Sophia Besch

Sophia Besch

Senior research fellow (Based in Berlin)
Areas of expertise 

EU Common Security and Defence Policy, European defence industry integration, NATO, German security and defence policy

Twitter 
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Ditchley conference report: COVID-19, the global economy and the return of power politics

22 January 2021
At the CER's Ditchley economics conference, participants discussed the global role of the EU in the aftermath of the pandemic, with faltering trade and investment and growing strategic competition between the US and China.

Choosing Merkel's successor: None of the above?

12 January 2021
The competition for ‘Merkel voters’ has started, and the CDU needs a leader able to keep her broad coalition of supporters together. That may well be health minister Jens Spahn.

European strategic autonomy and a new transatlantic bargain

11 December 2020
The distinction between a European path and a transatlantic path in European defence is misguided. Europeans should focus on improving their capabilities and developing a common strategic outlook.

Europe, the US and China: A love-hate triangle?

21 September 2020
The EU risks being caught between an increasingly hostile US and China. It must manage relations with both in order to protect the rules-based global order.

Will Germany rethink defence, too?

27 July 2020
COVID-19 has forced Germany to rethink its economic orthodoxy. A similar rethink of its defence and security outlook will take time. 

Can the EU's defence ambitions survive budget cuts?

26 March 2020
The proposed cuts to the EU’s defence budget will not put an end to the EU’s ambitions. But they show that, on defence, the Union is only as effective as member-states allow it to be.

Defence without direction

28 November 2019
The EU is strengthening its defence capabilities, but Europeans risk losing sight of how they want to use them.

Can the European Commission develop Europe's defence industry?

18 November 2019
The EU aims to develop a home-grown European defence equipment market, and has created a new defence industry and space portfolio in the Commission to facilitate this. 

Up in arms: Warring over Europe's arms export regime

10 September 2019
The European Union's poorly co-ordinated arms export policy is undermining Europe's foreign policy, credibility as a principled power and defence industry. The EU should take steps to move towards convergence.

The EU needs an effective common arms export policy

04 June 2019
The EU’s strategic interests and credibility are harmed by its ineffective and incoherent approach to arms export policy.

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