CEPS/IISS European Security Forum (status as of mid-2003)

This archival site holds information valid at mid-2003. It has not been maintained or updated since then. Contact CEPS for current information.

The Brussels-based Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) and London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) joined forces to launch a new forum on European security policy in Brussels. The objective of this European Security Forum is to bring together senior officials and experts from EU and Euro-Atlantic Partnership countries, including the United States and Russia, to discuss security issues of strategic importance to Europe. The forum is jointly directed by CEPS and IISS and hosted by CEPS in Brussels.

The forum assembles a select group of personalities from the Brussels institutions (EU, NATO, diplomatic missions), national governments, parliaments, business, media and independent experts. The informal and confidential character of the forum enables participants to exchange ideas freely.

The aim is to think ahead about the strategic security agenda for Europe, treating both its European and transatlantic implications. The topics to be addressed will be selected from an open list that includes crisis management, defence capabilities, security concepts, defence industries and institutional (including enlargement) developments of the EU and NATO. Security will be considered in a wide sense, 'soft' and 'hard'.

CEPS and IISS do not pursue any policy agenda of their own in this effort. However, at the present political juncture we see exceptional merit in joining forces together, given our long-standing but complementary specialisations in European and international strategic affairs. We offer this as a basis for a neutral, high-level forum for policy-oriented exchange between experts and practitioners from various backgrounds.

Locating such a forum in Brussels at this time offers distinct advantages.

Format. The Forum has about 50 members who are invited to all meetings and receive current information on the activities of the Forum. This group meets every other month in a closed session to discuss a pre-arranged topic under Chatham House rules. No procès verbale of the session is made, but the Chairman sums up.

The Forum meetings are presided by François Heisbourg, Director of the Fondation pour la recherche stratégique (FRS), Paris. Three short issue papers are commissioned from independent experts for each session, as a general rule presenting EU, US and Russian viewpoints on the topic. These papers are sent in advance to each participant. In addition the three speakers briefly introduce their main points at the Forum to launch the discussion.

IISS and CEPS are grateful for the support provided in the past by the German Marshall Fund of the United States for the European Security Forum through a grant to CEPS. We also thank all other contributors, including the U.S. Mission to the European Union.

Steering group

François Heisbourg, Fondation pour la recherche stratégique (FRS), Chairman

Dana Allin, International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), London

(until 31 May 2003:) Klaus Becher, International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), London; now Managing Partner, Knowledge & Analysis LLP, Richmond/Surrey

Ivo Daalder, The Brookings Institution, Washington D.C.

Dmitri Danilov, Institute of Europe, Moscow

Michael Emerson, Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), Brussels

Marius Vahl, Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), coordinator and rapporteur

Contacts, enquiries

Dana Allin, allin@iiss.org

Michael Emerson, michael.emerson@ceps.be

Marius Vahl, marius.vahl@ceps.be, tel. +32 (0)2 229 3933