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Stories in this edition of SECURITY EUROPE

Both “sides” of Brussels moving rapidly to counter hybrid threats

By BROOKS TIGNER , BRUSSELS – Because hybrid warfare observes no rules, both the EU and NATO have necessarily had to play catch-up with Russia, a country that has a long history of not playing by the rules when it comes to sabotage – which is simply what the fancy term of hybrid warfare actually means.Moscow’s obfuscating propaganda leading up to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014, its cat-and-mouse military tactics in eastern Ukraine and its cyber and informational interference in the media and electoral processes in Europe and elsewhere have been the defining examples.While NATO and the EU cannot match the propaganda resource of Russia, they are finally starting to throw up the kind of defences and counter-responses needed to keep the threat at bay, if not contain it. Each is developing new capabilities to do this and both are modulating their annual crisis management scenarios to simulate cyber-attacks against critical infrastructure, for example.More strategically, they are working on...

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EDPS foresees smooth sailing for data protection…for Europe

By PATRICK STEPHENSON, with BROOKS TIGNER, BRUSSELS – On 4 May the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) released his 2016 Annual Report on the EU’s internal efforts to safeguard data privacy. Giovanni Buttarelli, the supervisor, declared that the EU is the “leading force on data protection in the world in the digital age,” and that Europeans should do more to be an example to third countries on how to regulate data collection.But regarding US-EU relations under the administration of US President Donald Trump, he was not so sanguine. “Privacy seems to be not the top of their priorities,” he said, describing a position that could weigh heavily on efforts to...

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Ukraine clears EU visa hurdle, but tougher tests still to come

By PATRICK STEPHENSON , BRUSSELS – What are the prospects for developing relations between the war-torn state of Ukraine and the European Union? A mixed bag, to hear experts describe it. While most acknowledge that the country has adopted an impressive range of reforms, dark clouds remain on the horizon, with one EU politician arguing that the most difficult institutional changes in Ukraine have only just begun.Experts and policymakers gathered on 27 April under the auspices of...

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Very high-flying drone could offer many security applications

By BROOKS TIGNER, BRUSSELS – One of Europe’s largest defence companies is refining the technical details of a prototype drone designed to fly so high, so cheaply and at such long endurance it could have endless applications for both civil security and defence users. The device enters testing with a European ministry of defence in the second half of 2017 and could be commercialised by the early 2020s.Known as a...

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Hope for internet-of-things’ glorious future grapples with security

By PATRICK STEPHENSON , BRUSSELS – By 2020 more than 200 billion devices will be connected to cyberspace, forming the internet-of-things (IoT), according to industry estimates. Many of those will connect to their users through sensors monitoring everything from location and air quality to heart rate. On 19 and 20 April, Internet policymakers and experts gathered at the Eighth Annual Internet of Things Conference here to discuss how the proliferation of connected sensor devices is changing Europe.As one European Commission official put it: “In a few years, the data that your car transmits could be more valuable than the car itself.”In response, the Commission has begun to implement a regulatory framework intended to spur innovation. This includes...

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Using the Internet of Things to build smarter, more secure cities

By PATRICK STEPHENSON , BRUSSELS – The most direct link that most European citizens have with their governments are through their municipal authorities. But often, confusing bureaucratic procedures and delayed responses from police and crisis-response services can strain relations between burghers and burgomasters. What if emerging IT technologies could improve municipal services through complete transparency — showing every centime spent for every service — while driving down costs and improving security services in moments of crisis?At the Eighth Annual Internet of Things conference, officials from two cities described how they’re using Internet of Things (IoT) technology to make their citizens safer, while building trust and improving local accountability. The cities are...

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Beneath EU’s blanket of optimism about controlling irregular migration, holes and hidden figures remain in its policy financing

By PATRICK STEPHENSON , BRUSSELS – The European Commission adopted its ‘hotspot’ approach in May 2015, during the enormous refugee wave that saw over a million people journey across the Mediterranean towards Europe. While EU members generally control their own borders and process asylum application, the Commission conceived of ‘hotspots’ as a way to provide direct operational support to Greece and Italy, the destinations for most migrants, many of them refugees from Syria.But how has this approach’s administration and financing been handled? A special report on the Italian and Greek hotspots was released on...

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Update on tenders and calls-for-proposals in EU security (17/05/2017)

1. Development, supply and testing of a Galileo open service authentication user terminal (OS-NMA) for the GSA Development and supply of at least 3 prototypes of an open service navigation message authentication user terminal, meeting smart (digital) tachograph application’s requirements at a sufficient level of maturity to, at a minimum, carry out a demonstration in a representative environment (i.e. technology …

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EU Security Research Projects Awarded (17/05/2017)

NEWLY AWARDED PROJECTS: TRIVALENT: Terrorism pReventIon Via rAdicaLisation countEr-NarraTive The underlying assumption of the project proposal is that to counter successfully violent extremism, a more balanced response is needed that combines repressive (protective) measures with preventive measures, based on a firm commitment to respecting fundamental rights, promoting integration and cultural dialogue, and fighting discrimination. This process must include investigating extremism’s …

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Upcoming European security conferences & exhibits (17/05/2017)

Here are some upcoming events related to European civil security we think readers should be aware of: 1st Int’l Conference and Exhibition – Aerial, Surface and Underwater Unmanned Vehicles 17-19 May 2017, Marathon Bay, Greece European Seminar on Defence and Security Procurement 29-30 May 2017, Berlin, Germany 2nd CBRNe Research and Innovation Conference 29 May – 1 June 2017, Lyon, …

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