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FORESEC is a one million euro FP7 security research project. Its stated objective is “to tie together the multiple threads of existing work on the future of European security in an attempt to provide a more cogent guidance, orientation and structure to all future security related research activities. It aims to enhance the common understanding of the complex global and societal nature of European security in order to pre-empt novel threats and capture technological opportunities”. The project will “identify security responses in which there is particular added-value and shared interest to work at the European level”.

FORESEC is led by the Crisis Management Initiative, with the support of FOI (the Swedish state defence research institute), the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), Austrian Research Centres GMBH, the Centre for Liberal Strategies (Bulgaria) and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.

Some 19 FORESEC reports have now been published, including country reports on Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK. See: FORESEC publications.

I’ve just had a quick look through the FORESEC Report on European Security: Trends, Drivers, Threats. The key threats to European security are identified as energy security, the threat from immigration, terrorism, Iran’s nuclear programme, climate change  (a “threat multiplier”) and critical infrastructure vulnerability. Drawing on such sources as “MigrationWatch”, a right-wing UK campaigning group, the study singles out Migrants, Muslims and Mullah’s as posing the greatest threat to Europe’s security.

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The report manages to blame migrants for civil unrest, terrorism and disease; advocates an end to Europe’s commitment to the Geneva Convention on refugees; ups the rhetoric against Iran; and calls for yet more powers for European security and intelligence agencies. Statements include:

Violent nationalist and domestic criminal groups may compete with emerging groups in immigrant communities. The competition for “territory” is likely to become acute as more people of all races live in close proximity to each other within an increasingly urbanized Europe…

The growing tide of migrants moving towards Europe from the South and East also presents an increasing risk of disease…

Growing numbers of immigrants from Muslim countries implanted in domestic and indigenous European communities present greater recruiting opportunities for anti-western jihadists…

The challenge is how to stem the tide of immigration without compromising those human rights which have been championed by Europe for so long. To refuse asylum to the oppressed may run counter to the principles of the EU. Yet this is a real possibility if human security within Europe is to be protected under existing national policies…

Number of failed, foiled and successfully executed [terrorist] attacks in [Europe] in 2007 and 2008: 583 and 515 respectively.

It is likely that, if it were to make the political decision to do so, Iran would be technically capable of producing HEU, constructing nuclear weapons and possessing the missiles to deliver them to Europe within approximately five to ten years. It is also conceivable that Iran could threaten European cities earlier than this using terrorist proxies, as a simple nuclear device, deliverable by truck or ship or constructed in place, would not require the development of long-range ballistic missiles or complex weaponisation procedures.

Whereas groups like Statewatch and Privacy International have been arguing that security has consistently “trumped” civil liberties over the last decade of EU policy-making, the FORESEC study suggests the reverse is true.

At present, European legislation in the area of counter-terrorism is drafted without any attempt to take account of the interests of the security and intelligence community with the result that EU legislation has in the past inadvertently hampered the ability of this community to perform their role to the best advantage of Europe’s citizens. A simple pre-drafting consultation exercise with representatives of this community would ensure that their interests were properly taken into account.

See FORESEC website for more of the same.

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