. Should such a regime follow an emphasis on maintaining open markets and ensuring competitiveness, or should it follow an insistence on greater protection and a ‘buy European’ ethos?

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    07 October 2014

    This Brief explores the hitherto unimplemented provision of the Lisbon Treaty. What procedures would allow for an Article 44 operation to take place? And what can be done to assuage any concerns associated with the use of the Article?

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    03 October 2014

    This Alert explores the motives driving Latin American countries to institutionalise security cooperation with the EU. In spite of the asymmetric levels of engagement in CSDP missions and operations, Latin American states can reap considerable benefits from their participation through other policy channels.

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    30 September 2014

    This Alert analyses the implications of the Union’s recent formalisation of security cooperation with South Korea. Aside from obvious practical benefits, what symbolic value does it have for both partners in their attempts to gain greater recognition as security actors?