Joint efforts on defence at EU level over the past few years have achieved more than in the course of previous decades, EU High Representative Mogherini recently said. Taken one by one, sticks can be broken. But when the same sticks are grouped in a bundle, they are unbreakable. Aesop’s fable of the bundle of sticks is the opening metaphor of a recent paper in which EEAS Deputy Secretary-General Pedro Serrano provides an overview of recent initiatives, global challenges, opportunities and debates for the future.
Security and defence challenges have changed significantly over recent years. So have the EU’s instruments to address them. As Federica Mogherini said: “If there is a sector on which I feel great satisfaction, it is the field of defence, where we have really managed over the past 2-3 years to do more than was done in previous decades in the European Union.”
These developments are summarised in a recent paper by Pedro Serrano, Deputy Secretary-General for Common Security and Defence Policy and crisis response at the EEAS, published by Elcano Royal Institute. The paper provides an overview of the external challenges and main initiatives developed by the EU. It also shows how this has led to a stronger engagement with key international partners and to the current ongoing debates on the way forward.
Recent geopolitical and technological changes have resulted in a modified security environment. The world has become more complex and contested. As a response, the EU and its Member States have stepped up their joint work on security and defence and have delivered unprecedented progress during the past three years. Implementing the EU Global Strategy presented by EU High Representative Mogherini in June 2016, new platforms for the development of defence capabilities, financial instruments for their funding and command structures for their coordination have been presented.