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Crisis Management

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  1. Introduction
  2. Conceptual debates
    1. Different continents, different definitions
    2. Finding a nearly consensus
  3. The reality of transatlantic homeland security
    1. Turning back to each other: first experiments from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean
    2. Cooperation: the different forms of transatlantic homeland security
  4. Main consequences of the transatlantic homeland security process
    1. Who benefits most from the cooperation?
    2. Homeland security and Human rights
  5. Conclusion

For decades, policymakers used theories developed by strategists to preserve vital national interests, during the Cold War for instance. However, the 09/11 attack entailed a radical change in the American security policy. Even on the greatest superpower, violent non-state actors could now inflict mass casualties. Later, the terrorist strikes in Madrid (03/11/2004) and in London (07/07/2005) caused a similar transformation in Europe. Facing the same problems, both sides of the Atlantic started to understand the necessity of cooperation. This was the beginning of ?transatlantic homeland security?.

What does homeland security mean? It has been defined in the U.S. National Strategy for Homeland Security as « a concerted national effort to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce America's vulnerability to terrorism, and minimize the damage and recover from attacks that do occur », in 2003. However, this definition is an American one and we will see that conceptual debates do exist between European and American analysts. The transatlantic cooperation about homeland security occurs in different fields such as intelligence services or border control. Nonetheless, some aspects of this partnership have been highly criticized: some say it could be more efficient, others highlight the Human rights violations.

[...] video surveillance in the UK for instance). What about the transatlantic cooperation? In terms of homeland security, it was limited to a Customs agreement signed in 1997. Actually, we can't really identify a true ?transatlantic homeland security? before the 11/09 events. Cooperation: the different forms of transatlantic homeland security Intelligence sharing, critical infrastructures, natural disasters and the role of business: The growing EU-US cooperation after 09/11 highlights the existence of the transatlantic homeland security. This phenomenon started with the signature of extradition and mutual legal agreements. [...]


[...] According to this measure, American customs inspectors were now able to control containers bound for America in some European harbors. This control occurs before the arrival in the US in order to protect American harbors from paralysis. These agreements were firstly negotiated between the USA and individual states (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands), and then relayed by the Commission in 2003-2004. The Commission decided in 2004 that the measure would be reciprocal: European customs inspectors can now theoretically control containers bound for Europe in American harbors. [...]


[...] About the partnership, we have seen in the previous part of my essay that the process often looks like this: first the US adopts a new law, and then the EU negotiates and finally agrees with it, although it's often in contradiction with European laws (which are supposed to protect more privacy for instance). Do we assist to an Americanization of the European law? It's not so simple; the differences have always remained quite low actually. For example, Europeans are using biometric passports and collecting personal data for people coming from some non-European countries in order to fight against illegal immigration (to learn more about it, read the text of Virginie Guiraudon: http://www.cerium.ca/IMG/pdf/GUIRAUDON_2005_La_cooperation_transatlantique_a pres_le_11_septembre_-_l_enjeu_de_la_securite_interieure.pdf, page 34). [...]

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