The Revival of the Concept of « European White Paper » on Security and Defense

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After several unsuccessful attempts, the notion of official document, a kind of « European White Paper » on security and defense comes back at the front of the stage. The need to have a conceptual « dictionary », to unite European identity bases (objectives of forces and capacity ; Petersberg missions, solemn declarations) and to present pedagogically the acquirements of the Union concerning European politics of security and defense, became imperative. Despite the semantic, methodological and content difficulties, the Belgian presidency initiated a process of reflection that will impose a deepening of this concept starting in 2002 as part of the works of the Institute for Security Studies of the Union, in collaboration with the national specialists of the official documents. The events of September 11, 2001 in the United States could accelerate the European identity process concerning the definition of the risks and threats ; that matter being part of a potential future document by the Fifteen preceding a still virtual European Strategic Concept. – Summary AFRI-2002