Weekly News Review - European Union Security Watch spot

02.11.2020 – 08.11.2020

An important week for the internal – external security nexus in Europe, as terrorism returned to the forefront, with the most recent attack in Vienna signaling the beginning of a new wave of jihadist terrorism in the European Union. This cultural conflict caused by France and Turkey through the statements of the two Presidents seems to be just the tip of the iceberg. With European leaders now having to deal with Ankara’s rhetoric to combat Islamophobia, do incompatible cultural values ​​act as a catalyst for conflict in the West?

Although the US election has received a lot of attention this week, the EU would do well to act as if it does not matter who wins, as Asia remains the top US priority. While the European Union seems to need a strategic culture in order not to be politically fragmented within itself, Central European countries seem to have conflicting expectations about the outcome of the US elections, and so the European cohesion is being tested once again. The German Defense Minister stressed that regardless of the outcome of the elections, only through cooperation will the US and the European Union be able to cope with the threats of Russia and China’s ambition for world domination.The challenges that the next President will be called upon to face, before he even assumes the reins of the American governance, are pretty unique.

In the field of human security, with Covid-19 on the rise across Europe, the political and military complications in a post-pandemic world seem revolutionary. In terms of environmental security, with the planet suffering from a record year of fires, climate change continues to affect Europe’s natural landscape. In maritime security, with the ongoing tensions in Somalia, the need for a more holistic approach against the ongoing uprisings is emphasized, with the government relying heavily on the presence of the “Naval Force Operation ATALANTA”. Finally, the impact of Brexit on the UK’s defense industrial cooperation with Europe seems to be growing, as the difficulty of reaching a joint decision jeopardizes the future of the UK’s security and defense industrial capability.

In the European Union neighborhood, Turkey’s revisionist policy occupied the international news during this week. Is it time for the EU to clarify its stance on Ankara’s hostility, instead of turning a blind eye or to underestimate the strategic risk for the European governments? In the Balkans, President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci has resigned following confirmation of war crimes allegations, while a new truce was signed between the GNA and the LNA in Libya, where the civil war has proved to be a focal point of instability for the EU, with both sides committing to the withdrawal of all foreign fighters from the country by 2021. It is also necessary to increase the EU’s influence in Eastern Europe, as the EU has chosen to focus almost exclusively on political and socio-economic goals and to avoid the development of security and defense partnerships with the eastern neighbors, in order to upgrade EU policies to the aspirations for a more geopolitical and strategically dominant EU.