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The Security and Defence in Northern Europe Research Programme (SNE) examines the defence and security challenges facing Northern Europe, and aims to provide fresh insights into how the region’s nations can respond, both individually and collectively.


The three-year programme running from January 2019 to December 2021, explores aspects of security and defence of importance to Northern Europe. It analyses security and defence cooperation, with a particular focus on NATO. In addition, the Programme focuses on non-conventional challenges, the relation between deterrence and reassurance measures, and the strategic implication of technological development.

Through research projects, collaboration with international partners, conferences and seminars, the purpose is to provide insights into the dynamic development of the security situation and cooperative patterns in the region.


The Programme is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Defence.

Aims and Objectives

At a time of rising tensions, unpredictable challenges and emerging technologies, security pressures on Northern Europe are significant and increasing. Both individually and collectively, nations need to understand the threats, risks and opportunities, and explore how to strengthen security cooperation.

This programme brings RUSI experts together with colleagues from the Germany Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies (IFS), and the US Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Through national and collaborative workshops and publications, they will explore how best to respond to the challenges.

Project Team

Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), London
Professor Peter Roberts
Paul O’Neill

Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Washington, D.C. 
Heather Conley 
Rachel Ellehuus

German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), Berlin. 
Dr Christian Mölling

Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies (IFS), Oslo. 
Professor Robin Allers,
Dr Johannes Rø

Project outputs

Security in Northern Europe in the Biden Era: Redesigning MultilateralismRachel Ellehuus, CSIS, April 29 2021
'Global Britain: A New Era in Transatlantic Relations?' Paul O’Neill

'Space as an Operational Domain', Alexandra Stickings, RUSI Newsbrief, 15 October 2020

'The UK's Integrated Review Has Restarted: Are the Key Questions and Assumptions Still Valid?' Peter Roberts, Commentary, 3 July 2020

'NATO 2030: Difficult Times Ahead', Peter Roberts', Commentary, 15 June 2020

'The Global Pandemic, Transatlantic Security and National Defence', Johannes Gullestad Rø, Ingeborg Bjur, Karen-Anna Eggen and Robin Allers (eds.) IFS Insight, 2020

'We Need to Relearn How to Do Deterrence', Jack Watling, Commentary, 5 December 2019

'NATO vs Russia at 70' Peter Roberts, Commentary, 6 November 2019

'European Allies in Multidomain Operations', Jack Watling and Daniel Roper, Occasional Papers, 23 September 2019


Professor Peter Roberts
Director Military Sciences, RUSI
Paul O’Neill
Senior Research Fellow
Peppi Vaananen
Project Officer, Military Sciences