Dr. Gayane Novikova
October 21, 2017
Shaping the European Security System
The European security is under siege. Several factors are making it more vulnerable in the face of correlated and co-dependent internal and external threats. The reaction of European societies to major internal threats has been manifest in Brexit, in the German elections, in the referendum on independence in Catalonia and the response of the Spanish government, in the Visegrad Four’s approach to several core issues, in Turkey’s foreign and domestic policies, — and last but not least — in home-grown terrorism. Therefore, while a prevention of uncontrolled migration is a priority and it shapes an internal line of division in many European societies, the vulnerability along the EU’s external borders is a source of growing concern, that has united them.
These developments strongly demand a re-evaluation of the scale of (in)security and threats for each European state and for the European Union in general, especially against the background on the one hand of growing nationalism and, on the other hand, of both an unpredictable U.S. foreign policy and a prolonged standoff with Russia. The EU has become increasingly nervous regarding the U.S. — Russia confrontation that almost completely follows the patterns of the Cold War. In the context of the new Cold War the wars in the immediate (Ukraine) and distant (South Caucasus, Middle East) neighborhoods — where Russia’s direct involvement is evident — demand more attention. A new strategy toward the still unresolved conflicts in the European periphery should be designed based upon an acknowledgement that the security of Europe in broader terms depends in many ways upon the security in its neighborhoods.