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Dealing with ‘problems without passports’: Australia–EU cooperation on counterterrorism


The Strategist

Dealing with ‘problems without passports’: Australia–EU cooperation on counterterrorism

by Katja Theodorakis

In a recent public lecture, former Australian foreign minister and outgoing chancellor of the Australian National University Gareth Evans commented, ‘Geopolitically, Europe’s role matters enormously, again, in a world where principled voices are in short supply … and where multilateral approaches to problem solving—particularly on those … issues … which Kofi Annan used to describe as “problems without passports”—have never been more necessary’.

While Evans cited climate change as the quintessential example, ‘problems without passports’ encompass all sorts of crises and challenges that transcend borders. The asymmetrical security threat posed by transnational terrorism is another case in point.

Despite sustained multilateral efforts over the past 18 years, the threat from terrorist groups seems to be constantly evolving rather than abating. Initial hope that the destruction of Islamic State’s ‘caliphate’ in Iraq and Syria would also signal the demise of the movement was misplaced. IS has shown itself to be resilient and adaptable as it seeks to shift its frontiers to other geographic locations in Asia and Africa. The influence of IS—especially through former fighters and sympathizers making their way to Europe or Southeast Asia—remains an ongoing challenge for security and law-enforcement agencies in Europe and the Asia–Pacific region.

Read more: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/dealing-with-problems-without-passports-australia-eu-cooperation-on-counterterrorism/