To recover a mutual understanding in terms of defence between the United States and the European Union: the objective of the EUISS in Brussels

The growing interest of the maximum representatives of the European Union and its member states is to strengthen European self-sufficiency in terms of defence, and to even create a European army, has caused concern in the United States, the main partner of European countries in the military and defence field for the moment. The initiative, promoted in particular by the German chancellor Angela Merkel and the French president, Emmanuel Macron, has been seen by the government presided by Donald Trump as a threat to NATO. A partly contradictory reaction bearing in mind that the current president of the United States has repeatedly reminded the countries of the European Union of its insufficient contribution to the common defence budget and its excessive dependence regarding NATO.

Faced with the American reaction, Europe has denied that the possible future army of the Union will be an alternative to NATO, as both will complement each other. In order to share opinions and initiatives regarding the reactivation of the common defence of the European Union and resolve misunderstandings with the transatlantic partner, and also to address other issues affecting global security, EU Security Studies Institute, The Dutch International Relations Institute(l’Institut Cligendael) and the Centre for New American Security organised a round table in Brussels on 3rd October. The objective was to debate and design common strategies for recent events that have an impact on global security and especially transatlantic relations, like the European Union’s role in the negotiations for denuclearisation between North Korea and the United States and Turkey’s posture in relation to NATO.

Both the speakers from the United States and those from European countries agreed on the fact that it was necessary to continue working in the same direction in order to address the questions that threaten the established and agreed international order.

During the first round table, dedicated to debating the future of transatlantic relations in terms of defence, the European speakers pointed out that the mission of the Union to be more autonomous could in no way be interpreted as a wish to be isolated and distanced from the USA. The members from the USA adopted a somewhat critical posture regarding the declarations of their president, and stressed the efforts made by the EU, although they did express certain concern about such efforts distancing it from Washington. Members from both sides of the Atlantic finally concluded that more clarification regarding the complementary roles of the European Union and NATO were necessary

In the second debate the important contribution of the European Union to the NATO budget was advocated, which is higher than 2% of the established GDP. Apart from the direct contribution, members pointed out that the sanctions imposed on the continent’s neighbouring countries involve a higher cost to the EU than to the United States. Several speakers regretted that Donald Trump’s vision of Europe as an enemy rather than an ally was impeding cooperation between the two entities, as it would appear that the president’s intention was to erode and weaken Europe.

During the lunch, the issue was the denuclearisation of North Korea and the role to be played by the European Union. From the start the point was raised that Pyongyang would agree to sit with the EU at the negotiation table due to the Asian country’s neutral vision and the fact that the EU envisaged no other mechanism than that of negotiation and peaceful measures was expressed. Moreover, the European Union could help North Korea to begin a hypothetical economic opening. Some speakers, however, were rather sceptical about the real possibility of denuclearisation in the country led by Kim Jong-un.

Finally, at the last round table the issue of the complicate relationship between the United States and Turkey was addressed. It was brought to light that the main reasons for the distancing between Trump and Erdogan were linked to the late reaction of the American government to the attempted coup d’état in 2016 and the arrest of the American pastor Andrew Brunson, and also due to the support that the United States gave to Syria for the People’s Protection Units (YPG), considered to be enemies of Turkey. The acquisition of Russian weapons by Turkey made relations even more difficult between Washington and Ankara. Nevertheless, the European speakers stated that they did not want to lose Turkey as a strategic ally for a range of geopolitical reasons.

After the meeting, it seems that neither the American experts nor those of the European countries had any interest in creating distance between the two entities when addressing threats to global security as such a scenario would weaken both Europe and the USA.


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The citizen penalty points cards, a reality in China

china chinese city forbidden kingdom
The Chinese government is developing a ‘social credit’ system that facilitates the rating of citizens according to their behaviour and level of trustworthiness, offering rewards or imposing penalties depending on their behaviour. This programme, which is presented as a mechanism to guarantee national security and social stability, is expected to be completely operational in 2020.

Nevertheless, the first touches are already starting to be applied. Among them is the prohibition to buy plane or train tickets applicable to people who have lost points for having smoked in carriages, having used expired tickets, or having spread fake news, especially if these are related to terrorist attacks or airport security.

Other actions that could lead to a loss of points are the publication of online political posts without permission, contradicting the government’s official narrative, committing driving offences or spending too much time playing video games. Conversely, other types of behaviour like participating in charities or giving blood help to increase ratings and climb positions.

A position that will determine fundamental aspects such as the possibility of being accepted in certain schools (for the person in question or his or her children), sign into hotels, hold public positions or rent an apartment. It will be more difficult for people with a ‘citizen rating’ to have access to these, just as it will be more complicated to obtain visas to travel abroad. On the other hand, those who have a high rating will benefit from discounts on energy bills, faster access to Internet or better conditions when applying for a bank loan.

The exact methodology used to determine these ratings is kept secret, but it is thought that it will be based on artificial intelligence and big data, which will help to build profiles of all citizens based on the types of purchases they make, financial transactions, personal and professional contacts, the use of social networks or interactions with official organisms. Although the Chinese authorities uphold the idea that this system will enable them to control the level of civility and reduce the crime rate, thereby improving public security, a significant number of organisations like Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International have warned of how this endangers rights and civil liberties, especially with regard to the right to privacy, data protection and freedom of expression. An especially worrying situation if we bear in mind that the level of Internet freedom in China, according to Freedom House, is the worst on the planet.


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South Africa tries to combat its endemic high levels of violence

The cost of violence to the South African economy is among the highest in the world. The country is in126th place out of 163 countries in the Global Peace Index. This index shows us that the cost of South African violence amounts to 19% of the GDP, the 16th highest in the world (34,160 rand per citizen each year).

South Africa stands out in the five main violence-related categories: the number of violent crimes, the number of violent protests, the number of murders, easy access to weapons and an elevated perception of insecurity. It is the 10th worst country regarding the general reduction of violence and 19th if we refer to security in general.

Both the data provided by the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the data provided by the Crime Survey (VOCS) reveal that levels of violence have remained high, with relatively insignificant variations. During the budget period from April 2015 to March 2016, 18,673 murders and 18,127 attempted murders were recorded. Furthermore, the police were aware of 259,165 cases related to drug trafficking.

The underlying problem is that the long years of apartheid with institutionalised violence have contributed to its becoming prevalent in society, which uses it to resolve any situation as a completely normal approach.

The National Development Plan wishes to improve conditions of violence with an objective to be met in 2030. This plan aims to build safe communities, regarding security as a basic human right. The plan involves physical security and the social dimension, such as employment, education and health, and aims to put an end to the culture of violence, making it very residual and undesirable.

The community dimension is central to the plan and, therefore, local governments have an important role, as they are the closest administrations to the general public. These have a central position in the coordination and integration of policies in order to create secure communities.

Community Security Forums are created (CSF) on a local scale. This organ is where coordination, monitoring and the integration of community prevention initiatives will take place. The objective is to guarantee quality services and create secure communities. These strategies are done in coordination with the different agencies of local and state administrations.

Improvements in economic development with equity will cause, according to the plan, an economic transformation, the creation of employment and improvements in education and healthcare, and will assist social cohesion. And this will all have a positive effect on insecurity, generating more security.

The final objective is that in 2030 South African citizens will feel more secure and will not be afraid of being a victim of crime. This security will have to be present at school, at work and in other community-related fields.

Link of interest:

What is the situation in South Africa?


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EJECT PROJECT: Crimes with firearms, an expulsion order in Jackson, Mississippi

In the US city of Jackson, Mississippi, with the application of the EJECT project, people who are detained for illegal possession of firearms or involved in some criminal activity with firearms will be ejected from the territory and will serve their sentence far away.

In December 2017 the Prosecutor of the South East District of Mississippi presented the “EJECT” project for the city of Jackson Mississippi. This project aims to combat violent crime in the city and contemplates, as a leading measure, the expulsion from the territory of people involved in firearm-related criminal activity.

People who are arrested for illegal possession of firearms or involved in some criminal activity using firearms will have no possibility of bail and will be ejected from the territory.

A dozen officers from federal and state agencies will help the Jackson Police Department with this project, in what is presented as a collaboration and cooperation project involving different levels of the US penal justice system.

Those responsible for the programme state that if you violate our law and terrorise our residents, you will be expelled from our community and you will serve your sentence far away from Jackson.

The programme has started to be met with scepticism on the part of residents, criminologists and political representatives of all tendencies. Even the mayor of Jackson highlights differences between municipal plans and this project.

Critics state that the basis of the Project is an attack on people under the guise of protecting them as it ignores constitutional rights, like the right to bail  or sending those accused away from Mississippi given the problems this causes their families..



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Prosocial bystanders against discriminatory violence

help-164755_960_720Let us ask before we start. How many times have you witnessed some kind of discrimination on the streets of your city this year?  Maybe, if you had known that in over 80% of occasions, less than 10 seconds of intervention would have been enough to prevent the crime; you would have decided to become a prosocial bystander .

The theory behind the spectator, joining psychology with criminology, aims to understand the motivation behind intervention or non-intervention of a spectator, who is, by definition, the witness of an event in which he / she is not directly involved (PHE, 2016).  When understanding this behaviour, in literature, different stages of the decision-making process are identified, firstly, the event must be perceived, then the spectator must interpret it and understand tht the situation is a conflictive one, the next step is to accept responsibility and take the decision to intervene and, finally, the spectator must have the ability to intervene  (Berkowitz, 2009; Banyard, 2011; Powell, 2011).

This process is important especially when theory is being put into practice, as recent studies show that the Bystander Intervention Programmes have a considerable impact on the primary prevention of sexual and domestic violence. In the United States, the theory has allowed for the development of a range of programmes to prevent sexual aggression on university campuses as male violence is interpreted to be, in theory, caused and a consequence of gender inequality and, therefore, effective violence prevention strategies must aim to change attitudes and behaviour rooted in this inequality (Banyard, Plante & Moynihan, 2004).

Afterwards, the United Kingdom also began to develop strategies of primary prevention on this basis to fight against sexual and gender-related violence in universities  and, more recently, against discriminatory violence in the public domain. At the end of 2017, Shamsher Chohan, director of Communities Inc, presented an initiative “Love not Hate” within the project Building Stronger Commuities, at a Zoom session of the Security, Democracy & Cities Conference, held in Barcelona, where the role of prosocial bystanders became fundamental to foresee and combat hate crimes. The programme, with bases in Nottingham and Bassetlaw, offers mechanisms to the public in order to encourage the commitment of “bystanders” with the prevention of discriminatory violence via the creation of a safer environment for all, stimulating social cohesions and the reporting of offences. For this reason, the institution offers free training for all those active members (individuals and organisations) of the community interested in acquiring knowledge and a better understanding of hate crimes (, 2017), fundamental when perceiving and interpreting discriminatory acts. Furthermore, via Community Cohesion Activities, the initiative encourages interaction and dialogue, generating cohesion between different communities and stimulating commitment to primary prevention of hate crimes. Finally, the institution trains all those volunteers and organisations who work with people in a situation of vulnerability, to convert them into centres for the reporting of offences (, 2017), therefore providing them with the necessary mechanisms to get involved, even if this is a posteriori.


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A joint response to crime against intellectual property

CopyrightOn 19 September 2017, the first Europol conference to address crime against intellectual property began in Anvers (Belgium).

A total of 400 lawyers, experts in security and representatives of different industrial sectors of over 42 countries attended the opening of this conference. The organisers indicated that the purpose of the conference was to review new crime trends and propose strategies to apply the law and good practices in anything related to crime against intellectual property, via the study of operational cases and industrial prospects.

According to a study elaborated by the European Union Intellectual Property Office de (EUIPO), violation of intellectual property is a significant phenomenon in expansion. International commerce of fake products represents 2.5% of commerce worldwide, or in total figures: 388 billion Euros.1 As an example, this is the equivalent to the GDP of Austria. The impact of piracy is particularly high within the European Union, representing 5% of the imports of member states, or in total figures: 85 billion Euros.2

Because of the potential profit and the relatively low risk of possible legal consequences, piracy processes continue to evolve and will be more and more sophisticated. It is for this reason that the conference brought together people from different sectors, environments and countries to generate new knowledge and develop tangible measures to fight against piracy on a global scale.

Irrespective of future courses of action of Europol in this context, it is indeed relevant to explain the consequences of this type of crime, and stress the measures and actions that the European Agency has taken so far to combat them.

The main consequences of crimes against intellectual property are that they reduce the income of affected companies. The resulting adverse social and economic effects of those companies which are victims of such crime include the loss of employment and the livelihood of thousands of people. There are also other kinds of collateral damage, like that of fake products which are manufactured without taking into consideration the health and safety regulations of the EU, which means that they may be dangerous for consumers. The revenue of state members may also be affected by forgery and piracy, which might have an impact on innovation and investment, impede economic growth and reduce the creation of wealth.3

To promote the fight against forgery and piracy on line, in 2016 Europol and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) united to create the International Property Crime Coordination Centre (IPC3), which operates within Europol.

To give an example of the social costs of crimes against intellectual property, falsification of clothes in the EU costs 43.3 billion Euros in losses to companies of the sector, which translates to losses of 8.1 billion in revenue for the states and 518,281 jobs.4

1 Europol (2017). EXPERTS GATHER TO COLLECTIVELY RESPOND TO INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY CRIME. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Sep. 2017].

2 OECD/EUIPO (2016). Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Mapping the Economic Impact. [online] Paris: OECD Publishing, p.5. Available at: Economic_Impact_study/Mapping_the_Economic_Impact_en.pdf [Accessed 20 Sep. 2017].

3 Europol. (2017). Intellectual property crime. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Oct. 2017].

4 Europol. (2017). Intellectual property crime. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Oct. 2017].


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Security meetings in France

Since 2013, the whole of France[1] has held security meetings which facilitate dialogue between citizens and services which provide security. The police, the “gendarmerie”, the fire service, the prefecture, civil protection and road safety services, and all actors who contribute to security present their professions, the materials they use, work techniques and the prerequisites of candidates to enter such professions.

These workshops mobilise almost 300,000 people and provide an excellent occasion for information exchanges and also for the general public to commit to its own security and that of its environment. It is an opportunity to better understand the mission of security services and to discover these professions. At the same time, it gives the general public the ability to more competently prevent everyday dangers (crime, traffic and domestic accidents, etc) as well as improve their reaction when exceptional situations have occurred.

This year, the general public will have attended a range of demonstrations and will have participated in some of them (exercises coordinated between different services, freeing of vehicles, life-saving activities…).

For instance, this year’s programme[2] in the municipality of Aube[3]has involved the participation of different actors like the departmental direction of public security, the Prefecture, the Gendarmerie, the Red Cross, the White Cross and the departmental association of Civil Defence among others to apply prevention to road safety among school children and the senior population, demonstrations of first aid and the presentation of materials and vehicles. Activities have taken place in a range of venues: schools, the public space, lecture rooms, the premises of the gendarmeries or the fire station.

Security workshops have become an interesting practice because they favour the creation of a “security community” where different actors interact and where knowledge and mutual collaboration are enhanced. The benefits of such good practices would appear to be undeniable.

Useful links:

[1] Metropolitan France and overseas territories.

[2] Consultable atécurité%20%202017.pdf

[3] Municipality situated in the north east of France, within the department of La Moselle and in the region of AlsaceChampagne-ArdenneLorraine.


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The Margin Project analyses perceptions of insecurity in five European countries and regions

The Margin project[1], financed by the European Commission within the framework of the Horizon 2020 research programme, has allowed for the development of collaboration between administrations and public universities in: the UK, Catalonia, France, Hungary and Italy.

The aim of the project, which was carried out between May 2015 and April 2017, is to analyse perceptions of insecurity in Europe in accordance with individuals, the groups they belong to and the neighbourhood they live in. It also aims to provide public actors and citizens with tools of analysis and reliable public policies to contribute to the study and to the reduction of perceptions of insecurity.

The systemisation of the information gathered by the surveys in these territories allows for an insight into aspects such as perceptions and behaviour linked to insecurity but also information relative to worries about security.

Perceptions and behaviour linked to insecurity

Crime surveys measure many perceptions linked to insecurity. On a smaller scale, some analyse behaviour deriving from conduct related to protection or avoidance. These aspects are conceptualised in a similar way to the surveys but the formulation of questions may vary considerably depending on the country.

Surveys include questions about perceptions of security or insecurity but with differences: Catalan and French surveys frame the question in the home, neighbourhood, town or city; surveys in England and Wales, Hungary and Italy ask about specific aspects like going home alone at night. They all measure the intensity of such feelings except the French one, which quantifies its frequency.

The pilot survey of the project applied experimentally to Italy, unlike the rest, measures fear of unlawful acts: the emotional reaction in a particular country, its intensity and its frequency in the short and the long term. This survey and the English one measure the impact of fear on daily life. All the surveys address the psychological aspect of crime: the Catalan survey is based on an open question; that of England and Wales based on a detailed list of questions.

 Most of the surveys address conducts of self-protection adopted after suffering a crime. This normally involves a conduct of avoidance: not leaving home, or avoiding certain environments or people.

Worries linked to security

Perceptions of security are explained not only by crimes experienced but also by other parameters like the socio-economic environment or certain impressions and opinions. Crime surveys try to measure these preoccupations about safety with the assessment of crime, evaluation of police services and of justice, the gathering of the interviewees’ perceptions of security in their neighbourhood and the measure of preoccupations of a social nature.

As an important element of the Margin project, a guide of good practices has been drawn up which tries to offer criteria for the collective use of several instruments and indicators to carry out a security diagnosis. A series of methodologies and strategies gathered in the fifth chapter must be stressed. On the one hand, it promotes the collective use of quantitative and qualitative data, both from the police and surveys of other ambits (social, economic); also, the participative design of a new survey to study social determining factors of the perceived insecurity. On the other hand, it gathers criteria to convert the diagnosis into security policies and strategies; and finally, it gathers measuring tools and relevant security-related strategies.[2]

Links of interest:




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The Vigipirate Plan in the anti-terrorist strategy in France

The terrorist attacks perpetrated in France in 2015 and 2016 and the legislative provisions adopted in 2016 have led to a review of the Vigipirate plan to adapt it to the increased threat.


Vigipirate is a central plan within the framework of anti-terrorist strategy that involves all national actors (The State, territorial entities, companies and citizens) in a context of surveillance, prevention and protection.

How is the Plan structured?

It involves 300 measures which apply to 13 fields of action: alert and mobilisation; protection of large human concentrations in an open area; protection of installations and buildings with a symbolic, economic, political or ecological value; protection of industrial installations in the chemical, hydrocarbon or nuclear sector; cybersecurity; the aviation sector; the maritime sector; transport by land; the healthcare sector; protection of the food chain; protection of communication networks, water, electricity, hydrocarbon and gas; control of land, fluvial and lacustrine, maritime and air space borders; protection of French residents in the exterior and French interests abroad.

Objectives of the Plan

1.- The objectives involve dual roles:- Develop a culture of surveillance and security in society as a whole in order to detect threats of terrorist action and

2.- Permanently ensure the protection of citizens, of the territory and interests of France in the face of the terrorist threat.

The 3 levels of the Plan

The implementation of each level is in accordance with the level of the threat and is easily identifiable with a visible logo in the public space:

1.- The level of surveillance is the permanent level of security and involves the implementation of 100 measures which are always active.

2.- The level of consolidated security – risk of a terrorist attack: it adapts the response of the State to a high or very high terrorist threat. A range of additional security measures can be activated to complement others that are permanent especially in airports, railway stations and places of worship among others. This may be applicable to the whole of the national territory.

3.- The level of emergency corresponding to the terrorist attack: this can be activated in the case of an attack that has taken place or when a tourist group that is identified but not located takes action. This level is valid for a limited time that coincides with the management of the crisis. It allows for the mobilisation of exceptional resources and the spreading of information to protect citizens in a crisis.

Intelligence services assess the terrorist threat and their analysis allows the General Secretary of Defence and National Security (SGDSN) to establish the general strategy of the security plan which involves implementing security measures within the framework of significant national events; security measures on specific key dates like the beginning of the school year or end-of-year festivities and apply a national system of emergency protection if a terrorist attack takes place in France or abroad.

For further information the following links can be consulted:


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An increase in support for crime victims in the USA

The Office of Justice Victims of the United States is working in different areas related to the field of justice. One of the pillars of the task is the Office of Crime Victims. This office has organised a whole series of initiatives, workshops and tributes to all types of crime victims during the month of September. This area of justice includes different programmes and over recent years has received greater economic support from the government.

Among the most noteworthy resources, there are four main areas being worked on:

  • Honouring the victims and heroes of 9/11. On the anniversary of the 11 September attacks, North Americans united to participate in the so-called national day of service and memory.
  • The so-called national month of preparation. The President of the USA has declared the month of September as a time to pay attention to the victims of the disasters, whether these are natural or caused by humankind.
    • Carry out planning and preparation before an incident happens.
    • Mitigate the effects of future acts on victims.
    • Respond to active incidents.
    • Recover after a mass or terrorist violent incident.
  • The Office of Victims offers a series of tools to help the victims of mass and terrorist violence. In broad terms, these would be planning, response, recuperation and resources. This multidisciplinary product provides communities with the framework, strategies and resources to:
  • Security for universities and university students. In order to highlight security on campuses, September has also been recognised as national month of security campuses. There are dozens of web pages devoted to security on campuses, and even resources linked to criminality in this sector.
  • The so-called national month of Hispanic inheritance, which is normally commemorated from 15 September to 15 October to recognise the Hispanic history, culture and contribution that US citizens have received. There is a web page of resources in Spanish aimed at Spanish-speaking victims of a crime.

National Crime Victims' Rights Week April 2 - 8 2017 Strength Resilience Justice 480 x 80

All these resources are designed to be able to rapidly develop public awareness raising campaigns during the year and for the National Crime Victims ‘Rights Week (NCVRW). In the month of April this was celebrated with the slogan: Strength, Resilience, Justice. This year it has tried to reflect on a future vision in accordance with which all victims are strengthened by the support they receive, where organisation respond to their challenges, and communities can access collective justice.


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