Europe can do better – The EU between institutional constraints and civil and military responsibilities

29.06.2021, Presentation of the 2021 Peace Report, 12:00-13:30

The European Union is facing fundamental challenges in the field of foreign, security and defence policy – internally and externally. However, diverging strategic interests remain, not only with regard to the commitment on defence spending by NATO members. Moreover, many conflicts in Europe´s periphery are far from being resolved. Internally, strategic cultures, priorities and perspectives vary, the Brexit aftermath is still impacting the EU, and the Council is far from reaching an agreement on unanimity in foreign policy.

In this context the debate about EU´s strategic autonomy has gained a new impetus. In the light of the findings of the Peace Report 2021 we want to discuss the question in which way the EU can be strategically autonomous. What is needed for the Strategic Compass to convey a common direction in security and defence policy respecting the role of the EU as a soft power? Which cornerstones must be in place to reach more autonomous and strategic EU action? How to strike the balance between institutional constraints, civilian missions, and military operations to pursue a peace-oriented foreign and security policy?


  • Ursula Schröder, Editor in chief of the Peace Report 2021, Director, Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy (IFSH) at the University of Hamburg
  • Bernhard Felmberg, Protestant Bishop for the Bundeswehr
  • Matthias Dembinski, Senior Researcher, Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF)
  • Hannah Neumann, Member of the European Parliament (Greens/EFA), Subcommittee on Security and Defence

The event will be held in English.

Please register here.

Contact: Sidonie.Wetzig(at)fes-europe.eu



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