Towards a stronger EU security and defence policy

Europe’s unprecedented security challenges call for a step change in the EU’s approach to security and defence. This Clingendael report reflects the main topics of discussion at the high-level Netherlands EU Presidency Seminar on Defence held on 20 and 21 January 2016. 

The new EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy, to be submitted to the European Council in June, will require translation into actionable proposals for a stronger Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and deepening defence cooperation. A CSDP White Book is necessary to define the level of ambition, required capabilities and how to obtain these capabilities. 

Political commitment and follow-up are essential to achieve progress in defence cooperation. A system of accountability and positive peer pressure with ‘naming and praising’ as opposed to ‘naming and shaming’ has to be developed. To achieve this, the member states should commit to benchmarks, regular reporting and sharing information on defence plans and budgets. In addition, financial incentives, such as allocating EU budget for defence related research should be explored.

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