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Transnational challenges

There is a growing overlap between the EU’s internal and external security problems. Terrorism, organised crime and unregulated migration not only pose a threat to European internal security, but also have a serious impact on the stability of Europe’s immediate neighbourhood. Very often, they find their roots in conflicts and instability further abroad in Africa or Asia.

For some time, the European Union has been active in international debates on the governance of these challenges, and has created new policy instruments of its own. Already in the early 1990s, the EU successfully linked its home-affairs priorities with its Common Foreign and Security Policy. The 2015 migration crisis showed the limits of that approach, and has sparked a new wave of reforms.

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  • 14September 2020

    The EUISS, together with the EEAS, European Commission, European Cybercrime Center and EU Agency for Cybersecurity - ENISA, hosted the second edition of the EU Cyber Forum.

  • Download Brief
    31July 2020
    Concerns about the ero­sion of the ‘taboo’ on chemical weapons use have deepened in recent years, in particular following the chemical weapons attacks that have taken place in the Syrian conflict. The sanctions regime against the proliferation and use of chemical weapons which the EU adopted in October 2018 constitutes the Union’s first coercive instrument against chemical weapons, and is an attempt by the EU to support the multilateral chemical disarmament regime after efforts to frame a response via the United Nations Security Council failed.
  • Podcast season 2 logo
    15July 2020

    The EUISS' ‘What if’ podcast returns for a second season, this time looking at the foreign policy implication of the covid19 crisis.

  • Download Brief
    11June 2020
    The global crisis caused by the Covid-19 outbreak has had particularly disruptive consequences for conflict-affected countries around the world. Armed groups have capitalised on the crisis, while the global distraction caused by the pandemic has made it difficult to seize opportunities for peace. This Brief analyses key repercussions in conflict-affected countries in general, and in five countries in particular: Colombia, Libya, Sudan, Ukraine and Yemen.
  • Photo of EUISS podcast recording studio
    09June 2020

    The EUISS ‘What if’ podcast is a foreign policy foresight conversation: it looks at fictional scenarios that could happen between now and the end of 2021.

  • Download Brief
    20May 2020
    China has sought to demonstrate that its authoritarian political system has been more efficient at dealing with the coronavirus crisis than Western liberal democratic systems. This Brief examines the validity of this hypothesis, and concludes that predispositional factors – notably the demographic and age profile of a country – as well as whether a state had been previously exposed to a pandemic or not, were more important in shaping the authorities’ response than the political system in place.
  • Download Brief
    30April 2020
    In the three decades after the Cold War, the perception of ‘Arctic exceptionalism’, the sense that the Arctic region is immune from broader geopolitical tensions, prevailed. However, this notion is currently being challenged: climate change is accelerating the opening of new maritime trade routes and exploitation of natural resources in the region, while great power competition between the US, Russia and China in the Arctic is intensifying, changing regional power dynamics.
  • Download Brief
    17April 2020
    The complex nature of cyber conflicts makes it difficult to design effective, targeted conflict prevention instruments. Yet existing approaches to prevent conflict in cyberspace have, so far, brought about very little change in state behaviour. How might the EU lead the way in preventing conflicts from escalating or breaking out?
  • Download Brief
    17March 2020
    In the sanctions practice of the EU, human rights motivations feature prominently, reflecting their centrality to the Union’s foreign policy. This Brief discusses plans to create a new EU sanctions regime addressing gross human rights violations. It examines the various challenges surrounding the initiative and its implementation, and argues that the way forward could be to disaggregate the proposed sanctions regimes into two separate strands: one dealing with breaches of international humanitarian law and a second addressing human rights abuses linked to large-scale transnational corruption.
  • Participants at the EUISS Canada Track 1.5 cyber meeting
    19February 2020

    The EUISS, Global Affairs Canada, EEAS and the CIGI hosted a cyber workshop in Brussels’.

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  • Download Brief
    31July 2020
    Concerns about the ero­sion of the ‘taboo’ on chemical weapons use have deepened in recent years, in particular following the chemical weapons attacks that have taken place in the Syrian conflict. The sanctions regime against the proliferation and use of chemical weapons which the EU adopted in October 2018 constitutes the Union’s first coercive instrument against chemical weapons, and is an attempt by the EU to support the multilateral chemical disarmament regime after efforts to frame a response via the United Nations Security Council failed.
  • Download Brief
    11June 2020
    The global crisis caused by the Covid-19 outbreak has had particularly disruptive consequences for conflict-affected countries around the world. Armed groups have capitalised on the crisis, while the global distraction caused by the pandemic has made it difficult to seize opportunities for peace. This Brief analyses key repercussions in conflict-affected countries in general, and in five countries in particular: Colombia, Libya, Sudan, Ukraine and Yemen.
  • Download Brief
    20May 2020
    China has sought to demonstrate that its authoritarian political system has been more efficient at dealing with the coronavirus crisis than Western liberal democratic systems. This Brief examines the validity of this hypothesis, and concludes that predispositional factors – notably the demographic and age profile of a country – as well as whether a state had been previously exposed to a pandemic or not, were more important in shaping the authorities’ response than the political system in place.
  • Download Brief
    30April 2020
    In the three decades after the Cold War, the perception of ‘Arctic exceptionalism’, the sense that the Arctic region is immune from broader geopolitical tensions, prevailed. However, this notion is currently being challenged: climate change is accelerating the opening of new maritime trade routes and exploitation of natural resources in the region, while great power competition between the US, Russia and China in the Arctic is intensifying, changing regional power dynamics.
  • Download Brief
    17April 2020
    The complex nature of cyber conflicts makes it difficult to design effective, targeted conflict prevention instruments. Yet existing approaches to prevent conflict in cyberspace have, so far, brought about very little change in state behaviour. How might the EU lead the way in preventing conflicts from escalating or breaking out?
  • Download Brief
    17March 2020
    In the sanctions practice of the EU, human rights motivations feature prominently, reflecting their centrality to the Union’s foreign policy. This Brief discusses plans to create a new EU sanctions regime addressing gross human rights violations. It examines the various challenges surrounding the initiative and its implementation, and argues that the way forward could be to disaggregate the proposed sanctions regimes into two separate strands: one dealing with breaches of international humanitarian law and a second addressing human rights abuses linked to large-scale transnational corruption.
  • Download document
    24January 2020
    Edited by

    According to a famous science fiction film, the future is what you make of it. This Chaillot Paper takes this quote from Back to the Future to heart, proposing 14 different portraits of the future for the year 2024.

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    16December 2019
    Maritime security is one of the fundamental strategic interests of the European Union. This Brief focuses on the EU’s ambition to become a maritime security provider in the Indo-Pacific region and explores how might it go about accomplishing this. It shows how a more proactive European involvement in maritime security has the potential to boost ties with Asian countries, promote the Union’s foreign and security objectives in the region and enhance its strategic profile globally.
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    31October 2019

    This Chaillot Paper  – which uses space exploration as a metaphor to demystify some of the concepts and challenges linked to cyber-related policymaking –  focuses on the EU’s cyber sanctions regime.

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    18July 2019

    The 2019 Yearbook of European Security provides an overview of events in 2018 that were significant for European security and charts major developments in the EU’s external action and security and defence policy.

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