Since 2016 the capability issue is ubiquitous within the EU bodies. Although the topic is not new, it becomes vital now if Europeans – through the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) – really want to give credibility to European defence through integration of instruments, means and capabilities.

A window of opportunity seems to have recently opened up to achieving a major qualitative leap in this matter. The long-awaited launch of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), the Capability Development Plan (CDP), the definition of Key Strategic Activities (KSA) (skills, industrial capacities) by the European Defence Agency, the coordinated annual review on defence (CARD), the Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR), the Commission’s new role in funding defence activities; so many new promising avenues for cooperations, but so many projects in which Member States will have difficulties to leave their national reflex behind.

In a context disrupted by Brexit and shaken up by Russia’s stance, transatlantic trade tensions and national financial priorities, the capability issue – whether it is, for example, expressed in a trilateral (Future Combat Air System – FCAS), collective (Airbus A‑400M) or « à la carte » cooperation framework – represents nowadays the major challenge the EU has to respond to in order to reduce the waste of resources and harmonise military programmes while hoping to reach a strategic autonomy.

In order to shed light on the capability approach within the European Defence framework, we are pleased to welcome Mr Jean-Pierre Maulny, deputy director of IRIS, l’Institut de relations internationales et stratégiques.

This conference will take place on Thursday 25 April 2019 at 17:00 hours in the conference centre of the Campus Renaissance (entrance: rue Hobbema 8, 1000 Brussels). The lecture will be given in French with simultaneous translation into Dutch and English. Parking is available on the Cinquantenaire esplanade in front of the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History. We are looking forward to welcoming you and kindly ask you to confirm your participation by registering online on the RHID’s website:

Pre-registration is mandatory to access the premises and must reach us not later than Friday 19 April 2019. 


16:30                 Registration

17:00                 Conference and Q & A

18:30-19:30        Reception