Will Covid-19 get the better of European intelligence diplomacy?

“It is a question of European sovereignty. As soon as one wishes to gain in strategic defense capacity, it is necessary to gain in intelligence capacity ”. It was at the end of February when it was officially signed in Zagreb, Croatia. Cooperation "Unprecedented, long-term, for the security of European democracies", Intelligence College in Europe (ICE) wanted to "The common response to the complexity of asymmetric cyber, terrorist and destabilization threats emanating from Russia or China via 5G networks " Three months after the pleadings of representatives of internal and external services from the 23 signatory countries[1], the informal "diplomatic" body promoted by Emmanuel Macron fell into forced sleep.

Like Europe's Defense carried by the French authorities in the name of "strategic autonomy" in the face of the American umbrella, ICE has been classified as a more subordinate priority with the health crisis. "The European partners cannot be mobilized immediately", explains one. "Covid-19 de facto slows down work", emphasizes another European member. Croatia, who took over the presidency of ICE, at the same time as she chairs the European Council until June 30, says she is determined to continue on the path initiated by the French authorities.

The Intelligence College in Europe is an initiative led by the French authorities. The creation of a common intelligence service, with the support of the United Kingdom, however, comes up against internal legal problems as well as the lack of collaboration on the part of Washington.

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[1] Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom .

[2] “Anglo-European Intelligence Cooperation: Britain in Europe, Europe in Britain”, Hardcover Edition, 2019

[3] "Outsourcing US Intelligence", "US National cybersecurity: International politics, concepts and organization", "Institutionalization and practices of intelligence in the age of terrorism"

[4] "Intelligence put to the test of the European Union", Nouveau Monde Editions, 2019

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