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2008 - ED

See the Section Library at the foot of the page. In addition the following documents are held off site:
 

15/12/2008 - European Defence evidence to House of Lords Committee

The House of Lords EU Foreign Affairs, Defence and Development Policy Sub-Committee took evidence on the European Defence Agency Steering Board Meeting and Defence Directive.

Baroness Ann Taylor PC, Minister for International Defence and Security, and Andrew Mathewson, Director for Policy on International Organisations at the Ministry of Defence, gave evidence.

Video and Audio: EDA Steering Board Meeting and Defence Directive evidence session
 
15/10/2010 - EU Counter-terrorism Framework - An Update
 

By Ksenia Gorlevaya

Because security issues are largely still a matter of national competence, the EU counter-terror framework has two main legs. EU legislative acts impose direct obligations on Member States, while other initiatives set goals for the Member States to cooperate, give strategic frameworks but do not bind them to specific actions.

There were several EU initiatives against terrorism under way when the attack against the US took place on 11 September 2001. The starting point for much of the work was the conclusions of the Tampere Summit in October 1999. It was here that the EU took a formal decision to increase judicial cooperation between Member States in order to fight crime, including terrorism.

Ten days after the 9/11 attacks, a series of proposals were tabled by the European Commission, which led to a Plan of Action adopted by a special European Council on 21 September 2001. The EU adopted a framework decision on terrorism defining terrorist offences and approximating the level of sanctions between Member States. Under the framework decision, a terrorist offence is defined as an offence that is committed with the aim of intimidating people and seriously altering or destroying the political, economic, or social structures of a country (murder, bodily injuries, hostage taking, extortion, the fabrication of weapons, committing attacks, threatening to commit any of the above, etc.).

Right after the attacks several decisions were taken at the EU level to advance the cooperation between Member States.
· Council Regulation (EC) No 2580/2001 of 27 December 2001 includes specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities with a view to combating terrorism. The aim of the Regulation is to prevent and prohibit the financing of terrorist acts, i.e. intentional offences which by their nature or context may damage a country when they are committed with a view to seriously intimidating the population, destabilising the country, etc.
· Council Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA of 13 June 2002, on the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedures between Member States, defines the "European arrest warrant" as any judicial decision issued by a Member State with a view to the arrest or surrender by another Member State of a requested person, specifies cases when the warrant applies and the procedure, and defines the grounds for refusal to execute a warrant and refusal to surrender. The European Arrest warrant is a substitute for the different extradition procedures between Member States.
· On 19 December 2002 the Council adopted Decision 2003/48/JHA on the implementation of specific measures for police and judicial cooperation to combat terrorism in accordance with Article 4 of Common Position 2001/931/CFSP which extends information exchange to all stages of criminal proceedings, including convictions, and to all persons, groups or entities investigated, prosecuted or convicted for terrorist offences.

Further initiatives have been undertaken by the EU in areas of security provision regulated under mutual agreement of Member States.
· Council Regulation (EC) No 2252/2004 of 13 December 2004 is on standards for security features and biometrics in passports and travel documents issued by Member States. Under the Regulation, biometric identifiers will be introduced by Member States with a view to harmonising national legislation.
· Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 October 2005 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering and terrorist financing sets out to prevent the financial system from being used for money laundering and terrorist financing. The Directive provides definitions of money laundering and the financing of terrorism, and defines conditions which determine factsof such crimes. The definition of "terrorist financing" complies with Council Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA of 13 June 2002 on combating terrorism, described above.
· Council Decision 2007/779/EC, Euratom of 8 November 2007 establishes a Community Civil Protection Mechanisn to be set up to improve the coordination of civil protection assistance intervention in major emergencies. Such cases may arise from a natural, technological, radiological or environmental disaster, including accidental marine pollution, or from a terrorist act, occurring or threatening to occur inside or outside the European Union (EU).
· Council Regulation (EC) No 871/2004 of 29 April 2004 concerns the introduction of some new functions for the Schengen Information System, in particular for use in the fight against terrorism. It helps implement Council Decision 2005/211/JHA of 24 February 2005 concerning the introduction of some new functions for the Schengen Information System, in particular access for Europol and the national members of Eurojust to the data stored in the Schengen information system; and extends the list of missing objects for which alerts can be entered - boats, aircraft, containers, residence permits, registration certificates, etc. (category added by Regulation No 1160/2005) and means of payment.
· Council Decision 2005/876/JHA of 21 November 2005 on the exchange of information extracted from the criminal record among other things, provides for the setting up of central authorities with responsibility for sending requests to, and receiving requests from, a Member State. It also introduces a reply deadline.

These decisions, directives and regulations are obligatory for EU Member States. They have thus been transposed into national legal codes. However, uneven implementation of the Community law across the EU is a reality. On 10 June 2004, the Commission published a report examining the measures taken by the Member States to comply with the framework decision of June 2002 against terrorism. It emerged that several Member States have yet to adopt the European legislative measures. Either the measures were not adopted, or if they were, they are only being implemented slowly and/or are little used.

The role of the EU institutions in the area of Justice, Freedom and Security is mostly limited to setting strategic goals and facilitation of cooperation. This results in vast number of acts that encourage cooperation of Member States in the field of counter-terrorism.
· Counter-terrorism is a part of “A secure Europe in a better world - European security strategy 2003” which asserts “Concerted European action against terrorism is indispensable. Terrorism puts lives at risk and seeks to undermine the openness and tolerance of our societies. It arises out of complex causes, including the pressures of modernisation, cultural, social and political crises, and the alienation of young people living in foreign societies.”
· Heads of state and government from the EU 25 started the Spring European Council in March 2004 by examining counterterrorism measures in the wake of the Madrid train bombings. They adopted a beefed-up EU action plan on terrorism prepared by European foreign and interior ministers.
· EU leaders adopted a declaration of solidarity on 25 March 2004, pledging that a terrorist attack against one Member State is considered an attack against all. The nation under attack is entitled to all manner of military and other assistance. This declaration mirrors 'Article 42' of the draft European constitution which allows the EU to use all its powers "including the military resources made available by the member states to... prevent the terrorist threat... protect... from any terrorist attack... [and to] assist a member state".
· The European Union Counter-Terrorism Strategy (Council of the European Union, 30 November 2005) promotes ideas of democracy, dialogue and good governance to tackle the root causes of radicalisation. The EU proposes four pillars to combat terrorism effectively: "prevent", "protect", "pursue" and "respond".

The "Prevent" pillar aims to combat radicalisation and recruitment of terrorists by identifying the methods, propaganda and instruments they use. Although these challenges lie with the Member States, the EU helps to coordinate the national policies, determine good practice and share information.

The "Protect" pillar aims to reduce the vulnerability of targets to attack and to limit the resulting impact of attack. It proposes to establish collective action for border security, transport and other cross-border infrastructures.

The aim of the third “Pursue” pillar is to pursue terrorists across borders, while respecting human rights and international law. Member States should make the necessary instruments available to obtain and analyse information. They prepare joint analyses and exchange information through Europol and Eurojust. Each Member State reports on how it has strengthened its capabilities and on its national mechanisms.

The “Respond” pillar insures Member States are able to deal with terrorist attacks when they occur.

The European Commission has put forward a large number of initiatives to promote access to and exchange of information in respect to fight against terrorism.
· In a Commission communication of 24 November 2005, it sets measures to improve effectiveness and enhancing interoperability and synergy among European databases, including improvements in technical interoperability and synergy between the existing IT systems ( SIS II , VIS, EURODAC ) in the field of justice and home affairs.
· In a Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 16 June 2004 “Towards enhancing access to information by law enforcement agencies” the Commission proposed an approach aimed at improving free circulation of information between the law enforcement authorities of the Member States and the authority in charge of crime prevention.
· In a Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 23 October 2007 on the role of Eurojust and the European Judicial Network in the fight against organised crime and terrorism in the European Union, the Commission proposed amending a previous decision, so as to take steps that would enable Eurojust to develop its potential for cooperation and to establish itself as a vital player in the fight against organised crime and terrorism in Europe.
· Addressing the factors contributing to violent radicalisation, a Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council concerning terrorist recruitment encourages Member States to address the factors contributing to violent radicalisation. It suggests the combination of: soft measures, such as inter-cultural exchanges among young people;and hard measures, such as the prohibition of satellite broadcasts inciting terrorism.
· A Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 20 October 2004 entitled "Preparedness and consequence management in the fight against terrorism" suggests mechanisms and training facilities with a view to protecting and giving maximum assistance to civilians in the event of an attack, in particular bioterrorist attacks.
· A Communication of the Commission of 18 July 2005 on measures to ensure greater security of explosives, detonators, bomb-making equipment and firearms provides for the adoption of storage, transportation and traceability measures for explosives at all stages of the supply chain, defining the ultimate goal as the fight against terrorism and, in particular, preventing explosives from falling into the hands of terrorists.
· In an annex to a Commission Communication to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee of 28 November 2005 “The prevention of and fight against terrorism financing through enhanced national level coordination and greater transparency of the non-profit sector”, the Commission recommends a Framework for a Code of Conduct to enhance transparency and accountability of NPOs and to reduce the risk of abuse of the non-profit sector.
· A Communication from the Commission to the Council and European Parliament of 20 October 2004 is on the prevention of and the fight against terrorist financing through measures to improve the exchange of information, to strengthen transparency and enhance the traceability of financial transactions suggests instruments other then anti-money-laundering techniques.
· Special attention has been paid by EU institutions to a series of acts covering to crime victims' rights, critical infrastructure protection, cybercriminality, maritime security.

The most recent developments include the Proposal for a COUNCIL FRAMEWORK DECISION amending Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA on combating terrorism presented by the Commission and approved by the European Parliament on September 23, 2008. The legislative proposal, overwhelmingly approved by MEPs with 600 votes in favour, 21 against and 39 abstentions, will make it illegal to publicly incite people to commit terrorist offences and will outlaw terrorist recruitment and training.

There is clearly a great deal of planning and attempted co-ordination at the level of European institutions on these issues, but they have not yet been tested in real life threat situations.

 
 
 
by Tony Koutsoumbos

Few reforms are needed more urgently in Europe today than the forging of a coherent and, as far as possible, single EU foreign policy and yet few reforms are less likely to see the light of day in the current political climate. The blame for this must lie squarely at the feet of the European Council, ultimately responsible for trying to insert the proposals for an enhanced decision making process and an EU foreign minister, amongst others, into a confusing constitution that never had much chance of being approved by an angry electorate.

When the citizens of the EU were asked to rank the most serious problems facing the continent earlier this year by the German Marshall Fund, they naturally put terrorism and the credit crisis at the top of the agenda. However, a large majority also expressed grave concerns about the resurrection of the Russian bear and its use of its energy supplies as a weapon, not to mention its tanks and warships, whilst almost as many said they wanted closer relations with America and that NATO was still essential to their security.

It’s safe to say the ‘masses’ were on the money in their assessment of the most immediate threats to European security. Indeed, their concerns, along with illegal immigration, cyber-crime and climate change, have featured heavily in the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy’s drive to establish a new security strategy for Europe. Central to formulating a single European response to these challenges, therefore, has been the push to update the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP).

As they are, the policies have failed to unify the EU in its dealings with the rest of the world, rendering the Union inefficient on the occasions when member states do take a common approach, such as in the Balkans, and wide open to manipulation by foreign powers when they don’t, such as the United States during the Iraq war and Russia now. The reforms envisaged by the constitution went some way to addressing these problems: a single foreign minister to represent the EU abroad; a legal personality to allow the EU to conclude international agreements; EU-wide investment in research and development; an EU equivalent of NATO’s clause 5 committing all states to collective “aid and assistance by all the means in their power”; the agreement of all member states to make available troops assigned to other multi-national task-forces to European battle-groups too; as well as a refined decision making process with opt-outs for any member state opposed to any EU decision to deploy troops.

So why then, if European electorates agreed on the supra-national nature of the threats and challenges facing their countries and their governments agreed on a set of measures to tackle them, were the proposed reforms thrown out by the Irish this year when they voted in a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, seen by many as simply a watered down version of the constitution? The answer is simple. The EU’s attempts to package these paramount changes within a vast and unreadable document that few wanted made it impossible to pass them. Indeed a poll taken of voters immediately after the Irish referendum revealed that the majority of those who voted ‘no’ did so because they did not understand what they were voting on.

However, Europe’s electorates lost faith in their elites long before then. The reasons behind the French and Dutch ‘no’ votes on the constitution proper in 2005 were far less kind than the Irish and revealed a deep-seated resentment of European elites and indeed their own. And for what? A flag and an anthem that we already have and that nobody cares about. Since then, any attempt to do the sensible thing and try and pass the reforms necessary to create a single coherent foreign policy has been viewed with suspicion and contempt. Indeed if the Lisbon Treaty hadn’t been voted down by the Irish it probably would have fallen at a later hurdle. Of course, the peddling of half-truths and even outright lies by the Europhobic press in countries most likely to need a referendum on such treaties like Ireland and the UK hardly helps.

What hope remains for a single European foreign policy then? Ironically, it would seem that the security of the continent now lies in the hands of national leaders regaining their people’s trust and convincing of the merit and the need for a unified approach. The election of a President in the United States with a respect for the transatlantic alliance and an understanding of the importance of a multi-lateral approach to the world’s most serious problems would go a long way too.

Tony Koutsoumbos is a graduate in European Politics from European Politics from the University of Nottingham and currently works as a press officer for the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. Tony blogs at 'A Very Modern Liberal'
29/04/2008 - US DoD rebuts criticism of programme cost estimation
 

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has responded to criticism that it could take a more scientific approach to estimating programme costs by arguing that it performs parametric analysis of most defence programmes - a detailed analysis including what effect current resourcing trends have on future defence budgets. The comments from a DoD spokesman came in response to a 25 April Janes report of remarks by Mike Gilmore, the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO's) assistant director for national security, who said that the DoD's independent cost estimating group - the Cost Analysis Improvement Group - which uses parametric cost-growth estimating based on historical data, does a much better job of projecting what costs will actually be, although they are also usually low.

Section Library

Page Name
Summary  
EWG 13 - Climate Change, Shortage of Resources and International Security
EWG 13 Eurodefense Portugal memorandum
The UK, EU, and European Defence - A Summary
House of Commons Library Papers on British Defence Policy
Europe 'has reached the limits of what consolidation can achieve'
Article by Keri Wagstaff Smith for Jane's Defence Weekly (12/11/10).
Russia's Defence Policy
WEU report on Russia's defence policy.
EWG 11 'Security and Stability in the Mediterranean Basin'
EWG 11 document.
EU Defence Procurement Directive
PDF version
EC Defence Procurement Paper
Standard note from the House of Commons Library
Luxembourg Conference
ESDP - Where do we go from here?
European Parliament - Single Market
First reading of Bill on single market in defence products
European Defence Procurement Directive
BLP briefing paper

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