Set amidst the European and global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, the return of great power competition and the accelerated impact of the climate emergency, Friends of Europe’s 2022 Peace, Security & Defence programme will aim to make sense of the new security challenges these present, while exploring ways to strengthen the partnerships that are vital to Europe’s stability and security.
To do so, we will analyse ongoing transnational challenges, including the next steps in the EU’s security and defence evolution, the transatlantic security partnership, peace and stability in the EU’s neighbouring regions, the impact of increased digitalisation and emerging technologies, and the effect of disinformation and other hybrid threats on the resilience of our institutions, societies and democracies.
With Friends of Europe’s Balkan Journey, we will also seek to circumvent stagnant debates on enlargement in order to focus on moving the region forward in practical terms through political imagination and forward-looking solutions. We will reframe the narrative to focus on people-centred priorities rather than political objectives and bring a fresh policy perspective to overwrought discussions on how to strengthen and develop the Balkan region and close the gap to the EU.
Through a comprehensive and multi-disciplinary approach covering the EU, NATO and UN peace, security and defence policies, internal security issues and the power of technology to act as a driver for synergies between internal and external dimensions of security, our work remains results-oriented, focusing ultimately on practical recommendations.
We will continue to work actively with partners to advance the conclusions reached 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.