More than twenty years after the end of communism in the CEEs, questions of security remain as valid as ever in the region with variable dimensions of security comprising a complex mosaic of security threats. After 1989 the CEEs’ geostrategic orientation changed, the logic and mechanisms of addressing the evolving security dimensions underwent dramatic reformulation, while a great number of contingencies beset the ways of navigating the emerging challenges to security. Central in the discussion on security in the CEEs is therefore the question of effective governance of the multitude of qualitatively different security dimensions that unfold in an evolving regional and international context. The discussion in this chapter approaches this issue from a security governance perspective.
The sovereign debt crisis in the eurozone has caused a fundamental shift in the EU’s internal power balance with Germany, the strongest political and economic player, essentially determining the political response to the crisis. The establishment and implementation of more efficient mechanisms to ensure fiscal responsibility amongst the eurozone members and the aspiring ones led to the emergence of complex differentiated multiple cores of integration, i.e. the Euro-17, Euro Plus and a detached periphery. The CEE countries are represented in all three of the emerging cores. This puts them at the heart of the emerging political division of the EU, thus generating several challenges and opportunities to their broadly understood political and economic security. The objective of this chapter is to explore these issues.
Following the eurozone crisis, the adoption of the euro and membership in the eurozone seem to have lost their attractiveness. Therefore, Poland’s eurozone bid needs to be rethought. In particular, since current developments in the eurozone render its future uncertain, adopting the euro at this moment may generate more challenges and threats than opportunities and benefits to the Polish economy. In this sense, Polish membership in the eurozone becomes a question of economic security. Three research-questions are addressed in this paper, i.e. should Poland seek to meet the convergence criteria in a period when almost all the EMU member states fail to fulfil them; whether – from the economic security point of view – the low level of innovativeness of the Polish economy creates new risks to the country’s potential participation in the eurozone; and how to conceive of economic security through the lens of membership in an unstable eurozone which is undergoing a process of deep reforms.
One of the fundamental goals of European integration is to provide opportunities to less-developed Member States for both convergence and the strengthening of the economic and social cohesion. Prior to the 2008 global financial crisis, the convergence process across the EU had spectacular results. The aftermath of the crisis, however, threatens the prospects of convergence in the EU. In other words, the EU’s cohesion policy, which could mitigate the crisis’ impact, has not received a prominent status in the forthcoming programming period and in the 2014-2020 multiannual financial framework (MFF). As a result, in the medium term, economic and social cohesion in the EU’s periphery is threatened, thus generating a number of security challenges for the Southern as well as for the Central and Eastern European countries (CEEs) members of the EU. This chapter dwells on the issue.
Huge diff erences in the organization of demand and supply of energy exist between the old and the new European Union (EU) member-states, whereby the new EU members are characterised by the highest dependency rate on energy imports. This constitutes a regional security problem. However, as the new member-states serve as primary intermediaries and/or transit markets between gas and oil supplies to Western Europe, this primarily regional security challenge acquires a very important pan-European dimension. In this sense, energy security in the Central and Eastern European countries (CEEs) can be best characterised as a three-level challenge, i.e. concerning, first, the national level, then the CEEs as a region, and finally the entire EU. The objective of this paper is to dwell on this issue. It is argued that as a means of bypassing this challenge further integration of relevant national energy sectors in the CEE region is needed. This should be accompanied by a thorough reform of the European Energy Policy (EEP).
National security concerns are closely intertwined with the political transformation’s vector in the post-Soviet space. In the case of some former Soviet republics, security concerns play such a significant role in their state-building efforts that they can speed up the democratization process. It is argued that the approach to its own security that Russia implements has a fundamental twofold impact on the political developments in the countries in the area. First, Russian aggressive politics in the area partly explains why some of the post-Soviet countries wish to join Western institutions and thus follow the democratization path. Second, Russia stubbornly undermines their pro-western and pro-democratic vector of development. As a result, irrespective of some positive tendencies emerging recently, the prospect of democratization in the post-Soviet space remains uncertain.
This paper examines the security strategies of small states and against this backdrop investigates what kind of security strategy Latvia is implementing. In order to understand the threats and risks that are relevant to Latvia today, its security environment is briefly analysed. The security strategy of Latvia is discussed. It is argued that Russia is still perceived in Latvia as a real threat both at the political and the social levels. It is also emphasized that the prevalence of a cooperative security strategy, rather than a more defensive approach, in Latvia’s take on its security, is conditioned by Latvia’s limited resources.
Irrespective of the demise of the Soviet Union and active involvement of many regional organizations with questions of security in the region, the CEEs are challenged by a great number of threats to security. As the potential of political instability is therefore inherent in the region, the objective of this paper is to dwell on the question of how the EU’s involvement in the region contributes to its stabilization. To this end the CSDP as a stabilization mechanism is discussed.