Depending on their geographical location, EU Member States focus on different perceptions of threat. For some, the immediate and existential threat to their security comes from Russia. For others, Islamist terrorism is the key security issue that Europe must tackle. These two visions raise several types of responses which may prove to be different at times, in particular on the issue of cooperation with Russia. The challenge Europe is facing is to avoid a clash between these two visions which would limit European cooperation on these security issues. The European Council of June 2017 welcomed the creation of a European Defence Fund and presented proposals on the direction to be taken by the European defence strategy, in order to provide input for the debate on the future direction of the EU27. Following a stagnation in debate over almost a decade, European defence has been relaunched. What avenues are open and which pitfalls must be avoided?
In this synthesis, Luc Vincent, Research assistant at the Jacques Delors Institute, reviews the different elements and points of view presented during the conference on the future of the European defence structure organised on the 29th of June 2017 by the Jacques Delors Institute, in partnership with the Mission Lille Eurométropole Défense Sécurité and the French Rapid Reaction Corps, under the high patronage of the Army Minister, as part of the 7th Ateliers de la Citadelle.