Author(s): Valentina Caracci and Ralf Roloff - MC Series: Security Insights, Number 20 - Published: August 2015


The European southern flank has been experiencing multi-faceted and unprecedented security threats stemming from its neighboring regions. Within and outside Europe, joint efforts and a sense of solidarity alternate with waves of parochialism and fragmentation, which just add fuel to the fire and further stoke the crisis, preventing the resolution of external conflicts. The European Security Seminar – South addressed the challenges and the opportunities of crisis management in southern Europe and contributed to build a common understanding of the current security environment and a joint strategical approach among the countries of the region. The first part of this report provides an analysis of the challenges the southern flank is currently facing, by focusing in particular on migration, terrorism and maritime security. What emerges from the analysis is that all these issues overlaps and interlinks, creating a tangle of challenges which has then to be tackled both individually (by providing tailored responses) and collectively (through a joint, whole-of government response). Building on such premise, the second part deals with joint ownership as a crucial element for any crisis response: successful strategies are the ones which combine customized solutions with a non-invasive external support. Lastly, a series of policy recommendations is provided to practically embrace the concept of shared responsibility among partner countries. The bottom line is that The Euro-Atlantic community as well as the countries of MENA and Sahel should combine realistic assessments and achievable aims with idealistic aspirations and sensitivity to each other’s differences.

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