Elevating the EU’s added value as a security provider

European Strategic Autonomy series - Security & Defence

Policy Brief

09/02/2022

Strengthening the Union’s peacebuilding capabilities

Current debates about European strategic autonomy have tended to focus on narrow conceptions of autonomy, where the concept is solely understood in military and defence terms. Envisioned in such a way, strategic autonomy equates to a ‘fuite en avant’ which fails to resolve existing shortcomings in EU external action.

This brief argues that it is in the areas of conflict prevention, mediation, post-conflict peacebuilding and resilience-building where the real EU’s strengths lie and that any vision of strategic autonomy should take this as the starting point. Otherwise, this debate only risks increasing the existing gap between the Union’s ambition as an international security actor and its practice.

The policy brief identifies four distinctive areas where the EU’s added value lies, namely, in relation to its integrated approach; the emphasis on multilateralism; its relative adaptability and flexibility; and a normative approach which has privileged non-coercive means and increasingly bottom-up approaches to conflict prevention and resolution.

The purpose of this brief is to identify the strengths of the EU in these areas, but also shortcomings so that current debates about strategic autonomy can be geared to addressing these problems. Specifically, the brief argues that the EU and its member states should focus on strengthening the EU’s engagement in key areas, improving co-ordination within the EU but also with other actors, and ensuring buy-in from member states by promoting inclusivity, but also differentiation within this policy area. Placing the need to strengthen the Union’s peacebuilding capabilities at the centre of the debate could thus help shift the existing narrative towards one that is more sensitive to the comparative advantages of the EU as an international security provider.

Read the Policy Brief

Related publications
15/03/2023

A five-point agenda for how development cooperation can support EU’s strategic autonomy

European Strategic Autonomy series - Economy & Trade
28/02/2023

Progressive pathways to European strategic autonomy 

European Strategic Autonomy series
06/02/2023

Towards a sustainable and resilient future internet 

European Strategic Autonomy series - Digital & Technology
06/07/2022

Europe needs high-tech talent

European Strategic Autonomy series - Digital & Technology
06/07/2022

Countering economic coercion

European Strategic Autonomy series - Economy & Trade
06/07/2022

Leveraging trade policy for the EU’s strategic autonomy

European Strategic Autonomy series - Economy & Trade
04/07/2022

Partnerships and European strategic autonomy

European Strategic Autonomy series - Security & Defense
28/06/2022

Sustainable digital market design

A data-based approach to the circular economy
19/05/2022

European industrial policy

European Strategic Autonomy series - Economy & Trade
16/04/2022

Strategic Autonomy Tech Alliances: Political-industrial collaboration in strategic technologies

European Strategic Autonomy series - Digital & Tech
01/03/2022

Leveraging digital regulation for Strategic Autonomy

European Strategic Autonomy series - Digital & Tech
13/01/2022

Strategic Autonomy: Not without integration

European Strategic Autonomy series - Security & Defence
25/11/2021

An architecture fit for strategic autonomy

European Strategic Autonomy series - Security & Defence
Find all related publications
Publications
05/03/2024

A European feminist foreign policy?

The need for a progressive and transformative approach
29/02/2024

The European Political Community

Informality as a key to success
28/02/2024

Progressive ideas to make international trade successful for all

24/01/2024

Progressive Yearbook 2024

Looking back to look ahead
Find all related Progressive Post
Progressive Post
04/04/2024

The 2024 super-election year: navigating the geopolitical disinformation maze

22/02/2024

Ukrainian democracy vs. the Russian war: how to increase resilience

22/02/2024

European integration in wartime: the EU’s imperative to preserve and rejuvenate Ukraine’s democracy

Find all related events
Events
Upcoming
25/04/2024
Vienna, Austria (Expert meeting)

A new global deal to advance and implement the SDGs

Towards the Summit and Pact of the Future
Past
22/03/2024
Brussels, Belgium

Towards a global pact for a better future for people and the planet

Navigating through the poly-crisis
04 - 06/03/2024
Abuja, Nigeria

The Africa we want and the United Nations we need

Africa Summit of the Future Dialogue
Find all related news
News
18/03/2024

FEPS President on Euronews talk-show ‘Brussels, my love?’

NATO extension, Portuguese elections, far-right and gender equality were the topics of the debate
04/03/2024

FEPS at the ‘Africa Summit of the Future Dialogue’ in Abuja, Nigeria

23/02/2024

FEPS mission to Brazil

15/12/2023

FEPS President mission to China

Maria Joao Rodrigues participates in the ‘2023 Understanding China Conference’
Find all related in the media
In the media

FEPS President on Euronews talk-show ‘Brussels, my love?’

by Euronews 16/03/2024
FEPS President Maria João Rodrigues discusses NATO expansions and elections in Russia and Portugal on Euronews talk-show ‘Brussels, my love?‘

What are Hungary’s conditions for lifting its Ukraine Facility veto?

by Euractiv 12/01/2024
In this episode, Evi Kiorri asks Andriy Korniychuk, policy analyst and expert on Ukraine matters at the Foundation for European Progressive Studies: what are Viktor Orbán's conditions, and why is Hungary considering changing its position?

Une réforme de l’UE qui intéressera forcément les Suisses

by Le Temps 24/11/2023
'EU reform bound to be of interest to the Swiss', an opinion piece in Le Temps on EU Treaties changes by Maria João Rodrigues, FEPS President, Guillaume Klossa, Director of think tank EuropaNova and Daniela Schwarzer, Executive board member Bertelsmann Stiftung

« Le moment est venu de lancer un débat sur la réforme de l’Union européenne »

by Le Monde 22/11/2023
'The time has come to launch a debate on the reform of the European Union', an opinion piece in Le Monde on Eu Treaties changes by Maria João Rodrigues, FEPS President, Guillaume Klossa, Director of think tank EuropaNova and Daniela Schwarzer, Executive board member Bertelsmann Stiftung