Research Paper

EUROPEAN VIEW European Security: A Defining Moment?

‘Europe has never been so prosperous, so secure nor so free.’ Even if they still partly ring true today, the first words of the 2003 European Security Strategy would probably not be written in 2016. The context in which we think about security and formulate strategies has changed dramatically. Since 2003 the EU has expanded by 13 member states and NATO by 9 member states. The Lisbon Treaty has created new Common Security and Defence Policy institutions, and introduced a mutual defence clause, invoked for the first time last year.

Moreover, revolutions in Eastern Europe and in the Arab world have radically changed our neighbourhood. We have witnessed a financial and economic crisis, Russia’s armed aggression against Ukraine, the rise of the so-called Islamic State, violent terrorist attacks in the very heart of Europe and a refugee crisis unprecedented since the Second World War. The instruments and institutions of European security stem from a different time and are not able to deal with the world’s changed realities. To adapt, the EU needs a new strategy, and new tools to implement it.

European View is the policy journal of the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies. It is an intellectual platform for politicians, opinion makers and academics that tackles contemporary themes of European politics, focusing on one specific theme in each issue. The journal contributes to the debate on the most important fields of European and international politics. What makes the European View unique is its hybrid nature – its capacity to involve both esteemed academics and experts on the one hand, and high level politicians and decision makers on the other. Presidents and Prime ministers are regular visiting authors of the journal.

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June 2016

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