Editorial Vol. 31 – European security can only be tackled by Europe

When the author of these lines sat down, over ten years ago, with Hartmut Bühl, the Editor-in-Chief of this magazine, to flesh out the idea of capitalising on our experience in publishing an occasional series of monographs on European security to launch a regular magazine on European Security and Defence, we were convinced that the subject would slowly but surely gather momentum. But that is not the way things have turned out at all. Instead, there have been many ups and downs and sometimes even complete stops. However, that has never kept the editorial team from focusing on the crucial issues of European security. In doing so, it has benefitted from the contributions of many authors from politics, parliaments, administrations, science and business as well as experts from industry. As the magazine’s publisher, I should therefore like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to all the members of the editorial team and all its guest writers.
At the same time, I actively encourage them, through this magazine’s coverage of these issues to further the interests of Europe. This is crucial at a time when nationalism, populism – of which there are left and right wing variants – and a climate of euro-scepticism have spread far and wide. Most of the problems raised by these political movements could be solved by Europeans acting together. They certainly cannot be solved by pursuing national interests and an unwillingness to coalesce around a common position. I would like to illustrate the point with the example of migration and refugee policies – widely discussed in this very edition of the magazine, as these issues will require more of our attention in the next few years than they do today. Europe’s humanistic values, as well as its obligations under international law, are clear: any human being who needs help is entitled to receive it. Migration is a human right. But every nation state also has the right under international law to protect its borders and exercise control over them. It is therefore all the more urgent to learn lessons from 2015. The task before Europe is to analyse such events and develop strategies. For instance, this could involve making Africa the focus of its external and security policies with the aim of strengthening African societies and thereby making it unnecessary for people living in abject poverty to leave their country and risk their lives to come to Europe. At the same time, Europe must reach out to genuine refugees driven from their homes by war, terrorism or natural disasters. However, for now, Europe seems to be incapable of building a consensus on this issue. And yet, in addition to Europe’s historical anchoring in the transatlantic alliance and a difficult relationship with its Russian neighbour, this could become one of the decisive security issues for the “old continent”. Europe has no problem recognising it but it does have a problem of motivation to deal with it collectively!
Greater challenges lie ahead for us all and particularly therefore for the editorial team. Europe is more necessary than ever. Too often the obstacles lie within Europe but the challenges are global: migration, digitalisation and fragmentation.

This magazine has a great and important mission ahead. I wish the Editor-in-Chief and his team every success. This anniversary edition is proof of the esteem in which this magazine is held throughout Europe.
My warmest congratulations!

 

R. Uwe Proll, publisher

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