The Quest for European Strategic Autonomy – A Collective Reflection

The year 2020 has been a challenging year not only under a health, social and economic perspective, but also in relation to EU defence. The level of strategic autonomy necessary to satisfy the EU level of ambition has not been reached yet, with consequences on the EU effectiveness to deliver results. Difficulties towards this end have been exacerbated by the effects of COVID-19 and EU member states will need to take into account several factors – from the Brexit impact on defence, towards the lack of military capabilities, to the nuclear landscape in Europe – to let the Strategic Compass be successful in achieving the expected outcomes. This publication is a follow-on of a reflection inaugurated with the online roundtable “Europe of Defence in a New World (Dis)order: Choices for Italy”, held on 11 November 2020. The virtual event has been jointly organised by IAI, Centro Studi sul Federalismo (CSF) and Scuola di Applicazione dell’Esercito. It received the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and took place within the framework of the strategic partnership with the Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo.

Follow-on of a reflection inaugurated with the closed-door seminar “Europe of Defence in a World (Dis)Order: Choices for Italy”, jointly organised on 11 November 2020 by IAI, Centro Studi sul Federalismo (CSF) and Scuola di Applicazione dell’Esercito, with the support of the Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo and of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Produced in the framework of the IAI project “Politiche e strumenti per promuovere l’autonomia strategica dell’Ue nei settori della difesa, del commercio internazionale e dell’allargamento”.

Rome, IAI, December 2020, 28 p.
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Introduction, by Ester Sabatino
1. Going viral? EU defence and the response to COVID-19, by Daniel Fiott
2. More European military capabilities for a more autonomous Europe, by Dick Zandee
3. The EU’s Strategic Compass – Showing the way forward to a Union more capable to act, by Christian Mölling and Claudia Major
4. The 2020 nuclear landscape in Europe, by Jean-Pierre Maulny
5. The impact of Brexit on EU defence, by Daniel Keohane
6. From “Global Strategy” to “Strategic Compass”: The EU in search of a security policy and Italy’s responsibilities, by Domenico Moro
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