The prospects for greater EU cooperation on security and defence have improved in recent months. Following Brexit, one of the most hostile countries to ambitious initiatives in this area is set to leave the Union. The new American administration is urging Europeans to invest more and to take on more responsibility. Finally, France has a new pro-EU president who could surprise us with bold moves in this field.
On 7 June, the European Commission launched the European Defence Fund announced in the 2016 European Defence Action Plan. In parallel, it presented a longer-term reflection paper setting out possible scenarios for the future of EU defence.
Together with our keynote speaker, Vice-President of the European Commission Jyrki Katainen, we will answer the following questions: is strengthening European defence a matter not only of political will, but also of economic necessity? Will European states spend better by spending together in the area of defence? Will the new funding and research opportunities put forward by the Commission act as game changers when it comes to pooling and sharing defence capabilities?