Latest EU Commission Proposal to Reinforce EU Defence Industry: A new Regulation Establishing the European Defence Industry Reinforcement Through Common Procurement Act (EDIRPA) for 2022-2024

Boosted by the current UE’s geopolitical context, this Regulation proposal echoed previous initiatives (the European Defence Industrial Development Programme, the Preparatory Action on Defence Research, and the European Defense Fund) and was shaped to complete them consistently. Those instruments aim to rethink the EU’s defence plans and capacities and enhance responsibility assumptions. The European Council triggered the EDIRPA Regulation initiative last May during the Versailles Declaration dating from 11 March (Informal meeting of the Heads of State or Government Versailles Declaration, 2022).

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A Coordinated European Response to Hybrid Threats

In recent years, the topic of hybrid threats has become increasingly critical until being considered the 21st security challenge. Whereas the concept of hybrid threats may be considered new, linked to the developments of new technologies, it is not. Many of the tools of hybrid warfare are old, with the main exception being represented by the ones belonging to the cyber realm. However, the development of new technologies boosted the use of old tools, such as propaganda, by lowering their costs. Undoubtedly, the new reality in which we live increases the effectiveness of hybrid threats, because their strength lies in the possibility of combining activities and tools from different arenas. For example, the changes in the information and media landscape made the domain appealing to state and non-state actors for disinformation activities.

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U.S Army Decline: A Comparative Look at American and European Armies

On 4 April 2022, The American Defence Department announced that their budget request would entail a policy shrinking of the army services by 12,000 troops leading to an overall 473,000 soldiers left in 2023. In a fragile period, due to the Russia-Ukraine war, which has led several European countries to reinforce their military services, the U.S is taking a somewhat oxymoron path. The main reason behind the U.S Army’s decision to cut down on soldiers is because the recruitment process has come across several hindrances which push young people away, especially in the past few years. In other words, according to an army official, the institution struggled to achieve the recruitment goal for 2022 and will probably not reach the 2023 goal based on the previous year. Army officials suggest that this is one of the most challenging eras for recruitment since 1973.

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NATO and Climate Change: a crossroads between adaptation and awareness

Anthropocene is the name of the current geological era, in which humanity acts on the planet as a geophysical force (Stromberg, 2013). Human adaptability to the new era consists of the ability to generate new tools that can navigate technological challenges, ingrained habits of thought and the fabric of everyday life, and to describe the disproportionate influence humans exert on their environment and global ecology (Caprioglio, 2019). From this narrative, the defence sector is not exempt. This is reflected in the process of adapting to new challenges has caused NATO's focus to be broadened to include risks arising from climate change. Although the 2010 NATO Strategic Concept mentions climate change, the Atlantic Alliance has only recently begun to address the issue in a more concrete way.

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The Role of Conventional Forces in Modern Warfare and the European need of Innovation and Harmonisation

In recent years hybrid and cyber warfare have become the main focus in the defence sector. New technologies mean new threats, adapting defence capabilities to innovation is critical to maintain high-efficiency levels. During the NATO Madrid summit, which took place on 29th-30th, the issue of cybersecurity and disinformation was on the agenda, and necessary steps were included in the final declaration and in the new Strategic Concept. NATO announced a new defence and deterrence posture across the cyber domain to fight against new threats and challenges and stressed the necessity to increase resilience. However, the last events that occurred in our continent seem to be highlighting an unavoidable fact: conventional forces still play a fundamental role.

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