Towards a European Defence? Origins and Challenges of the European Project on Common Defence
In recent years, the European Union has faced a series of political and social chal- lenges that have threatened the foundations of its integration model. Since 2008, the economic and financial crisis has put into question the achievement of the single currency and the sustainability of the European welfare system. The emergency linked to migratory flows in the Mediterranean and through the Balkan route, togeth- er with threats to European security arising from the instability of the neighborhood and terrorist attacks, led to a retreat on the principles of free circulation and solidarity in Europe. The scenario and the progressive disaffection of citizens from the European project have encouraged the emergence of populist movements and the strengthening of Eurosceptic parties, and a referendum pending in the UK to decide to withdraw from the Union. These trends undermine the internal cohesion of the Union, but also its ability to project internationally. Ultimately, the EU must rethink its model through a revision of the bases and mechanisms of the integration process, particularly in the areas most affected by the ongoing crisis.
The definition of a common defence policy and the management of internal and external security are indispensable to ensure the stability of the Member States and the protection of European citizens, contributing to the maintenance of peace beyond the European Union borders while promoting more advanced forms of pooled sovereignty at the European level. At the same time, interventions in these areas must be accompanied by common citizenship policies that strengthen the pact between European institutions and citizens and the democratic dimension of the European decision-making process as a whole.
In order to deepen the reflection on these issues, the Centre of excellence Altiero Spinelli (CeAS) of Roma Tre University, in collaboration with Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) of Rome, organized this seminar devoted to the common European defence. The seminar offered an opportunity to point at and debate historical, legal, institutional, political and economic issues and aspects of the European defense, with the participation of scholars, experts, and representatives of European and national institutions and the media. The initiative is part of a cycle of seminars organised in cooperation and with the sponsorship of La cittadinanza europea, Civitas Europa, and Revista de derecho constitucional europeo.
Proceedings published in La cittadinanza europea, a. XIII, n. 2/2016, p. 157-226.