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EU efforts on counter-terrorism - Capacity-building in third countries

19-12-2017

In the European Union (EU), responsibility for counter-terrorism lies primarily with Member States. However, the role of the EU itself in counter-terrorism has grown significantly in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks that have hit Europe in the post-'9/11' era. The cross-border aspects of the terrorist threat call for a coordinated EU approach. Moreover, the assumption that there is a connection between development and stability, as well as internal and external security, has come to shape the ...

In the European Union (EU), responsibility for counter-terrorism lies primarily with Member States. However, the role of the EU itself in counter-terrorism has grown significantly in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks that have hit Europe in the post-'9/11' era. The cross-border aspects of the terrorist threat call for a coordinated EU approach. Moreover, the assumption that there is a connection between development and stability, as well as internal and external security, has come to shape the EU's actions beyond its own borders. In the context of terrorism, the EU has an extensive toolkit of human and financial resources that support third countries in managing or mitigating terrorist threats. A key element of EU action is capacity-building in partner countries, to ensure local ownership, a sustainable assistance model and the full use of local expertise for challenges that are geographically distinct. The EU's external capacity-building efforts in counter-terrorism include security sector reform (SSR)-associated measures, such as strengthening the rule of law, improving the governance of security providers, improving border management, reforming the armed forces, and training law enforcement actors. As part of the EU's multifaceted assistance, efforts to curb terrorist funding and improve strategic communications to counter radicalisation and violent extremism complement SSR-related activities. Soft-power projects funded through the Commission's different funding instruments, coupled with both military and civilian common security and defence policy missions provide the framework through which the EU tries to address both the root causes and the symptoms of terrorism and radicalisation.

The EU, Middle East and North Africa [What Think Tanks are thinking]

06-10-2017

Developments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) pose a growing challenge for the European Union. Many countries in the region face war, political turmoil and popular anger, due to the impact of poverty in generating instability, migration and, in some cases, terrorism. The EU wants to contribute to stability in MENA through instruments such as the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Union for the Mediterranean, but there are calls for the EU to play an even more active role in the region ...

Developments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) pose a growing challenge for the European Union. Many countries in the region face war, political turmoil and popular anger, due to the impact of poverty in generating instability, migration and, in some cases, terrorism. The EU wants to contribute to stability in MENA through instruments such as the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Union for the Mediterranean, but there are calls for the EU to play an even more active role in the region. This note offers links to recent commentaries and reports by major international think tanks on EU-MENA relations and the general problems found within the region and some specific countries.

The EU's global role [What Think Tanks are thinking]

07-10-2016

As foreseen in the European Union's updated global strategy, the Union aims to play a stronger role in international affairs and conflict resolution, to reinforce a rules-based global order in an increasingly complex world and to better coordinate internal and external actions to bolster security and defence. The document, entitled "Shared Vision, Common Action: A Stronger Europe", was presented in June by Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy ...

As foreseen in the European Union's updated global strategy, the Union aims to play a stronger role in international affairs and conflict resolution, to reinforce a rules-based global order in an increasingly complex world and to better coordinate internal and external actions to bolster security and defence. The document, entitled "Shared Vision, Common Action: A Stronger Europe", was presented in June by Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission. It seeks to make the Union more "credible, responsive and joined-up." Faced with growing instability in its neighbourhood and internal crises, the strategy envisages boosting EU efforts on defence, cyber-security, counter-terrorism, energy security and strategic communications.  This note offers links to recent commentaries and studies from major international think on the EU's global strategy and related issues. More papers on the same topic can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are thinking', published in May.

Building resilience with the EU's southern neighbourhood

14-06-2016

It is a major concern for the European Union that most of its neighbourhood is marked by instability: the 10 countries in the southern neighbourhood are all either involved in internal conflict or threatened by terrorism, or both. The migration phenomenon complicates matters still further. A new strategic approach is required. The political and economic forces that produce instability need to be tackled. The new European Neighbourhood Policy reflects this reality and might complement the revised ...

It is a major concern for the European Union that most of its neighbourhood is marked by instability: the 10 countries in the southern neighbourhood are all either involved in internal conflict or threatened by terrorism, or both. The migration phenomenon complicates matters still further. A new strategic approach is required. The political and economic forces that produce instability need to be tackled. The new European Neighbourhood Policy reflects this reality and might complement the revised EU security strategy.

Global terrorism: trends in 2014/2015

06-11-2015

Terrorism continues to present one of the main challenges to international stability. Despite political agreement that terrorist threat needs to be addressed jointly by the whole international community, a number of obstacles persist, including disagreements over the definition of terrorism. This latter poses a significant impediment for research on terrorism and only a few institutions have undertaken this difficult task. According to the existing data, the number of terrorist attacks in 2014 was ...

Terrorism continues to present one of the main challenges to international stability. Despite political agreement that terrorist threat needs to be addressed jointly by the whole international community, a number of obstacles persist, including disagreements over the definition of terrorism. This latter poses a significant impediment for research on terrorism and only a few institutions have undertaken this difficult task. According to the existing data, the number of terrorist attacks in 2014 was double that of 2004, an increase primarily linked to the growing number of countries affected by terrorism, in particular in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, and southern Asia. The same three regions have also been the most affected by terrorism, with the number of attacks increasing in all three, most significantly in Sub-Saharan Africa. Altogether, the number of casualties almost doubled compared to 2013, even though the number of terrorist attacks increased by 40%. Political instability and weak governance in many countries have provided fertile ground for radicalism and growth in terrorist activities, in particular in Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Although Al-Qaeda and its offshoots maintain a strong position internationally, and continue to pose a serious threat, their standing has been increasingly challenged by the emergence of the 'Islamic State' Group (ISIL/Da'esh). The creation of a terrorist enclave on Syrian and Iraqi territory, and the establishment of a self-proclaimed caliphate, provided an appealing narrative that has fuelled a continued influx of foreign fighters to join the ranks of ISIL/Da'esh.

The EU's Trade Policy: From Gender-Blind to Gender-Sensitive?

09-07-2015

The services of the European Commission are currently reflecting on the follow-up to the Strategy for equality between women and men 2010-2015 (COM (2010) final). The EU's trade policy has not yet been fully integrated into this Strategy, providing an opportunity for the INTA committee to consider whether and how gender issues should be dealt with in the context of the EU's trade policies. Article 8 TFEU provides that “in all its activities, the Union shall aim to eliminate inequalities, and to promote ...

The services of the European Commission are currently reflecting on the follow-up to the Strategy for equality between women and men 2010-2015 (COM (2010) final). The EU's trade policy has not yet been fully integrated into this Strategy, providing an opportunity for the INTA committee to consider whether and how gender issues should be dealt with in the context of the EU's trade policies. Article 8 TFEU provides that “in all its activities, the Union shall aim to eliminate inequalities, and to promote equality between men and women.” The trade policy issues that are discussed by the European Parliament's INTA committee can have differing gender impacts across the various sectors of the economy. Understanding the gender dimension of trade agreements better will therefore contribute to better policy making and to ensuring that both sexes can take advantage of the benefits of trade liberalisation and be protected from its negative effects.

Relations between Islam and the state

30-06-2015

Since its inception in the 7th century AD, Islam has been the predominant religion in a great number of political entities from North Africa to south-east Asia. The desire to organise a society according to Islamic principles has spawned very different results in the course of history – not least because interpretations of Islam have varied across the regions of the world and through the ages.

Since its inception in the 7th century AD, Islam has been the predominant religion in a great number of political entities from North Africa to south-east Asia. The desire to organise a society according to Islamic principles has spawned very different results in the course of history – not least because interpretations of Islam have varied across the regions of the world and through the ages.

Reforma europejskiej polityki sąsiedztwa

29-06-2015

Po ponad dziesięciu latach od wprowadzenia europejskiej polityki sąsiedztwa Parlament Europejski rozpatruje obecnie sprawozdanie poświęcone reformie tej polityki w ramach konsultacji podjętych dnia 4 marca 2015 r. przez Komisję Europejską i Europejską Służbę Działań Zewnętrznych.

Po ponad dziesięciu latach od wprowadzenia europejskiej polityki sąsiedztwa Parlament Europejski rozpatruje obecnie sprawozdanie poświęcone reformie tej polityki w ramach konsultacji podjętych dnia 4 marca 2015 r. przez Komisję Europejską i Europejską Służbę Działań Zewnętrznych.

Security challenges in the MENA region

29-06-2015

The wave of violence and political turbulence engulfing the entire Middle East and North Africa (MENA) poses significant security challenges not only for the countries of the region, but also beyond, including for the European Union (EU).

The wave of violence and political turbulence engulfing the entire Middle East and North Africa (MENA) poses significant security challenges not only for the countries of the region, but also beyond, including for the European Union (EU).

Mediterranean Flows into Europe: Migration and the EU's Foreign Policy

12-03-2014

A series of heartrending stories from Europe’s southern shores – near the Italian island of Lampedusa, in the Greek waters of the Aegean Sea, at the Spanish enclave of Ceuta – have brought Mediterranean migration to the top of the political agenda. EU leaders have emphasised the need for policies treating migration to be guided by the principles of 'prevention, protection and solidarity'. The Mediterranean Task Force, established in October 2013, has suggested 38 ways to prevent further loss of life ...

A series of heartrending stories from Europe’s southern shores – near the Italian island of Lampedusa, in the Greek waters of the Aegean Sea, at the Spanish enclave of Ceuta – have brought Mediterranean migration to the top of the political agenda. EU leaders have emphasised the need for policies treating migration to be guided by the principles of 'prevention, protection and solidarity'. The Mediterranean Task Force, established in October 2013, has suggested 38 ways to prevent further loss of life. But beyond these immediate responses, the EU must engage in a broader and longer-term debate on the ways that migration is addressed by its different external policies – those touching on security, development cooperation, the neighbourhood policy and international protection. The European Parliament can play an important role by promoting a dialogue about migration with third countries. This discussion, which should be pursued through interparliamentary as well as inter-institutional discussions, may lead to stronger cooperation in the management of regular migration and a more effective fight against irregular migration. Whilst the Parliament should demand that all EU and third countries' policies fully respect human rights, it should also consider Mediterranean migration in a wider context and highlight the positive potential of human mobility for socioeconomic development.

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