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Academics present findings to committee at European Parliament

The challenges facing the EU as it seeks closer co-operation on security and defence matters were laid out by academics from King’s College London to members of the European Parliament.

Professor Christoph Meyer at the European Parliament in Brussels.

Professor Christoph Meyer and Dr Ben Jones appeared before the security and defence sub-committee on 22 January to share their assessment of the successes and challenges of the EU’s  common security and defence policy (CSDP), a decade after the Lisbon Treaty came into force.

Prof Meyer was invited to present four policy briefs to MEPs in Brussels before he and Dr Jones took a series of questions from committee members.

The briefs covered CSDP missions and operations (authored by Christoph, European and International Studies), the institutional framework (Sophia Besch, Centre for European Reform and European and International Studies ), defence capabilities (Ben Jones, European and International Studies) and the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (Benedict Wilkinson, Policy Institute).

The briefs assessed the progress made since 2009, identified shortcomings and gaps, and discussed a range of options for politicians in Brussels and EU member states to consider in future.

We are proud that the bid we participated in was successful. I don’t think many academic institutions could bring together the range of experts needed.– Professor Christoph Meyer

Prof Meyer said: “This is a newly-elected European Parliament which will be holding the new European Commission to account. We were asked to provide both returning and new members with briefs to create a shared understanding of progress, the key problems and highlight options for future initiatives.

“We hope to have the opportunity of contributing more in-depth reports on some of the issues in the future.”

Among the issues identified in the briefs, the authors discussed value for money in procurement of military equipment, the speed of decision making and willingness to act in areas of conflict, the EU’s level of ambition and desired autonomy from the US, and intelligence sharing.

In the last three years, the EU and member states have launched several initiatives to strengthen the capabilities and effectiveness of military and civilian operations, 16 of which are currently ongoing.

The policy briefs were compiled as part of a five-year framework contract with the European Parliament via a consultancy, Ecorys.

Prof Meyer added: “We are proud that the bid we participated in was successful. I don’t think many academic institutions could bring together the range of experts needed. ”

The full hearing can be streamed from the European Parliament website (from 16.43-18.00)

The policy briefs are available from the European Parliament website or via PDF

In this story

Christoph Meyer

Christoph Meyer

Professor of European & International Politics

Ben Jones

Ben Jones

Teaching Fellow in European Foreign Policy

Benedict  Wilkinson

Benedict Wilkinson

Director of Research