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

Europe tests the waters for a stronger defence policy: EU leaders must agree on where threats to the continent originate

Europe tests the waters for a stronger defence policy: EU leaders must agree on where threats to the continent originate

Financial Times
13 August 2020
For the past four years, the EU has trumpeted its plans to invest in defence. This summer’s budget negotiations were a test of its ambitions. Now that the dust is settling, where is EU defence headed?
US, EU, China dice

CER podcast: The EU, the US and China: Irresponsible stakeholders in the global order?

08 April 2020
The EU, the US  and China are the most important economic blocs in the world. But trade, political and security relations between them are becoming dangerously tense. Can the EU calm things down?

EU's institutional framework regarding defence matters

European Parliament
20 March 2020
The new initiatives and developments in the EU’s institutional defence architecture in recent years have the potential to make the Union a more capable defence actor.

The challenges ahead for EU defense co-operation

22 January 2020
As the European Union enters a new institutional era in 2020, its ability to sustain the recent defense momentum will be scrutinized.

CER podcast: Can Europe overcome its paralysis on Palestine?

15 January 2020
The EU has struggled to take decisive action on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Developing a home-grown European defence equipment market

02 December 2019
President Emmanuel Macron’s man in the European Commission will struggle to make headway on developing a home-grown European defence equipment market.

The European Commission in EU Defense Industrial Policy

Carnegie Europe
22 October 2019
The European Commission has become more involved in EU defense policy. To see changes implemented, however, it must prove it can help the EU develop into a more capable defense actor.

No escaping an arms export policy

Berlin Policy Journal
10 October 2019
Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen is “enthusiastically working toward a defense union.” Without a co-ordinated stance on European arms exports, this could prove difficult. 

Who should hold Europe's arms?

Project Syndicate
25 September 2019
Although the EU has one of the world's strongest arms-export frameworks, the rules are not enforced. If Europe is to have any chance of deepening defense co-operation, let alone creating a defense union, that must change.

CER podcast: Meet the new European Commission

24 September 2019
Agata Gostyńska-Jakubowska talks to Sophia Besch about the new European Commission. Who are Ursula von der Leyen's new commissioners – and what happens next?