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International Relations Security Defense Nuclear CSS Blog

Europe’s Nuclear Landscape

This week’s featured graphic maps Europe’s nuclear landscape. To find out more on Europe and the nuclear ban treaty, read Névine Schepers’ CSS Analyses in Security Policy here.

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International Relations Security CSS Blog

Collaboration beyond repatriations? Switzerland and the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism

During the repatriation operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020, Switzerland benefited directly and indirectly from the activation of the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM), despite not being a Participating State thereof. The increasing severity of natural and socio-technical hazards and their far-reaching consequences underscore the importance of international collaboration in other crises beyond the current pandemic. A new CSS Risk and Resilience Report, commissioned by the Swiss Federal Office for Civil Protection (FOCP), therefore assesses the costs and benefits of potential Swiss participation in the UCPM.

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International Relations Conflict CSS Blog

Mosaic of Competing Claims in the Eastern Mediterranean

This week’s featured graphic maps the mosaic of competing claims in the Eastern Mediterranean as of December 2020. For more on Turkey and the Eastern Mediterranean, read Fabien Merz’s CSS Analyses in Security Policy here.

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Defense Coronavirus CSS Blog

The New EU Budget and Defense: Narrowing the Capabilities-Expectations Gap

Image courtesy of Guillaume Périgois/Unsplash.

This blog belongs to the CSS’ coronavirus blog series, which forms a part of the center’s analysis of the security policy implications of the coronavirus crisis. See the CSS special theme page on the coronavirus for more.

The EU as a foreign policy and security actor is often haunted by the “capabilities-expectation gap”, referring to the discrepancy between the expectations citizens and states have about the EU’s international role and what the EU is actually able to deliver. The gap consists of three main components: available instruments, resources, and the ability to agree.

The 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) will go down in history as the EU’s coronavirus budget – unprecedented in volume and the raising of joint debt. It features several new defense initiatives complementing the EU’s long-standing efforts to narrow the capabilities-expectations gap. While the budget places promising new instruments at the EU’s disposal, the trimming of resources initially allocated and unchanged decision-making procedures significantly dim the prospects for those initiatives to deliver the expected results. If these projects are to bear fruit, they must be prioritized and interlinked with existing programs and supported by strong financial commitments by the member states.

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Economy CSS Blog

The Western Balkans within Europe

This graphic maps the Western Balkans in Europe focusing on their GDP. With the exceptions of Croatia and Slovenia, the Western Balkans are unable to achieve growth rates that enable it to catch up with EU averages. The average GDP per capita for the six countries is half that of Central European countries and only one quarter of that of Western Europe.

For insights on the Western Balkans between the EU, NATO, Russia & China, read more of Henrik Larsen’s CSS Analyses in Security Policy here.