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The EU's approach post-September 11: global terrorism as a multidimensional law enforcement challenge
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-07, 20:00 authored by Jorg Monar
In response to the threat of terrorism following 9/11, the European Union has opted for a clear cross-border law enforcement approach that is quite distinct from the putative 'war on terror'. This choice has been determined by factors of history, divergent threat perceptions, relative value orientations and restricted competences. And yet, far from limiting itself to a traditional 'internal' law enforcement focus, the EU has developed an extensive multidimensional approach that combines legislative and operational, repressive and preventive, internal and external, as well as institutional, measures. But weaknesses persist: the preference given by member states to instruments of cooperation and coordination, rather than integration, as well as the poor implementation of many agreed-upon measures, negatively weigh against the effectiveness of the EU's multidimensional law enforcement approach. Legitimacy deficits also exist owing to limited parliamentary and judicial control. These deficits will need to be addressed to reinforce the credibility of the EU's approach as a viable 'European' alternative to the US 'war on terror'.
JournalCambridge Review of International Affairs
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Department affiliated with
- Politics Publications
NotesThis article in a leading International Relations journal provides a critical analysis and assessment of the EU's response to the post 9/11 terrorist challenge. It brings out the multidimensional (legislative/operational, internal /external, repressive/preventative) approach of the EU and contrasts its law enforcement focus with the US "war on terror" concept. The article also identifies a number of problems such the systematic preference for cooperative rather than integrative measures, major failures in the implementation of common measures and deficits of effective parliamentary control, which indicate the structural weaknesses of the EU as an actor in this field.
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