Nick Witney joined the ECFR first in Paris, now in London as a Senior Policy Fellow after serving as the first Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency in Brussels.
Nick was chosen by Javier Solana in January 2004 to lead the project team charged with developing the concept and blue-print for the Agency. Following the approval by the European Council of the team's proposals in July 2004 (an achievement recognised by the European Voice in nominating Nick one of its 50 ‘Europeans of the Year'), he was appointed to establish and run the Agency for its first 3 years.
Nick's previous career, after reading Classics at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, was spent in British Government service, first with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and later with the Ministry of Defence (MOD). As a diplomat he learned Arabic in Lebanon and Jordan, served in Baghdad, and spent 4 years as Private Secretary to the British Ambassador in Washington. With the MOD, his career covered a wide range of responsibilities: planning and finance; defence exports (the Al Yamamah programme with Saudi Arabia); nuclear policy; the defence estate (he ran the privatisation of the MOD's married quarters housing stock); the new Labour Government's 1998 Strategic Defence Review; the forward Equipment Programme; and defence industrial policy. His last job before Brussels was as the MOD's Director-General of International Security Policy where he was responsible for NATO and EU policy as well as missile defence.
Languages: English, French, Arabic
Areas of Expertise: International relations; International Security Policy; the European Security and Defence Policy; military capabilities development; defence equipment cooperation; research and industry; the Middle East and North Africa, the Middle East Peace Process.
Europe and the Vanishing Two-state Solution, report, published May 2013
Europe's Strategic Cacophony, brief (co-authored), published April 2013
How to Stop the Demilitarisation of Europe, brief, published November 2011
Egypt’s Hybrid Revolution: a Bolder EU Approach, brief (co-authored), published May 2011
After the Revolution: Europe and the Transition in Tunisia, brief (co-authored), published March 2011
Towards a post-American Europe: A Power Audit of EU-US Relations, report, published 2 November 2009
Re-energising Europe's Security and Defence Policy, report, published 29 July 2008.
Other recent publications include:
Procurement and War, chapter in the Oxford Handbook on War, Oxford University Press, published January 2012.
During a 1993/94 sabbatical with RAND in Santa Monica, California, he authored "The British Nuclear Deterrent after the Cold War" and, with Olivier de Bouzy and Robert A. Levine, "Western European Nuclear Forces". He was also published in "Survival".