Symβiosis aims to provide resources, commentaries and analysis, on political, social and cultural ideas and developments affecting change and policy, original and creative, based on arguments, able to propose and debate solutions to critical issues, maintaining a broad intellectual scope and global reach that readers need to understand the choices shaping lives, and reflecting on Greece, the Balkans, Europe and the world.




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From a European to a Common Security and Defence Policy

Date added: 12/06/2010
Date modified: 12/06/2010
Filesize: 456.15 kB
Downloads: 868

Institute for European Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)

by Matthaios Charalampous | IES Working Paper 5/2010

The Lisbon Treaty has introduced significant changes in the field of EU security and defence. On the one hand, important institutional reforms, such as the creation of a renewed High Representative, have of course a great impact on this policy field. On the other hand, the Lisbon Treaty has also introduced specific innovations in the security and defence of the European Union. The mutual defence clause and the new mechanisms for flexible cooperation such as the permanent structured cooperation, are only some of the key innovations. Generally, the European Security and Defence Policy receives its own section in the Treaty on European Union and is rebranded as Common Security and Defence Policy. Thus, the Lisbon Treaty sets the objective for a common policy in this field. However, does this reform really provide for the means for the realization of such a common policy? Furthermore, does the Lisbon Treaty increase the importance of CSDP or is the increasing importance of this policy field just reflected in the Treaty text? These are the main questions that the present paper attempts to address through the analysis of the new institutional setting of the post-Lisbon security and defence policy, as well as through the examination of the specific innovations in this area.

Fine-tuning EU Border Security

Date added: 11/13/2010
Date modified: 11/13/2010
Filesize: 641.47 kB
Downloads: 1524

A Security & Defence Agenda Report - October 2010

On September 29, the SDA welcomed keynote speaker Stefano Manservisi, Director General for Home Affairs at the European Commission, to introduce a roundtable debate featuring experts on border security from both sides of the Atlantic. Together, they discussed the changing function of borders and assessed the EU's ability to turn its internal and external borders into intelligent filters, which facilitate commerce and exchange within a wider security network.

Participants were unanimous in cknowledging the need for inter-departmental cooperation at all levels of governance to improve border security. Yet before this cooperation can take form, key priorities must be formulated into a coherent strategy. This strategy needs to accommodate the balance between openness, security, and personal privacy. It must internalize threats which begin on the other side of the globe. It must also harness technological solutions and put them at the service of principled objectives.

Much of the debate centred on how tackling such challenges requires an adequate balance of national and European border initiatives. Participants often disagreed over the best method of harmonizing these contrasting priorities, with both top-down and bottom-up methods proposed.

Foreigners living in the EU

Date added: 10/06/2010
Date modified: 10/06/2010
Filesize: 117.54 kB
Downloads: 753

Foreigners living in the EU are diverse and largely younger than the nationals of the EU Member States

Eurostat: Population and social conditions

Author: Katya VASILEVA

The total number of non-nationals (i.e. persons who are not citizens of their country of residence) living on the territory of the EU Member States on 1 January 2009 was 31.9 million, representing 6.4% of the total EU population. More than one third of them (11.9 million), were citizens of another Member State.
Studying the composition and the demographics of the foreign (non-national) 1 and foreign-born population is important as these represent a significant part of the EU population. Looking for example at the current age structure of nationals and non-nationals separately reveals that non-nationals bring a younger population to the EU.
This article presents the latest available figures on the non-national and foreign-born population usually resident in the EU, EFTA and Candidate countries on 1 January 2009, broken down by citizenship and country of birth respectively.

NATO's European Dimension

Date added: 09/23/2010
Date modified: 09/23/2010
Filesize: 8 MB
Downloads: 1835

Author : Security & Defence Agenda (SDA - Belgium)

The Security & Defence Agenda is proud to present this report on “NATO’s European Dimension” from the annual conference on 21 June 2010 at the Concert Noble in Brussels.
It highlights some of the input of 12 speakers and over 300 participants on the current state of EU-NATO relations in the run up to the Lisbon summit. Special attention was also given to the recommendations stemming from the first edition of the SDA’s online Security Jam.

Despite shrinking defence budgets, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen called for smarter spending to help NATO develop a collective approach and multinational solutions to the security challenges of the 21st century.
The conference also looked at the need for institutional change in NATO and more cohesion across the alliance. What role and capabilities should NATO acquire in a shifting global security landscape? Several  recommendations for a more modern alliance were made, such as drawing from the experience of member states in the face of economic austerity. Latvian Minister of Defence Imants Liegis reminded participants that “we need to maintain a level of ambition and not sacrifice the level of security of member states”. Other recommendations included forging strategic partnerships with Russia, key stakeholders and defence industries. Many panellists called for better coordination of civilian, military and political tools in Afghanistan. Too often, it was said, turf wars hamper a truly integrated strategy. These lessons will hopefully be echoed in NATO’s new Strategic Concept.
The global economic crisis provides an opportunity for new thinking on pooling defence procurement and multinational industrial cooperation. The imbalances in defence investment and cooperation in Afghanistan currently overshadow the EU and NATO’s potential as effective global security and defence actors.

Maritime Security in the Mediterranean. European and Transatlantic Approaches

Date added: 09/23/2010
Date modified: 09/23/2010
Filesize: 5.79 MB
Downloads: 896
Author : Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI - Italy)
by Basil Germond & Eric Grove

The Mediterranean sea lies at the centre of a security nexus whose geopolitical importance has increased since the end of the Cold War. In this turbulent space, where European, transatlantic, and North-South dynamics cross each other, maritime security issues such as terrorism from the sea, drug trafficking, and illegal immigration have become critical for both the EU and the US. To better address these challenges, the transatlantic partners should involve Southern Mediterranean states more. Established multilateral fora and programmes such as the Union for the Mediterranean and NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue should be made a better use of and complemented by bilateral and ad hoc initiatives.