Home / Our Analyses

Our Analyses

Click here for October 2017 FLASH NEWS

Stories in this edition of SECURITY EUROPE

Can ‘strategic communications’ expose fake news – and how?

By PATRICK STEPHENSON , BRUSSELS – “We all know the power of fake news, and how difficult it is to address,” says Frederica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign and security policy chief, “Knowing the threat is essential, but not enough.” She addressed her remarks to a 2 October conference here, entitled “Hybrid Threats and the EU: State of Play and Future Progress.” But what is a hybrid threat exactly? Daniel Fiott, security and defence editor at the Paris-based EU Institute for Security Studies, offered one definition riffed from Carl von Clausewitz. While the Prussian military theorist said that war is “politics by other means”, hybrid threats, according to Fiott, constitute “war by other means.” That inversion of Clausewitz’s aphorism, however, holds a special challenge for Western governments in that some of their counter-efforts inevitably risk...

Read More »

The dark web’s evolving battle between the black and white hats

By BROOKS TIGNER , KRAKOW – According to expert estimates, the web sites visited each day on the internet by the majority of users constitute less than 5 percent of the cyber-environment’s total resources. The rest resides in the more difficult-to-access area known as the “dark” or deep web and is mainly the lair of organised crime groups and terrorists. This is where crypto-currencies, arms and human trafficking transactions, child pornography and especially massive levels of financial fraud take place. As debated during the 9-10 October Cybersec 2017 conference here, Europe’s police and law enforcement agencies face arduous obstacles in their efforts to track who uses the dark web, how to gather evidence of wrong-doing and how to ensure that prosecution of cyber criminals leads to actual conviction and jail sentencing. Those obstacles fall into...

Read More »

The EU’s new cyber security package already needs an upgrade

By PATRICK STEPHENSON, with BROOKS TIGNER, BRUSSELS – In June, a 13-year-old United Nations panel on cybersecurity abruptly and acrimoniously disbanded. The panel, known formally as the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) in information and telecommunications, reportedly collapsed because participants could not agree on a ‘right to self-defence’ against cyber-attacks as ground in Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. Russia and China opposed the formal declaration of such a right, fearful that self-declared victims could use their status as a pretext for sanctions or other actions. With the UN paralyzed, the private sector is...

Read More »

Pandemics: what the public demands to raise trust in authority

By MATTHEW SCHILKA, with BROOKS TIGNER, BRUSSELS – When the H1N1 pandemic, or “Swine Flu”, made headlines in 2009 it generated a wave of fear throughout Western countries. Although the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control estimates that more than 2300 people died from the flu in the EU alone, its consequences were less serious than some experts predicted. One of the consequences of H1N1 saw the public’s confidence in health authorities plummet, social media participants calling into question official statements on the pandemic’s potential impact. One of the key remedies, argues an EU-funded initiative, is for...

Read More »

Left in the dark since 2009, Lisbon Treaty’s structured security and defence option now set to get its day in the sun

By PATRICK STEPHENSON, with BROOKS TIGNER, BRUSSELS – The EU’s 2009 Lisbon Treaty has always contained the promise of far greater cooperation between its member states than the latter have cared to pursue. Its Article 42(6) allows for so-called permanent structured cooperation (PESCO) among self-selected countries in any field, including defence. That prospect is moving toward reality as EU policymakers and those from key member states Germany and France prepare to unveil a PESCO proposal by the end of 2017 or early 2018. Defence policy adherents in Brussels are pouring over the possibilities for pushing Europe’s weak and fragemented military landscape toward a more coherent and stronger one. But how realistic are these expectations? Some indication of PESCO’s potential – but also its shortcomings – for the future emerged during...

Read More »

EU needs a strong Germany for defence, but Germans say nein

By PATRICK STEPHENSON , BRUSSELS – “It’s high time for Germany to step out of the shadow of its past,” Paul Taylor, columnist for Politico, declared at a 10 October presentation of his report, “Jumping Over Its Shadow: Germany and the Future of European Defence”. With Europeans fearful that US President Donald Trump’s tough talk on EU defence spending may signal an American disengagement from Europe, EU experts believe the time may be ripe for...

Read More »

First-responder communities still casting about for common terms & references for disaster response and crisis management

By PATRICK STEPHENSON , BRUSSELS – At the latest meeting of the European Commission’s Community of Users (CoU) on disaster response and crisis management, held here on 12-14 September, first-responders grappled with the question of how to make European societies more resilient when public emergencies and natural catastrophes strike. The need is great, as once-rare disasters become more frequent, said participants. “Before, disasters were happening every four to five years,” Dr William Hynes, managing director of the Dublin-based research consulting firm, Future Analytics, told the conference. “Now they happen annually.” One big problem is that few experts...

Read More »

Update on tenders and calls-for-proposals in EU security (18/10/2017)

1. Framework contract for the supply of handheld equipment for border surveillance and border checks — Required thermal cameras shall be handheld, uncooled thermal imagers having binocular output image projector used to generate image seen by both eyes of the user. — The cameras should enable medium range surveillance capabilities during foot or vehicle patrols in European climatic conditions. — …

Read More »

EU Security Research Projects Awarded (18/10/2017)

NEWLY AWARDED PROJECTS: RESPOND: Multilevel Governance of Mass Migration in Europe and Beyond RESPOND is a comprehensive study of migration governance in the wake of the 2015 Refugee Crisis. Bringing together 14 partners from 7 disciplines, the project probes policy-making processes and policy (in)coherence through comparative research in source, transit and destination countries. RESPOND analyses migration governance across macro (transnational, …

Read More »

Upcoming European security conferences & exhibits (18/10/2017)

Here are some upcoming events related to European civil security we think readers should be aware of: Europol – ENISA Internet of Things Security Conference 18-19 October 2017, The Hague, The Netherlands European Commission-EDA Information Exchange and Match-Making Event 7 November 2017, Brussels, Belgium High Level Conference on Cybersecurity in Civil Aviation 8-9 November 2017, Krakow, Poland Security Research, Innovation …

Read More »