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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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    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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    02July 2001

    In nuclear matters more than in any other political area, perceptions have the force of law. The most concrete nuclear technology would count for little without the extremely sophisticated theories of uncertainty that form the basis of any nuclear deterrence strategy. Yet for the last few years both the technological and intellectual worlds of deterrence, as mankind has known it since 1945, have been in turmoil on all continents.

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