The report, “NeoConOpticon, The EU Security-Industrial Complex”, is a “follow-up [to Arming Big Brother, 2006] [and] contains new research showing how the European Security Research Programme [ESRP] continues to be shaped by prominent transnational defence and security corporations and other vested interests. Though technically a Research and Development (R&D) programme, the ESRP is heavily focused on the application of security technologies (rather than objective research per se), and is increasingly aligned with EU policy in the fields of justice and home affairs (JHA, the ‘third pillar’), security and external defence (CFSP, the ‘second pillar’).”
The Report includes a discussion of maritime immigration enforcement. Excerpt:
“Having fortified many of the traditional entry points to Europe, the focus of the ‘war on migration’ has shifted to the islands of the Mediterranean and the coastlines of Africa and the Middle East. For FRONTEX, the newly created EU border management agency, this ‘southern maritime frontier’ is the ‘first line of defence’ of ‘Europe’s borders’. Since 2003 FRONTEX has coordinated a host of joint police and naval missions to combat ‘illegal’ immigration by sea and is now in the process of setting up a permanent European Patrols Network for the Mediterranean and a corps of Rapid Border Intervention Teams (RABITs) for deployment to ‘illegal immigration hotspots’.
This militarised approach to immigration control is part of a broader EU maritime security and defence strategy. In 2005, following the lead of the USA’s ‘SeaPower21’ strategy, the Chiefs of European Navies (CHENS) launched a 20-year ‘Vision for the Future Role of European Maritime Forces’ to meet the demands of the European Security Strategy (2003) and enhanced NATO Maritime Joint Operations. The rationale behind the CHENS strategy is that the sea: ‘has already been used for terror attacks by boats armed with rockets and small arms’ and ‘for logistic support to terrorism’. The sea is also a potential conduit for CBRN material and “criminal activity including narcotics, human trafficking and piracy’, all of which is ‘increasing in sophistication and volume.’ …”
Click here for Executive Summary.
Click here for full report.