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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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    28October 2015

    This Brief examines the rise of hybrid threats, focusing in particular on Russia’s ongoing info-war against the West. Could the ‘psychological defences’ developed by several countries in Western Europe during the Cold War to counter Soviet propaganda now inspire the EU?

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    22October 2015

    This Alert takes a look at the successes and failures of Turkish refugee policy. What domestic factors are driving the debate in Ankara? And what do Turkish policymakers want and expect from the EU?

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    30September 2015

    October 2015 will mark the fifteenth anniversary of the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women and conflicts. This Brief shows how UNSCR 1325 has contributed to an increased recognition of the importance of gender issues and of women’s role in the EU’s external policies, and examines the Union’s efforts to incorporate the values of the Resolution into its foreign policy toolkit.

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    30September 2015

    As the EU anti-migrant smuggling operation in the Mediterranean sea – known as ‘EUNAVFOR Med’ or ‘Operation Sophia’ – enters its operational phase, this Brief examines the background to the mission and shows how this operation confirms the maritime dimension of CSDP in the management of new types of security threats.

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    07September 2015

    Home affairs matters such as border control, crime-fighting and counter-terrorism are all increasingly subject to international rule-setting and cooperation. This Chaillot Paper explores the genesis of ‘home affairs diplomacy’ and how it has taken shape.

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    24July 2015

    In May 2015, the EU-28, Switzerland and Norway received the highest number of asylum applications on record. What is the EU doing to address the matter? And will these refugee pressures remain a permanent feature of world affairs?

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    09July 2015

    The sanctions against North Korea have been costly and technically difficult to implement. And since Pyongyang deems its nuclear programme to be essential for its national security (and therefore non-negotiable), their effectiveness in terms of non-proliferation has been limited.

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    03July 2015

    While lowering Europe’s dependence on Russian gas is a long-term endeavour, a recent series of events have introduced new dynamics to the EU-Russia energy relationship. This Brief evaluates the impact of Europe’s efforts, and shows how it has successfully reduced Moscow’s leverage.

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    03July 2015

    With the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) on climate fast approaching, hopes for finally clinching a robust global climate deal are running high. This Alert assesses the current state of play of the negotiations and looks at the remaining key challenges to be tackled in the run-up to summit.

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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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    18June 2008

    EU-Sanktionen gegen den Iran wären genau das fehlende Element, das den Anhängern Ahmadinejads noch abgeht, um sich mit ihren anti-westlichen Ansichten voll durchsetzen zu können. Über Iran, Israel und Europas Energiesicherheit.

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    03March 2008

    The debate over missile defence in Europe is likely to remain on the political agenda for the foreseeable future as discussions evolve on both sides of the Atlantic. This policy brief provides basic background information on missile defence and highlights some of the principal political and security aspects associated with missile defence in Europe.

  • 01July 2007

    Missile defence in Europe is currently a hotly debated topic in international security. It has animated discussions and raised issues at multiple levels, including ramifications for international relations (e.g. between the US and Russia), intra-EU relations (e.g. concerning national positions), and institutional relations (e.g. the role of NATO).

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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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