Weekly News Review - European Union Security Watch spot

11.01.2021 – 17.01.2021

With the COVID-19 pandemic becoming an additional issue in which great power rivalry plays out, the E.U.’s position in the interplay between the great powers is one of the most crucial questions for the E.U. strategy for the coming decade. In this rivalry, only a resolute and united E.U. acting as stabilising force is of paramount importance. Online extremism has been proven to be a significant threat to Europe’s safety in the last several years. New Europe’s article on the issue, discusses the effectiveness of the legislative proposals by the European mechanisms in order to combat extremist content platforms and achieve online security. The attack on the U.S. Capitol was incited and planned over digital media platforms. In this light, the E.U. has to evaluate this event as a warning signal and establish sensible guardrails for the digital infrastructure in order to deal with the extreme toxicities of the digital media platform business model.

The E.U. – sponsored dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia will most likely make little progress this year, due to a lack of honest leadership and genuine efforts to prepare the public for a compromise. This is a development that seems to add further impediments and delays for a final agreement that would commit the two parts to their future within the European Union. With the Belarus government promising economic changes, the process towards adopting a reform plan in Belarus appears to be a favourable option for both Russia and the E.U. in order to avoid destabilising revolutions. 

According to the E.U. High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission (HR/VP) Josep Borrell, the Ethiopian government – E.U. cooperative efforts aiming at stabilising the country, appear weak in light of ragging conflicts in the area. For this reason, an immediate access to humanitarian aid needs to be allowed, in order to avoid a further acceleration to the conflict that will harm the country’s security. 

In his statements, the European Commission spokesperson Peter Stano accentuated that the E.U. aims for a “win-win” outcome in its relations with Turkey. He argued that this relationship should fashion the restructuring of an atmosphere of dialogue, cooperation and a mutually beneficial constructive engagement. Turkey’s Foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stressed that the E.U. should hold a supportive position towards Turkey since the country plays a major role in the security of the E.U.’s neighbourhood. More specifically, Turkey remains an important factor in several areas such as / the area of migration, energy, trade, supply chains, transportation, communication, security and defence, counter-terrorism, and NATO,  which are all of vital importance for both the security and prosperity of Europe. 

Greek Cypriot Defence Minister Charalambos Petrides and his Emirati counterpart Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bowardi signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in defence and military cooperation, stating, among others, that the two sides wish to establish mutually beneficial cooperation between the military forces.