Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York

Security and Defence

Towards a Strategic Compass

In an era of strategic competition and complex security threats, conflicts and sources of instability are multiplying in our neighbourhood and beyond. We are facing growing hybrid threats, cyber-attacks and foreign manipulation of information. Climate change is a growing threat-multiplier leading to further instability and crises. The high seas, outer space and the digital sphere are increasingly central to our prosperity and wellbeing, yet the rules that govern their access are increasingly contested.

In a world that is becoming more challenging to European interests and values, we need to unite and develop a common European answer. The Strategic Compass :

  • provides a shared assessment of our strategic environment, the threats and challenges we face and their implications for the EU.
  • brings greater coherence and a common sense of purpose to actions in the area of security and defence that are already underway.
  • sets out new ways and means to improve our collective ability to defend the security of our citizens and our Union.
  • sets clear targets and milestones to measure our progress.


Foreword by HR/VP Josep Borrell: A Strategic Compass to make Europe a Security Provider

Factsheet: Towards a Strategic Compass

Q&A: Strategic Compass - Threat analysis



12/11/2021 - Project Syndicate - The European Union is at risk of "strategic shrinkage," owing to geopolitical, economic, and ideological pressures from all sides. Safeguarding European citizens, interests, and values will require new thinking about the EU's security and defense responsibilities and the capacities it needs to fulfill them


12/11/2021 - High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell gave a group interview on the Strategic Compass, which will be discussed by EU foreign affairs and defence ministers next week.


More on EU Security and Defence

The EU has identified and implemented concrete measures to strengthen the cooperation on security and defence through new structures and frameworks, enhanced oversight and coordination mechanisms as well as financing tools to trigger joint defence research and development.

Civilian Missions work for human security

The EU strengthens cooperation on security and defence (European Council website)

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