Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

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: Policy Briefs

Working Papers

Title: Developing EU Civil Military Co-ordination: The Role of the New Civilian Military Cell
Authors: Giovanni Gasparini, Roberto Menotti, Nicoletta Pirozzi, Stephen Pullinger (ed), Gerrard Quille
Date: June 2006

Title: An Action Plan for European Defence. Implementing the Security Strategy
Authors: Alyson JK Bailes, Giovanni Gasparini, Roberto Menotti, Annalisa Monaco, Gerard Quille, Tomas Valasek
Date: May 2005

Title: Tactical nuclear weapons: Europe's redundant weapons of mass destruction
Authors: Hugh Beach
Date: April 2004

Title: Feasibility Study on the European Civil Peace Corps
Authors: Catriona Gourlay
Date: March 2004

Title: The European Union: Tackline the threat from Weapons of Mass Destruction
Authors: Stephen Pullinger, Gerrard Quille
Date: November 2003

Title: Reducing Threats at the Source: A European Perspective on Cooperative Threat Reduction
Authors: Ian Anthony
Date: November 2003

Title: Combating Small Arms & Light Weapons Proliferation: Scope for Action by the EU
Authors: Anders Holger
Date: June 2003

Title: Building an Integrated and Accountable European Security and Defence Policy
Authors: Catriona Gourlay, Catriona Mace
Date: June 2003

Title: Conflict Commodities: Addressing the Role of Natural Resources in Conflict
Authors: Natalie Pauwels
Date: March 2003

Title: Building Conflict Prevention into the Future of Europe
Authors: Claire Piana
Date: November 2002

Title: Widening Participation in EU Crisis Management
Authors: Kelly Baumgartner
Date: May 2002

Title: Towards a Coherent EU Conflict Prevention Policy in Africa: Challenges for the Belgian Presidency
Authors: Timnit Abraha, Christiane Agboton-Johnson, Jane Backhurst, Sarah Bayne, Max van den Berg, Ladislas Bizimana, Bob Van den Bos, Eddy Boutmans, Peter Beck Christiansen, Frank De Coninck, Paul Eavis, Bruno Hanses, Bizuwork Ketete, Glenys Kinnock, Bethuel Kiplagat, Pa'o Luteru, Nelly Maes, Fatoumata Maiga, Sandra Melone, Cyril Musila, Josephine Odera, James D. Rogers, Heike Schneider, Andrew Sherriff, Andreas Strub, Athanassios Theodorakis, Jan Vanheukelom, Mukambu Ya'Namwisi
Date: September 2001

Title: Reinvigorating Multilateral Arms Control
Authors: Michael Brzoska, Herbert Wulf
Date: May 2001

Title: Cluster Bombs: the Case for New Controls
Authors: Hugh Beach
Date: May 2001

Title: Enhancing the EU's Response to Violent Conflict: Moving Beyond Reaction to Preventive Action
Authors: Gun-Britt Andersson, Ragnar Angeby, Niall Burgess, Kevin Clements, William Newton Dunn, Paul Eavis, Paloma Escudero, Martina Fischer, Armand Franjulien, Catriona Gourlay, Timothy Isles, Joost Lagendijk, Catherine Lalumière, Stefan Lehne, Damian Lilly, Michael Matthiessen, Andy McLean, Peter Meyer, Poul Nielson, Gianni Rufini, Reinhardt Rummel, Pierre Schori, Elizabeth Sellwood, Philip Wilkinson, Frieder Wolf-Buchert
Date: December 2000

Title: US National Missile Defence: Technical Challenges, Political Pitfalls and Disarmament Opportunities
Authors: Gordon R. Mitchell
Date: May 2000

Title: International Security in the Early Twenty-First Century
Authors: Paul Rogers
Date: February 2000

Title: The Emerging Verification Protocol
Authors: Stephen Pullinger
Date: October 1999

Title: The Danger from Deliberate Disease
Authors: Stephen Pullinger
Date: October 1999

Title: The European Parliament's Role in Scrutinising Defence and Security: An Uncertain Future
Authors: Catriona Gourlay
Date: February 1999

Title: An Uncertain Furture for Central European Defence Industries
Authors: Paul Cook
Date: January 1999

Title: Illicit Light Weapons Trafficking
Authors: Elizabeth Clegg, Owen Greene, Geraldine O¹Callaghan
Date: December 1998

Title: The Future of the European Union's Common Foreign and Security Policy
Authors: Alyson Bailes, Bronwyn Brady, Krister Bringeus, Fraser Cameron, Patricia Chilton, Sophia Clement, Joao de Deus Pinheiro, Thomas Eckert, Paolo Foresti, Kiflemariam Gebrewold, Alain Gresh, Tim Hancock, Hubert Heiss, Bernd Hemingway, Rebecca Johnson, Birchara Khader, Glenys Kinnock, Christian Kudlich, Alexandra Laignel-Lavastine, Lotte Leicht, Vasilij Likhachev, Elie Marcuse, Ognyan Minchev, Alberto Navarro, Pauline Neville-Jones, Jesus Nunez, David Nyheim, Geraldine O'Callaghan, John Palmer, Eric Remacle, Francisco Rey, Peter Ricketts, Jannis Sakellariou, Peter Saveiys, Karen Smith, Claire Spencer, Tom Spencer, Stelios Stavrides, Johannes Swoboda, Thierry Tardy, Maj Theorin, Peter Truscott, Janos Vandor, Brian Wood
Date: September 1998

Title: Sharpening the Weapons of Peace
Date: April 1998

Title: Albania: Conflict Prevention and Crisis Management
Authors: Gabriel Partos
Date: December 1997

Title: The OSCE, NATO, and European Security in the Twenty-First Century
Authors: John Borawski, Bruce George
Date: November 1997

Title: A Review of the Ottawa Process to Ban Landmines
Authors: Nicola Short
Date: November 1997