The European Union Institute for Security Studies

The European Union Institute for Security Studies provides research and analysis on international issues to help the EU develop its foreign and security policy.

The European Union (EU) has decided to continue drawing on the expertise of the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) to provide research and analysis on international issues for the EU ’s common foreign and security policy (CFSP). The EUISS was originally set up in January 2002. It is based in Paris and has a liaison office in Brussels.

Through its research and analysis, the EUISS contributes to European decision-making in the area of the CFSP. In particular, it conducts analyses and provides a forum for debate on the EU’s external strategy in areas that include conflict prevention and peace-building. Its activities include organising networking events and workshops, as well as collecting relevant information for EU officials and experts. It also acts as an interface between the EU institutions and the world of external experts, including security actors.

The EUISS is managed by a Board and a director.

  • The Board: the Board’s main responsibility is to adopt the institute’s annual and long-term work programme and the appropriate budget. By 30 November each year, the Board has to approve the institute’s annual work programme. The Board is made up of one representative from each EU Member State and one representative from the Commission. It meets at least twice a year and is chaired by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The director-general of the EU’s military staff may attend Board meetings. The Board may decide to set up ad hoc working groups or standing committees to deal with specific subjects.
  • The director: the director is appointed by the Board on the basis of a recommendation by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for a term of 3 years with a possible 2-year extension. The director’s responsibilities include the day-to-day administration of the institute, drafting the institute’s annual work programme and annual report and preparing the work of the Board.

EU internal security strategy

The European Council endorsed the European Union (EU) Internal Security Strategy (ISS) at its meeting of 25-26 March 2010. The strategy sets out the challenges, principles and guidelines for dealing with security threats relating to organised crime, terrorism and natural and man-made disasters.

The communication sets out five strategic objectives, with specific actions for each objective, for overcoming the most urgent challenges in order to make the EU more secure.

Disrupt international criminal networks

The disruption of criminal networks and the elimination of the financial incentives that drive these networks are necessary for combating crime. To achieve this objective, the actions proposed consist of:

  • identifying and dismantling criminal networks: legislation on the collection and use of Passenger Name Records, amendments to the anti-money laundering legislation and guidelines for the use of national bank account registers for tracing criminal finances is to be proposed. A strategy for information collection and use by law enforcement and judicial authorities is to be drawn up, the setting up of joint operations and joint investigation teams are to be reinforced, and the implementation of the European arrest warrant is to be improved;
  • protecting the economy against criminal infiltration: a proposal for monitoring and assisting EU countries’ anti-corruption efforts is to be adopted, a network of national contact points will be set up, and actions to enforce intellectual property rights are to be taken;
  • confiscating criminal assets: legislation to improve the legal framework on confiscation is to be proposed, national Asset Recovery Offices are to be set up and indicators developed for their evaluation, and best practice guidance on preventing criminals from reacquiring confiscated assets is to be provided.

Prevent terrorism and address radicalisation and recruitment

Since the threat of terrorism is constantly evolving, Europe’s efforts to combat it must also evolve to stay ahead of the threat. To this end, a coherent European approach and preventive action are needed:

  • empowering communities to prevent radicalisation and recruitment: an EU radicalisation-awareness network is to be created, a ministerial conference on the prevention of radicalisation and recruitment is to be organised, and a handbook to support EU countries actions is to be drawn up;
  • cutting off terrorists’ access to funding and material and following their transactions: a framework for freezing assets and for preventing and combating terrorism is to be established, legislative and non-legislative action is to be taken to implement the action plans on explosives and on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear substances, and policy for the extraction and analysis of financial messaging data in the EU is to be set out;
    protecting transport: the EU regime for aviation and maritime security is to be further developed.
    Raise levels of security for citizens and businesses in cyberspace
  • Rapidly evolving information technologies also create new forms of threats. To combat cybercrime, EU countries must collaborate at EU level to take further action:
  • building capacity in law enforcement and the judiciary: an EU cybercrime centre for cooperation between EU countries and EU institutions is to be established, and EU countries’ capacities for investigation and prosecution will be developed;
  • working with industry to empower and protect citizens: a system for reporting cybercrime incidents is to be set up, and guidelines on cooperation for treating illegal internet content will be drawn up;

improving capability for dealing with cyber attacks: a network of national and EU level Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) and a European Information and Alert System (EISAS) is to be set up.

Strengthen security through border management

In relation to the movement of persons, the EU can treat migration management and the fight against crime as twin objectives of the integrated border management strategy. The instruments improving security in relation to the movement of goods are also complementary, and are constantly being developed to tackle the increasingly sophisticated criminal organisations. In line with this, the actions proposed consist of:

  • exploiting the full potential of Eurosur: the full implementation of Eurosur is to be accomplished in order to save migrants’ lives and prevent crime threats at EU borders;
  • enhancing the contribution of Frontex at external borders: annual reports on specific cross-border crimes is to be drafted to form the basis of joint operations;
  • developing common risk management for movement of goods across external borders: EU level capabilities for risk analysis and targeting is to be improved;
  • improving interagency cooperation at national level: national common risk analyses are to be developed, the coordination of border checks by national authorities is to be improved, and best practices for interagency cooperation are to be developed.
    Increase Europe’s resilience to crises and disasters

The cross-sectoral threats posed by natural and man-made crises and disasters necessitate improvements to long-standing crisis and disaster management practices in terms of efficiency and coherence. This is to be achieved through:

  • making full use of the solidarity clause: a proposal on the application of the solidarity clause is to be adopted;
  • developing an all-hazards approach to threat and risk assessment: guidelines for disaster management are to be drawn up, national approaches are to be developed, cross-sectoral overviews of possible risks are to be established together with overviews of current threats, an initiative on health security is to be developed, and a risk management policy is to be established;
  • linking the different situation awareness centres: links between sector-specific early warning and crisis cooperation systems are to be improved, and a proposal for better coordination of classified information between EU institutions and bodies is to be adopted;
  • developing a European Emergency Response Capacity for tackling disasters: the establishment of a European Emergency Response Capacity is to be proposed.

Report on the implementation of the EU Internal Security Strategy

The report concludes that important progress was made in regard to the 5 strategic objectives but work needed to be done to ensure the security of the European citizen. Progress in all priorities is needed, but in particular in the fight against serious and organised crime, and the growing cyber threat.

Besides identifying objective specific future activities, further progress needs to be made in regard to:

judicial and law enforcement cooperation;
the development of the administrative approach in combating serious crime;

  • a framework for administrative measures on the freezing of terrorist assets and the improvement of land transport security;
  • ratification of the Budapest Convention in relation to fighting cybercrime;

Smart Borders proposals and improved interagency cooperation at national level.
Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council: Second Report on the implementation of the EU Internal Security Strategy (COM(2013) 179 final of 10.4.2013).

Standing Committee on operational cooperation on internal security

A decision establishes a Standing Committee to promote and strengthen operational cooperation on internal security within the European Union (EU) and details the committee’s responsibilities. The decision creates a Standing Committee with the objective of facilitating, promoting and strengthening the operational cooperation of the relevant national authorities of the European Union (EU) countries in the field of internal security.

The Standing Committee will ensure an effective cooperation and coordination in areas covered by police and customs cooperation, and by external border control authorities. Where appropriate, it will also cover judicial cooperation in criminal matters when relevant to operational cooperation in the area of internal security. The Standing Committee will assess the efficiency of the operational cooperation, identify any failings and then recommend appropriate action to address the shortcomings. The Standing Committee will not be involved in the conducting of operations or in the preparation of legislative acts.

With regard to the occurrence of a terrorist attack or a natural or man-made disaster within the EU, the Standing Committee will assist the Council in accordance with the solidarity clause in Article 222 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

The Standing Committee will help ensure consistency in actions taken by Eurojust, Europol, the European External Borders Agency(Frontex) and other relevant bodies. These bodies, when appropriate, will be invited to attend the meetings of the Standing Committee as observers.

European External Action Service

The European External Action Service (EEAS) is a body established by the Lisbon Treaty to implement the EU’s external policy.

The EEAS comes under the authority of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. It assists the High Representative in executing their mandates, as regards:

  • conducting the EU’s common foreign and security policy (CFSP), including the common security and defence policy (CSDP);
  • the Presidency of the European Foreign Affairs Council;
  • the Vice-Presidency of the European Commission in the field of external relations.

The EEAS also assists the General Secretariat of the Council, the Commission and the diplomatic services of the EU countries, in order to ensure the consistency of European external action.

Lastly, the EEAS supports the Commission in preparing and implementing programmes and financial instruments relating to EU external action.

Central administration

The headquarters of the EEAS is in Brussels. It is managed by an Executive Secretary-General operating under the authority of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

The central administration of the EEAS is organised in directorates-general dealing with:

  • thematic and geographic areas of action, covering all countries and all global regions;
  • administrative management, the security of information and communication systems, budget management and human resources;
  • crisis management and planning, the European Union Military Staff and the EU Intelligence Analysis Centre – EU INTCEN (formerly the EU Situation Centre – SITCEN) to conduct the CFSP.
    A network of delegations

The EEAS is also made up of the EU delegations to non-EU countries and different international organisations. Each of them is directed by a Head of Delegation, under the authority of the High Representative and of the EEAS. The Head of Delegation represents the EU in the country concerned.

The delegations cooperate and share information with the diplomatic services of the EU countries.

The Executive Secretary-General of the EEAS is responsible for the financial and administrative evaluation of each delegation.

EU Satellite Centre (SATCEN)

SATCEN headquarters continue to be in Torrejón de Ardoz, Spain. However, this decision establishes a liaison office in Brussels.

A EU decision reaffirms that SATCEN operations are in the context of the EU’s common foreign and security policy (CFSP) and, in particular, the common security and defence policy (CSDP).

The Political and Security Committee (PSC) of the Council of the EU exercises political supervision over the activities of SATCEN. The High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy is responsible for the operational direction. The SATCEN board is responsible for the annual and long-term programmes and the appropriate budget.

SATCEN is responsible for the residual administrative tasks, such as administering pensions, medical insurance and employee disputes, for employees of the dissolved Western European Union (WEU)*.
Under this decision, primarily through Earth observation satellites, SATCEN offers geospatial intelligence products and services to users that request it, such as the European external action service, individual EU countries, the European Commission or international organisations such as the United Nations or NATO.

Every September, the SATCEN director, who is appointed by the board for the duration of 3 years, establishes an annual work programme. This annual work programme, as well as the long-term work programme and the budget, must be approved by the board. The board is composed of a representative appointed by each EU country and the European Commission and chaired by the High Representative.

By 31 July 2019, the High Representative of the EU must present a report and, if necessary, recommendations, to the Council of the EU on the functioning of SATCEN.This article is derived from European Union public sector information. EU public information is reproduced pursuant to Commission Decision of 12 December 2011 on the reuse of Commission documents (2011/833/EU) (the EU Decision).

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