Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

International Security Information Service


The International Security Information Service (ISIS) was founded in 1989 in London to provide factual information and analysis on issues of international defence and security to parliamentarians and other interested parties. Its primary purpose has been to improve the level of understanding of these complex issues, enhance the quality of parliamentary debate in particular, and hence to help to hold the British Government to account for its foreign and defence policies.

In August 1995, ISIS expanded its operation to Brussels where it established a parallel organisation, ISIS Europe, to provide a similar service to a wider European audience. ISIS Europe aim to improve the quality and range of defence and security issues discussed within and between the institutions with competencies in foreign affairs and security policy in Brussels and, increasingly, in other western and eastern European national parliaments.

One of the principal means which ISIS adopts to inform and influence parliamentarians is the publication of briefing papers. These briefings and reports are prepared by experts from material collected from public sources. They are freely and openly available to politicians, civil servants, journalists and others interested in this area of public affairs. Since it was established in September 1995, ISIS Europe has published eighteen such briefings and eleven shorter briefings on developments in the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) negotiations to amend the Maastricht Treaty.

ISIS Europe's specialist reports are customised for, and targeted at, key individuals and committees within the UK and many European parliaments. In order to maximise the impact of its analysis, ISIS employs methods that ensure the material is read by the right person at the most appropriate time. This requires good analytical judgement, personal contact and a trusted relationship with its clientele, and a thorough knowledge of legislative procedures and agendas.

Over the past year ISIS Europe has sought to develop its contacts in central and eastern European parliaments. It is on the basis of this experience that ISIS Europe is now engaged in a research project which examines the role of the parliaments of Central and Eastern European states in influencing and scrutinising foreign and defence policy.

ISIS Europe also engages actively in the work of the European Parliament, acting as a consultancy service to many of its Members and co-ordinating inter-party support for specific initiatives in the field of defence and security. For example it co-ordinates fortnightly inter-party meetings to discuss current legislative initiatives and monthly meetings of the Parliament's Arms Transfers Working Group. This group aims to influence the process of developing stricter European arms export controls and explores ways in which the EU can address the issues of surplus light weapons, illicit trafficking in conventional arms, and the furtherance 'of security first' development assistance policies.

Additional Materials from International Security Information Service: Working Papers

Policy Briefs

Title: Reviewing the Development of European Security and Defence Policy: October 2003
Authors: Holger Anders, Catriona Gourlay, Daniela Manca, Simon Taylor
Date: October 2003

Title: Making multilateralism matter: the EU Security Strategy
Authors: Catriona Gourlay, Catriona Mace, Gerrard Quille
Date: July 2003

Title: Building bridges? What role for the EU in post-war Iraq?
Authors: Catriona Gourlay, Catriona Mace, Jocelyn Mawdsley
Date: May 2003

Title: The EU Reunited? Implications of the Iraq Crisis for CFSP
Authors: Catriona Gourlay, Catriona Mace, Gerrard Quille, Malin Tappert
Date: February 2003

Title: The European Convention and Defence
Authors: Marta Martinelli, Claire Piana, Gerrard Quille, Jamie Woodbridge
Date: December 2002

Title: The Greek Presidency's Programme for the military aspects of ESDP
Authors: Dermot Doyle, Claire Piana, Jamie Woodbridge
Date: September 2002

Title: Putting ESDP to the test: The first crisis management exercise
Authors: Catriona Gourlay, Jamie Woodbridge
Date: July 2002

Title: The EU's progress in mainstreaming conflict prevention
Authors: Catriona Gourlay, Lorraine Mullally, Jamie Woodbridge
Date: May 2002

Title: Putting ESDP to the test: The EU's Police Mission to Bosnia Herzegovina
Authors: Sibylle Bauer, Lorraine Mullally, Jamie Woodbridge
Date: March 2002

Title: The Spanish Presidency's agenda for conflict prevention and civilian crisis management
Authors: Catriona Gourlay, Lorraine Mullally, Jamie Woodbridge
Date: January 2002

Title: The Rapid Reaction Force: The EU takes stock
Authors: Catriona Gourlay, Annalisa Monaco, Lorraine Mullally, Natalie Pauwels, Jamie Woodbridge
Date: December 2001

Title: The EU takes on Terrorism
Authors: Sibylle Bauer, Catriona Gourlay, Marta Martinelli, Lorraine Mullally, Natalie Pauwels
Date: October 2001

Title: Europe Moves Forward on its Own Missile Proliferation Agenda
Authors: Sibylle Bauer, Philippe Manigart, Jens Mosegaard, Sharon Riggle, Thomas Sköld, Simon Taylor
Date: July 2001

Title: Conflict Prevention Takes Centre Stage
Authors: Catriona Gourlay, Natalie Pauwels
Date: June 2001

Title: The Fuss About Turkey
Authors: Catriona Gourlay, Natalie Pauwels, Sharon Riggle, Thomas Sköld
Date: April 2001

Title: Developing a Proactive Approach to EU Conflict Prevention: The first steps
Authors: Sibylle Bauer, Kelly Baumgartner, Catriona Gourlay, Jens Mosegaard, Otfried Nassauer, Sharon Riggle
Date: March 2001

Title: EU Finalises Military Tasks: Much Left To Do
Authors: Sibylle Bauer, Jensen Frederik, Catriona Gourlay, Sharon Riggle, Thomas Sköld
Date: December 2000

Title: Military secrecy in the EU Council provokes legal challenges
Authors: Sibylle Bauer, Jensen Frederik, Catriona Gourlay
Date: October 2000

Title: The EU Rapid Reaction Facility: A quick fix or fudge?
Authors: Sibylle Bauer, Christopher Bollinghaus, Catriona Gourlay, Hiroko Kosaka, Russell Pickard
Date: July 2000