Years of uncoordinated cuts in defense spending and rapidly evolving global trends have eroded the EU's role as a security actor in a multipolar world. In the face of numerous emergencies in the EU's strategic neighborhood and ever-present security threats, this CEPS Task Force report aims to provide member states and those at the helm of the EU institutions with the narrative to strengthen defense cooperation in the EU. The Treaty of Lisbon demands and permits a great deal more in terms of our common security and defense activities. And member states could achieve much more value for the 190 billion Euros that they spend to maintain 28 national armies made up of roughly 1.5 million service personnel. This task force report is a record of the deliberations over several months between high-level experts in the field of European security and defense. The report proposes an array of policy actions for further cooperation and integration as the natural steps to join the dots in the defense debate: strategic, institutional, capabilities, and resources. Ultimately, in the view of the task force members, defense integration should amount to a European Defence Union.
Steven Blockmans, head of EU Foreign Policy at CEPS and professor of EU External Relations Law and Governance, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands. Giovanni Faleg, associate researcher in EU Foreign Policy at CEPS and consultant of the World Bank Group.