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Outlook for the meetings of EU leaders on 14-15 December 2017

12-12-2017

On 14 and 15 December 2017, EU leaders will convene in four different settings with varying compositions and levels of formality: a regular summit of the European Council, a Leaders’ meeting on migration, a European Council (Article 50) meeting, and an enlarged Euro Summit. The agenda of the formal European Council concentrates on defence, social policy, and education and culture, whilst the informal Leaders’ meeting will focus exclusively on migration, and notably on the reform of the Common European ...

On 14 and 15 December 2017, EU leaders will convene in four different settings with varying compositions and levels of formality: a regular summit of the European Council, a Leaders’ meeting on migration, a European Council (Article 50) meeting, and an enlarged Euro Summit. The agenda of the formal European Council concentrates on defence, social policy, and education and culture, whilst the informal Leaders’ meeting will focus exclusively on migration, and notably on the reform of the Common European Asylum System. At the European Council (Article 50) meeting, EU leaders will consider the Commission's recommendation that ‘sufficient progress’ has been made in the negotiations with the United Kingdom, and decide whether to move to the next phase. The enlarged Euro Summit will discuss further developments in the euro area, the banking union and the gradual completion of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).

Permanent structured cooperation (PESCO): From notification to establishment

08-12-2017

On 13 November 2017, 23 EU Member States signed a joint notification addressed to the Council and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission (HR/VP) on their intention to participate in PESCO. The Council is now expected to formally establish PESCO, possibly before the end of the year.

On 13 November 2017, 23 EU Member States signed a joint notification addressed to the Council and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission (HR/VP) on their intention to participate in PESCO. The Council is now expected to formally establish PESCO, possibly before the end of the year.

European defence [What Think Tanks are thinking]

08-12-2017

The European Union is moving closer to developing integrated European defence after 23 of its 28 Member States agreed in November on joint military investment in equipment, research and develop¬ment through Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), an enhanced-cooperation mechanism enshrined in the 2009 Lisbon Treaty. The plan is to jointly develop European military capabilities and make them available for operations separately from, or in complementarity with, NATO. This note brings together commentaries ...

The European Union is moving closer to developing integrated European defence after 23 of its 28 Member States agreed in November on joint military investment in equipment, research and develop¬ment through Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), an enhanced-cooperation mechanism enshrined in the 2009 Lisbon Treaty. The plan is to jointly develop European military capabilities and make them available for operations separately from, or in complementarity with, NATO. This note brings together commentaries, analyses and studies by major international think tanks and research institutes on European Union defence. Earlier publications on the topic can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are Thinking' published in May 2017.

United States' nuclear weapons policy: New priorities, new challenges

08-12-2017

The United States is the world's second largest nuclear power, coming close behind Russia. Together the two states account for 93 % of the world's nuclear weapons. Since the end of the Cold War, the US has followed a policy of reducing its nuclear arsenal, while maintaining a nuclear triad. Under President Obama, it embarked on an intense nuclear modernisation programme, while making commitments towards nuclear non-proliferation and – as a long-term goal – nuclear disarmament. President Donald Trump ...

The United States is the world's second largest nuclear power, coming close behind Russia. Together the two states account for 93 % of the world's nuclear weapons. Since the end of the Cold War, the US has followed a policy of reducing its nuclear arsenal, while maintaining a nuclear triad. Under President Obama, it embarked on an intense nuclear modernisation programme, while making commitments towards nuclear non-proliferation and – as a long-term goal – nuclear disarmament. President Donald Trump took office in January 2017 with the promise to discontinue the previous administration's policy priorities. This is reflected in the current realignment of the US nuclear weapons policy. The new administration aims to expand US nuclear capabilities, is sceptical of international arms-control agreements, and has a more determinant stance on non-proliferation. President Trump has criticised the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and consequently decertified the multilateral Iran nuclear deal in October 2017. The President has also characterised the bilateral New START Treaty, limiting the number of deployed strategic nuclear weapons between the US and Russia, as 'a one-sided deal'. The 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), a landmark nuclear arms control treaty between the US and the former USSR, seems to be in limbo, and nuclear proliferation efforts in North Korea have sparked a war of words between Trump and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un. The ongoing Nuclear Posture Review, together with the coming passage of the annual defence policy bill in Congress, the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2018, have the potential to provoke shifts in US nuclear policy.

Mapping the Cost of Non-Europe, 2014-19 - Fourth edition

07-12-2017

This study brings together work in progress on a long-term project to identify and analyse the 'cost of non-Europe' in a number of policy fields. This concept, first pioneered by the European Parliament in the 1980s, is used here to quantify the potential efficiency gains in today's European economy through pursuing a series of policy initiatives recently advocated by Parliament – from a wider and deeper digital single market to more systematic coordination of national and European defence policies ...

This study brings together work in progress on a long-term project to identify and analyse the 'cost of non-Europe' in a number of policy fields. This concept, first pioneered by the European Parliament in the 1980s, is used here to quantify the potential efficiency gains in today's European economy through pursuing a series of policy initiatives recently advocated by Parliament – from a wider and deeper digital single market to more systematic coordination of national and European defence policies or increased cooperation to fight corporate tax avoidance. The benefits are measured principally in additional GDP generated or more rational use of public resources. The latest analysis suggests that the European economy could be boosted by €1.75 trillion per year – or 12 % of EU-28 GDP (2016) – by such measures over time. The study is intended to make a contribution to the on-going discussion about the European Union's policy priorities over the current five-year institutional cycle, running from 2014 to 2019.

Perspectives on transatlantic cooperation: Transatlantic cyber-insecurity and cybercrime - Economic impact and future prospects

07-12-2017

Over the past two decades, an ‘open’ internet and the spread of digital technologies have brought great economic benefits on both sides of the Atlantic. At the same time, the spread of insecure digital technologies has also enabled costly new forms of crime, and created systemic risks to transatlantic and national critical infrastructure, threatening economic growth and development. The transnational nature of these phenomena make it very difficult for effective policy solutions to be implemented ...

Over the past two decades, an ‘open’ internet and the spread of digital technologies have brought great economic benefits on both sides of the Atlantic. At the same time, the spread of insecure digital technologies has also enabled costly new forms of crime, and created systemic risks to transatlantic and national critical infrastructure, threatening economic growth and development. The transnational nature of these phenomena make it very difficult for effective policy solutions to be implemented unilaterally by any one jurisdiction. Cooperation between stakeholders in both the EU and US is required in the development and implementation of policies to increase the security of digital technologies and increase societal resilience to the cybersecurity risks associated with critical infrastructure. Although there is a great deal of congruence between the stated policy goals in both the EU and US, obstacles to effective cooperation impede effective transatlantic policy development and implementation in some areas. This study examines the scale of economic and societal benefits, costs, and losses associated with digital technologies. It provides an overview of the key cybercrime, cybersecurity and cyber-resilience issues that policy-makers on either side of the Atlantic could work together on, and explains where effective cooperation is sometimes impeded.

External author

Benjamin C. Dean, Iconoclast Tech Foreword by Patryk Pawlak, formerly of EPRS, now of EU Institute for Security Studies Administrator responsible: Elena Lazarou, Members' Research Service, EPRS

Instrument contributing to stability and peace: Adaptation for military actors

24-11-2017

The European Commission proposes to amend Regulation (EU) No 230/2014 establishing the Instrument Contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) to create the conditions to allow EU budgetary support for systematic and longer-term EU support for the security sector in third countries, including the military, through capacity-building programmes, the provision of non-lethal equipment and improvements in infrastructure. Parliament is due to vote on the proposal during the November II plenary session.

The European Commission proposes to amend Regulation (EU) No 230/2014 establishing the Instrument Contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) to create the conditions to allow EU budgetary support for systematic and longer-term EU support for the security sector in third countries, including the military, through capacity-building programmes, the provision of non-lethal equipment and improvements in infrastructure. Parliament is due to vote on the proposal during the November II plenary session.

EU security cooperation with Latin America: A priority requiring consolidation

23-11-2017

Although security cooperation is not yet a well-consolidated priority for the EU in its relations with Latin America, it has acquired increasing importance with the explicit inclusion of citizen security as a new priority area in the 2015 EU-CELAC action plan. The main current areas of EU security-related cooperation with the region are the fight against drugs; violence prevention; conflict resolution in Colombia, with an EU stake in its peace process; and the participation of some Latin American ...

Although security cooperation is not yet a well-consolidated priority for the EU in its relations with Latin America, it has acquired increasing importance with the explicit inclusion of citizen security as a new priority area in the 2015 EU-CELAC action plan. The main current areas of EU security-related cooperation with the region are the fight against drugs; violence prevention; conflict resolution in Colombia, with an EU stake in its peace process; and the participation of some Latin American countries in EU crisis-management operations in the framework of the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy. This is achieved through trans-regional, regional, sub-regional and bilateral programmes and projects, as well as through the conclusion of framework agreements with certain Latin American countries. The European Parliament is particularly involved in promoting security cooperation with the region, as evidenced by its support for a Euro-Latin American Charter for Peace and Security, in the framework of the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly, and the adoption of specific resolutions on the subject.

The EU's new approach to funding peace and security

22-11-2017

The link between security, peace and development is recognised by both security and development communities. However, the practical implications of this nexus still pose challenges – especially in the light of a rapidly evolving security environment. While the EU’s assistance for peace and security comes in different forms – for instance through budgetary support or under common security and defence policy – the existing rules of financing under the EU budget exclude activities aimed at enhancing ...

The link between security, peace and development is recognised by both security and development communities. However, the practical implications of this nexus still pose challenges – especially in the light of a rapidly evolving security environment. While the EU’s assistance for peace and security comes in different forms – for instance through budgetary support or under common security and defence policy – the existing rules of financing under the EU budget exclude activities aimed at enhancing cooperation with the defence sector and the military in third countries. The proposed amendment to Regulation (EU) No 230/2014 of 11 March 2014 establishing the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) aims to remedy this situation by creating the conditions to allow EU budgetary support for capacitybuilding programmes in third countries aimed at training and mentoring, the provision of non-lethal equipment and assistance with infrastructure improvements, and help with strengthening the capacity of military actors in order to contribute to the achievement of peaceful and inclusive societies and sustainable development. Fifth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Facing Russia’s Strategic Challenge: Security Developments from the Baltic to the Black Sea

17-11-2017

The EU and NATO are facing an increasingly uncertain and complex situation on their eastern and south-eastern borders. In what the EU has traditionally conceived as its ‘shared neighbourhood’ with Russia and NATO its ‘eastern flank’, Moscow is exhibiting a growingly assertive military posture. The context of the Baltic and the Black Sea regions differs, but Russia’s actions in both seem to be part of the same strategy aiming to transform the European security order and its sustaining principles. ...

The EU and NATO are facing an increasingly uncertain and complex situation on their eastern and south-eastern borders. In what the EU has traditionally conceived as its ‘shared neighbourhood’ with Russia and NATO its ‘eastern flank’, Moscow is exhibiting a growingly assertive military posture. The context of the Baltic and the Black Sea regions differs, but Russia’s actions in both seem to be part of the same strategy aiming to transform the European security order and its sustaining principles. The Kremlin seems to follow similar policies and tactics, mainly through the militarisation of the Kaliningrad Oblast and Crimea as the centrepiece of its strategy of power projection vis-à-vis NATO and the EU. An all-out war remains an unlikely scenario, but frictions or accidents leading to an unwanted and uncontrolled escalation cannot be completely ruled out. Tensions and military developments take place in both the Baltic and Black seas, but are not only about them. Russia is testing the Euro-Atlantic response and resilience at large. To assess how far it might be willing to go, it is necessary to evaluate how Russia perceives the West and its actions, taking into account the deep and entrenched clash of perceptions between Brussels and Moscow, and the worldview of the latter.

External author

Nicolás De Pedro, Research Fellow, CIDOB, Spain; Panagiota Manoli, Research Fellow, ELIAMEP, Greece; Sergey Sukhankin, Associate Expert, ICPS, Ukraine; Theodoros Tsakiris, Research Fellow, ELIAMEP, Greece

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