Home / Our news and views

Our news and views

Individual articles written by SECURITY EUROPE

The EP pushes for international ban on the use of killer robots

By BROOKS TIGNER, with KYLE ATTAR
BRUSSELS – Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are demanding a ban on weapons that have no “meaningful human control”.The resolution, passed overwhelmingly on 12 September by a majority of the MEPs (566)  is non-binding, however, on the 28 member states but is supported by Federica Mogherini, the EU’s policy chief for security and defence policy. She has already begun an international dialogue to try and bring the world into consensus as to the direction of autonomous warfare. The resolution notes that lethal autonomous weapons (LAWs) are machines without the ability or capacity to make human decisions and, as such, remote operators must take responsibility for life or death decisions. Much like drones, these weapons bring up strong ethical and moral dilemma regarding...

Read More »

Iranian opposition group and others to pursue civil lawsuit against alleged terrorist attackers of Paris political rally

By AVA KHAVARI 10 August 2018 BRUSSELS – The Iranian opposition group in exile, the National Council of the Resistance of Iran (NCRI), plans to launch a civil lawsuit against the perpetrators of a foiled bomb attack during an NCRI rally in Paris earlier this summer, announced the group during a press conference here on 8 August, The attack was …

Read More »

The three Baltic states can’t confront the Russian bear on their own

Security: Baltic Air Defence By AVA KHAVARI, with BROOKS TIGNER BRUSSELS – Military mobility, budgetary burden-sharing and deterrence led allied talks in the months leading up to NATO’s 11-12 July Summit here in Brussels, with the budget issue dominating the Summit once again. Yet a more tangible security matter has been inching closer to the allies, requiring their close attention …

Read More »

EU revises its maritime security strategy action plan

By AVA KHAVARI, with BROOKS TIGNER Brussels – The EU approved on 26 June the final revisions to the its Maritime Security Strategy (EUMSS) action plan. Initially drawn up in December 2014, it addressed global maritime risks and threats, including cross-border and organised crime, threats to freedom of navigation, unregulated fishing, environmental degradation and other problems. The “EUMSS Mark II” will promote “international …

Read More »

Austrian Presidency hopes to fix the leaking house that is the EU

By AVA KHAVARI
BRUSSELS - Austrian Ambassador Nikolaus Marschik spoke to members of the press about the upcoming Austrian Presidency and its primary objectives. The 2018 Austrian Presidency will mark the third of the trio which included Estonia and Bulgaria. During the afternoon discussion, Mr Marschik highlighted the two areas that Austria will be focusing on: the ‘Future of the EU’ and a ‘Europe that Protects’, with latter also serving as the presidency’s motto.The ‘Future of the EU’ will focus on Brexit in the short-term as negotiations regarding the Withdrawal Agreement are set to be finalized by fall 2018. As described in their programme, “Austria will focus on maintaining the unity of the EU-27, and on laying the foundation for a positive and successful relationship with the UK after its withdrawal.” A long-term goal will be to maintain the emphasis placed on the Enlargement Strategy by the previous presidencies of the trio, in particular Bulgaria. “Austria is a big supporter of the European perspective of the West Balkan six and we would be happy to open larger negotiations…we should be partner number one,” said Marschik.The second objective, implementing the Austrian motto, ‘A Europe that Protects,’ encompasses a variety of important issues including...

Read More »

Macedonia’s name: back to the drawing board

By BROOKS TIGNER
BRUSSELS -- My previous SECURITY EUROPE "ray of sunshine" article of 13 June about Skopje finally getting a real name for its territory was way too optimistic. The deal was shot down the next day by a no-confidence vote against Greek Prime Minister Tsipras and by a sudden reversal of support for the idea by Macedonian President Zoran Zaev. Not only does the return by each side to its 26-year intransigence underscore the farce of the official reason for these “negotiations”, but it keeps “FYROM” -- the Former Yugloslav Republic of Macedonia -- in a state of perpetual suspended animation vis-à-vis its place in Europe and its institutions. Nevermind the impact on stability north of Greece whose prospects are kept prisoner to the same nervous ambiguity.  It’s a game with some risks, given that stability in the Balkans, as history amply shows, is a commodity that can easily evaporate.Greece is doing a big and disingenuous disservice to both NATO and the EU by refusing to end this circus.  Frankly, FYROM should be allowed to call itself Macedonia...

Read More »

Skopje and Athens’ name accord opens door to Macedonia’s NATO membership

By BROOKS TIGNER BRUSSELS – The new accord by Athens and Skopje for a permanent name for “FYROM” (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) is a welcome bit of positive news in an altogether gloomy political environment hanging over the transatlantic community.Agreed late on 12 June by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Macedonian counterpart, Zoran Zaev, it blesses “The Northern Republic of Macedonia” as the new name for FYROM, thus removing...

Read More »

Brexit and security-defence: the more painful issues now emerge

By BROOKS TIGNER
BRUSSELS – Trade, border and citizen rights’ issues have dominated the EU’s Brexit talks with London for the past year. And as Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator has recently noted, most of the Brexit dossier today is “75 percent green” and thus good to go (provided the circus which is now 10 Downing Street manages to get its act together enough to vote on the deal’s elements).The remaining 25 percent “red” portion of the dossier, however, contains a couple of highly sensitive topics that await resolution. One is the Ireland-North Ireland border and the other, more strategic issue is...

Read More »

How to exploit EDIDP poses two key challenges for the future

By BROOKS TIGNER, BRUSSELS – The EU is preparing the final legal basis for the so-called capabilities window of its European Defence Fund, which labours under the clunky but aptly named “European Defence Industrial Development Programme”, or EDIDP.Once approved by Council and the European Parliament, expected by mid-2018, the EDIDP will generate some EUR 5.5 billion per year in co-financing by the European Commission and national capitals, starting in 2021. This will be spent on the pre-acquisition phases (development, testing, prototyping and demonstration) of multi-nation defence capability projects.But how should this money be spread around Europe and, more important, will the EDIDP offer to the UK and its large defence players a future link to it?These are crucial questions because they raise the ghosts of Europe’s past illogical and expensive historical share-out of defence money to shore up uncompetitive or outdated capacities, as well as...

Read More »