Europe slumbers on

Both Spanish and European security agenciessaid that The Egyptian—a former explosives expert with the Egyptianarmy—was one of the March 11 masterminds. Had Italy passed thelegislation necessary to implement the European Arrest Warrant (from2002), the suspect would probably be in a Spanish prison right now. ButItaly has yet to do so, and so Spain must go through the regularextradition process, which is ongoing.

Since HSToday looked at EuropeanSecurity in the June edition (“Europe’s Wake-Up Call”), the EuropeanUnion (EU) has not accomplished much. Member states still lag inadopting security-related laws, and the same difficulties with sharingintelligence and cooperating with cross-border investigations andoperations linger, despite the political rhetoric.

In the Irish government’s report from itsrotating presidency, which ended in June, it “urges the institutionsand Member States to fulfill outstanding commitments.” Some of theseobligations date back as many as three years, and the European Unionstill refuses to impose penalties for noncompliant states.

There are, nevertheless, a few projects inmotion. On Sept. 16, the Spanish and French justice ministers agreed toform two mixed anti-terror squads that would work on both sides of thePyrenees. One group will focus on Islamic radicalism and the other onthe Basque terror group ETA, which has traditionally operated in Spainand hidden in France. That same day, the defense ministers from France,Italy, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands signed an accord to create afive-nation paramilitary police force that will act in crisissituations. Called the European Gendarmes, the group will compriseabout 800 active officers and another 2,300 reserves

The EU is also planning to launch a large,multi-nation civil-military cell before the end of the year that willfall under the command of the EU’s Military Staff (EUMS). On Sept. 15,Javier Solana, the EU’s High Representative for the Common Foreign andSecurity Policy, presented a report that outlines the need for such agroup, and also the need to establish a security policy based on humansecurity, rather than state security.

The report was compiled at Solana’s requestby Professor Mary Kaldor of the London School of Economics; Jan Pronk,the UN special envoy to Sudan; General (ret.) Klaus Reinhardt, a formercommander in Kosovo; and Narcis Serra, former Spanish defense minister,among others. The crux of the report was that the EU needs to deal withsecurity risks at their sources; it stated that a strictly military andtechnological solution will not suffice to manage a crisis and maintainthe peace.

The authors’ goal was to redefine outdatedmethods and to prevent seeds of conflict—drug dealing, arms trading,human trafficking, terrorism—from flourishing and spreading.

The Human Security Response Force, as theycall it, will comprise 15,000 military and civilian personnel. At leasta third of them will be police and civilian specialists, and anotherthird will be on call at all times to be deployed within days.

“Condoleezza Rice is wrong,” said Reinhardt.“It is the business of the military to escort children to school, ifthat makes people in conflict situations more secure. But we also needprofessional civilians like policemen, human-rights monitors and aidworkers to make human security interventions successful.” HST

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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