Abstract – European security and arms control


From Ukraine to Turkey, the Middle East, North Africa and the Sahel, there is an arc of crisis, of instability and conflicts around Europe. With the Trump administration taking office, predictability and reliability of the most important transatlantic partner has been significantly reduced, and with the forthcoming Brexit, EU-Europe loses (its second biggest player in terms of) one of its resource-richest Member State in terms of foreign and security policy and diplomacy. However, Europeans are still obliged, if necessary alone, to guarantee the safety of their citizens as well as peaceful conflict resolution in Europe. Moreover, the EU is rightly expected to contribute – also politically and militarily – to help create conditions that allow for an equitable development and peace for as many people as possible in its immediate neighbourhood. The willingness of  all actors (Member States, Commission, Council, Parliament) to invest and co-operate in stability, prevention and security in the framework of the EU seems to have grown significantly by the developments outlined above and the inauguration of President Macron, as first results in 2017 show.

Against this background, the professorship is dealing with several projects within the framework of this overall complex.

  • The project on the conflict in Ukraine and the relationship with Russia, which started with a conference in 2015, was recently completed by the publication “Der Ukraine-Konflikt, Russland und die europäische Sicherheitsordnung” (~ The Ukraine-conflict, Russia and European security order).
  • Based on an idea initially developed with Russian and German partners, the involvement of Russia in a pan-European security architecture and the development of new confidence and security-building measures in the Baltic Sea region was examined. All Baltic Sea residents will now be involved in a mixed track II diplomacy and research format.
  • Within the framework of international cooperation with the State Defense Academy of Vienna and ETH Zurich, the professorship is currently involved in the analysis, discussion and comparison of the latest security and defense policy strategy documents and concepts by Austria, Switzerland and Germany.


At a time when a new competition between major powers has been declared and the foreign policies of the USA, China and Russia are becoming increasingly confrontational, unilateral and marked by power projections and arms dynamics, the question of the path to be taken by Europe/the European Union is all the more urgent. A foreign policy that has a comprehensive range of instruments and the political will to use them jointly is also part of an EU that is capable of taking comprehensive action. Where does the EU stand today? How sovereign and capable of action is it in its foreign and security policy, including defence? What does it need for an independent foreign policy and what steps will lead to the goal? These questions will be addressed at a well-attended conference at the National Defence Academy in Vienna in September 2019. „European Security: The EU on the Way to Strategic Autonomy and European Defence Union?“ is the title of the conference, some of the results of which will be included in the WIFIS Aktuell publication of the same name, which will be published in summer 2020.

In addition, the professorship is engaged with statements (Commission „Zukunft der Bundeswehr und Europäische Sicherheit“ ~ Future of the German armed forces and European security), participation in committees and advisory councils as well as teaching and research (EU Common Security and Defense Policy).


Letzte Änderung: 17. August 2020