Making policies work


External event



European Strategy, European Defence and the CSDP

14 October 2015

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Which responsibilities does Europe want to assume as a security provider outside its borders? Which military level of ambition does that political ambition entail? And what should the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) contribute to achieving it? These questions, if any, ought to be answered by the future EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy which the European Council mandated High Representative Federica Mogherini to draft.

A statement of ambition will justify defence expenditure to citizens and parliaments. It will also make it clear to Europe’s allies, partners and neighbours which contribution to security they can expect from Europe – and which not. And a clear statement of our ambition is the necessary basis for a new definition of Europe’s military requirements, taking into account the enormous changes in the security environment. This in turn is needed to frame national as well as multinational defence planning and capability development.

Seeking to reflect on the place of the CSDP in the future EU strategy, the seminar will first look beyond the CSDP, at the state of defence in Europe, for the CSDP cannot be seen in isolation of Europe’s overall political ambition as a security provider, regardless of the organization through which Europeans will act in a specific contingency. Political ambitions have to be translated into a military level of ambition covering all scenarios and organizations to which Europeans want to contribute, for they have but a single set of forces. Finally, the specific contribution of the CSDP to fulfilling these ambitions has to be determined.

The seminar is organized by the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael, the Royal Higher Institute for Defence, and the Egmont – Royal Institute for International Relations, with the kind support of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU.


Royal Military Academy
Rue Hobbema 8

Peace, security and resilience#EUGlobalStrategyCommon Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)