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On the path to 'strategic autonomy': The EU in an evolving geopolitical environment

28-09-2020

In confronting the EU with an unprecedented crisis, the coronavirus outbreak is testing the bloc's unity, but may also accelerate the construction of EU strategic autonomy, as the roadmap for recovery is implemented. Political will, still in the making, and the capacity to act are key prerequisites for achieving effective European strategic autonomy. The EU is increasingly at risk of becoming a 'playground' for global powers in a world dominated by geopolitics. Building European strategic autonomy ...

In confronting the EU with an unprecedented crisis, the coronavirus outbreak is testing the bloc's unity, but may also accelerate the construction of EU strategic autonomy, as the roadmap for recovery is implemented. Political will, still in the making, and the capacity to act are key prerequisites for achieving effective European strategic autonomy. The EU is increasingly at risk of becoming a 'playground' for global powers in a world dominated by geopolitics. Building European strategic autonomy on a horizontal – cross-policy – basis would strengthen the EU's multilateral action and reduce dependence on external actors, to make the EU less vulnerable to external threats; while promoting a level playing field that benefits everyone. The EU could thus reap the full dividend of its integration and possibly benefit from greater economic gains. To build European strategic autonomy, the EU may choose to use the still 'under-used' or 'unused' potential of the Lisbon Treaty, with the European Council having a key role to play in triggering some of the Treaty provisions, particularly in foreign and security policy. European strategic autonomy may also result from a deepening of the EU integration process. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen whether the Member States will wish to grasp the opportunity offered by the Conference on the Future of Europe to deepen the European project.

Western Balkans on the European Council agenda: Overview of discussions since the Lisbon Treaty

02-04-2020

The European Council to endorse the 24 March 2020 Council political agreement on the opening of negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia.

The European Council to endorse the 24 March 2020 Council political agreement on the opening of negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia.

The European Parliament’s Right of inquiry in context - A comparison of the national and the European legal frameworks

16-03-2020

One of Parliament’s main tools of political control vis-à-vis the EU executive is its capacity to establish Committees of inquiry. This possibility, now formally recognised in Article 226 TFEU, has existed since 1981 but it has been scarcely used by Parliament. This study provides an analysis of Parliament’s right of inquiry as it stands after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, and examines how it has evolved since it was first introduced. It also compares Parliament’s right of inquiry ...

One of Parliament’s main tools of political control vis-à-vis the EU executive is its capacity to establish Committees of inquiry. This possibility, now formally recognised in Article 226 TFEU, has existed since 1981 but it has been scarcely used by Parliament. This study provides an analysis of Parliament’s right of inquiry as it stands after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, and examines how it has evolved since it was first introduced. It also compares Parliament’s right of inquiry with the investigatory powers of other European Union institutions and bodies, and with the rules governing the right of inquiry of Member State parliaments. The study concludes with some proposals for reform.

Autore esterno

Diane FROMAGE

Inquiries by Parliaments - The political use of a democratic right

16-03-2020

Conducting in-depth investigations is an ancient and essential right of parliaments in Europe. Yet, despite a provision of the Lisbon treaty, the European Parliament still has a limited institutional capacity to conduct inquiries. This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, discusses the theoretical basis of parliamentary investigation, compares recent committees of inquiries and develops ...

Conducting in-depth investigations is an ancient and essential right of parliaments in Europe. Yet, despite a provision of the Lisbon treaty, the European Parliament still has a limited institutional capacity to conduct inquiries. This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, discusses the theoretical basis of parliamentary investigation, compares recent committees of inquiries and develops recommendations for up-grading the European Parliament’s capacity.

Autore esterno

Olivier ROZENBERG

Policy Departments' Monthly Highlights - February 2020

10-02-2020

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

CSDP defence capabilities development

10-01-2020

For several decades, European Union (EU) and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Member States have worked closely to coordinate and, in some cases, jointly develop their military capabilities. Both NATO and the EU ask Member States to provide military capabilities to meet agreed force requirements. European states also cooperate increasingly closely over ways to increase efficiency and improve interoperability. Yet both EU and NATO force requirements suffer from longstanding capability shortfalls ...

For several decades, European Union (EU) and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Member States have worked closely to coordinate and, in some cases, jointly develop their military capabilities. Both NATO and the EU ask Member States to provide military capabilities to meet agreed force requirements. European states also cooperate increasingly closely over ways to increase efficiency and improve interoperability. Yet both EU and NATO force requirements suffer from longstanding capability shortfalls. Neither modest growth in defence spending nor deeper cooperation have yet been sufficient to fill these gaps. Spurred on, however, by the impact of the 2008 financial crisis and the recent deterioration in security in the east and to the south of Europe, EU Member States have sought to re-invigorate their approach to collaborating on the development of defence capabilities. They have overhauled existing measures and introduced new initiatives, notably the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD) and Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO). While it is too soon to judge the effectiveness of these initiatives, they do significantly extend the scope for action in this field. Success, however, will only be assured if EU Member States support the new ‘top-down’ initiatives while also delivering on their own ‘bottom-up’ commitments to funding and deeper levels of cooperation.

Autore esterno

Dr Ben Jones, Teaching Fellow in European Foreign Policy, King’s College London, UK

EU’s Institutional Framework regarding Defence Matters

10-01-2020

This policy brief provides a short overview of recent initiatives and developments in the EU’s institutional defence architecture, with a particular focus on changes proposed and implemented since 2016. Specifically, it looks at the new Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) framework, the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), the European Defence Fund (EDF), the Military Planning and Conduct Capacity (MPCC), as well as proposals to establish a European Peace Facility (EPF) and to take more ...

This policy brief provides a short overview of recent initiatives and developments in the EU’s institutional defence architecture, with a particular focus on changes proposed and implemented since 2016. Specifically, it looks at the new Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) framework, the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), the European Defence Fund (EDF), the Military Planning and Conduct Capacity (MPCC), as well as proposals to establish a European Peace Facility (EPF) and to take more Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) decisions through qualified majority voting. It examines the institutional state of play at the end of Federica Mogherini’s mandate as EU High Representative and the implications of EU defence institutional innovation for existing governance structures, internal coherence and effective oversight. Finally, it identifies some of the challenges posed by the recent reforms and initiatives relating to the EU’s existing defence infrastructure, and briefly introduces proposals to address these challenges.

Autore esterno

Sophia Besch, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for European Reform, UK (Berlin Office)