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Our news and views

Individual articles written by SECURITY EUROPE

Two EU-funded research projects aiming to establish a ‘common information space’ among emergency first-responders

By PATRICK STEPHENSON , BRUSSELS – Emergency responders in countries such as Italy and Spain face the same potential catastrophes such as earthquakes, but they remain deeply local in how they respond to disasters. The fragmentation is not just national. Local emergency responders such as firefighters, police, and border control officers often have trouble talking among themselves because they use different protocols and communications systems. Developing an efficient means of information exchange would not just improve the cross-border EU response to natural disasters. It would also improve the ways the local EU responders confront emergencies, making for faster response times and saving lives. During the past several years, two EU-funded projects have developed complementary projects for plugging the gaps that exist between cross-border responders as well as between cross-organisational responders such as firefighters, emergency medical responders and police. One is...

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EU close to reaching its migrant relocation targets as Commission ponders how to tighten Europe’s external borders

By PATRICK STEPHENSON , BRUSSELS – On 5 September, the European Union Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that the European Council had not overstepped its authority when it adopted its plan in September 2015 to relocate 120,000 migrants from Italy and Greece to other European countries over a two-year period. With its ruling, the ECJ dismissed a lawsuit brought by Hungary and Slovakia alleging that the relocation programme was unlawful. In his reaction to the ECJ’s decision, Hungary Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó did not mince his words, calling it “outrageous and irresponsible”. For Szijjártó, “politics has raped European law.” Other responses were more...

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How to advance NATO-EU cooperation against terrorism

BRUSSELS - We live in the most demanding security environment we have seen in many years – widespread instability, a surge in jihadi terrorism and an increasingly aggressive Russia. Protecting the Euro-Atlantic must be tackled jointly by NATO and EU in an effort that goes beyond the military domain. Despite various levels of cooperation in coping with hybrid warfare, cyber security and Russian aggression, NATO and EU are yet to...

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Update on tenders and calls-for-proposals in EU security (18/09/2017)

1. Command, control and communication applied to multinational medical support The aim of this study is to provide an analysis of the requirements, capabilities and interoperability constraints driving military medical C4I decision-making structures in a multinational operational. It seeks recommendations for improving decision-making regarding medical C4I roles, responsibilities, authorities and their interaction at an operational and tactical level. The estimated …

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EU Security Research Projects Awarded (18/09/2017)

NEWLY AWARDED PROJECTS: I-LEAD: Innovation – Law Enforcement Agencies Dialogue I-LEAD’s focus is on the inability of law enforcement agency (LEA) practitioners to define their needs for innovation. I-LEAD will build the capacity to monitor the security research and technology market in order to ensure better matching and uptake of innovations by law enforcement agencies with the overarching aim of …

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Upcoming European security conferences & exhibits (18/09/2017)

Here are some upcoming events related to European civil security we think readers should be aware of: Fifth Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector 19 September 2017, Thessaloniki, Greece Europol Intellectual Property Crime Conference 19-20 September 2017, Antwerp, Belgium 6th SAFA Regulators and Industry Forum 21-22 September 2017, Köln, Germany Cyber Security Week 2017 25-29 …

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EU leaders’ decisions augur big developments for European defence policy, with wider implications for other sectors as well

By PATRICK STEPHENSON and BROOKS TIGNER, BRUSSELS – After decades of procrastination, national leaders at their 22-23 June summit here took decisions that now set the stage for the EU’s entry into the defence field, though any talk of an imminent “European” army is fantasy. Nonetheless, important policy proposals by the European Commission were approved. The member states themselves finally agreed to finance their diverse battlegroups to boost the EU’s common security and defence policy (CSDP), for example, while approving plans – far more radical – to allow self-selected EU countries to shift into “permanent structured cooperation” (PESCO) in defence. But these were just some of the approved measures. An interesting coda to these decisions will be their impact on the EU’s...

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EU struggling to connect the criminal dots across the “dark web”

By PATRICK STEPHENSON , BRUSSELS – Policymakers and experts tracking cyber-crime gathered in Brussels on 20 to discuss European policing in the digital era and to hear about the latest criminal developments. The news was not encouraging. Rob Wainwright, Europol’s departing director, started off the debate by describing the results of a transatlantic sting launched in late 2016 that dismantled a huge international criminal infrastructure platform known as Avalanche. A stunning testament to organised crime’s increasingly automated and industrial nature, Avalanche launched botnet-led malware cyberattacks that caused EUR 6 million of losses in Germany, and hundreds of millons of euros worldwide. Yet in the operation that took it down, only five individuals were arrested. “We had 3600 organised crime groups in Europe three years ago,” he said. “Now we have 5000.” The main take-away of the debate: that...

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When the other drone drops: big companies waiting for EU drone regulations to crystallise before swooping into the market

By PATRICK STEPHENSON , BRUSSELS – The EU’s Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research Joint Undertaking (SESAR) released on 16 June its “vision paper” for drone use in the operational area known as the “U-Space” – that is, up to 150 meters in altitude. This “unmanned” space is becoming economically precious territory for drone operators and services such as infrastructure inspection and product delivery come online. But what does the U-Space plan actually mean? While not legally binding, it...

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The politics and underlying reality of migration not looking good

By PATRICK STEPHENSON, BRUSSELS – On 4 July the BBC reported that many migrants relocated to the three Baltic countries have disappeared. The report claimed that, of 349 asylum seekers sent to Lithuania via the European Commission’s relocation programme for example, 248 left the country as soon as they received official refugee status. The UK news service speculated that the missing migrants may have left for west European countries where living stipends for refugees are greater, and family and community ties stronger. EU insiders disputed the BBC report, asserting that its numbers were misleading. But the fact remains that refugees vote with their feet, meaning their movements show the strains on the EU’s migration policy. In the east, the so-called Visegrad 4 – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – remain determined to accept no more migrants. As of mid-June, the Czech Republic and Slovakia had, in total, accepted the grand sums of 12 and 16 migrants respectively, from Greece. They have accepted none from Italy. The main EU focus now lies not in...

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