The Director of The Finnish Institute of International Affairs Teija Tiilikainen has been assigned to a high level group established by the European Commission (Group of Personalities). The group is to produce a vision of the role of European Union in research related Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) in 2020s and to guide ongoing preparations regarding the CSDP-related research program. The multinational working group consists of 16 high level delegates and it is chaired by the Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Elżbieta Bieńkowska. The group consists of representatives from academia and industry as well as politicians. Other delegates include for example former Prime minister of Sweden Carl Bildt, Airbus Group CEO Tom Enders, former Chief Executive of European Defence Agency Nick Witney and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.

The preparation of the CSDP-related research program is implemented in collaboration between the European Commission, European Defence Agency and member states. The objective of the research program is to enhance defence capabilities and industrial competitiveness of member states. Political endorsement for the research program was given at the European Council in December of 2013. With this research program, defence related research would be financed from the common Union budget. The CSDP-related research program will bring more options in capability development and create new opportunities for defence industry. The program will also enable better coordination of research priorities at national and European Union levels.

Previously a similar group was assembled at 2003 and 2004 when it defined the future vision and priorities for European security research program. At that time the group consisted of 27 high level politicians, researchers, civil servants and representatives from industry. Commissioner Erkki Liikanen was one of group?s chairmen, while President Martti Ahtisaari acted as a group member.

Further information: Director of Research Juha Martelius, Research Unit of Ministry of Defence, tel. 0295 140 350 and Director Teija Tiilikainen, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs Policy, tel. 09 432 7701.