EU defence policy

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on European Union defence policy. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Standard Notes

04.12.2013The EU's Common Security and Defence Policy: A Fresh Impetus?
The European Council Summit is due to be held on 19-20 December 2013. Among the main issues for debate is the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). It will be the first time in five years that EU leaders have comprehensively discussed EU defence policy, amid criticisms that CSDP has lost momentum due to a lack of consensus over its strategic direction, an unwillingness on the part of Member States to commit the necessary resources and the prevailing economic crisis which has seen defence budgets fall across Europe and capabilities cut.
27.06.2012EU bibliographies: Defence equipment Directives
This note brings together documents relevant to legislation and the draft directives on EC defence equipment.
13.04.2012EU bibliographies: European External Action Service
This Note brings together documents relevant to the proposed legislation establishing the organisation and functioning of the European External Action Service and its scrutiny in the UK and the EU. It is not an attempt to define policy in this area. For information on the institutional issues or policy developments, contact Vaughne Miller on extn 4327 or Claire Taylor on extn 3852. See also SN/IA/5558 The European External Action Service
03.06.2011EC Defence Equipment Directives
In 2009 two EU directives were adopted relating to the procurement of defence and security related goods and services, and the intra-EU transfer of defence goods. Both of those directives must be transposed into UK law in 2011. This note examines the background to these Directives, the specific provisions in each of them and current plans for transposition.

Research Papers

01.07.2013Leaving the EU
The Treaty on European Union provides for a Member State to leave the EU, either on the basis of a negotiated withdrawal agreement or without one. If the UK were to leave the EU following a referendum, it is likely that the Government would negotiate an agreement with the EU, which would probably contain transitional arrangements as well as provide for the UK's long-term future relations with the EU. There is no precedent for such an agreement, but it would in all likelihood come at the end of complex and lengthy negotiations.
01.11.2012European Union (Croatian Accession and Irish Protocol) Bill [Bill 76 of 2012-13]
Croatia is expected to join the EU in July 2013. This Bill would allow the UK to ratify Croatia's accession treaty and would also cover the Protocol to the Lisbon Treaty put forward by the Irish Government.
08.06.2006European Security and Defence Policy: Developments Since 2003
04.12.2002European Parliament (Representation) Bill (HL 7 2002/03)
European Parliament (Representation) Bill ( Bill 7 of 2002/03).House of Commons Library Research Paper 02/78.
02.05.2001European security and defence policy: Nice and beyond
The European Council held in Nice between 7-9 December 2000 unveiled the results of two years work on what is now termed the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP).

Select Committee Reports

17.05.2011The EU internal security strategy.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
18.01.2011Future inter-parliamentary scrutiny of EU foreign, defence and security policy.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
12.01.2011Future inter-parliamentary scrutiny of EU foreign, defence and security policy.
Foreign Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]


  • Research Papers (RP) - briefings produced by the House of Commons Library on Bills, topical issues and regular statistics
  • Standard Notes (SN) - shorter, topical briefings from the Commons Library
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POST Notes - short briefing notes produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - papers compiled by the House of Lords Library on Bills and for debates in the Lords
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses

UK Parliament committee