The European Security and Defence Forum (ESDF) was established to analyse the shifts and developments in national and European security and defence policies and to promote a better understanding of Europe's wider strategic relationship with the United States.

Working in conjunction with the Istituto Affari Internazionali in Rome for the next two years, and supported by Finmeccanica, the Forum will bring the business, NGO, and defence policy community together to reinvigorate public debate about the meaning and role of common security and defence policies. It will investigate areas of international cooperation, as well as identifying potential responses to new and emerging threats and challenges.

The Forum will convene a series of workshops and hold an annual conference. Additional events will also take place to develop specific areas. Over the course of the two years, a series of briefing papers will be published, together with an annual compendium of essays and commentaries known as The Carrington Papers. This will provide the opportunity for dissemination of policy-oriented research and recommendations to policy experts and the wider public.

A Steering Committee provides guidance and advice on the focus and substance of the meetings and reviews the Forum's progress. Members of the Steering Committee include:

  • Sir David Omand GCB, formerly Security and Intelligence Co-ordinator and Permanent Secretary to the Cabinet Office
  • Professor Alyson Bailes, Visiting Professor, University of Iceland; formerly Director, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Bernard Jenkin MP, Defence Select Committee, House of Commons
  • Dr Carlo Musso, Head, Research Department, Finmeccanica
  • William Shapcott, Director General, Personnel and Administration, Council of the European Union
  • Dr Jamie Shea, Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, NATO
  • Professor Stefano Silvestri, President, Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Sir Kevin Tebbit, Chairman, Finmeccanica UK

Funding is underpinned by Finmeccanica, the leading Italian industrial group operating globally in the aerospace, defence and security sectors.

Young Professionals and Academics in ESDF

One central component of the Forum is a focus on young academics and professionals, so that new UK and European voices can be heard at a time of considerable change in European security and strategic thinking.

Workshops on A New European Security Architecture in 2010, and New Transnational Security Challenges and Responses in 2009, featured papers and presentations by young academics.

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