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  • Author: Sven Biscop
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: I like being a policy-oriented academic: you meet lots of interesting people and you are invited to interesting meetings, so you can really contribute to the debate. Some actors may from time to time think you have an appealing idea, and they may even seek some academic legitimacy for their decisions. But you are of course not present when the actual decisions are being taken. It’s my job and I love it – but this is not the role that the EU itself should play. Europe does not aspire to be the world’s policeman, but it cannot just be the world’s professor either. As the new EU leadership is coming in, we must give punch to our strategy, and make sure we have the power to make our ideas work in the real world. Power, not to confront, but to engage the world.
  • Topic: Globalization, Regional Cooperation, European Union, Leadership, Police
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Tobias Gehrke
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: The need for the EU to respond and position itself in the deepening geoeconomic competition between the Great Powers has initiated a policy reorientation that is slowly attempting to break down the barriers between economic and security concerns. But how can a more geoeconomic EU ensure an integrated approach to economic, technological and security policy that allows it both to manage new risks and also retain the principles of openness and cooperation? Getting a geoeconomic EU right will require a strategy which defines and operationalises the notion of ‘European economic sovereignty’. This would support the EU and Member States in managing the increasing tension between openness and protection in prospective policy. On that basis, a geoeconomic EU in 2020 could see it reinforcing resilience to economic coercion and strengthening its role in emerging technology-security governance and diplomacy.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Science and Technology, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jo Coelmont
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: Europe is looking to be a global player rather than just a global playground. To achieve this, it needs a security council. This is essential for gaining strategic relevance. Europe needs to have recourse not only to international fora but also to a series of instruments of hard and soft power. Swift decision making at the appropriate level is of paramount importance. Such a security council should meet a number of requirements: it must be representative, be able to both achieve unity of vision and undertake action smoothly, and keep going until the desired end-state has been achieved. Several proposals have been made as to the composition of such a body. I will look into the four most discussed options. Are we spoilt for choice?
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: Ronald Van Reybroeck
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: The Foreign Affairs Council on 19 November 2018 agreed to launch the CARD (Coordinated Annual Review on Defence) as a standing activity aimed at offering a better overview at EU level of defence spending, national investment and defence research efforts. Ministers of Defence tasked the European Defence Agency (EDA) to launch the first full CARD cycle in autumn 2019. How did we get here and, more importantly, what does the CARD have in store?
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Regional Cooperation, European Union, Military Spending
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sven Biscop
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: Strategic autonomy: yes! But to do what exactly? To protect ourselves, or to protect others, outside Europe, as well? To protect ourselves by defeating the enemy on his own ground, in Europe’s neighbourhood or further afield? Or only by making sure he doesn’t breach the walls of Europe? To protect us from all enemies, or only from some? Who is the “enemy” anyway? The June 2016 European Union Global Strategy (EUGS) for the first time explicitly mentions strategic autonomy as an objective for the Union, and that raises a lot of questions. Sven Biscop argues that the EU’s priorities should be: (1) In the short term, to further strengthen its strategic autonomy in protecting our domestic security, and to achieve full strategic autonomy in crisis response, across the whole spectrum of operations, in our broad neighbourhood. (2) In the medium term, to achieve a significant degree of autonomy in securing Europe’s “connectivity” with the world, in space, air space and cyberspace and on the seas. (3) In the long term, to achieve a significant degree of autonomy for the European Allies and partners of NATO (who, pace Cyprus, happen to constitute the EU), to deter and defend against threats against our territory, in case the attention of our main non-EU allies is pulled away by contingencies outside the North Atlantic area.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, European Union, Autonomy
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: Elie Perot
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: On 22 January 2019, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel signed a new treaty on “Franco-German cooperation and integration” in Aachen. Complementing the 1963 Elysée Treaty which symbolized the reconciliation between Germany and France in the post-war period, the Aachen Treaty aims to further strengthen the ties between the two countries in the domains of economy, culture, administration, environment, diplomacy and defence. Although the Treaty has been criticised for its lack of ambition, a closer reading of its text reveals some hidden gems, including its mutual defence clause. What does this new clause mean for the Franco-German tandem and for collective defence in Europe?
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany
  • Author: Jo Coelmont
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: The EU Global Strategy is crystal clear on the EU’s political level of ambition yet remarkably silent on the corresponding military level of ambition. But strategy without capabilities is just a hallucination. Recent developments in the EU make it possible, however, for the Member States to agree on an appropriate and affordable military level of ambition. The aim: to conduct autonomous crisis management operations and to contribute substantially to territorial defence within the NATO framework. We should not forget that the European countries have the primary responsibility for the territorial defence of their own continent.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jolyon Howorth
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: Europe wants autonomy and it wants a strategy. Semantically, of course, “wants” has a double meaning. First, it means “lacks”. Europe lacks autonomy and it lacks a strategy. The second meaning of wants is “desires”. Here, we have a genuine question. How many EU member states genuinely desire autonomy for the EU? How many are genuinely in favor of a grand strategy – as opposed to the EU’s default practice of just muddling through? And there is also a third meaning behind wants: “needs”. In my view, the EU needs strategic autonomy. But having said that, all I have done is set a point of arrival. How to get there?
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, European Union, Autonomy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Alexander Mattelaer
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: On 18 March 2019 the fifth edition of the Belgo-German Conference took place in Brussels. Framed around the inter-related themes of energy, mobility and digitalization, the conference sought to provide a platform for dialogue between political leaders, diplomatic officials, and representatives from the private sector, academia and civil society. This European Policy Brief aims to illuminate the major topics that were discussed at the conference and put these into a wider context. The umbrella theme of connectivity in infrastructure speaks to the common ambition that Belgium and Germany share: propelling the European project forward – even when facing headwinds – by embracing increased economic interdependence.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Regional Cooperation, Bilateral Relations, Economic Cooperation, Digitization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany, Belgium
  • Author: Abdolrasool Divsallar, Marc Otte
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: Europe's efforts to keep the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) for Iran alive hardly seem effective. On 28 June 2019, during a meeting of the Joint Commission of JCPOA, it was announced that the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) has been made operational. 1 Though it injected new hope into saving the deal, it is unlikely that in the long term INSTEX’ limited scope will meet Tehran's demands. The Middle East is going through tough times since the US unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA and started to exert 'maximum pressure' on Iran, prompting unparalled tensions between the two nations. Can the EU do more?
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Regional Cooperation, JCPOA
  • Political Geography: Europe, Iran, Middle East