As Europe faces heightened geopolitical and crossborder security challenges, the EU must lay out its future priorities, partners, and choices to develop its role as an autonomous global actor.

Carnegie Europe convened a day-long roundtable looking at how the EU should develop its role on questions of international security. Robert Cooper, special adviser to the European External Action Service, Wolfgang Wosolsobe, director general of the EU Military Staff at the European External Action Service, and Sven Biscop, director of the Europe and the World Program at the Egmont—Royal Institute for International Relations, kicked off the debate.

The following questions were addressed:

Session 1: Europe and the Emerging Global Security Environment

  • What are the main geopolitical and crossborder security challenges facing Europe, and how do they intersect?
  • Can the EU rely indefinitely on the United States for territorial defense?
  • Who should drive European external security policies—the EU, NATO, or national governments (or all three)?

Session 2: The EU’s Security Priorities

  • How should the EU deal with geopolitical competition?
  • What crossborder security challenges should the EU prioritize?
  • Can the EU balance a global outlook with regional responsibilities?

Session 3: European Security Policies

  • How can the EU develop more preventive and united security policies?
  • To cope with crossborder threats, does the EU need to better mix existing policy tools or develop new instruments?
  • How should Europeans reconcile their military requirements for both collective defense and external interventions?