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European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS)

What if....? Scanning the horizon: 12 scenarios for 2021

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, January 25, 2019
Abstract in English: 
Foresight is about choice, decision and action – and not, as is repeated time and again, predicting the future and getting it wrong.
This Chaillot Paper aims to alert decision-makers to potential developments with significant strategic impact while they can still prepare for, or even avoid them. This is done using two methods combined: horizon-scanning as well as single scenario-building. Taken together, they produce plausible events set in 2021 – with strategic ramifications well beyond that. All 12 scenarios in this Chaillot Paper reflect the expertise and imagination of the researchers who wrote them: some explore potential conflicts, while others look at disruptive political developments, or indeed at crises with significant ramifications.
That said, all are designed in the hope of drawing attention to foreign and security policy aspects which are potentially overlooked, and all are extrapolated from ongoing and recent developments.
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74
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Putin’s fourth term - The twilight begins?

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, November 19, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The Russian electoral cycle began with parliamentary and partial local elections in September 2016, continued with presidential elections in March 2018, and ended with a series of regional elections in September 2018. The incumbent United Russia (UR) party boosted the number of seats it controls in the lower house of parliament, the Duma, by 105 compared to 2011, and despite a few local defeats in 2018, remained the dominant political force across the country.
Moreover, President Putin not only avoided any weakening of his own position but, on the contrary, arguably grew stronger as he was re-elected by almost 10 million more votes than in 2012.2 There are no serious potential challengers on the horizon and he remains the sole person who takes important domestic and foreign policy decisions. Nevertheless, several factors are gradually undercutting his standing, a process which, in turn, is likely to have future knock-on effects for Russia’s entire political edifice. What vulnerabilities does President Putin face in his fourth term in office? What are the drivers behind them? And how might these play out in the future?
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8
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Artificial Intelligence – What implications for EU security and defence?

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, November 8, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Consider a world where human decision-making and thought processes play less of a role in the day-to-day functioning of society. Think now of the implications this would have for the security and defence sector. Over the next few decades, it is likely that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will not only have major implications for most areas of society such as healthcare, communications and transport, but also for security and defence. AI can be broadly defined as systems that display intelligent behaviour and perform cognitive tasks by analysing their environment, taking actions and even sometimes learning from experience.
The complex attributes of the human mind are well known, but to replicate most of these abilities in machine or algorithmic form has given policymakers and scholars pause for thought. What is more, much of the concern generated by AI centres on whether such intelligence may eventually lead to post-human systems that can generate decisions and actions that were not originally pre-programmed. Accordingly, optimists argue that AI has the potential to revolutionise the global economy for the better, whereas some pessimists have gone as far as to forecast that AI will mark the end of modern society as we know it.
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8
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Strategic autonomy: towards ‘European sovereignty’ in defence?

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, November 30, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Strategic autonomy. Two familiar words that are yet again in vogue in Europe but which cause confusion and, in some quarters, even alarm. The last time strategic autonomy stirred controversy was in 2003 during the run-up to the Iraq War, but perhaps the most well-known instance followed the Balkan crisis of the 1990s.
The objective of this Brief is to better comprehend how the EU conceives of strategic autonomy, rather than dwell on a broader focus on ‘Europe’ or ‘NATO Europe’. To this end, the Brief compares the range of defence initiatives that have been developed by the EU since 2016 against three different conceptual visions of strategic autonomy: autonomy as responsibility, autonomy as hedging and autonomy as emancipation. Each of these forms of autonomy have implications for transatlantic burden sharing and the EU’s level of ambition on security and defence.
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8
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EU defence capability development – Plans, priorities, projects

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, June 25, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Enthusiasts of strategic studies will be familiar with the tripartite, quasi-mathematical equation of ends, ways and means. Over a period of 18 months or so – beginning in June 2016 with the publication of the EU Global Strategy (EUGS) and culminating with Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) in December 2017 – the European Union has made strides on both ends and ways for greater cooperation in the area of defence. On ends, the EUGS has made clear that while Europeans ‘live in times of existential crisis’ the EU aims to improve security, democracy and prosperity and to invest in the resilience of states and societies in its wider neighbourhood in an integrated manner, while also supporting cooperative regional orders and a rules-based global order. On ways, the EUGS indicates that the Union must develop full spectrum capabilities as part of its overall approach to foreign and security policy and it must ‘systematically encourage defence cooperation and strive to create a solid European defence industry’. On means, however, there is still some way to go before the EU has the defence capabilities required to meet its strategic objectives. Despite the publication of an Implementation Plan on Security and Defence (IPSD), the development of a Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), a European Defence Fund (EDF) and PESCO, there are challenges related to defence capability development in a Union of 28 – soon to be 27 – member states.
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8
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Balkan futures – Three scenarios for 2025

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, September 3, 2018
Abstract in English: 
What will the Western Balkans look like in 2025? Will we witness Republika Srpska declare independence, a worsening of relations between Kosovo* and Serbia, and the rise of ethnic tensions across the region – or will we celebrate Montenegro and Serbia joining the EU, with good reason to hope that the rest of the region will soon follow? This Chaillot Paper presents three contrasting scenarios for the horizon of 2025 – best-case, medium-case, and worst-case. Each scenario takes account of the impact of underlying megatrends (trends that are unlikely to change by 2025) on the future trajectory of the region: the scenarios do not just spell out what 2025 could look like, they also explain how decisions with far-reaching consequences taken at critical junctures (called game-changers) will shape this future between today and then. They therefore serve not merely as a description, but also as a roadmap outlining the different options available.
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73
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Recasting EU civilian crisis management

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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Abstract in English: 
This Report explores how EU civilian crisis management (CCM) has evolved over the past decade, showing how the concept and activity have been transformed by changes in the international security environment as well as in the EU’s institutional setting. Security challenges such as organised crime, illegal migration or terrorism have made the traditional divide between internal and external security increasingly irrelevant. New types of CCM actors have thus emerged, in the field of Justice and Home Affairs in particular, that have de facto embraced crisis management in response to new threats. This publication seeks to identify the challenges as well as the opportunities that these changes present for CCM, and examines inter alia how EU CCM actors and policies have adapted to the new environment and how they can best serve the Union’s strategic priorities as identified by the EU Global Strategy.
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91
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Securing the Energy Union: five pillars and five regions

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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Abstract in English: 
Two years after the EU formally launched its strategy for an Energy Union, this Report examines the energy challenges facing the different regions of Europe, investigating shared priorities and common projects, as well as barriers to integration and cooperation. A series of chapters devoted to distinct regions examines what role the Energy Union can play to help address their energy challenges, including those related to energy security and relations with external suppliers. The Report also looks at efforts to push forward with the construction of the Energy Union via regional initiatives, including some that reach beyond the borders of the EU. Such initiatives have shown how progress on all five pillars of the Energy Union is important for the energy security of the EU and how progress need not be uniform across Europe. Notably, the deepening and interconnection of energy markets – nationally, regionally, within the EU, and beyond its borders – are central to this process
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67
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After the EU Global Strategy – Building resilience

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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, May 29, 2017
Abstract in English: 
As well as introducing new decisions and actions in the field of security and defence, the EU Global Strategy (EUGS) stresses the imperative to build resilience in the EU neighbouring countries and surrounding regions.
As the EUGS approaches its first anniversary, and shortly before the release of a Joint Communication on resilience by the EEAS and the Commission, this volume, the second in the EUISS post-EUGS series, seeks to shed more light on the different definitions of the concept and how these may be applied in specific functional and geographic areas. It aims to clarify not only the meaning of the term but also its policy implications in the wider security context, showing how resilience needs be understood as a dynamic process involving a number of EU policies, external partners and local players.
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98
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Prevention better than cure: the EU’s quiet diplomacy in Asia

Original Language: 
Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Abstract in English: 
Preventive diplomacy, or the resolution of disputes by peaceful means, has been one of the foundations of the EU’s foreign and security policy in Asia and beyond and stands as an expression of a rule-based international order. Moreover, in its key strategic documents, including the recently released Global Strategy, the EU has highlighted the importance of preventive diplomacy, as reflected in the proposed ‘integrated approach’ to conflicts and crises.
This Report, which draws on the main presentations made during the 2016 CSCAP EU Committee meeting devoted to this topic, examines the role of the EU as a preventive diplomacy actor and explores how in pursuing this strategy it can contribute positively to security in the Indo-Pacific region.
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72
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