EU Security Policy After COVID: Walking the Talk or Losing Credibility


At the beginning of 2021 the EU confronts multifaceted foreign, security, and defence policy challenges. While the beginning of Joe Biden’s term as president offers glimmers of hope of a cooperative relationship with the United States, tomorrow’s challenges are enormous. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world. Its effects on security policy as well as economic and social policy will be deeply felt. 

This brief looks at how the pandemic influences an international system that was already transforming because of the shifting power balance between the US and China. The EU needs to meet these challenges in developing solutions, to seize the opportunity to lead. This will involve using economic leverage to pursue geopolitical objectives, facing up to China through a revamped Asia policy, and fully using the toolbox of a comprehensive security policy in an interest-based approach, thereby increasing its resilience. The EU must get it right. It must walk the talk and lead rather than follow.

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