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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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    06November 2013

    This report is based on a conference on European defence jointly organised by the EUISS and King’s College London in September. It focuses on CSDP with a view to informing official debates leading up to the upcoming European Council meeting in December. In particular, the report stresses the importance of EU member states strengthening their political and financial commitment to CSDP, as well as the key role of the EU institutions in fostering cooperation and coordination.

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    18October 2013

    As the conflict in Syria rages on, this brief provides a succinct analysis of the causes and consequences of the longest, and bloodiest, of all forms of human conflict. Why do civil wars break out? And more importantly, how can they be brought to an end?

  • 19September 2013

    The EUISS, in collaboration with King´s College London, organised a conference in London on 19 and 20 September in order to develop a series of practical proposals on CSDP leading up to the December 2013 European Council.

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    13September 2013

    For the EU to continue to attract civilian and military contributions from member states it needs to show its comparative advantage over other actors in bringing about lasting peace and security. This brief explores the question of the ‘added value’ of the CSDP compared to NATO and UN as well as to other EU instruments deployed in response to crises.

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    13September 2013

    This alert examines the role of the EU as a security provider in the light of recommendations contained in a report issued by HR/VP Catherine Ashton in the run-up to the European Council in December. The report underlines the need to enhance the CSDP with credible defence capabilities.

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    13September 2013

    A decade after the UN and the EU signed a Joint Declaration on UN-EU Cooperation in Crisis Management, this brief examines the achievements and obstacles faced by the two organisations in this field. With the December 2013 European Council on defence looming, what opportunities exist to further enhance this partnership?

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    11September 2013

    The unmanned revolution in military affairs is reshaping global power and the conduct of warfare. This brief highlights the implications of drone adoption for the EU: from industrial base issues to force structure, from public support to the development of appropriate battle-networks.

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    26July 2013

    This alert explores the Communication ‘Towards a more competitive and efficient defence and security sector’, adopted by the European Commission on 24 July, demonstrating how it makes an important contribution to the efforts to bolster the Common Security and Defence Policy.

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    08July 2013

    As the twelfth year of military engagement in Afghanistan draws to a close, NATO troop numbers are set to be significantly reduced and reoriented to training Afghan forces rather than carrying out executive security functions. But how will international actors (including the EU) recalibrate their approach in order to ensure stability in both Afghanistan and the wider region?

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    03June 2013

    This alert examines President Obama’s recent speech at the National Defense University, in which he laid out the US approach to counter-terrorism and redefined the parameters of the ‘global war on terror’. But if this speech marks a new beginning, what are the possible ripple effects across the Atlantic for Europe?

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  • 01December 2003

    Up until now, EU member states have excluded armaments from the European integration process and have cooperated in this field outside the EU framework. However, there is a fair chance today that this will change: both the work of the Convention on the Future of Europe and the debate on the recent Commission Communication on a common defence equipment policy indicate a greater readiness among national governments vis-à-vis a possible EU involvement in armaments

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    01December 2003

    With this Chaillot Paper, the ‘European defence core documents’ collection reaches its fourth volume – stretching from Copenhagen, where the last European Council of 2002 was held, to Brussels, where the last one of 2003 took place.

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    01December 2003

    Since the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 and the war in Iraq, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction has become a top priority for European policy-makers. According to the European Security Strategy, it is potentially the greatest threat to the EU’s security, in particular if it is linked to terrorism.

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    01December 2003

    Space is a strategic asset, and its importance both in terms of technology and security cannot be overestimated.

  • 01October 2003

    Three paradoxes characterise the Union's attitude to the rest of the world. The first is typical of post-Cold War realities: with very few exceptions, it is now much easier for the Europeans to agree a view on external crises than on American policy. Terrorism provides a classic example of this.

  • 01October 2003

    The debate on how to reform Europe's armaments sector has a long history. However, since the work of the Convention on the Future of Europe, discussions have entered into a new phase.

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    01August 2003

    Up until now, EU member states have excluded armaments from the European integration process and have cooperated in this field outside the EU framework. However, there is a fair chance today that this will change: both the work of the Convention on the Future of Europe and the debate on the recent Commission Communication on a common defence equipment policy indicate a greater openness among national governments vis-à-vis possible EU involvement in armaments.

  • 01July 2003

    For the first time in its history the European Union has set about drawing up a common strategic concept. This is a major event. From necessity during the Cold War and then from a lack of consensus, the Union left strategic thinking to the United States and member states. That has changed for two reasons: divided, Europe is powerless, and an enlarged Europe cannot afford to shirk its responsibilities

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    01June 2003

    During the last year, the Institute has participated in a consortium of policy research organisations in the United States, Europe, Russia and Asia that aims to strengthen the G-8’s ‘Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction’ initiative. The consortium, led by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS, Washington, DC), seeks to support and promote cooperative threat reduction (CTR) activities.

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    01June 2003

    The financing of EU-led crisis management operations is a somewhat neglected yet nevertheless crucial factor affecting the external effectiveness and internal consistency of the Union’s foreign and security policy.

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