New calls for “real” EU intelligence agency

Following the Paris attacks last week, the first call for a “real” EU intelligence agency has now been made. 

This is not a new phenomenon. Indeed, every major terrorist attack or security problem in Europe has provoked similar demands.

A few examples:

As I have argued before, these ambitions are far from easy to realize, partly because the practitioners themselves are often less enthusiastic.  Other measures to improve the intelligence capacity of the EU and its member states would prove more effective.

Report on EU intelligence

In 2005, the European Union’s (EU) coordinator of counterterrorism policies quipped that: ‘You can’t get closer to the heart of national sovereignty than national security and intelligence services. Yet in Brussels we have these analysts working together for the first time’. Despite the inherent sensitivities that exist within the field, the EU has considerably increased its resources for intelligence sharing and analysis in the decade that followed this comment. Yet, this cooperation has largely gone unnoticed – within academia as well as in the public domain. My new report analyses the organisation and process of European intelligence cooperation and the effect that this cooperation is having on European foreign policy. In the policy recommendations, I arguee that the EU intelligence system – following phases of boosting efficiency and legitimacy – should now be developed with an eye on the interaction between producers and consumers of intelligence.

Read an op-ed at Euractive.com based on the report or download the full report.

 

New publication: Political risk and the commercial sector – Aligning theory and practice

In a new article in Journal of Risk Management I try discuss connection between political risk analysis in the commercial sector and political science. How well equipped are modern firms to navigate the turbulent political world? And what can they learn from the study of politics?

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The Arab Spring and the euro crisis have shown that political factors and events can make or break markets overnight, making them of increasing importance to commercial actors when investing abroad. Expropriation, sovereign default, societal unrest and terrorism are examples of political risks that have considerable implications for business conditions. They are also societal acts that political scientists have long been analyzing using a diverse toolbox of models, theories and methods. However, with a few exceptions, political risk management within commercial entities – in as far as it takes place at all – seems to rest on either anecdotal knowledge or crude quantitative macroeconomic data. This article tries to bridge the gap between risk management and the study of politics. It starts by analyzing the concepts and methods underpinning commercial risk management and continues with an investigation of contributions from relevant fields of political science. The aim is to contribute to the craft of risk management and the conceptual understanding of political risk.

The article can be downloaded for free here.

Samtal om terrorism och risk i Almedalen och på Mötesplats Samhällssäkerhet

Europa befinner sig idag i ett svårt säkerhetspolitiskt läge med turbulens i Nordafrika, terror och krig i Levanten samt rysk aggression och provokation längs dess östra gräns. Detta påverkar inte bara de Europeiska staterna (som ofta är de primära säkerhetspolitiska analysobjekten) utan även människor, civilsamhälle, näringsliv och det mellanstatliga samarbetet. Det sistnämnda kommer att vara mitt fokus under två paneldiskussioner som jag ser fram emot.

Under Almedalsveckan kommer jag att diskutera hur EU kan/bör bemöta internationell terrorism i form av IS och Boko Haram. Vad finns det för verktyg, problem, utmaningar? Vad kan en union som skapades för att ersätta våld som maktverktyg göra mot aktörer som excellerar på just detta? Seminariet är den 2 Juli och mer info kommer inom kort på UI.se.

På Mötesplats Samhällssäkerhet – där den offentliga sektorn och näringslivet möts för breda diskussioner om säkerhet, kriser och risker – kommer jag att medverka i en diskussion om dagens säkerhetspolitiska läge. Vilka hot och risker står vi för och hur skiljer sig bedömningarna – inom Europa och internationellt. Mer info om Mötesplats Samhällssäkerhet finns på http://www.samhallssakerhet.se/.