Another 17 PESCO Projects Approved
December 12th, 2018
Roughly one year ago, EU Member States decided to renew initiative behind the EU Defence Cooperation. The Permanent Structured Cooperation on Defence – PESCO – agreed on the 11th of December 2017, just launched another 17 new projects on the 19th of November 2018, adding to the first set of 17 projects, which were agreed upon on the 6th of March 2018, in an effort to strengthen the European defence dynamic.
This list demonstrates the EU Member States’ willingness to increase efficient exchanges and cooperation regarding Defence issues for over a year….
SQUIRE- A New Military Radar System For Belgium
December 3rd, 2018
The Belgian ISTAR Battalion is responsible for collecting information on movements by the use of radar surveillance placed around military installations and sites of land forces operations. The goal is to preserve the safety of military personnel and equipment.
Up to now the Belgian ISTAR Battalion has been deploying types of surveillance radars such as EL-1205, which has been used in Kosovo and in Afghanistan where they were put at the service of Kandahar airport security. These radars will be deployed for the last time in Mali for the UN operation MINUSMA, after which they will be substituted.
Incident in Kerch strait and Ukraine's Martial Law Declaration
November 28th, 2018
On the 25th of November 2018, three Ukrainian ships were sailing off the coast of Crimea, from Odessa to Mariupol. During their journey, it is necessary to cross the Kerch Strait connecting Azov and Black Sea which also divides the Russian mainland (Krasnodar region) and Crimea. Due to the annexation of Crimea in 2014, the Russian Federation now controls Kerch Strait.
This control was strengthened by the building of a bridge connecting Crimea with the Krasnodar region. (Troianovski, Ferris-Rotman, 2018). During their journey, Russian border control ships tried to stop Ukrainian vessels. The Russian border control first appealed to the Ukrainian ships but, after the Ukrainian ships continued, the Russian vessels opened fire and one of them crashed into a Ukrainian ship. Following this, Russian special forces entered the Ukrainian ships. (bbc, 2018)Ukrainian officials said that it was an act of aggression from Russian side.
Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace
November 20th, 2018
On November 12th, the French Administration launched the ‘Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace’ at the UNESCO Internet Governance Forum (IGF). This Call aims to emphasize the need for an “open, secure, stable, accessible and peaceful cyberspace” which affects the everyday life of citizens and public/private actors (Paris Call Declaration).
This Call comes hand in hand with the French initiative to focus on digital innovation. The administration created the Paris Digital Week (11th-14th of November) where different stakeholders met, and engaged in discussions on increased cooperation in cyberspace and on how to tackle the future, and present challenges posed by new technology.
European Armament Industry: Current Developments and Future Predictions
October 30th, 2018
In mid-October 2018, 131 organisations and industries called on future MEPs of the European Parliament to put industrial issues “at the core of the EU’s future” (2018, ASD).
For example, the Aerospace and Defence Association (ASD), representing the “the voice of European Aeronautics, Space, Defence and Security industries”, the main European industrial representative cluster. This involvement demonstrates the willingness of the European Armament Industry to increase their impact on the European Stage
European Defence Ties Post-Brexit: the UK’s Development of a Strategic Presence and Cooperation in Europe
October 23rd, 2018
The latest stretch of the Brexit negotiations in Brussels, taking place last week, have concluded. Concentration continued to be placed on the rights of EU citizens in the U.K., and U.K. citizens in the EU, as well as the development of a framework for addressing the avoidance of a hard border, between Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland.
Although not a topic that was addressed during these negotiations, the future of the defence ties between the EU, and the U.K., is a pertinent issue. Likely, as with many other issues, this will only be truly and concretely dealt with, once the U.K. has officially withdrawn from the EU…
Boost for Border Control: Tackling Unlawful Immigration
October 11th, 2018
In his latest state of the union address, the European Commission’s president, Jean Claude Juncker, emphasised the need to tackle illegal immigration. To do this, Juncker announced the EU’s plan to increase the amount of border guards sent to the European Border and Coastguard Agency, Frontex, from 1,600 to 11,600. The plan signifies a marked upgrade and substantial increase for the Frontex border force.
This corroborates with the overall plan to reinforce the new European Union Agency for Asylum, which will be replacing the European Asylum Support Office…
Innovation in Defence: Improving Operational Readiness with 3D Printing
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In recent years, 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing (AM Technology), has come to the attention of armies all over the world.
The U.S. set aside 13.2 billion of its 2018 military budget for this technology, highlighting how the possible benefits are increasingly being recognised. The technology has become more accessible, with smaller, lighter, and cheaper models of printers becoming available.
Calls for a Stronger EU Defence Clause
September 25th, 2018
Following rising security concerns in Europe, increased focus has been placed on the EU’s defence clause, contained in Article 42(7) of the Lisbon Treaty.
The Article emphasises solidarity between EU Member States. It states that in the case of armed aggression towards a Member State on their territory, other Member States are obliged to aid and provide assistance by all the means in their power…
VOSTOK MILITARY DRILLS: CHINA AS UNEXPECTED PARTNER
September 10th, 2018
Next Tuesday, September 11 will begin four days of military drills in Central and Eastern Russia, called Vostok-18. For the first time Russia Federation will cooperate on these exercises with China. As the Russian authorities declared:
”The drills are aimed at consolidating and developing the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, deepening pragmatic and friendly cooperation between the two armies, and further strengthening their ability to jointly deal with varied security threats…” and “the military exercises are not targeted at a third party”. Even considering this declaration, most of the international relations specialists agree to the theory that Russia is currently sending a clear message of operational readiness and capabilities to Europe and especially to NATO…