The EU Barbed-Wire External Perimeter

In May 2021, an increasing number of people started to sporadically cross the European borders from Belarus. These migratory flows, artificially created by state-sponsored actions from President Alexander Lukashenko, mainly affected three European bordering countries: Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. This specific case exemplifies the heavily debated instrumentalisation of migration, or, as specified by the European Commission, the series of events in which “a third country instigates irregular migratory flows into the Union by actively encouraging or facilitating the movement of third-country nationals to the external borders”. It can be easily understood that these actions are perpetrated with the objective of destabilising and asserting pressure on the Member States and the European Union (EU) at large, with the final intention of undermining vital State functions, such as territorial integrity and national security in primis. In the short term, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland have reacted to the growing number of undocumented individuals through stricter border controls, whilst in the long run, the instrumentalisation of migration has translated into a proper humanitarian crisis that has shaken the Union. Whilst the latter had already sanctioned key political and economic figures of the Belarusian regime after the fraudulent presidential victory of 2020, EU countries bordering Belarus have proceeded in different ways, at times even acting against the EU acquis and international law.

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European Peace Facility

Defence policy, together with foreign and security policy, is one of the areas where states have historically been reluctant to surrender their competences to an inter/supranational entity. As a result, no significant progress was made during the first years of the European Union’s existence, with the fields being categorised as intergovernmental in nature by the 1992 Maastricht Treaty so as to leave countries free to consult themselves without the obligation to coordinate efforts at the EU institutional level and harmonise legislation on the matter. It was not until the Treaty of Lisbon in 2007 (entered into force in 2009) that the EU’s founding documents set up a fully-fledged Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). They did so through the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) pillar in charge of crisis management, inter-state coordination and cooperation in defence matters (Council of the EU, n.d.-a).

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Urban Warfare

With the ongoing war in Ukraine, the focus on urban warfare has returned to prominence in military reviews and analysis. Russian forces have engaged in urban battles in Kyiv, Mariupol, Kherson, and other Ukrainian cities.

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Refusing a second Finlandization

Europe is again amidst a security crisis, the roots of which go far beyond the unsolved issues with post-Soviet Russia and NATO enlargement towards the East of Europe. The current invasion of Ukraine shows that two opposing international concepts are on the battleground. On the one side, there is a vision that officially supports the right of non-interference in a multipolar world whilst, in reality, abusing sovereign power, imposing it on other nations and dividing the world into areas of one-dominant country influence

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Radicalisation in the Armed Forces

The topic of radicalisation is strictly linked to terrorism since, usually, the former leads to the latter. However, they are not synonyms, and the processes behind each are very different and complex to analyse. The radicalisation topic dominated public opinion following the surge of terrorist attacks in Europe by ISIS militants starting in 2015. These events led national and local institutions to commission projects and programs to tackle radicalisation by raising awareness on the topic in civil society. This paper aims to investigate radicalisation in European militaries to create a European framework in which armed forces and civil society can join to fight radicalisation processes related to armies. To do so, this analysis will focus on radicalisation processes within the military and amongst individuals who have left the armed forces.

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