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  • Series: European Security and Justice Critiques series x
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Edited by Antonina Bakardjieva Engelbrekt, Anna Michalski, Niklas Nilsson and Lars Oxelheim

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Antonina Bakardjieva Engelbrekt, Anna Michalski, Niklas Nilsson and Lars Oxelheim

The introductory chapter outlines the challenge presented to the European Union (EU) by an increasingly complex security environment, compounded by a diverse set of crises relating to migration, terrorism, war in the EU’s immediate vicinity, and the lingering danger of disintegration in the Eurozone. In order to put the book in context, the chapter explores the current crises and the challenge they pose to solidarity in the EU and, ultimately, to its internal cohesion. It also reviews what the EU can and should do to remain relevant as a crisis manager and sustain its credibility as a peace project. The chapter subsequently outlines nine central aspects of the crises facing the EU and policy recommendations to address them. In conclusion, the chapter argues that the EU needs to strengthen solidarity among its Member States by reforming the European asylum policy and to deepen cooperation between judicial and national security agencies. Most importantly, however, the EU needs to prioritize upholding the four freedoms that underpin it in order to remain legitimate in the eyes of its citizens.

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Niklas Bremberg

The European Union (EU) is often seen as a guarantor of peace and stability in Europe, but in the light of ‘Brexit’, shifts in transatlantic relations, the migration crisis and, growing political tensions between Member States, new questions need to be asked about what these crises and challenges entail for the Union. This chapter discusses these questions on the basis of research on security communities in international relations. The chapter describes the historical evolution of the security community concept and summarizes the main theoretical insights gained from studies conducted over several decades. The concept is used to analyse the development of the EU as a security-community-building institution, with an emphasis on military and civilian crisis management. The EU’s response to the refugee situation in the Mediterranean region is also analysed. The chapter concludes with a reflection on the extent to which the EU can act as a security-building institution beyond its borders, and this provides the basis for a set of policy recommendations highlighting that the EU should seek to strengthen practical cooperation with non-members in the field of international crisis management.

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Inger Österdahl

The chapter examines the new legal elements in the European Union (EU) Lisbon Treaty in the field of foreign and security policy, as well as the (not fully so new) overarching legal and institutional structures for policy creation. Three legal innovations made their appearance with the Lisbon Treaty. First, the position of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy was established, and the European External Action Service (EEAS) was formed – the task of which is to assist the High Representative. Second, the EU was empowered to impose sanctions not just against other countries (as earlier), but against individuals and non-state entities as well. Third, a mutual defence clause among the Union’s Member States was introduced. In other respects, where foreign affairs and security policy are concerned, the Lisbon Treaty did little but rearrange already existing provisions. The field remains fundamentally intergovernmental, but should the EU Member States agree on a legally deeper and thus more common policy there are few limits to how far the cooperation may reach. Most importantly, Member States should continue talking for the sake of European and international peace.

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Mikael Eriksson

This chapter critically analyses the EU’s use of targeted sanctions, addressing the question of how the EU’s sanctions policy discourse should be understood and what implications the EU sanctions may have on the international arena. It analyses both the opportunities in using sanctions for security policy purposes and the tensions that the use of this instrument can entail. The chapter seeks not only to place the EU in a global security context, but also to present the policy aims of EU sanctions, including theoretical and practical challenges. For this, the EU’s ongoing sanctions regimes are presented in detail, and the EU’s sanctions on Russia are discussed in depth. The chapter ends with a discussion of how sanctions can be understood in a geo-economic perspective, and how they can contribute to the EU’s security.

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Sten Widmalm, Thomas Persson and Charles Parker

In recent years the European Union (EU) has explicitly embraced the goal of protecting all its citizens. The expression of this goal can be found in the solidarity clause of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, which establishes a legal obligation that the EU and its Member States should assist each other when one of them is the object of a terrorist attack or a natural or human-made disaster. As a result of this aspiration, the EU has increasingly assumed a central role as a crisis manager. In this chapter we present the capacities that the EU has developed to deliver on these commitments and analyse the obstacles that impede these efforts. We also examine, with the help of survey data from the European Commission’s Eurobarometer, the expectations of citizens of EU Member States of the EU’s crisis management capacity. Finally, drawing on interviews with top officials from eighteen European civil protection services, we outline the challenges facing Europe’s crisis management capacity in light of the differences in trust and common norms among the EU’s crisis management authorities and the many different administrative cultures represented in these agencies. The chapter concludes with some reflections on the wider implications that should be taken into consideration as the EU works on further developing its crisis management capabilities.

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Joakim Gullstrand and Christian Jörgensen

Food security has been increasing in the modern era and today is relatively high for most European households. Still, the prospect of high food security in the future may be challenged by rapid rise in global demand, driven by growth in both population and household income, while future supply could be constrained by climate change and scarcity of key inputs such as water, energy, and soil quality. These challenges are likely to have an asymmetrical influence on food security in countries and hence may lead to regional and global tensions. Therefore, the future food security of Europe is interlinked with global food security and other types of security, as it may, for example, trigger conflicts and acts of terrorism. The solution to handle potential food insecurity in the future is not to fall back on an isolationistic policy but instead to strengthen the long-term efficiency of the food system through policies fostering international trade and by a changed European attitude towards biotechnology to break the deadlock on both research and production focusing on genetically modified feed and food. In the short run, the policies and regulations already in place for upholding food security should be strengthened by facilitating European transfers to households troubled by price spikes and by increasing low, or absent, emergency reserves to handle unexpected and sudden disruptions.

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Roger Svensson

New knowledge and technology created through R & D is the most important production factor for economic growth. The European Union (EU) has fallen behind some competitors both with respect to the input side (R & D investments and R & D personnel) and the output side (patent applications) of innovation. If the EU cannot match the pace of innovation in competing regions, then growth will not be the only thing at risk; firms in the EU could lose competitiveness and both employment and productivity could fall. Even if the European Commission has the ambition to coordinate the efforts of Member States in innovation and growth through EU Horizon 2020, the substantial fragmentation in policy efforts among the countries is a major problem when trying to avoid threats to economic growth. If the EU aims to maintain its competitiveness and growth, then extraordinary measures are required regarding innovation and technology development. This chapter identifies four important areas in which measures are necessary: public financing of R & D in the business sector, public financing of business innovation, intellectual property rights and university R & D.

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Cecilia Magnusson Sjöberg

Risks associated with manipulation and dissemination of private data are an increasingly recognized security concern. In response to this development, this chapter sheds light on privacy in the context of digital networks. More precisely, legal means for personal data protection in an Internet environment is the focal point. In addition to legal means, information security is conceived of as a critical success factor and will therefore also be taken into consideration. Of particular interest in this context is the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that will be applicable as law in all Member States by 25 May 2018. The analysis presented in the chapter emphasizes the importance of the EU’s responsibility to protect its citizens from privacy infringements due to insufficient security measures. Only time will tell how efficient the somewhat new legal requirements for information security such as pseudonymization as laid down in the GDPR will turn out in practice.

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Gregor Noll

This chapter argues that the asylum and migration control policies of the European Union (EU) are usefully analysed as an expression of liberal thought. The chapter shows how the roots of these policies go all the way back to the creation of the Union in the 1950s and illustrates how this heritage affects prevailing rules in the areas of migration and asylum. This order was paradoxically strengthened during the crisis of 2015 and 2016. Against this backdrop, the chapter explains why the concept of solidarity in EU law is poorly constructed and maps possible solutions. If the EU is serious about its liberal identity it cannot completely deny the rationality and free will of the asylum seeker. The question is if there is a reformist alternative: a complement to the present protectionist system that acknowledges the rationality and free will of the asylum seeker without demanding utopian or revolutionary wonders of the Union in its present form. The chapter then tests whether humanitarian visas could constitute such a complement, where the asylum seeker and the EU Member State meet in a rational discourse before the asylum seeker has decided to travel to Europe. As the Court of Justice of the EU has practically written off this option, this might tell us something of how the particular form of liberalism that the EU represents can be articulated.