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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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    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
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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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    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?

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    28 October 2015

    This Brief examines the rise of hybrid threats, focusing in particular on Russia’s ongoing info-war against the West. Could the ‘psychological defences’ developed by several countries in Western Europe during the Cold War to counter Soviet propaganda now inspire the EU?

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    28 October 2015

    The first in a mini-series of short publications on hybrid warfare, this Brief takes a closer look at what the widely-used term actually means. Now that the European Union considers itself a potential target of hybrid threats, what can it do to prepare an effective strategy to counter them?

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    04 July 2014

    This Brief examines the increasing importance of dual-use technologies and their impact on the structure of defence firms in Europe. How is this phenomenon now affecting the capabilities – and the governance – of European defence?

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    23 May 2014

    The EUISS Yearbook of European Security (YES) 2014 is the Institute’s annual publication compiling key documents and data related to the EU’s CFSP and CSDP for the year 2013. The 2014 edition also includes chapters on new actors in the Arab political landscape post-2011 as well as on the evolution of defence spending across Europe. Visually appealing maps, graphs and charts provide added clarity on some of the key issues facing the European Union and its external action today.

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    16 May 2014

    With EU and US cooperation in crisis management going from strength to strength – particularly on the African continent – this Brief provides an overview of the successes to date, and displays how the evolution of the Union’s CSDP is allowing for a stronger transatlantic partnership in the realm of international security.

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    16 April 2014

    At present, the European defence market is fragmented and characterised by a plethora of national standards. But with the need for defence standardisation becoming increasingly critical in an era marked by declining defence expenditure, what steps can be taken to ensure success?

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    09 April 2014

    An essential point of reference for all those who work in the field of CSDP, this compendium collects the official documents generated by all EU institutional actors in preparation of the ‘defence summit’ of 19/20 December 2013 and the Conclusions adopted by the EU heads of state and government at the end of the process.

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    21 March 2014

    Although the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will not directly cover to the defence sector, dual-use goods and technologies are increasingly blurring the lines between defence and civilian commercial realms. What impact will the TTIP have on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that operate in the European defence sector, and what of the future of the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base?

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    07 March 2014

    Presented in the context of a broader CFSP agenda, this Brief provides an overview of the valuable contributions and political support by partner countries to CSDP missions to date. How can this process now be best employed to bolster the overall legitimacy of the EU’s international security role?

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    07 March 2014

    As EU member states try to juggle decreasing budgets and increasing costs in the face of an ever more unstable neighbourhood, is Europe trying to maintain its defences by cutting everything that makes them viable? This Brief suggests a few answers by looking at some of the latest data available on defence.

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    24 January 2014

    With the decision to launch EUFOR RCA Bangui, EU member states appear to be displaying a willingness to inject new momentum into crisis management in sub-Saharan Africa. But how likely is it that the situation in the CAR will be sufficiently stable in six months to allow the EU to declare victory and hand over to AU forces or the UN?

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    20 December 2013

    In the final alert of 2013, EUISS Director Antonio Missiroli offers his take on the Conclusions of the European Council on defence. Can its outcome be considered a turning point for European defence? And what developments lie on the horizon of a debate that is far from over?

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  • 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.

  • 05 April 2004

    The aim of the seminar was to discuss with Russian experts and EU officials the state of affairs in Russia after the elections, Russian views on European and international developments.

  • 11 March 2004

    The terrorist attack in Madrid on 11 March 2004 was a grim reminder of the global nature and reach of terrorism. Following this event, the EUISS organised a seminar, held in Paris on 7 May 2004, to reflect on the terrorist threat from a European perspective.

  • 05 March 2004

    The Institute organised a seminar entitled Information technology security in the 21st century: implications for the EU. The seminar analysed potential threats to IT systems and their implications for critical infrastructures. Participants discussed national and EU level strategies to limit the risks posed to information technology systems.

  • 12 January 2004

    On 12 January, the Institute organised a ‘brainstorming’ seminar on flexibility for ESDP that reviewed the latest developments in the Intergovernmental Conference as well as the Council.

  • 20 November 2003

    The EUISS participated in the organisation of a major inter-parliamentary conference, led and financed by the European Commission and held at the European Parliament. The conference was organised in the spirit of the G8 Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, and under the French presidency of the G8.

  • 18 September 2003

    The European Union Institute for Security Studies organised, in cooperation with the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, a seminar for the PSC, which was held in Brussels on 18 September 2003.

  • 01 September 2003

    With the current 'big bang' enlargement nearing its conclusion, it has become crucial to assess if and to what extent the European Union can and will widen further. The ISS devoted a seminar to this issue, with participants from both current and future member states.

  • 28 June 2003

    The Rome conference was the second transatlantic conference organised by the EU Institute for Security Studies in 2003. It focused on the EU and US strategic concepts, EU-NATO cooperation, armaments cooperation, and future trends for transatlantic links.

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