Friends of Europe’s 2023 Peace, Security & Defence programme will continue to make sense of the prevailing security challenges facing European and global security while evaluating Europe’s role in the world. As the end of the current European Commission’s mandate comes into view and the EU and NATO take strong steps towards implementing their new strategic concepts, the global impact of Russia’s aggression on Ukraine will also be made more clear. With this in mind, 2023 will be the ideal moment to track if and how the number of bodies and processes established by the EU and NATO in past years have effectively advanced European defence and strengthened the partnerships that are crucial to its stability and security.
In terms of themes, the focus of the programme will be the war in Ukraine and its potential endgame scenarios; the evolving role of women in peace, security and defense that will be addressed by creating a women’s thought leadership network; the impact of emerging and disruptive technologies, such as metaverse applications, artificial intelligence (AI), quantum computing and 5G, on societal resilience and the future of defence as a whole-of-society phenomenon; and the future of multilateralism and multilateral security governance, particularly in the face of global regionalisation and deinstitutionalisation of globalisation. Our attention will be also centred on the developments in the Western Balkans, notably by holding two more meetings of our Working Group on women’s economic empowerment in the region. We will also continue our Iran in Focus programme, focusing on the renewed struggle for women’s rights in the country, its hybrid warfare campaigns against the EU, NATO and other Western institutions, as well as the role of Iran as a regional power.
Our work will remain result-oriented, focusing on concrete recommendations. We will continue to work actively with partners to translate our conclusions into policy action and to exchange best practices globally. By building on our previous recommendations and proposed solutions to global security challenges, we seek to formulate and identify innovative means of reducing both internal and global tensions to ensure that democracy, justice and equality not only survive but thrive in this new era.
Briefing Paper: Peace, security and defence, and the Renewed Social Contract 2022