Sophia Besch

Centre for European Reform

Sophia Besch is a DAAD/AGI Research Fellow from September to December 2021. She is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for European Reform’s (CER) Berlin office and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council Europe Center. She works on European defense issues, with a focus on EU defense industrial cooperation, German defense policy, the effects of Brexit on defense cooperation, and EU-NATO relations. Ms. Besch holds Master’s degrees from the London School of Economics and Sciences Po Paris and is currently pursuing a PhD at King’s College London.

Ms. Besch’s dissertation is concerned with the EU’s decision to establish the European Defence Fund, a new initiative that uses EU budget money to incentivize defense industrial cooperation. Specifically, her research centers on the internal interplay of actors that led to this instance of European integration in a traditionally intergovernmental policy field.

During her fellowship at the AGI, Ms. Besch will analyze the transatlantic dimension of the Defence Fund. She will examine how U.S. government and industry actors perceived the EU’s creation of the Fund and what role the defense relationship with the United States played in member-states’ deliberations. This will eventually allow her to draw policy-relevant conclusions about the Fund’s implications for defense cooperation between the United States and Europe.

The DAAD/AGI Research Fellowship is supported by the DAAD with funds from the Federal Foreign Office.

Recent Content


Rebooting the U.S.-EU Defense Relationship

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Sophia Besch, DAAD/AGI Research Fellow

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