This transnational research network aims at generating an academic discussion on the elements of a strategy for Europe in the 21st century, by critically assessing the processes of security, defence and foreign policy transformation processes. A new strategic environment (e.g. Brexit, China as rising power), novel constellations of security threats (e.g. hybrid, cyber) and the post-Trump transatlantic uncertainty has triggered a re-thinking of the EU security, defence and foreign policy. A series of defence cooperation initiatives, e.g. PESCO, EU Defence Fund and European Intervention Initiative, have increased the potential of modernisation of European security and defence capabilities and also increased the role of the Commission in the CSDP/CFSP. Defence innovation, such as plans to build a new European fighter jet or advancements in the drone sector, could increase the capacity of EU as a security-provider to its citizens on one side and to societies in fragile states on the other side. The new capacities would also provide an element of European strategic autonomy by decreasing dependence on NATO and decisions in Washington, with regards to deterrence and peace management. But collective endeavours might be correlated with collective actions problems. Using a range of theoretical models and methodological approaches, this transnational research network explores the prospects and challenges associated with the new security and defence order in Europe and aims to make predictions about the key elements of a future European strategy.

This research network covers a series of dimensions related to European security, defence and foreign policy, non-exhaustively grouped in several thematic clusters of research:

  1. Strategic autonomy, post-hegemonic transition and the projection of EU as a global actor.
  2. Multi-speed European integration, regime complexity and post-Westphalian sovereignty.
  3. Sources of instability and crises, and the responsibility to defend.
  4. EU-NATO relations, transatlantic strategic choices.
  5. Security cooperation at intergovernmental level (e.g. PESCO, European Intervention Initiative, EU Battlegroups).
  6. Supranational instruments of EU security cooperation: EU Defence Fund, CARD.
  7. Predicting asymmetric hybrid, cyber other unconventional threats. Crisis and risk management, and civil-military relations.
  8. EU Global Security Strategy and rising powers (e.g. China, BRICS).
  9. EU peace and stabilisation missions, external security and global responsibility.

Research Outputs

At the moment, the network will mainly involve internet-based activities aimed at disseminating research outputs and connecting researchers from all career levels doing research on EU security. The organisation of PhD workshops and expert panel discussions, as well as proposals for a panel/section at international conferences, represent some of the objectives of this research network in the middle- and long-run.

This network hosts the peer-reviewed publication Strategic Review, which aims to strengthen the research-policy transfer with regards to strategic aspects of European security, defence and foreign policy.