War in Ukraine: A clarifying or confusing moment for European security?

Bringing together experts to discuss the evolution of Europe’s security agenda and defence architecture in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Research event
31 May 2022 — 2:00PM TO 4:00PM

2022 was meant to be the year of Euro-Atlantic security strategies, with the EU’s Strategic Compass and NATO’s Strategic Concept, but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February reshuffled priorities and brought a new sense of urgency to the European security debate.

So far reactions to the conflict have reconfirmed both the US commitment to Europe’s security and the necessity for Europeans to take more responsibility for their own security. With the US security guarantee so clearly needed for collective defence, debates on European ‘strategic autonomy’ have taken a back seat – or even been dismissed entirely by some.

But given the threat from Russia, and in the broader context of Washington’s pivot to the Indo-Pacific, the need for Europeans to step up their contributions and provide leadership on their own continent is more acute than ever. Achieving this will require creative thinking and a smart division of labour in order to minimize intra-European competition and keep up the momentum.

Facing a multitude of challenges, how Europeans react today will determine their unity, efficiency and resilience over the next years and beyond.

  • To what extent has the Russian invasion of Ukraine shifted Europe’s priorities?
  • How can Europe differentiate between temporary reactions and structural shifts?
  • How can Europe balance the threat from Russia with other security challenges going forward?
  • How can Europeans maintain a 360-degree approach?
  • What is the best division of labour between NATO and the EU to strengthen Europe’s security architecture?
  • What is the role for bilateral and minilateral cooperation formats?
  • What type of European leadership is required?
  • What constructive role can the UK play?

This event is organized with the additional support of Leonardo.


Jana Puglierin, Senior Policy Fellow and Head of the Berlin office, European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR)
Ed Arnold, Research Fellow for European Security, Royal United Services Institute (RUSI)
Martin Quencez, Fellow and Deputy Director of the Paris office, German Marshall Fund (GMF)
Chair: Alice Billon-Galland, Research Fellow, Europe Programme, Chatham House

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