Why the European Union ?
b. Peace and Security
The main objective of this lesson is to give its participants all information they need to feel completely secure in EU. We will address:
- What are the threats?
- What are the principles of security?
- Which means of keeping peace and protection against violence does EU incorporate?
o NATO partnership
o International crime
o Internal protection
o External dimension of internal security/cooperation with third countries
- What are the instruments of protection?
The teachers are free to use whatever means of passing the knowledge as they want. They are especially encouraged to facilitate discussions on what kind of security do these people search for before the lessons start.
Lesson time foreseen
80 minutes = 2 lessons
• Serious and organised crime is of increasing importance. In its various forms, it tends to occur wherever it can reap the most financial benefit with the least risk, regardless of borders. Drug trafficking, economic crime, human trafficking, smuggling of persons, arms trafficking, sexual exploitation of minors and child pornography, violent crimes, money laundering and document fraud are only some of the ways in which organised and serious crime manifests itself in the EU. In addition, corruption is a threat to the bases of the democratic system and the rule of law.
• Cybercrime represents a global, technical, cross-border, anonymous threat to our information systems and, because of that, it poses many additional challenges for law-enforcement agencies
• Cross-border crime, such as petty or property crime, often carried out by gangs, when it has a significant impact on the daily lives of people in Europe, poses a common threat.
• Violence itself, such as youth violence or hooligan violence at sports events, increases the damage already caused by crimes and can significantly harm our society.
• Natural and man-made disasters, such as forest fires, earthquakes, floods and storms, droughts, energy shortages and major information and communication technology (ICT) breakdowns, pose safety and security challenges. In this day and age, civil protection systems represent an essential element of any modern and advanced security system.
• There are a number of other common phenomena which cause concern and pose safety and security threats to people across Europe, for example road traffic accidents, which take the lives of tens of thousands of European citizens every year
— justice, freedom and security policies which are mutually reinforcing whilst respecting fundamental rights, international protection, the rule of law and privacy;
— protection of all citizens, especially the most vulnerable, with the focus on victims of crimes such as trafficking in human beings or gender violence, including victims of terrorism who also need special attention, support and social recognition;
— transparency and accountability in security policies, so that they can be easily understood by citizens, and take account of their concerns and opinions;
— dialogue as the means of resolving differences in accordance with the principles of tolerance, respect and freedom of expression;
— integration, social inclusion and the fight against discrimination as key elements for EU internal security;
— solidarity between Member States in the face of challenges which cannot be met by Member States acting alone or where concerted action is to the benefit of the EU as a whole;
— mutual trust as a key principle for successful cooperation.
In 1954 WEU (Western European Union) was established with these objectives:
• To create a firm basis for European economic recovery in Western Europe;
• To offer mutual assistance to member countries in resisting any policy of external aggression;
• To promote unity and encourage positive integration in Europe.
Following the end of the Cold War and the subsequent conflicts in the Balkans, it became clear that the EU needed to assume its responsibilities in the field of conflict prevention and crisis management. The conditions under which military units could be deployed were already agreed by the WEU Council in 1992 but the so-called “Petersberg Tasks” where now integrated in the 1999 Treaty of Amsterdam. In addition, the post of the “High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy” was created to allow the Union to speak with ‘one face and one voice’ on foreign policy matters.
• The 2002 NATO-EU Declaration on a European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) set out the political principles underlying the relationship and reaffirmed EU assured access to NATO’s planning capabilities for the EU’s own military operations.
• In 2003, the so-called “Berlin Plus” arrangements set the basis for the Alliance to support EU-led operations in which NATO as a whole is not engaged.
• At the 2010 Lisbon Summit, the Allies underlined their determination to improve the NATO-EU strategic partnership and the 2010 Strategic Concept committed the Alliance to working more closely with other international organisations to prevent crises, manage conflicts and stabilise post-conflict situations.
• At the NATO Summit in Warsaw in July 2016, the two organisations outlined areas for strengthened cooperation in light of common challenges to the east and south, including countering hybrid threats, enhancing resilience, defence capacity building, cyber defence, maritime security, and exercises. Over 40 measures to advance NATO-EU cooperation in agreed areas were approved by NATO foreign ministers in December 2016.
• Close cooperation between NATO and the EU is an important element in the development of an international “comprehensive approach” to crisis management and operations, which requires the effective application of both military and civilian means.
• NATO and the EU currently have 22 member countries in common.
Internal security is seen as encompassing a wide range of measures with both horizontal and vertical dimensions:
— horizontal dimension: to reach an adequate level of internal security in a complex global environment requires the involvement of law-enforcement and border-management authorities, with the support of judicial cooperation, civil protection agencies and also of the political, economic, financial, social and private sectors, including non-governmental organisations;
— likewise, we take into account the vertical dimension of security at various levels: international cooperation, EU-level security policies and initiatives, regional cooperation between Member States and Member States’ own national, regional and local policies.
• drastically reducing cybercrime by strengthening the expertise of those in charge of investigating and prosecuting it, by adopting a more coordinated approach between Law Enforcement Agencies across the Union, and by enhancing cooperation with other actors;
• developing an EU Cyber Defence Policy and capabilities in the framework of the Common Security and Defence Policy;
• fostering the industrial and technological resources required to benefit from the Digital Single Market. This will help stimulate the emergence of a European industry and market for secure ICT; it will contribute to the growth and competitiveness of the EU economy; and it will increase the public and private spending on cybersecurity Research and Development (R&D);
• enhancing the EU's international cyberspace policy to promote EU core values, to define norms for responsible behaviour, to advocate the application of existing international law in cyberspace and to assist countries outside the EU in building cybersecurity capacity.
— Analysis of future situations and scenarios: threat anticipation. Europol and other EU agencies produce regular threat assessments.
— Adequate response: planning, programming and handling the consequences. Work programmes have been developed which enable us to address the dangers to and the concerns of citizens in a methodical way. Strategies and specific work plans have also been developed on counterterrorism, drug trafficking, trafficking in human beings, organised crime and civil protection. Furthermore, the Community Civil Protection Mechanism coordinates the response of Member States to natural and man-made disasters. The abolition of internal border controls has made it easier to travel within the Schengen area
— Effectiveness in the field: the work of agencies, institutions and bodies. A number of agencies specific to the EU have been created and these include: Europol, whose main aims are to collect and exchange information and to facilitate cooperation between law-enforcement authorities in their fight against organised crime and terrorism; Eurojust, which drives coordination and increases the effectiveness of judicial authorities; and Frontex, which manages operational cooperation at the external borders. The EU has also created the role of the Counterterrorism Coordinator. Other bodies and networks have also been established in the fields of training, drugs, crime prevention, corruption and judicial cooperation in criminal matters.
— Tools based on mutual recognition, for information sharing and to facilitate joint investigations and operations. Instruments based on mutual recognition include the European Arrest Warrant and provision for the freezing of assets. Databases such as the Schengen information system and networks have also been established for the exchange of information on criminal records, on combating hooliganism, on missing persons or stolen vehicles and on visas which have been issued or refused. The use of DNA and fingerprint data helps put a name to anonymous traces left at crime scenes. EU legal instruments facilitate operational cooperation between Member States, such as the setting up of joint investigation teams, the organising of joint operations and close cooperation to ensure the security of international events, including major sporting competitions.
— Evaluation mechanisms have been developed to assess the effectiveness of our actions. For example, peer-to-peer evaluation exercises in the field of terrorism and organised crime have contributed to the improvement of mutual trust.
Among the main objectives of the internal security strategy for the EU is the prevention and anticipation of crime as well as of natural and man-made disasters, and the mitigation of their potential impact. Whilst effective prosecution of the perpetrators of a crime remains essential, a stronger focus on the prevention of criminal acts and terrorist attacks before they take place help reduce the consequent human or psychological damage, which is often irreparable.