La FRS est chargée de conseiller la Commission Sécurité et Défense (SEDE) du Parlement européen par le biais d’études et d’ateliers sur des grandes questions internationales la concernant.
Elle mène ces activités en association avec les partenaires suivants : Chatham House (Royaume-Uni), SIPRI (Suède), CIDOB (Espagne), ELIAMEP (Grèce), HIIA (Hongrie), GRIP (Belgique), MEDAC (Malte), et avec le soutien des chercheurs Alessandro Politi, Christian Mölling et Claudia Major.
EU preparedness against CBRN weapons
The European Union faces an increasingly challenging security environment, with a climate of international instability and a level of tension not seen since the end of the Cold War. Repeated chemical attacks by both State and non-state actors in the context of the Syrian conflict, the Novichok attack in Salisbury and the disruption of two ricine terror plots in Germany and in France in 2018 came all as stark reminders that the threat remains real and that Member States could be affected. In this context, the European Union (EU) continues to strengthen its capacities in the field of CBRN preparedness and response. The use of EU mechanisms and Member States’ military assets is one of the possibilities for strengthening prevention capacities that must be explored more thoroughly.
Countering hybrid threats: EU and the Western Balkans case
The aim of the workshop, held on 26 February 2018, was to assess and discuss the EU’s approach to hybrid threats in its neighbourhood using the Western Balkans as a case study, in the context of the extensive use of propaganda by Russia and its meddling into several elections and in the aftermath of the 2014 events in Ukraine and the Russian annexation of Crimea. The first speaker, Jean-Jacques Patry, presented the concept of hybrid threat at various levels and the EU approach and measures to tackle it, particularly in the Western Balkans. The second speaker, Nicolas Mazzucchi, delivered a presentation on Russia’s declining influence in the Western Balkans (on behalf of Isabelle Facon, who authored the briefing but could not attend the workshop) and added some of his own analysis on energy and cyber issues. The presentations were followed by a debate with members of the Security and Defence Committee of the European Parliament.
The Mechanisms of Prevention and Detection of CBRN Illegal Material Transfers Across Borders and Within the EU
This in-depth analysis, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Special Committee on Terrorism of the European Parliament (TERR), examines the challenges pertaining to CBRN illicit trafficking that the European Union faces. Taking into account the new October 2017 CBRN Action Plan as well as existing mechanisms and solutions, it focuses on means to prevent and detect the introduction into and movement within the Union territory.
Facing Russia’s Strategic Challenge: Security Developments from the Baltic to the Black Sea
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
EU relations with Armenia and Azerbaijan
The EU is currently reshaping its relationship with Armenia and Azerbaijan through new agreements for which the negotiations ended (Armenia) or started (Azerbaijan) in February 2017. After Yerevan’s decision to join the EAEU (thereby renouncing to sign an AA/DCFTA), the initialling of the CEPA provides a new impetus to EU-Armenia relations. It highlights Armenia’s lingering interest in developing closer ties with the EU and provides a vivid illustration of the EU’s readiness to respond to EaP countries’ specific needs and circumstances. The CEPA is also a clear indication that the EU has not engaged in a zero-sum game with Russia and is willing to exploit any opportunity to further its links with EaP countries. The launch of negotiations on a new EU-Azerbaijan agreement – in spite of serious political and human rights problems in the country – results from several intertwined factors, including the EU’s energy security needs and Baku’s increasing bargaining power. At this stage, Azerbaijan is interested only in forms of cooperation that are not challenging the political status quo. However, the decline in both world oil prices and domestic oil production in this country is creating bargaining opportunities for the EU in what promises to be a difficult negotiation.
The financing of the ‘Islamic State’ in Syria and Iraq (ISIS)
Threatening both its caliphate project and its sources of funding, the series of military setbacks that the so-called Islamic State group (IS) as suffered for several months have called into question the group’s very existence. That is not to say that its offensive capabilities will be neutered – the organisation will remain able to employ ’low-cost‘ terrorist attacks to target civilians throughout the Middle East, Africa, Europe, America or Asia. In mobilising Member States to fight against terrorism, the European Parliament’s role is crucial. Individually, Member States have an important part to play in effectively implementing common decisions. Their varying levels of engagement, as well as the progress they have made in confronting the financing of terrorism and especially IS, should be considered. An annual reporting framework should be put into place to better evaluate the measures taken by both Member States and the Commission in this area.
La Coopération Structurée Permanente: Perspectives nationales et état d’avancement
Un an après le Brexit, les Etats membres de l’Union européenne semblent sur le point de réveiller la « belle au bois dormant » de la défense européenne: la coopération structurée permanente, plus connue sous son acronyme anglais de PESCO. Ont-ils bien la même compréhension de l’objectif qu’il s’agit d’atteindre et les voies et moyens pour y parvenir, ou sont-ils seulement animés par la volonté de ne pas rester à la péripherie d’une sorte d’eurogroupe de défense en train de se constituer ? Quels sont, de façon péecise, les principaux points d’accord et de désaccord entre les différents groupes qui se dessinent au sein du Conseil européen ? Des débats ont-ils été passés sous silence, volontairement ou involontairement, et si oui lesquels ? Enfin, quels sont les scénarios souhaitables pour les mois et les années à venir ? Est-il encore temps de changer les choses ou bien les dés ont-ils déjà été lancés? La présente étude ambitionne de répondre à ces questions.
The implementation of the EU arms export control system
The aim of the workshop was to provide an overview of the EU arms export control system as well as options for improvement. The main speaker, Dr Sibylle Bauer, Director of the Dual-Use and Arms Trade Control Programme at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), provided a brief overview of the main elements of the EU Common Position 2008/944/CFSP and then focused on aspects related to strengthening implementation of the eight criteria of the Common Position, the enhancement of compliance with the reporting obligation by Member States, possible ways to increase the transparency and public scrutiny of the export control framework and the development of the EU’s institutional framework in this context. Her presentation was followed by a debate involving members of the Security and Defence Committee of the European Parliament, the outcome of which may feed into the EP Annual Report on Arms Export.
Nuclear Proliferation in North East Asia
The nuclear dimension of the crisis in the Korean peninsula has been compounded since the end of the Cold war, particularly since the North Korean regime announced its withdrawal from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in January 2003. The nuclear and ballistic programmes of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) have dangerously improved since the beginning of the decade and seem to have accelerated since 2014 in spite of the continuous strengthening of the international sanctions regime against Pyongyang’s Weapons of Mass Destruction programmes. Accordingly, tensions have risen dramatically in the Korean peninsula. In the current context, the resumption of the six-party talks – deadlocked since the spring of 2007 - remains very hypothetical. It is clearly dependent on a change of attitude on Pyongyang’s part, something hardly predictable. Even if ‘strategic patience’ towards North Korea has been challenged for some time, it may be that there is no better alternative to this policy. Comprehensively conceived, it should be understood as a strong policy of containment of the North Korean nuclear crisis in order to make possible the return of Pyongyang to negotiations. As a subsidiary issue, it could be asked whether the EU could play a renewed role as regards to nuclear and ballistic proliferation in North East Asia.
Challenges to Freedom of the Seas and Maritime Rivalry in Asia
China’s New Maritime Silk Road policy poses geostrategic challenges and offers some opportunities for the US and its allies in Asia-Pacific. To offset China’s westward focus, the US seeks to create a global alliance strategy with the aim to maintain a balance of power in Eurasia, to avoid a strong Russia-China or China-EU partnership fostered on economic cooperation. For the EU, the ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR) initiative by improving infrastructure may contribute to economic development in neighbouring countries and in Africa but present also risks in terms of unfair economic competition and increased Chinese domination. Furthermore, China’s behaviour in the South China Sea and rebuff of the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, in July 2016, put the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) at risk with possible consequences to freedom of the seas. Increasing relations with China could also affect EU-US relations at a time of China-US tension. To face these challenges, a stronger EU, taking more responsibility in Defence and Security, including inside NATO, is needed.
Russia’s National Security Strategy and Military Doctrine and their Implications for the EU
The European Union sees its relationship with Russia as a ‘key strategic challenge’. Its members are alarmed by Russia’s violations of international commitments and increased military activity in Europe. Russian recently updated basic strategic documents are full of indications about Moscow’s world vision and security concerns. They indirectly point to a tension between Russia’s internal (economic, demographic, societal) weaknesses and its claim to be recognized as one of the ‘centers of influence’ in the emerging multipolar world order. The West, including the EU, is clearly perceived as the major challenger to both Russia’s great power ambition and security. At the same time, various indicators suggest that Moscow is probably not fully confident that it will obtain a gratifying role in the emerging new international landscape. All this has led Russia to rely massively on its restored military capabilities, while pursuing a very active diplomacy, in which the relative importance of the EU has declined in recent years. The EU nonetheless has an important role to play in promoting the second engine of the ‘double-track Russia strategy’ that the West (the EU, NATO, the United States) has been pursuing –– strengthening defenses on the one hand, pursuing dialogue and cooperative engagement on the other hand.
EU-Led Security Sector Reform and Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration Cases: Challenges, Lessons Learnt and Ways Forward
Although the EU has become a leading multilateral actor in the field of security sector reform (SSR), it continues to face significant challenges that hinder its potential for delivery. In the run-up to the prospective adoption of an EU-wide strategic framework for supporting SSR, this study aims to shed light on the realities faced by SSR policy makers and practitioners. By looking at the EU’s SSR track record, as well its involvement in the complementary process of disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR), this study provides an assessment of the lessons learnt and highlights the ways forward for the EU as a security provider, particularly ahead of the launch of its maiden Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy (EUGS).
Russian military presence in the Eastern Partnership Countries
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.
Workshop: Pooling & Sharing: Member States’ Engagement and the Support by the EU
The workshop addresses the question to what extent change has taken place, meaning whether P&S is on track and has started delivering the results that MS have declared they want to achieve. It will therefore assess three crucial aspects: • The Member States’ engagement in P&S efforts and its outcomes: The assessment will look into the political cooperation frameworks and the concrete projects MS have agreed upon, both on EU and multinational levels, and the outcomes this has produced. This includes the industrial impact MS cooperation has had so far. • The support to Pooling and Sharing by Union level actors (Council, HR/VP, EDA): what kind of picture on problem awareness and strategic guidance emerges from the strategic documents Council and EDA have issued and what kind of support have especially EDA and HR/VP provided, which role have EU-institutions been able to play vis-à-vis MS? What can be learned from comparable efforts made in NATO? • The future perspective of P&S in terms of challenges, necessities and recommended initiatives linked to the further implementation of P&S: what are the most important concluding observations on the state of affairs, is it worth to continue opting for this change in defence cooperation and if it is, how can the remaining obstacles be overcome, namely the prevailing understanding of sovereignty of EU Member States?
State of Play of the Implementation of EDA's Pooling and Sharing Initiatives and Its Impact on the European Defence Industry
This study examines the state of 'Pooling and Sharing' (P&S) at EU and Member State (MS) level. Instead of the demanded change in mindset, we witness another episode in the traditional struggle to make classic defence cooperation work. The marginal results of P&S are not yet adequate to the size of problems. The cooperation initiative misses definitions of success, useful models of cooperation and a permanent monitoring of opportunities and capabilities. MS make progress at a snail’s pace: many projects kicked off in the first phase of P&S are still in their early stages and thus do not deliver capabilities. At the same time, Member States paralyse efforts of the EDA. NATO has not performed much better. This underlines that the core of the problem remains the sovereignty question within Member States. The developments have to be seen against the simultaneous evolution of the European defence landscape: budgets and capabilities have been cut further. Member States have lost time and money but most importantly, they have also lost many options to safeguard capabilities through pooling or sharing. The European Parliament should encourage first, a new politico-military flagship project around which defence can be organised, second, an efficiency perspective towards spending and procuring capabilities; third, the discussion on the future of sovereignty in defence; and fourth, a European Defence Review that offers a sober assessment of the current and future European defence landscape, including the opportunities for cooperation. This would enable a public debate on Europe with or without defence.
Towards a New European Security Strategy? Assessing the Impact of Changes in the Global Security Environment
As work on a new European Security Strategy begins, this briefing examines the impact of changes in the security environment of Europe. It argues in favour of an ambitious new security strategy which, twelve years after the adoption of the 2003 European Security Strategy, is most needed in a degraded security environment. It looks back at the process and content of that document and identifies its successes environment since 2003. Mapping those changes, the report points at new threats and challenges and the changing nature of conflict. It also focuses on the and North Africa, which have challenged the assessment that Europe is not facing threats on its borders. The briefing presents an assessment of the changes in the institutional and political architecture of the EU in the post-Lisbon context, which is significantly different from the 2003 institutional environment. It emphasises the multiple tools the EU is using to develop its security policy. Finally, the briefing provides some recommendations for the process and the substance of the starting strategic review and future strategy.
The Impact of the 'Defence Package' Directives on European Defence
In its conclusions on the Common Security and Defence Policy, the December 2013 European Council stressed the importance of ensuring the full and correct implementation and application of the two defence Directives of 2009. The present study intends to provide the Parliament with an initial perspective regarding the state of implementation of the Directive 2009/81/EC on defence and security procurement (Part.1) and the Directive 2009/43/EC on intra-European Union transfers of defence-related products (Part.2). It undertakes a first assessment of national practices, through qualitative and statistical analysis. It identifies the complex points and obstacles, which, if not overcome, may well call into question the Directives’ expected beneficial effects.
The Extra-EU Defence Exports’ Effects on European Armaments Cooperation
Are exports made to countries outside of the European Union (EU) impeding European cooperation in armaments? Although the numbers vary significantly from one country to another, the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB) now collectively derives an important share of its collective turnover from extra-EU export sales. Accordingly, EU Member states devote important political, financial and administrative resources to support and promote their national producers in major competition overseas. The current scarcity of common European programmes, and the limited impacts of recently introduced legislation designed to harmonize national defence procurement rules and to facilitate intra-EU transfers, could indicate that extra-EU exports are detrimental to European cooperation on weapons projects. This negative effect would primarily come from introducing greater levels of competition between European companies creating greater tensions, which are not conducive to cooperation on the EU level. The study finds that there is indeed a correlation between competition for major foreign markets and difficulties of intra-EU cooperation but makes the analysis that extra-EU exports are more a symptom of structural constraints faced by major suppliers, such as the weakness of defence spending in European countries, and the persistence of fragmentation and duplication of production capabilities.