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Our news and views

Individual articles written by SECURITY EUROPE

In space, a new strategy and a big launch of satellites highlight Galileo system’s future capabilities and opportunities

By PATRICK STEPHENSONBRUSSELS – On 26 October, the EU and the European Space Agency agreed a ‘Space Strategy for Europe’ to guide cooperation between the two. Highlighting the strategy’s purposes, Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčović said the new document will “put the potential of space to work for Europe and Europeans.”The new strategy has four primary goals, namely to:* maximize the economic and social benefits of European space activities, particularly the Galileo system* foster a globally competitive and innovative European space sector, in part by reducing Europe’s dependence on critical components and technologies* reinforce Europe’s autonomy in using space securely and safely* will strengthen Europe’s role as a global actor and promote international cooperation.Among its security-related priorities, the strategy seeks to ensure that...

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Although the numbers are down, migrant and refugee flows are still huge, and the European Union is still struggling to respond

By PATRICK STEPHENSONBRUSSELS – Since 26 September 4,561 people have illegally entered Greece, according to the European Commission’s latest report on relocation and resettlement. During the same period nearly 30,000 people arrived in Italy, confirming the expected shift in migrant flows from eastern to central Mediterranean after the Aegean/Balkan route was shut down earlier this year.By contrast, however, the EU’s failure to handle the crowds is nowhere more glaring than...

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Commission’s proposals to improve integration of refugees via a reformed common asylum system raise doubts, heavy criticism

By CHRIS DALBYBRUSSELS – With the migration crisis still showing no signs of abating, European Commission proposals to improve refugee integration came under withering criticism at a recent European Policy Centre (EPC) Policy Dialogue. The event focused on a report by the Brussels-based Migration Policy Group (MPG) that said the Commission’s new proposals “largely represent a missed opportunity and a potential major risk for integration.”First announced on 13 July 2013, the Commission’s proposals seek to move the EU’s Common European Asylum System (CEAS) towards a fully efficient, fair and humane asylum policy. MPG’s report said the “minor improvements” on reception and qualification standards would only...

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Will Poland create a “territorial” defence force – or will its role be as guardian of the country’s conservative political revolution?

BRUSSELS – The radical change in the Central Europe’s security environment resulting from Russia’s aggressive policy and military build-up has forced the region’s countries to seriously rethink their defence posture – and Poland is at the forefront of this shift.Warsaw has not only increased its defence spending from 1.95 percent of GDP to 2 percent, but the country’s new right-conservative government has launched a programme to create a Territorial Defence Force (TDF). How this force might be used raises some serious concerns in policy circles.Territorial defence as a concept has always hovered in Poland but...

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Update on tenders and calls-for-proposals in EU security (17/11/2016)

1. Trial of remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) for maritime aerial surveillance With this contract, Frontex seeks to acquire maritime aerial border surveillance services to be performed in specific maritime areas of the Mediterranean Sea. The services offered shall include the provision of a RPAS platform, payload, communication equipment, and all the necessary experts managing the system and providing operational support. Frontex seeks to acquire 8 blocks, of 100 hours each block, of maritime border surveillance services, out of which 2 blocks could be requested simultaneously, from the same deployment airport, and 2 blocks could be requested consecutively. This service is to be carried out with a MALE RPAS in areas of the Mediterranean Sea designated by Frontex within the time-frame of Q4 2016–Q1 2017.The estimated budget available for the contract is EUR 5.500.000 excluding VAT Deadline: 18 November 2016, 4pm Contact: Frontex / European Border and Coast Guard Agency Email: procurement@frontex.europa.eu Call documentation and application forms can be found here

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EU Security Research Projects Awarded (17/11/2016)

CAR - Context-Active Resilience in Cyber Physical Systems Context-active resilience is a novel concept of CPS resilience proposed in this action, which emphasises active and even proactive response to the dynamic state of CPS and its users in real-time. CAR Patterns will be identified via the empirical analysis of practical CPS systems, and specified with the developed Meta-Intelligence and populated into a semantic repository.Due to the wide and critical roles of CPS in industry and society and the novelty of context-active resilience, the proposal is both timely and significant. Acting as a bridge, the project will simultaneously advance the theoretic approach and art of practice of this emerging topic, improve the competency and career of the fellow, enhance and complement the host’s research profile and infrastructure, and benefit the society, living, economy and related research communities significantly.Start date: 2016-11-01 End date: 2018-10-31 Total cost: EUR 195.454 EU Contribution: EUR 195.454 Project Coordinator: Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland

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Securing Europe’s food chain points to a huge range of problems

By BROOKS TIGNER BRUSSELS – Europe’s security threats falling into the category of “low-risk but high-impact” may be of low probability but they are the ones that make policymakers and first responders the most nervous.These include threats to Europe’s food chains where regulation and good practices by industry have focused overwhelmingly on food safety versus food security. Even where food operators are aware of the security risks, they don’t like to talk about them.However, as the conclusions of one of the EU’s largest research projects have amply demonstrated, far more alarming is that apparently many food operators are...

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EU’s overhauled border agency to launch gamut of new initiatives

By BROOKS TIGNERBRUSSELS – Frontex, the EU’s border agency, is gearing up fast to take on its new roles and responsibilities with its new status as of 6 October.Now formally known as the “European Border and Coast Guard Agency”, the Warsaw-based entity will be pushing out in all directions in the coming months, with more money, more personnel, more responsibilities and, crucially, more say in “advising” (read: telling) the member states what they need to do to strengthen their part of the EU’s external frontier. The latter will be a test of just how seriously the member states take the new agency and, conversely, how seriously the latter is allowed to act on its new responsibilities.The advice will come in the form of...

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EU research project refining new reconnaissance and decision-support software to detect and respond to at-sea piracy threats

By CHRIS DALBY BRUSSELS – While Europe’s irregular migration crisis has grabbed nearly all the headlines, other maritime challenges remain such as piracy, which still poses a significant threat to merchant shipping in the African region.According to the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau, there were 127 actual or attempted pirate attacks worldwide during January-September, of which 43 took place in African waters – mainly in the Gulf of Guinea and other points along the West African coastline.The number of attacks has fallen dramatically since 2011 but has not gone away. One EU-funded security research project aims to push the trend even further downward with an all-encompassing technical solution whose applications could...

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