The Brexit and the Future of European Security Affairs

Open Panel

The Brexit has attracted a lot of scholarly attention especially to its economic and social implications. However, what has largely been neglected is a discussion of its implications for both NATO and Europe’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). The aim and objective of this panel is to close this gap. How will the Brexit affect the inner mechanics of the transatlantic alliance (NATO) and CFSP in particular in the years to come? What implications does it have for CFSP missions (civilian & military), also financially?
Why are these important questions? First, the UK has been an integral part of the transatlantic as well as European security architecture since their beginnings. Second, the is EU currently exposed to a variety of external security and foreign policy challenges, including threats from Russia, as well as the instability permeating the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. On the NATO side, the climate is uncertain as well, especially given President Trump’s questioning of the viability of NATO. Thus, it appears to be clear is that the Brexit is more than simply an internal management exercise where British commitments (financial & human resources etc.) to the EU are going to be ‘switched around’ from one organization to the other—that is from the EU to NATO—or where their human resources (civilian & military) are being rotated out of the respective EU institutions in Brussels and posted elsewhere. The Brexit is much more fundamental than that, touching upon the very basic foundations of European security affairs and the transatlantic relationship. Against this backdrop, it is fair to hypothesize that the Brexit will undoubtedly have significant policy implications for all transatlantic security actors and institutions involved in the management thereof, in Britain, in NATO, and in the EU.