What Ambition for Defence in the EU?

Author (Person)
Series Title
Series Details October 2016
Publication Date 19/10/2016
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The multiple crises that have hit the European Union (EU) have damaged political cohesion within and between member states. Notably after the Brexit vote, there is growing awareness in many capitals that without a renewed investment in the European project, the latter may unravel. In this context, the leaders of 27 EU member states meeting in Bratislava in September put internal and external security and defence at the core of their roadmap for further action.

Defence is seen as a critical part of the response to both pressing threats spanning borders and a genuine demand for security from European citizens. The Brexit vote has indicated that the UK, long opposed (with others) to deepening many aspects of defence cooperation at the EU level, may no longer be in a position to block it. Besides, while the Eurozone and refugee crises have polarised Europe, there is a relative consensus that more cooperation is required in the security and defence area, as national resources are simply insufficient.

Based on that, the debate has rekindled in Europe about a large security and defence agenda that includes three main inter-related dimensions. These are the implementation of the EUGS on security and defence (with a focus on revamping the CSDP); the elaboration of the Commission’s Defence Action Plan to strengthen the technological and industrial bases of European defence and the follow-up to the EU-NATO Declaration adopted at the NATO summit in Warsaw.

The Council of defence ministers in November and the European Council in December are the next milestones in this debate. On one level, considering the many facets of the current EU defence agenda, practical progress can be made in mobilising defence research spending, expanding multinational defence investment, dealing with cyber and hybrid threats (including through EU-NATO cooperation), and building the capacity of partners around Europe. On another level, however, differences in strategic cultures and threat assessments remain a significant hurdle to fixing a higher level of ambition at 28, or 27.

Source Link http://www.ispionline.it/it/pubblicazione/what-ambition-defence-eu-15855
Related Link(s)
ISPI: Commentary: What Ambition for Defence in the EU? [PDF] http://www.ispionline.it/sites/default/files/pubblicazioni/commentary_grevi_19.10.2016.pdf

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