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22 novembre 2015 7 22 /11 /novembre /2015 19:50
Vers une nouvelle stratégie européenne de sécurité


20/11/2015 par IRSEM

 

Le Laboratoire de l'IRSEM accueille des productions ayant pour finalité une perspective d’innovation. On y trouvera également des actes de colloques ou de la matière première pour des recherches futures.

 

Vers une nouvelle stratégie européenne de sécurité sous la direction du Général (2S) Maurice DE LANGLOIS - Laboratoire n°25

 

Note RP Defense: en savoir plus sur EU Global Strategy for foreign and security policy

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16 novembre 2015 1 16 /11 /novembre /2015 17:50
This is How AK-47s Get to Paris

 

16.11.2015 by David Axe - .thedailybeast.com

 

France bans most guns. So where did the Paris attackers get their assault weapons?

Late Friday night in Paris, multiple gunmen opened fire on diners and concert-goers as part of what appears to have been a coordinated, city-wide terror attack that also included several apparent bomb blasts—and which killed at least 129 people.

As bombs exploded and panic spread, one witness described assailants firing Kalashnikov-style assault weapons through the plate-glass windows of the Petit Cambodge restaurant in the north-central part of the city.

France outlaws most gun ownership and it’s almost impossible to legally acquire a high-powered rifle such as an AK-47, so where did the weapons in the Nov. 13 terror attack—not to mention the bloody January assault by Islamic terrorists on the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo magazine and the 2012 shootings by a militant in Toulouse—come from?

The answer: Eastern Europe, most likely, where the trafficking of deadly small arms is big, shady business. And where local authorities find it difficult to intervene.

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4 novembre 2015 3 04 /11 /novembre /2015 08:50
photo NATO

photo NATO

 

20.10.2015 Par Olivier Berger, grand reporter à La Voix du Nord.

 

L'ambassadrice de Suède depuis un an, Veronika Wand-Danielsson, a participé récemment aux Ateliers de la Citadelle à Lille qui s'interrogent avec conviction sur l'Europe de la Défense. Mme Wand-Danielsson est bien placée pour analyser le délicat équilibre et les rapports de force entre UE et OTAN. De 2007 à 2014, elle fut ambassadrice de Suède auprès de l'Organisation du traité Atlantique-Nord. En 2005, elle fut responsable à la Représentation suédoise des négociations du Traité de Lisbonne...

 

- Que représente l’Europe de la Défense pour la Suède ?

" D'une perspective suédoise, le fondement de cette politique de sécurité et de la construction européenne n’est pas seulement l’Europe de la défense. Tous les engagements de l’Union Européenne (UE) pour une solidarité commune vont au-delà de la sécurité. Le rôle de l’OTAN reste fondamental pour la sécurité en Europe. L’UE et l’OTAN sont les deux piliers de la sécurité en Europe. L’OTAN a une politique très développée avec ses partenaires, tels la Suède. Ce partenariat est essentiel pour garantir, surtout ces jours-ci, notre sécurité. "

 

- Selon vous, rien ne sert d’opposer l’UE et l’OTAN, les deux sont complémentaires ?

" Absolument, c’est notre vision. Les deux organismes sont différents, mais complémentaires. L’OTAN est une coopération politique et un outil militaire. Le mandat de l'UE est beaucoup plus vaste, centré sur la coopération politique et économique. Nous sommes pragmatiques. Dans un contexte de crise économique, ce n’est pas le moment de faire double emploi. De plus, il faut être réaliste, les Etats-Unis sont la première puissance militaire de l’OTAN et au monde. Nous avons besoin de cette coopération au niveau politique, militaire et technique. N’oublions pas que 50% de l’informatique du Gripen (l'avion multirôle fabriqué par le Suédois Saab) provient des Etats-Unis. Leur avance technologique nous oblige à maintenir un lien étroit pour bénéficier de ces avancées mais aussi pour le développement de nos capacités militaires nationales. "

Suite de l'entretien

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12 octobre 2015 1 12 /10 /octobre /2015 15:30
photo Russia MoD

photo Russia MoD

 

12 octobre 2015 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

Luxembourg - L'UE a appelé lundi la Russie à cesser immédiatement les frappes qui visent l'opposition modérée en Syrie et estimé qu'il ne peut y avoir de paix durable avec les dirigeants actuels alors que Moscou défend le président Bachar al-Assad.

 

Moscou a lancé depuis le 30 septembre des frappes en Syrie pour appuyer Bachar al-Assad dont le président russe Vladimir Poutine est un soutien indéfectible. Ce renfort aérien a permis à l'armée du régime d'avancer dans sa reconquête de territoires dans le centre du pays.

 

Mais pour les Européens, il ne peut y avoir de paix durable en Syrie avec les dirigeants actuels, selon une déclaration adoptée à Luxembourg par leurs ministres des Affaires étrangères.

 

Le régime d'Assad porte la plus grande responsabilité dans les 250.000 morts qu'a fait le conflit et les millions de personnes qu'il a déplacées, écrivent-ils, appelant toutes les parties à cesser les bombardements aveugles avec des barils d'explosifs ou des armes chimiques.

 

M. Poutine a indiqué dimanche que son armée intervenait en Syrie afin de stabiliser les autorités légitimes et de créer les conditions pour la mise en oeuvre d'un compromis politique.

 

Cette escalade militaire risque de prolonger le conflit, de saper le processus politique, d'aggraver la situation humanitaire et d'augmenter la radicalisation, estime au contraire l'UE.

 

Alors que la crise s'intensifie, il devient de plus en plus urgent de trouver une solution durable pour mettre fin au conflit, ajoute le texte.

 

Il appelle à un processus dirigé par les Syriens menant à une transition pacifique et inclusive, sans pour autant dire si Bachar al-Assad pourrait y participer.

 

Moscou dit lutter en priorité contre le groupe jihadiste Etat islamique (Daech) en Syrie, ce que contestent les Occidentaux, qui affirment que la majorité des frappes russes concernent des zones stratégiquement importantes pour le régime et où l'EI n'est pas implanté.

 

L'UE a exprimé sa profonde préoccupation à propos des attaques aériennes russes qui vont au-delà de Daech et d'autres groupes terroristes désignés comme tels par l'ONU, ainsi que celles qui visent l'opposition modérée.

 

Elles doivent cesser immédiatement, tout comme les violations russes de l'espace aérien de pays voisins, indiquent les ministres européens, en référence aux incursion d'avions et de missiles de croisière russes dans l'espace aérien turc.

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7 octobre 2015 3 07 /10 /octobre /2015 16:50
Douze clusters s'unissent pour soutenir l'industrie européenne de la microélectronique

 

07 octobre 2015 par  Jacques Marouani - electroniques.biz

 

Une nouvelle organisation, baptisée Alliance Silicon Europe, aura pour but de soutenir l’industrie européenne de la microélectronique et du numérique pour renforcer sa position à l’échelle mondiale, en lien avec l’ambition fixée par la Commission Européenne. Deux pôles de compétitivité français, Minalogic et SCS, en font partie.

 

Une nouvelle organisation européenne, l’Alliance Silicon Europe, qui regroupe 12 clusters européens du numérique couvrant toute la chaîne de la valeur de la micro-électronique, et rassemblant 2000 acteurs de l’industrie et de la recherche, vient d'être lancée à l'occasion du salon Semicon Europa. Un plan d’actions commun a été annoncé, visant à générer de nouveaux partenariats d'affaires et de R&D à l’échelle européenne, et à assurer la visibilité d’une industrie européenne clé pour les secteurs applicatifs.

Les six pôles européens fondateurs sont Silicon Saxony (Allemagne), Minalogic (France / Rhône-Alpes), High-Tech NL et BCS NL (Pays-Bas), DSP Valley (Belgique) et Me2c (Autriche). Ils ont été rejoints par 6 nouveaux clusters : NMI (Royaume-Uni), MIDAS (Irlande), mi-Cluster (Grèce), SCS (France / Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur), GAIA (Espagne) et la Fondation Distretto Green and Hi-Tech of Monza Brianza (Italie). Peter Simkens, directeur du cluster DSP Valley, et Isabelle Guillaume, déléguée générale de Minalogic, ont été élus respectivement président et vice-présidente de l’Alliance Silicon Europe.

Suite de l’article

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20 septembre 2015 7 20 /09 /septembre /2015 11:50
EU home affairs diplomacy: why, what, where – and how

 

Home affairs matters such as border control, crime-fighting and counter-terrorism are all increasingly subject to international rule-setting and cooperation. The European Union is facing up to this challenge, under pressure of events but also thanks to a high degree of coordination between home affairs officials and diplomats. With its near abroad now host to mass movements of migrants, radical Islamist groups and transnational organised crime networks, the Union is investing in making the relationship between internal and external security processes more substantive. But enhanced coordination can only work if Europeans adopt the right geographical focus, toolkit and strategy.

This Chaillot Paper explores the genesis of ‘home affairs diplomacy’ and how it has taken shape, and highlights the challenges as well as the opportunities that bringing together different policy communities (at both national and EU level) generates for a more confident and more ‘strategic’ European approach to an outside world that has become more connected and more complex than ever before.

 

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12 juin 2014 4 12 /06 /juin /2014 16:40
Inauguration of EXPAL’s Demilitarization plant in Belarus

 

2014.06.05 EXPAL

 

The Project is the result of an international tender launched by the European Union that EXPAL was awarded, and it contemplates the destruction of 3.400.000 mines.
 

The inaugural ceremony took place on May 27th, at the plant EXPAL has installed in Belarus for the destruction of PFM-1 Mines in this country.

The Defence Deputy Minister of Belarus acted as chairman to the ceremony, which was also attended by high representatives of the European Union, an ample representation of ambassadors to Belarus, Military authorities and EXPAL representatives.
The Project is the consequence of an international tender launched by the European Union that EXPAL was awarded, and it contemplates the destruction of 3.400.000 mines.
The plant has been specially designed and built by EXPAL to carry out the scope of the project. Safety and complying with European Environmental standards have been fundamental parameters in the development and building of the facilities and the design of its processes, thought specifically for the destruction of this type of ammunition. These are the first facilities capable of taking on this task that has never before been performed.
The EC’s support for the destruction of Belarus stockpiles of PFM-1 landmines is linked with the Government of Belarus`s ratification of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their destruction. 
 
EXPAL’s Demil services
EXPAL’s Demil services cover the elimination of obsolete, surplus and disused ammunition and explosives. The combination of experience, know-how and its own technologies and processes, as well as the capacities for recuperation and reuse of the materials that allow the reintegration of the ammunitions and explosives into a new life-cycle within civilian use, have made EXPAL a clear leader in these activities.
Demil is carried out following EXPAL’s own procedures and processes, based on security, environmental protection and quality standards established by international norm on these matters.
 
EXPAL – www.expal.biz
EXPAL develops, produces and integrates a wide portfolio of products and services for the defence and security industries. Its clients are Ministries of Defence and armed forced from around the globe, international organisms and other leading defence companies.
 
Currently, EXPAL’s products and services are employed by over 40 countries all over the world. 

EXPAL has more than 1,000 employees and 11 production centers in Spain, Italy, Bulgaria, Denmark and U.S.

EXPAL is the head of MAXAM’s defence Business Unit.

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12 juin 2014 4 12 /06 /juin /2014 10:45
EU declares Boko Haram a terrorist organisation

 

09 June 2014 by defenceWeb

 

A day after the United Nations designated Boko Haram a terrorist organisation the European Union followed suit condemning its unacceptable violent crimes.

 

“The listing of Boko Haram should contribute to efforts to put an end to its criminal activities,” a statement issued by EU External Action said.

 

In recent weeks Boko Haram has been responsible for kidnapping more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls and the deaths of dozens of people shot in Nigeria’s Borno state.

 

The statement went on to say declaring boko Haram a terrorist organisation was an illustration of the European body’s firm commitment to support Nigeria in its fight against terrorism while upholding the rule of law and human rights.

 

Boko Haram has now been added to the lists of persons, groups and entities covered by the freezing of funds and economic resources under EC Regulation 881/2002 with (EU) Commission Implementing Regulation No 583/2014 of 28 May 2014. The EU Act was published in the EU Official Journal and entered into force on 29 May 2014.

 

Boko Haram, whose name translates loosely from the Hausa language spoken widely in northern Nigeria as "Western education is forbidden" has carried out a great number of violent attacks that have targeted all sections of Nigerian society and most recently evidenced by the kidnapping of the Chibok schoolgirls on April 14. The terrorist group under its current leader Shekau is principally active in northern Nigeria but has increasingly worsened and expanded its attacks. The EU has repeatedly and firmly condemned the group's violence, expressed full solidarity with the victims and their families and is supporting efforts by Nigeria and partners against such criminal acts.

 

The EU decision was adopted as matter of urgency in the wake of UN sanctions, illustrating the EU continued support to the multilateral system of international relations, peace and stability.

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14 mars 2014 5 14 /03 /mars /2014 13:50
The EU and its (cyber) partnerships

Briefs - No9 - 14 March 2014 Patryk Pawlak, Catherine Sheahan

 

The benefits of an open and accessible internet for growth and development have been acknowledged on numerous occasions. But as the potential of the digital economy for fostering innovation and creating new business opportunities grows, so too do the difficulties with protecting it. In February 2014, the EEAS presented the Friends of the Presidency on Cyber Issues with a Food for Thought Paper (‘Further Strengthening European Cyber Diplomacy’). According to the document, ‘the EU and its Member States should be in a position to present a coherent and comprehensive suite of policies which keep pace with the ever shifting international landscape, taking into account the strategic policy goals of other actors in the field’.

Strategic engagement with key regional partners is central to securing the Union’s economic and political interests. It is therefore useful to clarify the scope of existing (as well as potential) cooperation with the EU’s main strategic partners, especially those with regional influence, i.e. the United States, Brazil, South Korea, Singapore, South Africa, China, Egypt and India. Structured cyber consultations with Washington, Beijing and Delhi are already in place, and other less formal cyber dialogues – with South Korea and Brazil among others – are also underway.

 

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14 mars 2014 5 14 /03 /mars /2014 13:50
EU cyber-defence – a work in progress

 

Briefs - No10 - 14 March 2014 Neil Robinson

 

The EU’s cyber defence agenda provides an opportunity to ask questions about what the EU could do in terms of setting security priorities. Furthermore, as a possible area for cooperation, cyber defence shares with military air logistics the peculiarity of being a common capability which does not require explicit war-like conditions to demonstrate its utility.

Indeed, the diversity and complexity of the threat environment – coupled with challenges of attribution – suggests the opposite: military cyber defence capabilities might offer better value for money in peacetime rather than in times of war.

 

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5 mars 2014 3 05 /03 /mars /2014 18:40
Meeting of EU Heads of State or Government on Ukraine – 6 March in Brussels

 

Brussels, 5 March 2014 consilium.europa.eu

 

Following events in Ukraine, the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, has decided to convene an extraordinary meeting of EU Heads of State or Government this Thursday 6 March 2014 to discuss the situation in Ukraine and the EU's reaction.

 

At the Foreign Affairs Council on 3 March, the European Union strongly condemned the clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces and called on Russia to immediately withdraw its armed forces to the areas of their permanent stationing. The EU also called for a peaceful solution to this crisis and full respect of international law. It remains ready to engage in constructive dialogue with all parties to this end.

 

In response to events, the EU and those member states who are participants of G8 have decided for the time being to suspend their participation in activities associated with the preparations for the G8 Summit in Sochi in June.

 

On 5 March, the Commission proposed a series of measures, notably economic and financial support, as the European Union's contribution to an international effort to support Ukraine. At least € 11 billion could be available over the next years from the EU budget and EU-based international financial institutions. This is to stabilise the economic and financial situation, assist with the transition and encourage political and economic reform.

 

In addition, the Council has decided to introduce EU sanctions targeting the misappropriation of Ukrainian state funds. Asset freezes will apply for 18 persons responsible in this regard as of 6 March.

 

For full details of the EU positions on Ukraine, see Council conclusions

.

For full details about EU aid to Ukraine, see press release and memo.

 

Indicative programme :

9.30 Arrival of Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk

11.30 Exchange of views with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk

13.15 Press conference by Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk

13.15 Working lunch among EU Heads of State or Government

15.00(tbc) Press conference by the European Council President and the Commission President

 

Full media programme

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21 novembre 2013 4 21 /11 /novembre /2013 08:50
RDAF F-16AM, #E-607, armed with AMRAAM and a GBU-12 laser guided bomb [RDAF photo]

RDAF F-16AM, #E-607, armed with AMRAAM and a GBU-12 laser guided bomb [RDAF photo]

Denmark has said the winner in the competition to replace its F-16 fighter jets will be based on the contractor's ability to create jobs and generate subcontracts for Danish firms.

 

Nov. 20, 2013 - By GERARD O’DWYER – Defense News

 

HELSINKI — The Danish government, in a pre-emptive strike aimed at protecting the country’s defense industry against impending European Union (EU) reforms that would phase out the use of offsets, is drafting new legislation that could appease the EU and enable Denmark to retain much of its offset structure for large-scale international military contracts.

 

The legislative action represents a marked reversal in Denmark’s policy, which traditionally demands 100 percent offsets on major military equipment purchases.

 

As recently as August, Defense Minister Nicolai Wammen told US and European bidders for the US $5 billion F-16 fighter replacement program that the selection decision will be based on the number of “jobs created and subcontracts generated” for Danish firms.

 

The Defense Offset Bill, which is being drafted by the Ministry of Business And Growth, will reach the Danish Parliament in February 2014. Denmark wants to negotiate special-case terms with the EU that allow it to retain offsets as a tool to grow the country’s modest-sized defense sector.

 

The bill is based on policy recommendations advanced by the Danish Business Authority, which advises the government on EU and international competition matters. Final amendments to the bill will take place after European heads of state convene for a European Council meeting in Brussels on Dec. 19-20.

 

This meeting will shape the European Commission’s (EC’s) Common Security and Defense Policy, with discussion centered on the implementation of directives that inject greater competitiveness into European defense contracts. Central to this plan is a proposal to phase out the use of offsets as the basis for defense contracts within the EU.

 

The Danish government will need time to formulate amendments that satisfy EU requirements on military offsets. The best-case scenario, said Henrik Sass Larsen, Denmark’s business and growth minister, is that Denmark will be able to create a new legal structure around offsets that conforms to EU competition rules, but does not prevent Denmark from continuing to use offsets, Larsen said.

 

“It is difficult to predict exactly what the outcome will be. Our objective is that we continue to build a strong defense industry in Denmark. It should be noted that some 75 percent of the industry’s output is exported,” Larsen said in an interview. “Offset is critical to growth within the defense industry area. Therefore, we want to continue to have the ability to use offset for military contracts.”

 

The EC has repeatedly criticized Denmark for failing to abolish industrial offsets from its legal framework and military procurement practices.

 

The objectives of the Defense Offset Bill largely reflect industry thinking on the use of offsets as a viable mechanism to channel potentially lucrative sub-contract business from significant defense contracts, won by foreign suppliers, to local defense firms.

 

Industry wants the Danish government to negotiate a solution under which the EU would agree to allow Denmark to operate one set of rules for industrial cooperation agreements to suppliers from the EU together with a separate system for suppliers from non-EU countries.

 

The industry view, said Tomas Ilsøe Andersen, a partner at the Copenhagen-based law firm Kammeradvokaten Poul Schmith, is that a dual-track solution is feasible and would compel Denmark to conform to the EU’s planned internal restrictions on offset while continuing to use offset for large-scale contracts with non-EU suppliers.

 

“Certain large acquisitions, which may span 30 to 40 years in terms of the operation of military equipment, have significant security implications for a small country like Denmark. This is very much about maintaining a national industry which can ensure retention of Danish know-how and technical support skills. This is needed in a world where the balance of power, and alliances, can change quickly,” Andersen said.

 

Denmark, he added, can argue its case based on sovereignty and national security policies that are reliant on a defense strategy that not only includes industrial offsets, but which uses offsets to protect the nation’s ability to retain skills and military assets integral to national defense.

 

The Danish government will present its legal case for a restructured offset policy when it meets with EU heads of state in December.

 

The EC should treat smaller EU nations, such as Denmark, as special cases when it comes to industrial military offset practices, said Frank Bill, the director of Denmark’s Defense and Security Industries Association.

 

“In real world terms we cannot really talk about a European defense market. Between 80 and 90 percent, in value, of all procurement contracts within the EU are placed nationally,” Bill said in an interview. “The acquisitions of small nations are irrelevant to the European market as a whole in this context. The government must insist that Denmark be allowed to determine its own defense and security policies.”

 

Previous offset deals, such as Denmark’s acquisition of F-16s in the 1980s, had a positive impact on growing Denmark’s defense industry, Bill said. Adding an offset dimension to the re-started fighter replacement program is essential to further growing this base, he added.

 

Denmark will need to negotiate an offset deal with the EU on the basis of “realistic expectations,” said Lars Barfoed, the Danish Conservative party’s chairman.

 

“The European Commission is determined to build on its directives on defense procurement and transfers and phase-out offsets. The general objective here is to strengthen the efficiency and competitiveness of the defense and security sectors in Europe,” Barfoed told Defense News. “In the area of procurement, the EC is establishing a market monitoring mechanism. A lot is happening, and will happen. Denmark must be smart and persuasive in negotiating the best deal within these confines.”

 

Denmark will be lucky to extract any concessions covering the retention of offset rights from the EU, said Martin Trybus, professor of European Law and Policy at the University of Birmingham.

 

“I can’t imagine that the EU Commission will accept counter-trade as part of the Danish acquisition of new aircraft,” Trybus said. “I do not see what arguments Denmark can field that will justify counter-trade under the new rules.”

 

Danish negotiations with the EU will likely focus on the retention of offsets for non-EU third market deals, said Pietr Wauters, a Brussels-based political analyst.

 

“It’s not that the Danes do not accept that offset is inefficient and adds to the final cost of procurement; they do. The issue here is protecting a native defense sector that continues to benefit from offset-based orders,” Wauters said. “It can expect some degree of EU support to retain offset for third markets as any concessions here will only have a marginal impact on Europe’s defense industrial base. The EC is well aware that offset is a common feature of defense equipment deals in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America.”

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29 juin 2013 6 29 /06 /juin /2013 22:50
Attacks from America: NSA Spied on European Union Offices

June 29, 2013 By Laura Poitras, Marcel Rosenbach, Fidelius Schmid and Holger Stark - spiegel.de

 

America's NSA intelligence service allegedly targeted the European Union with its spying activities. According to SPIEGEL information, the US placed bugs in the EU representation in Washington and infiltrated its computer network. Cyber attacks were also perpetrated against Brussels in New York and Washington.

Information obtained by SPIEGEL shows that America's National Security Agency (NSA) not only conducted online surveillance of European citizens, but also appears to have specifically targeted buildings housing European Union institutions. The information appears in secret documents obtained by whistleblower Edward Snowden that SPIEGEL has in part seen. A "top secret" 2010 document describes how the secret service attacked the EU's diplomatic representation in Washington.

The document suggests that in addition to installing bugs in the building in downtown Washington, DC, the EU representation's computer network was also infiltrated. In this way, the Americans were able to access discussions in EU rooms as well as emails and internal documents on computers.

The attacks on EU institutions show yet another level in the broad scope of the NSA's spying activities. For weeks now, new details about Prism and other surveillance programs have been emerging that had been compiled by whistleblower Snowden. Details have also emerged that the British intelligence service GCHQ operates a similar program under the name Tempora with which global telephone and Internet connections are monitored.

The documents SPIEGEL has seen indicate that the EU representation to the United Nations was attacked in a manner similar to the way surveillance was conducted against its offices in Washington. An NSU document dated September 2010 explicitly names the Europeans as a "location target"

The documents also indicate the US intelligence service was responsible for an electronic eavesdropping operation in Brussels. A little over five years ago, EU security experts noticed several telephone calls that were apparently targeting the remote maintenance system in the Justus Lipsius Building where the EU Council of Ministers and the European Council is located. The calls were made to numbers that were very close to the one used for the remote administration of the building's telephone system.

Security officials managed to track the calls to NATO headquarters in the Brussels suburb of Evere. A precise analysis showed that the attacks on the telecommunications system had originated from a building complex separated from the rest of the NATO headquarters that is used by NSA experts.

A review of the remote maintenance system showed that it had been called and reached several times from precisely that NATO complex. Every EU member state has rooms in the Justus Lipsius Building that can be used by EU ministers. They also have telephone and Internet connections at their disposal.

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20 juin 2013 4 20 /06 /juin /2013 16:50
Claude-France Arnould, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency

Claude-France Arnould, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency

Brussels | Jun 20, 2013 European Defence Agency
 

In view of the recent publication of the Cyber Security Strategy for the European Union, the Irish Presidency, in association with the Estonian Ministry of Defence and the European Defence Agency, organised a high-level EU Cyber Security conference in Brussels on 20 June.

The conference aimed to advance the debate on European Union Member States’ preparedness to face cyber threats at national level and across the EU as a whole. The growth of cyber attacks on critical private, government and defence networks requires a coordinated response at the EU level and across Member States. To successfully counter this emerging cyber threat, cooperation between national security, defence, law enforcement and technical incident response organisations within and between Member States needs to be encouraged to identify and exploit synergies. The conference brought together key policy-makers across the EU cyber community to highlight preventative measures, the need for cooperation and crisis response procedures to the mounting cyber security challenge.

After keynote speeches delivered by Mr Alan Shatter, Ireland’s Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence and Mr Jaak Aaviksoo, Estonia’s Minister for Education and Research, as well as Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, the first panel concentrated on a strategic view as to how the EU can protect itself against cyber threats. Mr Maciej Popowski (EEAS), Amb Gabor Iklody (NATO), Mme Claude-France Arnould (EDA) and Amb Jean-François Blarel (French Ministry of Foreign Affairs) discussed how to develop increased information sharing, early warning, and crisis response as well as closer cooperation between EU and NATO. While the second panel looked at crisis response systems, the third panel discussed cyber resilience in the EU with a view to public and private cooperation. Looking ahead to the European Council in December including defence topics, the final session of the conference dealt with requirements and capability development in cyber security and cyber defence. Topics discussed were cyber defence requirements for CSDP operations, synergies between civil R&D and military R&T as well as cyber security/defence “Dual-Use” capabilities.

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21 octobre 2011 5 21 /10 /octobre /2011 07:45
Does EU Defence Initiative Mark the Beginning of a Truly Competitive Military Equipment Market?

Source: Atlantic Council

 

10/20/2011 Jonathan Dowdall - defenceiq.com

 

2011 is proving a momentous year for European militaries, with both spending cuts and new cooperative ties radically shaking-up the defence establishment. Yet whilst the austerity screws continue to tighten in national capitals, in the European Union’s corridors of power, something far more fundamental is coming into force. On the 21st of August, phase two of the EU’s “Defence Package” passed into binding law, beginning a paradigm shift for European defence industry relations. Indeed to put it simply - and in the words of an executive from one of Europe’s largest defence companies - “this is the biggest thing to happen to European defence ever.”

 

As always, Defence Dateline will take you through the key points of this landmark policy.

 

The need to “De-frag” EU defence

 

The Defence Package seeks to address the fragmentation and un-competitiveness of the EU’s defence industry. The core question is: how has a continent that spends a not-insignificant €200bn a year on defence ended up with so little “bang for its buck”?

 

The arguments about low overall investment are well known, but in addition, inefficiencies in EU member state defence spending are exasperated by the division of its defence industrial base into 27 national markets. This fragmentation creates additional costs for buyers – i.e. European militaries - in two ways.

 

Firstly, because nations must acquire and pay for a myriad array of export licenses for even the simplest inter-EU weapons sale, pan-European defence transactions incur significant overheads. In fact, the European Commission has estimated that individual national licensing regimes and a lack of uniformity in application processes generates €400m in costs a year.

 

Secondly, Europe’s defence industry has for many years remained outside of the EU free market, due to a key component of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty - Article 296. This article allows nations to exempt defence and sensitive military procurement contracts from EU open competition laws - under the banner of “national security interests”.

Unsurprisingly in an industrial sector populated by national champions and niche interests, in practice almost all defence contracts have been declared “Art. 296”, and thus closed to open tender. This has obvious implications for market transparency and supply-discrimination, but it also creates generally disadvantageous market conditions across the EU. In effect, most national companies have guaranteed first access to their government’s contracts, regardless of competitors just across the border. This is not good for market and pricing forces, and it is not good for European military effectiveness.

 

Leveling the playing field

 

To address these issues, the EU legislated a “two-for-one” package of laws in 2009 to tackle these systemic problems.

Part 1, which came into force on the 30th of June 2011, addresses the issue of export licenses. It induces member states to replace their existing individual licences with a general EU certificate for arms transfers between member state markets. If successfully implemented, this should reduce the bureaucratic overhead for inter-EU transfers to a simple and quick “rubberstamp”. Cross-border industrial transfers, as well as military procurement, will both stand to gain from such a move, at a fraction of the current export licensing cost.

 

Part 2, which entered into force on the 21st of August 2011, tackles the larger problem of national protectionism. This directive demands that national procurement agencies align their contract tender announcements into a common EU format. Yet more crucially, it also puts additional restrictions on the use of Art. 296, by demanding that most supply or service contracts above €412,000 or procurement contracts above €5.15mmust abide by EU free market laws, meaning that they must be publicly announced and left open to European bids.

 

It is this second provision which seeks to truly shake-up the old order. By pushing European defence procurement into the open market, the EU is seeking to break monopolistic and protectionist tendencies in the defence sector. Significantly more European defence bids should, under the Defence Package, be open to any company within the EU, without prejudice to their country of origin.

 

Testing times - theory and practice

 

Needless to say, this utopian vision of a truly open defence market will not manifest over-night. In fact, huge questions remain about the effectiveness and implementation of the Defence Package.

Firstly, Art. 296 is not dead or buried. Member states retain their sovereign “national security” opt-out, even under the new law, as this is enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty and transcends individual legislation. National capitals will still have the legal right to exempt certain contracts from foreign competition, and thus shield their national industries. The question will be how widely states choose to enact Art. 296 under the new law.

 

Pre-emptively, the EU has already tried to cover this eventuality. The package contains a specific technical annex categorising the types of defence equipment that can be declared “national security” sensitive. Member states have thus had their legal room for manoeuvre severely curtailed. Gone are the days where everything from ammunition to jeep tyres could be lumped into a safe bid guaranteed to be won by a national arms champion. The onus will now be on member states to justify why a contract is too sensitive to tender openly.

 

Indeed, should a national government refuse to open a contract to pan-European tender, they could be vulnerable to a legal challenge by member states who feel their defence companies are being discriminated against. The EU Court of Justice could then be asked to adjudicate against a transgression of the free market, with financial penalties if an infraction is deemed to have taken place. It is also likely this would incur a certain amount of political embarrassment for the transgressor.

 

Yet the above scenario presumes the basic mechanisms of the Defence Package will be observed - and this has also yet to be tested.

 

At the bottom line, there are political, and not legal, questions about these reforms. Would a smaller member state (Slovakia for example) be willing to risk a public duel on behalf of its national industry with Germany or France over a procurement bid worth, say,  €10m? And would the political fall-out be worth the cost, as recriminations fly and politicians pontificate?

 

We simply don’t know at this stage how honestly member states intend to deal with the new rules, and how willing others will be to challenge them if they don’t. Art. 296 is ultimately a red-line: something the EU cannot supplant completely through law. It will thus fall to bilateral politics to smooth out the details in practice.

 

Transatlantic implications?

 

Interestingly this inter-EU shake-up may also send shockwaves across the Atlantic, as the directive compels a larger number of bids to be tendered on the EU free market - but not necessarily to those outside of it.

For instance, effectively only two “categories” of contract existed in Europe in the past - open to the world (and thus the US) or closed to national champions only. However with the addition of “open EU market” to that list - and the legal compulsion to push more bids into this category it entails - it could transpire that European procurement agencies will, whilst opening up to the EU27, simultaneously reduce the number of truly global open bids. After all, member states have simultaneously been granted cheaper and easier arms export licences to their European neighbours, an advantage the US cannot match.

 

Thus, whilst strongly denied publicly by the European Commission, the incentives to “buy European” have certainly de facto increased. It is difficult to imagine the US being “locked out”, but these fundamental changes in procurement could certainly alter the buying preferences of EU member states regarding US military equipment.

 

“The biggest thing to happen to European defence ever”

 

As this analysis indicates, the sources of Europe’s defence woes have industrial and bureaucratic, as well as spending, roots. The EU has aggressively set out to rectify these deficiencies, highlighting an increased readiness to legislate on defence matters and to introduce greater competitiveness in the last “closed shop” in town.

Yet whether the efficiencies and reduction in fragmentation that lies at the heart of these efforts can realistically be achieved is, as has been explained, an open question. It must also be remembered that a key component of market “de-frag” is a reduction in the number of defence primes. A truly open EU defence market would naturally begin to more closely resemble the national market of the US - with almost all bids fought over by a small number of multi-sector conglomerates.

 

The loss of national champions this would entail across Europe will almost certainly send governments dashing for the Art. 296 card. It is the biggest potential show-stopper for these reforms.

It will therefore be the willingness of national capitals to negotiate between themselves the loss of national capacities, in the name of greater EU efficiency, that will make or break a truly open European defence market.

 

Jonathan Dowdell writes for  Defence Dateline Group.

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