EU Defence: The White Book implementation process

12-12-2018

The question of a defence White Book at European level has been under discussion for some time. Many voices, particularly in the European Parliament, are pushing for such an initiative, while others consider that it is not only unnecessary, but could even dangerously divide Europeans. Concretely, the question cannot be tackled separately from that of defence planning and processes which underpin the development of military capabilities, as White Books are often the starting point for these. Within the European Union, however, there is not just one, but three types defence planning: the national planning of each of the Member States; planning within the framework of NATO (the NATO Defence Planning Process) and, finally, the European Union’s planning, which has developed in stages since the Helsinki summit of 1999 and comprises many elements. Its best-known component - but by no means not the only one - is the capability development plan established by the European Defence Agency. How do all these different planning systems coexist? What are their strengths and weaknesses? Answering these preliminary questions is essential in mapping the path to a White Book. This is what this study sets out to do.

The question of a defence White Book at European level has been under discussion for some time. Many voices, particularly in the European Parliament, are pushing for such an initiative, while others consider that it is not only unnecessary, but could even dangerously divide Europeans. Concretely, the question cannot be tackled separately from that of defence planning and processes which underpin the development of military capabilities, as White Books are often the starting point for these. Within the European Union, however, there is not just one, but three types defence planning: the national planning of each of the Member States; planning within the framework of NATO (the NATO Defence Planning Process) and, finally, the European Union’s planning, which has developed in stages since the Helsinki summit of 1999 and comprises many elements. Its best-known component - but by no means not the only one - is the capability development plan established by the European Defence Agency. How do all these different planning systems coexist? What are their strengths and weaknesses? Answering these preliminary questions is essential in mapping the path to a White Book. This is what this study sets out to do.