Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 348

The EU needs a security strategy based on common interests

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 9 febbraio 2016

mogheriniEU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, during a discussion on the U.S.-led military coalition fighting Daesh, also known as Islamic State or ISIS. The formulation of such a strategy is urgent, as the dramatic events of last year, including the terrorist attacks in France and the migration crisis, have demonstrated. The community’s responses to these challenges have shown an alarming lack of coherence and strategic depth. In theory, the EU has had a security strategy of its own – alongside that of NATO – for the past 13 years. After the 9/11 attacks on the United States and the ensuing “war on terror,” the European Council accepted a European Security Strategy (ESS) in late 2003. Never a grand example of strategic thought, the ESS was subjected to what was deemed to be a thorough review five years later. It has now become obsolete.
The process of creating the ESS’s successor is being coordinated by Federica Mogherini, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The European Union Institute for Security Studies is also at work on it. The process has entered the stage of consultations and negotiations with EU member states.After the 9/11 attacks on the United States and the ensuing “war on terror,” the European Council accepted a European Security Strategy (ESS) in late 2003. Never a grand example of strategic thinking, the ESS was subjected to what was deemed to be a thorough review five years later. It has now become obsolete. At this point, indications are that the EGS will neither be a detailed defense strategy, nor a foreign policy strategy, nor even a joint security and defense strategy policy. It will rather be a deepened and more specific version of the ESS. Operational and sector strategies, such as military defense strategy, could then follow as logical next steps.If Ms. Mogherini’s project proves successful, it could, in theory at least, be a step toward transforming the vulnerable EU into a more secure community of states. However, for that to happen, the EGS must not dodge one issue that is of critical importance to EU members: how they define their strategic interests.A lasting international security system can only be built on the basis of common interests; in difficult moments, mere joint values are insufficient. That is one of the key lessons to learn from the crises, internal and international, that have haunted the EU in recent years.The strategic security environment today is undergoing drastic changes. Before our eyes, the stabilizing systems created during the Cold War, such as the UN, NATO and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), are losing their effectiveness. Relative stability is giving way to destabilization in many areas around the world. On top of this, the financial crisis has undermined the economic foundations of security. New challenges and threats – global terrorism, cyberattacks, nuclear security asymmetries, hybrid warfare, migrations – are gaining significance. In a nutshell, uncertainty is increasing; the risks are growing.
In such conditions, a natural, defensive reaction occurs in nation states: hiding inside a shell of one’s own fears. The effect is “short-termism” and burying one’s head in the sand. Decreasing trust between members of a community undermines international organizations. These spiraling processes can lead to the “nationalization” of security policies in individual countries.
In this environment, there is a growing risk that an ineffective, or even counter-effective, international order will emerge. The result could be an anarchic, non-polar world with numerous, ever more unstable players, focused on their own problems and goals. This would be a medieval-style universe of chaos, full of conflicts between weakened powers, political fragmentation and ad hoc initiatives aimed at short-term gains: a world inherently unstable, operating in conditions of permanently high risk. (photo: mogherini)

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