Climate Justice and its implications on the EU Defence System: a legal analysis

The effects of climate change have become a solid reality that cannot be ignored for human life on Earth. Europe's shifting climate landscape sees a surge in legal battles, highlighting the deepening understanding of the link between environmental well-being and human rights.  This paper analyses the legal framework of so-called climate litigation, where organisations and interest groups litigate a lack of climate action on the part of governments, and its implications for and application to the Defence and Security sector. Indeed, due to the increasing number of legal challenges against governments and institutions for their inaction on climate change, there has been a growing awareness of their role in protecting citizens from increasingly frequent climate events. This awareness has impacted all areas of public governance, including defence. In fact, even the defence sector, faced with this worrying reality, has had to change itself and its practices to comply with the legal framework, which is composed not only of laws but also of judgments that are increasingly openly determining how the state and institutions have a duty to protect their citizens, through comprehensive action, from the reality of climate change.

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Back to Basics: Europe’s Struggles and Successes with 155mm Shell Production

The early days of the war in Ukraine seemed to favour agile and relatively innovative capabilities which appeared to be the new protagonists of future battlefields. In fact, the fate of the war appeared to rest on Stingers and Starstreaks, Javelins and NLAWs, FPV commercial drones and on the Bayraktar TB2. However, as the chaotic first phase of the conflict ended, the focus shifted to the centuries-old king of battle: artillery. Much has been written on the rediscovered importance of artillery at the tactical and operational levels (Oltei, Potin, & Clarke, 2024). In contrast with the precision-oriented doctrine prevalent in the West, the war in Ukraine is revealing how precision- guided munitions can only complement and not substitute conventional indirect fire. The industrial capacity to produce this military ordinance en masse can indeed still determine victory on the battlefield. This analysis will thus focus on the 155mm NATO-standard artillery shell, the European states’ ability to produce it, and their significant shortcomings and progress.

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Mobilising Artillery – Developments, Challenges and the Russo-Ukrainian War

As a key instrument in the long-range destruction, neutralisation, and suppression of enemy positions, artillery has long been indispensable in warfare, evolving from early contraptions used to hurl rocks and shoot arrows to the modern battlefield’s exceptionally mobile and accurate cannons launching highly explosive projectiles (Defense Technical Information Center, 1983). On the modern battlefield, artillery possesses several unique abilities. It can operate close to and in cooperation with ground forces to destroy and degrade enemy ground capabilities near the front lines, its range allows it to target vast swathes of territory with heavy indirect fire, it can be operated day and night, is fairly mobile, and can be concealed to boost survivability (McGrath, 2013).

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Navigating Complexity: Security Challenges and EU Strategies in the Sahel and West Africa

Since achieving independence in the 1960s, several nations across the Sahel and West Africa have grappled with violent extremism stemming from a blend of ineffective governance, economic instability, and the increasing impacts of climate change. This convergence has triggered a surge in violence, conflict, and criminal activities over the past decade, transcending national boundaries and posing formidable challenges to countries both within and beyond the region. The Sahel region remains a crucial transit corridor for migrants journeying from sub-Saharan Africa to northern coastal countries and onward to Europe, presenting, along with mounting terrorism, a significant security concern for the EU (European Parliament, 2021). Further exacerbation of violence could increase displacement and migration rates from the region, compounding pressures on northern and coastal African nations as well as Europe (Center for Preventive Action, 2024). Against this backdrop, this article delves into the multifaceted dynamics shaping the Sahel and West Africa, and examines the root causes of violence, the rise of non-state actors, and the implications of recent geopolitical shifts. It explores the efforts of the EU and other organizations to address these challenges through strategies such as Security Sector Reform (SSR), development assistance, and regional cooperation. The article highlights the obstacles and complexities inherent in these endeavours, offering insights into the evolving landscape of security and governance in the Sahel and West Africa.

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European Cyber Agora Conference 2024

On 23 April 2024, the European Cyber Agora (ECA) Conference began in Brussels, Belgium. This conference is a multistakeholder initiative aimed at promoting the responsible development and use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Nanna-Louise Linde, Microsoft’s Vice-President of European Government Affairs, opened the event by highlighting the significant role of global collaborative efforts and raising awareness of AI governance concerns in an increasingly digital security domain.

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