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Russia in the Middle East: From sidelines to centre stage

21-11-2018

In 2011, it looked as if the Arab Spring uprisings would deal a further blow to Russia's declining influence in the Middle East, by toppling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, one of Moscow's few remaining allies in the region. In 2015, Russia launched a military intervention. Though it came at an enormous humanitarian cost, the campaign succeeded in saving Assad's regime, at the same time as reversing the Middle Eastern fortunes of Russia as Assad's main international backer. Russia's involvement ...

In 2011, it looked as if the Arab Spring uprisings would deal a further blow to Russia's declining influence in the Middle East, by toppling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, one of Moscow's few remaining allies in the region. In 2015, Russia launched a military intervention. Though it came at an enormous humanitarian cost, the campaign succeeded in saving Assad's regime, at the same time as reversing the Middle Eastern fortunes of Russia as Assad's main international backer. Russia's involvement in Syria has given its relations with neighbouring countries a new momentum. Despite divergent interests, Iran, Turkey and Israel cooperate with Russia and acknowledge its leadership in Syria. Russia's success in imposing its agenda in Syria has bolstered its influence throughout the wider region. Although Moscow's role is not always a constructive one, it has become a key actor and sometimes a mediator in regional conflicts from Libya to Yemen. Russia's regional clout is also helped by its skilful use of energy cooperation to further economic and geopolitical interests. Russia's drive to become a major Middle Eastern player should be seen in the wider context of global geopolitical rivalry with the United States. Moscow's growing influence in the region is as much the result of Western policy failures as its own strength.

EU Civil Protection Responding to CBRN Incidents and Attacks

03-05-2018

The threat posed by terrorist attacks involving chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) agents or materials is existential for both the EU as a whole and its individual Member States. Therefore the importance of creating, maintaining and effectively employing pre-emptive, preventive, timely responsive countering means is of vital for the protection of EU citizens and the maintenance of peace and security. This in-depth analysis, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department ...

The threat posed by terrorist attacks involving chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) agents or materials is existential for both the EU as a whole and its individual Member States. Therefore the importance of creating, maintaining and effectively employing pre-emptive, preventive, timely responsive countering means is of vital for the protection of EU citizens and the maintenance of peace and security. This in-depth analysis, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Special Committee on Terrorism of the European Parliament (TERR), aims to examine the efficacy of the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) in the event of CBRN terrorist attacks. Although the UCPM is presented as the main emergency management instrument of the EU, it is mainly a post-incident handling tool; hence its preparedness for CBRN terrorist attacks is underdeveloped and requires an immediate improvement. Thus by understanding these shortfalls can Europe collectively be prepared against the threat of CBRN attacks.

Autore esterno

Professor Christian KAUNERT Dr Sarah LEONARD Dr Ikrom YAKUBOV

Member States’ Preparedness for CBRN Threats

03-05-2018

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Special Committee on Terrorism, outlines the threats posed by CBRN weapons, examines how well Europe is prepared for these threats and assesses where preparedness and response could be improved. It suggests that to date, terrorist attacks in Europe have largely utilised conventional weapons where medical staff are able to respond using conventional medicine ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Special Committee on Terrorism, outlines the threats posed by CBRN weapons, examines how well Europe is prepared for these threats and assesses where preparedness and response could be improved. It suggests that to date, terrorist attacks in Europe have largely utilised conventional weapons where medical staff are able to respond using conventional medicine and medical practices. However, threats from the use of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) materials for terrorism remain high and are evolving. The future threats are likely to come from the use of chemical and biological weapons.

Autore esterno

Dr S.N. CHATFIELD

The Mechanisms of Prevention and Detection of CBRN Illegal Material Transfers Across Borders and Within the EU

03-05-2018

This in-depth analysis, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Special Committee on Terrorism of the European Parliament (TERR), examines the challenges pertaining to CBRN illicit trafficking that the European Union faces. Taking into account the new October 2017 CBRN Action Plan as well as existing mechanisms and solutions, it focuses on means to prevent and detect the introduction into and movement within ...

This in-depth analysis, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Special Committee on Terrorism of the European Parliament (TERR), examines the challenges pertaining to CBRN illicit trafficking that the European Union faces. Taking into account the new October 2017 CBRN Action Plan as well as existing mechanisms and solutions, it focuses on means to prevent and detect the introduction into and movement within the Union territory.

Autore esterno

Dr. Claude WACHTEL Dr. Elisande NEXON

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, April 2018

20-04-2018

The April plenary session's highlight was the debate on the future of Europe with the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, detailing his ambitions for a reinvigorated Europe, ready to face existing and emerging challenges. Members also heard from the European Council and Commission Presidents on the outcome of the March European Council meeting. High Representative Federica Mogherini made statements on the UN global compacts for migration and refugees, Syria, Russia, the situation in ...

The April plenary session's highlight was the debate on the future of Europe with the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, detailing his ambitions for a reinvigorated Europe, ready to face existing and emerging challenges. Members also heard from the European Council and Commission Presidents on the outcome of the March European Council meeting. High Representative Federica Mogherini made statements on the UN global compacts for migration and refugees, Syria, Russia, the situation in the Korean peninsula and of Greek soldiers arrested in Turkey. Parliament adopted, inter alia, legislative resolutions on greenhouse gas emissions, the circular economy, European political parties and foundations, anti-money-laundering, market surveillance of motor vehicles, and organic production and labelling. Members granted discharge for the execution of the 2016 budget to the European Commission and all EU institutions and agencies, except the Council/European Council and European Asylum Support Office.

Renewed chemical attack in Syria

12-04-2018

As the conflict in Syria enters its eighth year, Parliament is due to debate the situation, following a recent escalation. The Assad regime is suspected of having carried out a toxic gas attack on the besieged town of Douma near Damascus on 7 April 2018, killing around 80 people and injuring hundreds. The United Nations Security Council debated the attack during an emergency meeting on 9 April 2018, during which Russia denied Syrian regime responsibility for the attack. The EU has strongly condemned ...

As the conflict in Syria enters its eighth year, Parliament is due to debate the situation, following a recent escalation. The Assad regime is suspected of having carried out a toxic gas attack on the besieged town of Douma near Damascus on 7 April 2018, killing around 80 people and injuring hundreds. The United Nations Security Council debated the attack during an emergency meeting on 9 April 2018, during which Russia denied Syrian regime responsibility for the attack. The EU has strongly condemned the latest use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict, and the United States, France and the United Kingdom have signalled their willingness to respond with air-strikes in order to uphold the global ban on the use of chemical weapons.

Conflict in Syria

02-10-2015

Since its beginnings in 2011, the conflict in Syria has cost more than 250 000 lives and over 4 million Syrians have been forced to seek security in neighbouring countries – primarily in Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon. A further 7.6 million people are displaced within Syria. The rise of ISIL/Da'esh and other jihadist groups has aggravated the situation. Despite this humanitarian and security crisis, however, progress towards a political settlement to the conflict has been slow.

Since its beginnings in 2011, the conflict in Syria has cost more than 250 000 lives and over 4 million Syrians have been forced to seek security in neighbouring countries – primarily in Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon. A further 7.6 million people are displaced within Syria. The rise of ISIL/Da'esh and other jihadist groups has aggravated the situation. Despite this humanitarian and security crisis, however, progress towards a political settlement to the conflict has been slow.

CBRN terrorism: threats and the EU response

16-01-2015

Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) terrorism is a form of terrorism involving the use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Following 11th September 2001, the interna¬tional community came to believe there was a high probability that terrorists would make use of such weapons. The growing number of people familiar with CBRN warfare techniques and the spread of scientific knowledge, coupled with poor security of relevant facilities, could facilitate terrorists in getting hold ...

Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) terrorism is a form of terrorism involving the use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Following 11th September 2001, the interna¬tional community came to believe there was a high probability that terrorists would make use of such weapons. The growing number of people familiar with CBRN warfare techniques and the spread of scientific knowledge, coupled with poor security of relevant facilities, could facilitate terrorists in getting hold of CBRN weapons. Terrorist groups have already shown interest in acquiring them. However, so far, there have been very few successful CBRN attacks and the number of casualties remains relatively low. This is partly due to the fact that obtaining or creating WMD is challenging, while conventional weapons can be more easily acquired. The international community has reacted to CBRN threats through a series of instruments, most of them under the aegis of the UN. The EU has also been gradually building its counter-terrorism capacity. The 2010 CBRN Action Plan – the core element of the Commission's new policy package – has been extensively commented on by the European Parliament.

Syria: Weighing the Risks

09-09-2013

Following two and a half years of bloody civil war in Syria, world leaders remain uncertain how to staunch a humanitarian calamity that has left more than 100 000 Syrians dead, 6 million displaced and immeasurable material damage and human suffering. China and Russia have incapacitated the United Nations, and the military conflict in Syria is escalating dangerously. The chemical attack on civilian targets near Damascus on 21 August has refocused the attention of the international community on the ...

Following two and a half years of bloody civil war in Syria, world leaders remain uncertain how to staunch a humanitarian calamity that has left more than 100 000 Syrians dead, 6 million displaced and immeasurable material damage and human suffering. China and Russia have incapacitated the United Nations, and the military conflict in Syria is escalating dangerously. The chemical attack on civilian targets near Damascus on 21 August has refocused the attention of the international community on the crisis, and the United States and France – supported by the Gulf states, Turkey and Israel – are calling for a targeted and limited military intervention to punish the Assad regime. Such action would have unpredictable consequences for the country, the region and world politics. It is unlikely that it would improve the dire situation of the Syrian people or foster a peaceful and democratic future for the country.

CBRN terrorism : threats and the EU response

07-02-2011

Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) terrorism is a form of terrorism involving the use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Following 11th September 2001, the international community came to believe there was a high probability that terrorists would make use of such weapons. The growing number of people familiar with CBRN warfare techniques and the spread of scientific knowledge, coupled with poor security of relevant facilities, could facilitate terrorists in getting hold of CBRN ...

Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) terrorism is a form of terrorism involving the use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Following 11th September 2001, the international community came to believe there was a high probability that terrorists would make use of such weapons. The growing number of people familiar with CBRN warfare techniques and the spread of scientific knowledge, coupled with poor security of relevant facilities, could facilitate terrorists in getting hold of CBRN weapons.

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Health threats from climate change: Scientific evidence for policy-making
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