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What Third-country Role is Open to the UK in Defence?

Image courtesy of European External Action Service/Flickr. (CC BY-NC 2.0)

This article was originally published by the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) on 24 April 2018.

What expectations should the EU harbour with respect to Britain’s continued contribution to EU defence activities after Brexit and can the former member state expect special treatment?

With Brexit, the UK will become a ‘third state’ vis-à-vis the European Union. In the defence domain, this means that the UK will no longer take part in EU decision-making or operational (planning) bodies, will not command or be the framework nation of an EU-led force, and any British contribution to an EU operation will be subject to the rules that apply to third countries.

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No Sleeping Beauty: A Framework for Coordinated Defense in the EU

Image courtesy of European Parliament/Flickr. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

This article was originally published by IPI Global Observatory on 16 April 2018.

In November last year, 23 member states of the European Union (EU) made a historic decision to move defense cooperation from a mere political commitment to concrete action, through awakening what has been called “the sleeping beauty” of the 2009 Lisbon Treaty.

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The Ambiguities of Franco-British Defense Cooperation

Image courtesy of ElisaRiva/Pixabay.

This article was originally published by Carnegie Europe on 18 January 2018.

French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May will discuss their defense relationship, among other things, at a bilateral summit on January 18. Franco-British collaboration is vital for European defense. This is not only because they are the two leading European military powers at NATO, but also because they have the most ambitious bilateral military relationship of any European countries, based on the 2010 Lancaster House treaties.

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Permanent Structured Cooperation: An Institutional Pathway for European Defence

This article was originally published by the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) on 20 November 2017.

On 13 November, EU member states – with the exception of Denmark, Ireland, Malta, Portugal and the UK – signed a joint notification launching Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) in the defence field.[1] The announcement, made by 23 EU member states, is an important political decision for two reasons. First, it represents a tangible effort to answer the growing demand by EU citizens for more European-level cooperation to address security concerns, ranging from terrorism to instability in the Union’s southern and eastern neighbourhoods. » More

EU Defense Is Not Just for Diplomats

Image courtesy of thierry ehrmann/Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

This article was originally published by Carnegie Europe on 24 August 2017.

Since the 2016 British vote to leave the EU, European governments have agreed on a number of new initiatives to improve their military cooperation. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in June 2017 that the EU had “moved more in 10 months than in the last 10 years.” European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen went even further, claiming that Europeans had made more progress on defense issues in six months than in the previous sixty years.

These statements are exaggerations. But, Brussels bluster aside, the EU has recently agreed on some useful ideas to improve European military cooperation. They cover a range of activities, from funding for military research to better planning for EU operations, which could add real value to European military efforts.

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