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The future of European intelligence cooperation

23 Sep 2021 - 13:40
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Sharing the Burden, Sharing the Secrets

This report discusses the opportunities for enhanced European intelligence cooperation in light of the key challenges facing Europe over the next ten years, as were identified in the Strategic Monitor 2020-2021, Geopolitical Genesis: Dutch Foreign and Security Policy in a Post-COVID World. In light of these challenges and the need to realise European strategic autonomy and deliver on the goals of the EU Strategic Compass for security and defence, closer intelligence and security cooperation by Europe is required.

However, intelligence activities lie at the very heart of national sovereignty, and can perhaps be considered to be the hardest hurdle to cross. Nevertheless, over the years the EU has developed several institutions to facilitate intelligence sharing between its member states and several agencies have been established that collect, analyse and operationalise intelligence in view of the key security challenges.

Within this institutional context, this report assesses the opportunities for enhanced European intelligence cooperation. It argues that there is ample opportunity to increase both the scope and depth of European intelligence cooperation in the years to come. Moreover, the Netherlands can and indeed should play an active role in the development of enhanced intelligence cooperation in and of Europe by making effective use of the presence of three important factors that can help drive European cooperation further: internal demand, external pressure and cooperative momentum.

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