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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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    19September 2014

    This Brief provides an assessment of the impacts of the Ebola virus following its rapid expansion across West Africa. But what is the likelihood of the epidemic becoming a threat of global concern? Can the international community now orchestrate a coordinated response to contain its spread?

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    04September 2014

    The EU is taking over Italy’s Mare Nostrum operation, after the arrival of 108,000 irregular migrants in Italian waters. This Brief assesses the prospects for Operation Triton, the Union’s most ambitious border mission to date.

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    27June 2014

    As Islamic extremists continue their advance across Iraq, this Brief takes stock of terrorism-related developments in the Middle East and North Africa. What factors explain the escalation in terror attacks? And what steps – legal or otherwise – are governments taking to counter the ‘jihadi highway’ that now spans the region?

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    13June 2014

    Trade has often been touted as an area where Washington and European capitals – with a little help from Brussels – could create common ground. While regulatory challenges abound, what role does energy play in the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership?

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    06June 2014

    Tackling an emotive issue, this Alert provides an overview of what steps the Union has taken in order to deal with uncontrolled maritime migration on its southern borders. What more might be done in order to break the ‘business model’ of organised people smugglers who prey on the vulnerable?

  • 23May 2014

    On 23 May, the EU Institute for Security Studies hosted a double event in Brussels ‘Crisis management 2014: the EU record’ in order to present both its ‘Yearbook of European Security: YES 2014’ and the EUISS/EEAS book ‘Crisis Rooms: towards a global network?’

  • 10April 2014

    The EUISS hosted a seminar on European energy security on Thursday 10 April in Brussels in order to facilitate a free exchange of ideas on the energy security dimension of EU energy policy and introduce the latest EUISS energy-related report.

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    28March 2014

    Following the rise of China’s economy and subsequent discussions on the efficient use of resources, this Brief examines how China is seeking to manage its growing import dependency through diversification. With the EU and China becoming the world’s two most important energy importers, what effect will this have on the global energy markets?

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    14March 2014

    The use of information and communication technology is becoming a key asset in crisis management. But how can digitally connected crowds of people add similar value to other policy areas? This Brief contemplates the deployment of crowd-sourcing to counter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

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    14March 2014

    The rise of cybercrime and the threat this poses to the digital economy has led to increased awareness of the importance of a coordinated approach to internet governance, and of the need for intergovernmental mechanisms to support this. This Brief looks at the prospects for increased cyber defence cooperation at both international and regional levels.

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  • 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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    01December 2002

    Most Americans see the regime of Saddam Hussein as a major threat to regional and international security that must be thwarted, even if that means threatening or even using military force. If Saddam were to acquire nuclear weapons, they fear, he would seek to use them to dominate the Middle East, possibly invading his neighbours as he has in the past and perhaps deterring the United States from stopping him.

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    01December 2002

    UNSC Resolution 1441 has given the Iraqi regime a last opportunity to abandon any WMD programmes. If Iraq does not comply fully with the resolution or if inspections show that Iraq is indeed hiding WMD, the Security Council will have to consider the situation and decide what measures must be taken to maintain international peace and security.

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    01December 2002

    The events of 11 September moved all Europeans but were never understood for what they really were: the return of war to the most developed societies. The emotion thus quickly gave way to the belief that this had been an isolated event, or at least one that would not be repeated on the same scale.

  • 01September 2002

    It has become commonplace to say that the events of 11 September have changed international affairs dramatically. With regard to nuclear affairs, this is also partly the case. The terrorist attacks themselves had no direct nuclear implications, but they gave new impetus to ongoing change in the nuclear landscape.

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