The CSS Blog Network

The Macedonian Crisis – A failure of EU Conflict Management?

Courtesy of Birmingham East Mediterranean Archive/Flickr. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

This article was originally published by the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) on 5 May 2017.

In the Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy, there is a chapter devoted to “An Integrated Approach to Conflicts and Crises”. It sets out a ‘multi-dimensional’ approach through the use of all available policies and instruments aimed at ‘conflict prevention, management and resolution’. The difficulty of transforming such lofty aspirations into reality couldn’t be more evident than in the ongoing and deepening crisis in Macedonia – an EU candidate country in the heart of the Western Balkans.

The eruption of violence on April 27th was a tragedy waiting to happen. The Parliament building was stormed by an angry mob, which proceeded to viciously attack several MPs from the main opposition Social Democratic Union for Integration (SDSM) party, injuring many, including the party’s leader Zoran Zaev. The attack was preceded by weeks of deep tensions following the early elections that took place in December. It was also the latest in a series of crises and violent incidents that have marked the past years of the government led by the ruling Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation-Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (VMRO-DPMNE) party under its leader and former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, in power since 2006. Under his leadership the government has pursued an ethno-nationalist and populist agenda resulting in one of the worst reform records in the Western Balkan region.
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New Collaborations for Better Maps in Crisis

OpenStreetMap - Project Haiti 4

Visualisation in OpenStreetMap after the earthquake in Haiti. Photo: ItoWorld/flickr.

Accurate and timely maps are a vital resource in contemporary disaster and crisis management. Maps are essential for identifying vulnerabilities, monitoring the effects of disasters and organizing countermeasures. Traditionally, the mapping of crises was the exclusive domain of experts, including cartographers and crisis management professionals. But with the growing democratization of information and communications technology, this monopoly is disappearing.

Recent disasters have witnessed a new generation of online maps, created by civil society actors and relying on volunteers to collect, organize, verify, visualize and share geo-refer­enced information. Prominent examples include the crowdsourced maps created in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake in 2010 and during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Although these mapping projects differed in many respects, they had a common aim – to aggregate geo-referenced information from a large number of sources in order to make that information useful for emergency man­agers as well as those affected by the crisis. » More

What Did We Learn From Jamming? (Part 2)

Security Jam: Brainstorming Global Security

This is the second part of the ISN report on Security Jam 2012 presenting the most interesting ideas discussed in last four forums. You can find the first part here.

Facing the Cyber-Challenge

Cyberspace has permeated nearly all aspects of modern life and the security concerns that arise as a result have been the topic of the forum. It was no surprise that this forum had the most threads – 84 in total.

As Jammers pointed out, ‘cyberspace is so much to so many’ and there is general agreement that much needs to be done to achieve and maintain cyber safety.  Since we need to start from somewhere, however, the question remains:  Who should take the lead? The UN, EU, NATO, industry, NGOs or nations?  As one question arises, others follow:  At what level does a cyber-attack become so serious that we could feel justified in retaliating with cyber or other weapons, or in trying to hunt down the aggressor and subject him to some form of punishment or make him pay compensation for the harm which was done? » More

What Did We Learn from Jamming? (Part 1)

Organizers, co-initiators and think-tank partners of Security Jam 2012

Here are some interesting facts from Security Jam 2012:

-over 16,000 logins

-3,000 posts

-more than 400 threads

-8 thematic forums

Based on the above figures, it is safe to say that Security Jam 2012 (Monday 19th-Friday23rd March) was an overwhelming success. Thousands of experts, representatives of national governments and armed forces, international institutions, NGOs, think-tanks, industry, academia and members of the media took part in this massive online brainstorm and focused on finding real solutions to global security issues. Some of the VIPs who took the time to share their ideas with Security ‘Jammers’ included Admiral James Stavridis (Supreme Allied Commander Europe, NATO), General Stéphane Abrial (Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, NATO), Maciej Popowski (Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service), Claude-France Arnould (Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency) and Admiral Anthony Johnstone-Burt (NATO ACT Chief of Staff). » More

Security Jam 2012: Make Your Recommendations to the World Leaders!

Day 5 of the Security Jam 2012. Image by SecurityDefenceAgenda.org

We have entered the fifth and last day of the Security Jam (organized by the Security and Defense Agenda), with log-ins from over 110 countries. Day 5 of the Jam will be focusing on concrete recommendations so make sure to log in and make your voice heard before the Jam closes today at 17:00 CET! Here is a recap of the most important points discussed on Days 3 and 4 thus far. » More

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