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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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    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.

  • 19November 2013

    A closed expert meeting was held on 19 November 2013 in Brussels as part of the EUISS Task Force’s activities on cyber security. Representatives from EU institutions, international organisations, research institutes as well as the private sector debated issues such as capacity building, the digital economy and cybercrime.

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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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    15July 2013

    With the Arctic emerging as the new geopolitical hotspot, future developments will be defined by the tensions between the exploitation of natural resources and attempts to preserve the region. In this context, the EU, as a champion of regulatory policy, could contribute significantly to the sustainable development of the High North.

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    01November 2006
    With contributions from

    In its 2003 strategy against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the EU underscores that it is ‘committed to the multilateral treaty system’ – considering it the legal and normative stepping stone for all non-proliferation efforts.

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    19October 2006

    Following its underground test on 9 October, carried out in defiance of international warnings, it is probable that North Korea has become the world’s ninth nuclear power. Whilst there were initially some doubts as to the strength or the exact nature of the detonation the presence of radioactive particles in North Korea has been now confirmed by US spy planes as well as by neighbouring Russia and Japan.

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    01October 2005

    If any Europeans observing the 9/11 atrocities in the United States had comforted themselves with the belief that Europe was immune from such attacks, this illusion was tragically shattered by the bombings in Madrid (2004) and London (2005) which resulted in the slaughter of many civilians.

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    01September 2005

    The European Security Strategy (ESS) issued by the EU in December 2003 devoted its first chapter to what it called ‘global challenges’. Most of those challenges –poverty, infectious disease, drought and famine, violent conflict – affect the Europe of today only indirectly and/or moderately. By contrast, some of them – global warming, infrastructural disruptions, migration flows – may affect European societies in a much more dramatic fashion in the future.

  • 15July 2005

    After four weeks of diplomatic arm-wrestling, the 2005 Review Conference on the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in New York ended on 27 May in failure. The final document adopted by the 153 delegations listed conference officials and how many meetings were held, but did not contain a single decision or recommendation on any important issue

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    01April 2005

    The European Union has identified the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction as a key threat to its security, and considers the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as a cornerstone of its strategy of fighting the spread of WMD. A successful outcome of the NPT Review Conference in May 2005 is thus of essential interest to the Union.

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    01March 2005

    The Internet has opened a new area of communication and information, enabling us to transfer enormous amounts of digital data for a great variety of applications within fractions of a second around the globe. It is therefore no surprise that it has become, within only a few years, the spinal column of modern societies. Citizens, research institutions, private business, NGOs, political parties and public services all increasingly depend in their daily life and work on interlinked information systems and networks.

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    01July 2004

    The Sarin attacks carried out by the Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo in Matsumoto and Tokyo highlighted the threat posed by non-state actors equipped with non-conventional weapons. Although the number of casualties was limited, the attack signalled a cause for concern.

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    01December 2003

    Since the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 and the war in Iraq, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction has become a top priority for European policy-makers. According to the European Security Strategy, it is potentially the greatest threat to the EU’s security, in particular if it is linked to terrorism.

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    01March 2003

    Security thinking has undergone a significant evolution since the end of the Cold War. The scope of the subject has been extended from the nation-state to societal groups and individuals, and areas covered now include health, the environment, protection against crime and economic disruption, and culture.

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