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On 28-30 June 2022, NATO leaders met in Madrid and adopted a new strategic concept, rewriting their assessment of the threat environment in the light of Russia's war on Ukraine. NATO also overhauled its defence and deterrence posture, and officially invited Finland and Sweden to join the Alliance.

This is the fifth Peace and Security Outlook produced by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS). The series analyses and explains the European Union's contribution to the promotion of peace and security internationally, through its various external policies. The study provides an overview of the issues and current state of play. It looks first at the concept of peace and the changing nature of the geopolitical environment as European security faces the most tangible military threat since ...

The thirty NATO member states agreed on 29 June to invite Finland and Sweden to join the Western military alliance, accepting the Nordic countries' accession bids, which came after Russia launched its war on Ukraine nearly five months ago. The June NATO Summit in Madrid also endorsed a new Strategic Concept and branded the Russian Federation as 'the most significant and direct threat to Allies' security and to peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area'. NATO also agreed to boost significantly ...

EU strategic autonomy (EU-SA) refers to the capacity of the EU to act autonomously – that is, without being dependent on other countries – in strategically important policy areas. These can range from defence policy to the economy, and the capacity to uphold democratic values. In order to structure the debate on strategic autonomy into analytical categories, this briefing assumes that by and large there have been several phases to the debate about EU-SA, each with a different focus. From 2013 to ...

This briefing provides an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above-mentioned proposal, adopted on 15 February 2022 and referred to the European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). The proposal, which is included in the 2022 Commission work programme (see Annex I – New initiatives) and in the EU Legislative Priorities for 2022 (see the Commission's working document), seeks to establish a ...

Looking back on the implosion of the Soviet Union in late 1991, this Briefing reflects on the debate in the Parliament about its possible consequences at the time. It shows that a clear majority of MEPs initially remained keen on the transformation of the Soviet Union into some kind of 'new Union'. They were concerned both about the dire economic situation in several Soviet republics, and about the maintenance of effective control over the Soviet Union's huge nuclear arsenal. Since 1988 the EP, like ...

Czechia is a parliamentary republic with a head of government – the prime minister – and a head of state – the president. The current Prime Minister is Petr Fiala, from the Civic Democratic Party (ODS). He has been in office since November 2021 and was preceded by Andrej Babiš (2017-2021), the founder of the party ANO 2011. Czech President Miloš Zeman was first elected to the post in 2013 and had previously served as prime minister, from 1998 to 2002. The supreme executive body is the government. ...

On 23 June 2022, for the first time since the start of Russia's war on Ukraine, the Heads of State or Government of the EU and of the six Western Balkan countries will meet for a leaders' meeting in Brussels. The discussion will focus on enlargement, energy, security and defence, and youth. Discussion of Emmanuel Macron's 'European Political Community' proposal is not on the agenda, but it could come up during the debate.

The Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive is the first piece of EU-wide legislation on cybersecurity, and its specific aim was to achieve a high common level of cybersecurity across the Member States. While it increased the Member States' cybersecurity capabilities, its implementation proved difficult, resulting in fragmentation at different levels across the internal market. To respond to the growing threats posed with digitalisation and the surge in cyber-attacks, the Commission has ...

EU Heads of State or Government will discuss war-torn Ukraine’s bid to join the EU when they meet at a regular European Council meeting in Brussels next week. The leaders are expected to discuss Ukraine’s request to gain the status of official EU candidate along with French President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to create a ‘European Political Community’, with Ukraine as a member, as news media have reported, quoting draft Council conclusions. The meeting on 23-24 June is unlikely to make any firm decisions ...