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EU-Japan cooperation on global and regional security - a litmus test for the EU's role as a global player?

11-06-2018

Within their partnership, the EU and Japan recognise each other as being essentially civilian (or ‘soft’) powers that share the same values and act in the international arena solely with diplomatic means. However, the evolution of the threats they face and the unpredictability now shown by their strategic ally, the US, have led both the EU and Japan to reconsider the option of ‘soft power-only’ for ensuring their security. They have both begun the — albeit long —process of seeking greater strategic ...

Within their partnership, the EU and Japan recognise each other as being essentially civilian (or ‘soft’) powers that share the same values and act in the international arena solely with diplomatic means. However, the evolution of the threats they face and the unpredictability now shown by their strategic ally, the US, have led both the EU and Japan to reconsider the option of ‘soft power-only’ for ensuring their security. They have both begun the — albeit long —process of seeking greater strategic autonomy. The EU’s Global Strategy adopted in 2016 aims clearly to ‘develop a more politically rounded approach to Asia, seeking to make greater practical contributions to Asian security’. Like the EU, Japan has identified ‘a multipolar age’ in which the rules-based international order that has allowed it to prosper is increasingly threatened. In line with its security-related reforms, Japan has decided to ‘take greater responsibilities and roles than before in order to maintain the existing international order’ and resolve a number of global issues. The EU and Japan may increase their cooperation at the global and strategic level and in tackling these challenges at the regional or local level. The Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) between the EU and Japan will provide opportunities for such cooperation, which should also be open to others. This is an opportunity for the EU to demonstrate that it is a consistent and reliable partner, and a true ‘global player’. The Council Conclusions of 28 May 2018 on ‘Enhanced security cooperation in and with Asia’ are a step in this direction but need to be translated into action.

EU as a global player one year on from the Rome Declaration

15-05-2018

The EU celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaties a year ago by pledging to enhance the EU’s role as a global player, in line with the 2016 Global Strategy. This was intended to develop the EU’s role in security and defence matters, starting with increasing support for the European defence industry and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) as a whole, as well as reinforcing existing or developing new partnerships and pushing for further global engagement in support of the UN system ...

The EU celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaties a year ago by pledging to enhance the EU’s role as a global player, in line with the 2016 Global Strategy. This was intended to develop the EU’s role in security and defence matters, starting with increasing support for the European defence industry and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) as a whole, as well as reinforcing existing or developing new partnerships and pushing for further global engagement in support of the UN system, NATO and rules-based multilateralism. What progress has been made since 25 March 2017? What are the European Parliament’s positions on these issues, and what are the prospects for the future? Answering these questions is crucial for ensuring the effectiveness of the EU’s strategies, policies and actions and for the credibility of the EU project in future.

Does the New EU Global Strategy Deliver on Security and Defence?

06-09-2016

The Global Strategy for the EU’s Foreign and Security Policy presented by High Representative Federica Mogherini on 28 June 2016 sets out a ‘Shared Vision, Common Action: A Stronger Europe’, in response to the Member States’ request for a new framework in which the EU can tackle the challenges and key changes to the EU’s environment identified in a strategic assessment carried out in 2015. Many expectations were raised ahead of its publication but it soon became clear that defence would be a central ...

The Global Strategy for the EU’s Foreign and Security Policy presented by High Representative Federica Mogherini on 28 June 2016 sets out a ‘Shared Vision, Common Action: A Stronger Europe’, in response to the Member States’ request for a new framework in which the EU can tackle the challenges and key changes to the EU’s environment identified in a strategic assessment carried out in 2015. Many expectations were raised ahead of its publication but it soon became clear that defence would be a central element of the Global Strategy. A number of defence priorities emerged from the exchanges between the main stakeholders: a central role for the common security and defence policy (CSDP); a clear level of ambition with tools to match; emphasis on EU-NATO cooperation; and concrete follow-up measures such as a ‘White Book’ on European defence. Seen in this light, the Global Strategy captures the urgent need to face the challenges of today’s environment and it may prove to be a major turning point in EU foreign policy and security thinking. It emphasizes the value of hard power — including via a strong partnership with NATO — along with soft power. It will not be easy for the Member States to match the level of ambition set in the Global Strategy and its success will be judged in terms of the follow-up and the measures taken to implement it. Could the first step be a White Book on European Defence?

India and China: Too Close for Comfort?

15-07-2016

India and China — two emerging Asian giants — have historically been polar opposites in many ways and relations between them have been tense. In recent years, however, their co-operation has been improving and they have signed numerous bilateral agreements. From the EU’s perspective, it is crucial to monitor the relationship between these strategic partners. Not only do these two emerging countries have the two largest populations in the world, but projections suggest that they will together account ...

India and China — two emerging Asian giants — have historically been polar opposites in many ways and relations between them have been tense. In recent years, however, their co-operation has been improving and they have signed numerous bilateral agreements. From the EU’s perspective, it is crucial to monitor the relationship between these strategic partners. Not only do these two emerging countries have the two largest populations in the world, but projections suggest that they will together account for a significant share of the world economy by the middle of the century. The EU must be able to meet the regional and even global challenges presented by the rise of China and India.

Russian military presence in the Eastern Partnership Countries

04-07-2016

The workshop was organized on June 15, 2016 at the initiative of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE) with the aim of assessing the quantitative and qualitative parameters of Russian military presence in the Eastern Partnership Countries, and its implications for European security. Dr. Anna Maria Dyner, Analyst with the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM) and Coordinator of PISM’s Eastern European Programme, covered Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine. Dr. Gaïdz Minassian, Senior ...

The workshop was organized on June 15, 2016 at the initiative of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE) with the aim of assessing the quantitative and qualitative parameters of Russian military presence in the Eastern Partnership Countries, and its implications for European security. Dr. Anna Maria Dyner, Analyst with the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM) and Coordinator of PISM’s Eastern European Programme, covered Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine. Dr. Gaïdz Minassian, Senior Lecturer at Sciences Po Paris and Associate Research Fellow at the French Fondation pour la Recherche stratégique, covered Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan.

Autor externo

Isabelle FACON, Fondation pour la recherche stratégique, (FRS), France

Will CSDP Enjoy 'Collateral Gains' from France's Invocation of the EU's 'Mutual Defence Clause'?

14-12-2015

Following the terrorist attacks of 13 November 2015 in Paris, the 'mutual defence/assistance clause' of the Treaty of Lisbon (article 42.7 TEU) was invoked for the first time by an EU Member State. This tool is a 'reactive', intergovernmental instrument. Devoid of specific implementation arrangements, the text foresees no explicit role for EU institutions. As a result, any Member State invoking the clause maintains a wide margin of manoeuvre for pursuing bilateral discussions with partners, who are ...

Following the terrorist attacks of 13 November 2015 in Paris, the 'mutual defence/assistance clause' of the Treaty of Lisbon (article 42.7 TEU) was invoked for the first time by an EU Member State. This tool is a 'reactive', intergovernmental instrument. Devoid of specific implementation arrangements, the text foresees no explicit role for EU institutions. As a result, any Member State invoking the clause maintains a wide margin of manoeuvre for pursuing bilateral discussions with partners, who are at once bound to assist and free to decide the type and scope of their assistance. Article 42.7 was not the only clause France could have invoked to ask for assistance, but it was the least constraining. At a time when the country's financial and military capabilities are increasingly stretched, the simpler clause was a logical choice Beyond the immediate consequences – Member States' unanimous political support and bilateral discussions on assistance – the act is likely to affect the wider debate about the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). The Union's strategic thinking (including on the future 'EU global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy') and developments may be influenced by the inauguration, with a renewed focus on preparedness, pooling and sharing of capabilities, and the EU's 'comprehensive approach' to crises. The European Parliament has long supported mutual assistance in cases of crises. With its oversight role (in particular based on Article 36 TEU) and role in coordinating with national parliaments, the Parliament could stimulate and take part in debates on the EU's role in multidimensional and transnational crises. Such debates can contribute to an evaluation of Article 42.7 and potentially improve the EU’s security 'toolbox'.

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