Countering Radicalization – A Discussion with Bart Somers, Mayor of Mechelen

Many thanks to 1989 Generation Initiative for organizing this discussion in EU-Logos office. 

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Purpose: How can local authorities play a crucial role in combating radicalization, and how can the national level and the EU support these initiatives ?

Belgium is an important area when it comes to people leaving and fighting for the Caliphate, and to potential returns of radicalized adults and children. As a multicultural city, Mechelen includes around 20% of Muslims, mainly from Morocco.

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#FaitduJour: La Cour d’appel a confirmé la suspension du décret migratoire de Trump

Aujourd’hui, la Cour d’appel fédérale de San Francisco a suspendu le décret anti-immigration du président américain Donald Trump interdisant l’entrée des réfugiés et des citoyens de sept pays musulmans, confirmant ainsi la décision d’un juge fédéral de Seattle. «Rendez-vous à la Cour […] c’est en jeu la sécurité de la nation», a écrit Donald Trump avec un tweet après la décision de la Cour d’appel fédérale pour confirmer la suspension du décret contre les musulmans.

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The EU-Turkey strange relationship: forced but necessary

Last 22 November, a vast majority of the political groups in the European Parliament said that the Commission should temporarily freeze the accession talks with Turkey because of its post-coup purges. After the failed coup attempt on 15 July, press freedom is even more limited, media outlets have been closed down, politicians and freely-elected MPs are in prison. Moreover, Erdoğan has already dismissed the vote both because having “no value” and being non-binding. Firstly, this article will explain the nature of the relations between European Union and Turkey, in order to have a historical framework able to explain the evolution of such a relationship. Secondly, the recent social and political events will be presented, to highlight how 2016 has been an important year for the definition of relations between Brussels and Ankara. Finally, the reasons of the frictions between Turkey and the EU will be shown in order to figure out what is the scenario and its features in order to explain the deepest reasons of their relationship.  

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#LaRéplique: La menace Européenne pour Salvini: l’augmentation des impôts Italiens et l’arrivée massive de migrants

Samedi 21 Janvier se déroulera à Coblence une réunion entre Marine Le Pen (Front National), Geert Wilders (Parti pour la liberté), et Matteo Salvini (Lega Nord). Cette réunion aura lieu un jour seulement  après l’entrée en fonction du nouveau président américain. Les dirigeants des partis de la nouvelle droite européenne se réuniront le 21 Janvier pour la deuxième réunion annuelle du groupe ENF (Europe des Nations et des Libertés). Ces partis, dirigés par Le Pen au sein du Parlement européen, prétendent proposer un modèle alternatif à l’Union européenne à leurs citoyens.

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OTAN :  L’Europe a besoin des États-Unis et les États-Unis ont besoin de l’Europe(Conférence du Secrétaire général de l’OTAN, Jens Stoltenberg, organisée par le German Marshall Fund)
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a press conference after a NATO Defense minister meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on October 26, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / JOHN THYS

OTAN : L’Europe a besoin des États-Unis et les États-Unis ont besoin de l’Europe(Conférence du Secrétaire général de l’OTAN, Jens Stoltenberg, organisée par le German Marshall Fund)

Le 18 Novembre 2016, le German Marshall Fund (GMF) a organisé une conférence sur le thème de la coopération UE-États-Unis, invitant le Secrétaire général de l’OTAN, Jens Stoltenberg.La réunion du 18 novembre 2016 a été mise en place pour renforcer la coopération entre les continents de part et d’autre de l’Atlantique. Pour ce faire, ils ont invité le Secrétaire général de l’OTAN puisque c’est la seule organisation défensive existante qui « unit les pays de deux continents » depuis la fin de la Seconde Guerre mondiale.La conférence s’est déroulée en deux étapes : le secrétaire général s’est d’abord exprimé sur les thèmes principaux, ensuite certains participants ont eu l’occasion de poser des questions relatives à l’actualité. (suite…)

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A stronger NATO means a stronger Europe. Sea Guardian and Operation Sophia together

After NATO Defence Ministers decisions in February 2016, Allies have swiftly made international efforts in terms of maritime to stem the flow of irregular migration in the Aegean Sea concerning the refugees and migrants crisis. The NATO mission, approved in record time, arises from the agreement between Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Davutoglu, announced during her visit in Ankara, and after the consent of the Greek Alexis Tsipras. NATO is contributing to international efforts to stem illegal trafficking and illegal migration in the Aegean Sea, through intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in the Aegean Sea. To this end, NATO is cooperating with the European Union’s border management agency Frontex, in full compliance with international law and the law of the sea. Since then the cooperation between the European Union and NATO has increasingly intensified, both in the field of the common security defense and migration. On 8 and 9 July, during the NATO Summit in Warsaw, the Atlantic Council expressed the intention to cooperate with the EU in the Central Mediterranean. After the month of February, the Aegean routes are monitored, and the central axis linking Libya to southern Europe has become the new route for migrants. On 26 and 27 October, following the meeting of NATO Ministers of Defense, NATO intervention in the central Mediterranean in support of the European Operation Sophia was decided. Firstly, this article will provide an explanation of NATO approach and its ability to adapt itself in facing new challenges. Secondly, it will introduce the situation in the central Mediterranean, by underlining the increase of migration flows and consequently, of victims. Finally, it will explain the implications of the EU-NATO joint mission in the fight against the smuggling of migrants, and thus the additional effects of this cooperation that is spreading more and more between South and Middle East. (suite…)

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Will the European Union have an army? The return of the Franco-German alliance

“More than ever, Europe is facing huge challenges. Especially in times of crisis, our citizens must be able to recognize the value and benefits of being EU members. It is important to be able to guarantee internal security. This also implies an obligation to fight both the real threats and international Islamic terrorism in Europe”. These words are part of the Franco-German text presented on August 23 at the European Commission, in order to face the external and internal threats. A few days later, on September 11, at the eve of the Bratislava summit, another text was sent to the High Representative (HR) Federica Mogherini containing proposals to implement the Global Strategy of the European Union. The Global Strategy was presented during the first meeting without the United Kingdom, on June 28 in Brussels. After the referendum, it was clear that many balances should have been changed; however, a lot of people already speak about the Franco-German alliance, ready to take a leading role inside the European security and defense policy (ESDP). Firstly, this article will explain the content of the Lisbon Treaty’s articles which define the European common security and defense policy. Secondly, the path of the European security policy after Brexit will be presented. Finally, the objective consequences of this evolution will be analysed, in order to understand the implications of the Franco-German proposition.   

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The Brexit effects on European security and defense

On June 23, British voters chose to leave the European Union. This important referendum, colloquially termed Brexit, has sent shockwaves across Europe and the world. The victory of the Leave side, with 52 percent of the vote, versus 48 percent for Remain, is a rare and unexpected point. Neither the EU nor the United Kingdom will ever be the same. In this article the aim is to understand what may be the causes of Brexit on European security and defense (CSDP). At first, the theoretical approach will be considered, which tends to explain objectively the effects on European security policy. Secondly, the first reaction of the European Union following the referendum will be examined. Finally, the framework of the meeting in Bratislava will be presented, the informal meeting in which will meet for the first time the 27 EU countries.

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De la Stratégie Globale de sécurité aux Conclusions du Conseil. Le double jeu de l’UE
http://www.cvce.eu/content/publication/2003/5/26/b2f0416f-fab5-4306-994d-f5fb1923e056/publishable.jpg

De la Stratégie Globale de sécurité aux Conclusions du Conseil. Le double jeu de l’UE

En Juin 2015, la Haute Représentante de l’Union européenne pour les affaires étrangères et la politique de sécurité, Federica Mogherini, a présenté aux dirigeants européens son évaluation stratégique du contexte mondial. Ils lui ont demandé de préparer une stratégie globale de l’UE sur la politique étrangère et de sécurité pour guider les actions mondiales de l’Union européenne dans l’avenir. La Stratégie mondiale, présentée aux dirigeants européens le 28 juin 2016, lors du Sommet européen à Bruxelles, sera mise en place en étroite coopération avec les États membres, ainsi qu’avec les institutions de l’UE et la communauté des Affaires Etrangères. Premièrement, dans cet article, seront analysés les points principaux du nouveau document concernent la politique de défense et de sécurité; ensuite seront approfondis les enjeux liés à la crise migratoire et à la coopération avec l’OTAN ; enfin, à la lumière des conclusions du Conseil européen du 28 juin, seront pris en considération les possibles scenarios internationaux, avec une Union européenne qui après le Brexit veut apparaitre plus solide que jamais. (suite…)

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