Tag Archives: policy

Why the EU Needs a True Common Border Security Policy

The news that Italy and Malta are pressing for special summits to deal with the “epic emergency” immigration resulting from the upheaval in North Africa did not surprise me. Back in 2009 I wrote to the Reflection Group on the Future of Europe 2020-2030, proposing a specific initiative for a common EU border security policy using the instruments of the Lisbon Treaty. I developed my arguments in an article that I presented at a UACES conference in the beginning of 2010, and it was published in the journal European Security.

My argument was that:

1. EU border security is not effective enough due to uneven policy implementation, and

2. Future challenges and threats may overwhelm the present institutional setting.

I went on to discuss some of the challenges based on the assumption of fundamental factors affecting human security – the changing climate (Stern 2007) and the global demographic trends (Lee 2003). I outlined a number of impending threats and concluded that the development of a true common European border security policy is urgently needed in order to develop and implement adequate holistic solutions for mitigating those threats. Sergio Carrera from CEPS has written an excellent paper on the possible creation of a common European border security service.

Now, it is true that some Member States have their own views about border security. But a strategic review of the EU’s border security policy is obviously and urgently needed. It may or may not result in a common border security service, as Carrera proposes. But it should create a comprehensive action plan that goes much beyond technological standards and ad hoc assistance.

If my analysis is even partially correct, there is no time to lose.

Review of Sustainable Development Policy

The European Commission has issued its 2009 review of the European Union strategy for sustainable development.

The main priorities outlined in the report are:

– contributing to a rapid shift to a low-carbon and low-input economy, based on energy and resource-efficient technologies and sustainable transport and shifts towards sustainable consumption behaviour;

– intensifying environmental efforts for the protection of biodiversity, water and other natural resources;

– promoting social inclusion;

– strengthening the international dimension of sustainable development and intensifying efforts to combat global poverty.

Merkel Criticizes Central Bankers

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, has strongly criticized the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and the Bank of England for their action against the financial crisis. This is what she had to say:

“What other central banks have been doing must be reversed. I am very sceptical about the extent of the Fed’s actions and the way the Bank of England has carved its own little line in Europe.

(…) Even the European Central Bank has somewhat bowed to international pressure with its purchase of covered bonds.

(…) We must return to independent and sensible monetary policies, otherwise we will be back to where we are now in 10 years’ time.”

This is extraordinary, since the independence of the central banks, and the ECB in particular, is guarded by law.