Security and Defence


Europe’s Security Upside Down

06 Aug 2014 - 15:22
Bron: Frontex

The separation of external and internal security belongs to the past. The spill-over effects of conflicts and instability in areas like the Sahel and the Middle East can be felt inside Europe.

Today and tomorrow, international crime, terrorism, illegal immigration and cyber attacks are major security concerns, while classic military threats – except for missiles – have disappeared into the background. However, an integrated response to these wider security interest is lacking, often by nations but certainly at the level of the European Union.

Overcoming the external-internal security gap

Separated strategies,structures and arrangements continue to exist for the ‘external’ (CSDP, Foreign Affairs & Defence) and the ‘internal’ security actors (Justice and Home Affairs, JHA). A positive exception is capability development, where civil and military user communities increasingly are coordinating their programmes, in particular in the air and space sectors.

To overcome the external-internal security gap, the EU has to take practical steps: the elaboration of an Integrated Security Strategy for real coordinated action by the CSDP and JHA actors; comprehensive capability development and the use of civil-military capacities in areas like transport, reconnaissance and communications; integrating maritime surveillance data exchange between civil and military users, and other practical aspects of cooperation.

Taking responsibility

Europe’s security is upside down, inside out. Without the natural leadership of the United States, Europe will have to take more responsibility for its own security. Military forces will still be needed, but increasingly they will become part of a wider effort, closely working togetherwith civilian actors, outside and inside Europe.

Reflections on Europe

This Portugese-language article was published as a chapter in the book 'Reflections on Europe' (Reflexões sobre a Europa), published by the Portugese Institute for National Defense.