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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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    26June 2015

    With law enforcement agencies pooling resources to counter ISIL's online propaganda, this Alert seeks to raise awareness of the jihadists’ use of the so-called ‘Dark Web’, the hidden underbelly of the little explored Deep Web.

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    26June 2015

    When it comes to counterinsurgencies, violence merely begets violence. So what exactly is needed to successfully tackle insurgents? And why is it that Arab governments and militaries have such a poor track record in this domain?

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    17June 2015

    The Arctic region is currently undergoing major and rapid transformation, both environmentally and economically. This report, the outcome of a EUISS Task Force, examines how these changes carry significant political implications, and highlights the new security challenges that are emerging in the region.

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    15June 2015

    This report derives from a colloquium on the theme of ‘Women & War’ organised jointly by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) which took place on 30 September 2014 in Brussels. The proceedings of this colloquium have been written by the speakers or by the Delegation of the ICRC in Brussels on the basis of audio recordings of the event.

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    05June 2015

    Industrial espionage – i.e. the theft of trade secrets, intellectual property, and scientific know-how from enterprises and research centres – is on the rise worldwide. This Alert assesses state-sponsored industrial espionage in peacetime, and seeks to highlight the threat it poses to national and economic security.

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    24April 2015

    45 years after its inception, the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) faces old and new challenges. This Brief surveys recent developments ahead of the 2015 Review Conference of the Treaty. As a microcosm of the regime, the European Union is uniquely positioned to bridge the NPT’s main divides.

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    15April 2015

    This independent report commissioned by members of the G7, identifies seven compound climate-fragility risks that pose serious threats to the stability of states and societies in the decades ahead. Based on an assessment of existing policies on climate change adaptation, development cooperation and humanitarian aid, and peacebuilding, the report recommends that the G7 take concrete action to tackle climate-fragility risks and increase the resilience of states and societies to them.

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    13March 2015

    What progress has been made in Asia with regard to Search and Rescue (SAR) and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations since the aviation disasters of last year? Can anything positive emerge from the tragedies?

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    13March 2015

    With the next summit of the Arctic Council expected to deal with the EU’s pending application to become a recognised observer in the organisation, this Alert takes a look at the cooperation efforts – and tensions – in the far north.

  • 13March 2015

    On 13 March, the EUISS and the China Institute for Contemporary International Relations (CICIR) held their annual exchange of views in Beijing.

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    14March 2014

    Following the proposal to prepare an EU Cyber Defence Policy Framework at last December's European Council, this Brief seeks to explore how the EU can improve its cyber-defence capabilities and thereby better protect its critical infrastructure. What is there, for example, to be learned from international partners in this ‘greenfield’ domain?

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    28February 2014

    Sub-Saharan Africa is both blessed with immense energy resources and challenged by desperate energy poverty. This Brief explains how, as Europe diversifies its energy suppliers and seeks improved energy security, a focus on better energy governance and improved energy sustainability in Africa can help manage this contradiction.

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    14February 2014
    With contributions from

    This report undertakes an appraisal of global energy trends and lays out priorities for the EU to improve its energy security through action in the international arena. The shale gas revolution in the US, the nuclear meltdown in Japan, the rising use of coal in emerging economies and the shift of economic gravity to the Asia-Pacific have all complicated energy policy-making in Europe.

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    18December 2013

    Following the Climate Change Conference held in Warsaw last month, this alert examines the difficult balancing act facing the EU as it struggles to reduce emissions in a manner that protects both its economy and the environment.

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    06December 2013

    This brief explores the impact on US foreign policy of the so-called ‘shale revolution’. With an ever-decreasing dependence on foreign energy producers, is the US on course to become independent from world energy markets? What impact will this have on the (often politically unstable) regions upon which the US has hitherto relied and, perhaps more unsettlingly for Europeans, on the transatlantic partnership?

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    29November 2013

    Making use of all available resources is of paramount importance to mitigate the social and economic costs of humanitarian and natural disasters. This alert examines how information and communication technologies, coupled with crowd-sourcing – the practice of obtaining information, ideas and services from large (often online) groups of people – are increasingly proving to be valuable tools in tackling some of the key challenges in such situations.

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    08November 2013

    With volatility and uncertainty set to define global energy markets in the coming decade, well-designed energy policies will ensure that EU achieves the energy security it desires. How can this be achieved? And is it possible to effectively pursue energy security whilst taking into account environmental concerns – notably those related to climate change?

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    24September 2013

    Analysing recent unexpected developments in the international reaction to the chemical weapons attacks in Syria, this brief examines how the new emphasis on disarmament may actually open up the prospect of a negotiated end to the conflict.

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    18September 2013

    This brief argues that the EU is well-placed to play a key role in the field of cybersecurity policy, due to its unquestioned leadership in data protection and commitment to the values of transparency and the rule of law. It examines how, as a security and diplomatic actor, the EU can develop cyberspace policies and capabilities related to the CSDP and significantly influence the international debate on cyber governance.

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    06September 2013

    In the wake of the chemical attacks that occurred on 21 August in Syria, and the ensuing international outcry, this alert highlights the dangers of instrumentalising chemical warfare allegations in pursuit of other policy goals.

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