Programme on European Security Research

The programme is dedicated to high-quality scholarly research relevant to policymakers in Sweden and beyond. It examines the new broad role that the European Union (EU) is playing for safety and security – at home and abroad.


Cover "National Participation in EU Civil Protection"

National Participation in EU Civil Protection
by Simon Hollis
Acta B42, 2010

The devastating impact and trauma that cataclysmic events cause in an interdependent and globalized society set the backdrop of increasing civil protection cooperation in the European Union. In order to prevent and respond to future natural and manmade crises a number of initiatives have emerged such as sophisticated early-warning response systems to prevent the spread of communicable diseases, and a Monitoring and Information Centre to warn and facilitate national responses on major crises. These mechanisms have been used in several crises ranging from the Prestige tanker oil spill in 2002 to the Haiti earthquake in 2010. Key to a successful EU performance has been an active and efficient participation of EU member states.

So far research has mainly paid attention to the functioning of the Brussels based organs. This fifth report from the European Societal Security Research Group (ESSRG) complements this focus with an in-depth study on the participation of member states in the EU Community Mechanism for Civil Protection. It gives an overview of variations in national engagement and investigates the ways the Union is strengthening participation through programmes for training, exercises and exchanges of experts. This report will be highly useful for practitioners who wish to obtain an overall vision of the current status of civil protection cooperation and encourages further and much needed research for scholars on European security, integration and crisis management.

The research conducted for this report was funded by the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency and carried out by Simon Hollis of the ESSRG, including scholars from the Swedish National Defence College, the Swedish Institute of International Affairs, and Louisiana State University.

Cover "Security in Transition"

Security in Transition Towards a New Paradigm for the Europa
Edited by Arjen Boin, Magnus Ekengren, Mark Rhinard
Acta B41, 2008

The long-dominant security paradigm in Europe, aimed primarily at inter-state conflict, has faded away in recent years. No conceptual framework or single pattern of cooperation has emerged to take its place; no shared sense of commitment and confidence in common solutions can be found.

The resulting uncertainty has not, however, stopped the European Union from adopting new policies, instruments, and capacities related to securing people and key infrastructures across the European continent. In effect, the Union's security identity is undergoing transformation in the absence of a guiding paradigm.

This fourth report in the programme on "Creating Crisis Management Capacity for a Secure European Union" explores how Europe can organize a transnational response that prepares for and deals with transboundary crises. After examining the Union's current "muddle" in security matters, from sectoral fragmentation, loose networks, and multiple security venues to widely diverging approaches to cooperation, the authors highlight the patterns that may give rise to a new security paradigm for the twenty-first century. They also set out a research agenda that may benefit paradigm change and institutional design supporting that cause.

Cover "Protecting the European Union"

Protecting the European Union
- Policies, Sectors and Institutional Solutions
Edited by Arjen Boin, Magnus Ekengren och Mark Rhinard
Acta B38, 2007

The European Union has assumed a new role on the European continent. In the face of threats such as terrorism, pandemics, natural disasters, and infrastructure failures, European cooperation now focuses on the security and safety of the population. That aim has led to a burgeoning number of policies and programs devoted to protecting the European citizen.

This report takes a sectoral approach to understanding the EU's emerging efforts to protect its population, including case studies on critical infrastructure protection, illegal immigration, and health security. It develops a framework for measuring the "institutionalisation" of each sector, meaning the emergence and embedding of European rules, venues, and patterns of cooperation.

The authors find varying degrees of institutionalisation in each sector, revealing differences in the extent to which "Europe" matters and whether new security communities may be emerging. By using a sectoral approach, they reap the benefits of systematic comparison: identifying commonalities and differences across the EU policy spectrum to deepen the understanding of an emerging "European protection policy space".

Cover "Functional Security and Crisis Management Capacity in the EU"

Functional Security and Crisis Management Capacity in the EU
by Arjen Boin, Magnus Ekengren and Mark Rhinard
Acta B36, 2006

This report presents the results of an in-depth survey of the EU`s sability to manage threats and crises across its sectoral competences. Investigating four dimensions of crisis management - prevention, preparation, response, and aftermath - the survey reveals both formal and informal capacities relevant to crisis management. It also highlights a number of unanswered questions and difficult obstacles to the EU`s contribution to crisis management.

Firmly rooted in empirics, the report serves as both an illuminating guide for practitioners and a rich foundation for scholars theorizing about the EU:s role in security, crisis management, and multilevel governance in Europe.

Cover "The New Security Role of the European Union"

The New Security Role of the European Union
- Transnational Crisis Management and the Protection of Union Citizens
by Magnus Ekengren, Nina Matzén and Monica Svantesson
Acta B35, 2006

In the last few years the European Union (EU) has given assistance to those affected by the Asian tsunami, supported American authorities during the Katrina disaster, coordinated water-carrying aircraft to fight forest fires in Southern Europe, and taken measures to prevent the further spread of avian influenza and to respond to the challenges of international terrorism.

The necessities of transnational crisis management in a globalised world are compelling the EU to take on a new, proactive security responsibility. Through new policies such as the Solidarity Clause and emergency preparedness measures, the Union is strengthening its focus on human and societal security, and the protection and safety of its citizens. The great challenge is to create crisis management capacities based on clear objectives and a strategic relationship between the Union institutions and EU member states.

This report examines the opportunities and constraints for the creation of an effective EU capacity. The analysis is based on detailed case studies of EU action in the Moscow theatre hostage crisis (2002), the forest fires in Portugal (2003), the terrorist bombings in Madrid (2004) and the Asian tsunami disaster (2004).

The report explains how the Union sets the objectives for its involvement. It provides a unique overview of the decisions and measures taken within the EU institutions - on an hour by hour basis - in areas such as civil protection, humanitarian aid and consular cooperation. The evaluation of the Union's performance includes assessments of the EU added value for national crisis management capacities.

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