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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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    29January 2016

    With the suspicion that two newly-registered refugees carried out the November Paris attacks, this Alert explores – and debunks – fears that refugee flows from the Middle East have become a backchannel for terrorists entering Europe.

  • 12January 2016

    This conference brought together European policy experts to review the COP21 climate conference in Paris, and to discuss the integration of climate change into the EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy (EUGS).

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    10December 2015

    Given the radically altered international environment, how can the EU best adapt its border regime? This Brief shows how it will require an innovative response, rather than replicating at an EU level the classical attributes of a national model.

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    10December 2015

    How could the EU help bridge the gap between energy and climate policies? This Alert argues that by doing so there is an opportunity to both improve European energy security in the long term and to make European climate diplomacy more effective.

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    04December 2015

    This Brief examines the first use of the Integrated Political Crisis Response (IPCR) arrangements in response to the refugee crisis in Europe. How do they work? Can this new instrument foster a real joined-up approach to EU crisis response?

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    04December 2015

    Member states have twice come close to activating the EU’s ‘solidarity clause’, and both cases have involved an internal security crisis with roots outside the Union. But will EU member states only properly support each other if they also feel able to eliminate the root causes overseas?

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    27November 2015

    Climate change is a 'wicked problem' and efforts to address it have been slow, uneven, and politically divisive. But building on the lessons of past debacles, diplomats and negotiators have begun to apply a series of elements, useful for addressing wicked problems, that have changed climate diplomacy for the better.

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    27November 2015

    How successful has the EU been in implementing gender mainstreaming and achieving gender balance in its CSDP missions and operations?

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    27November 2015

    While necessary for the climate, working through the costs and benefits of going green is an economic challenge with strategic implications. What factors will influence national efforts, and international negotiations, to cut out carbon? This Brief looks into the geopolitics of adjusting to a post-oil age.

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    17November 2015

    Following the horrific attacks in Paris, this Alert shows how ISIL is, in fact, a cult: an authoritarian organisation which brainwashes its members to the point where mass murder and self-annihilation become not only logical, but desirable.

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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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