Recent Trends in EU External Action in the Fields of Climate, Environment, Development and Security: Report for the European Space Agency

This report was prepared at the request of the European Space Agency in order to provide the ESA with information on the evolution of EU external action in the fields of climate, environment, development and security. The main purpose is to advise the Agency on the latest developments in the EU external action in these policy areas.

Because of its extensive experience in working on these issues with an integrated approach, the IES was asked to provide information on the following specific aspects:

1. Issues: The Effects of Climate Change and the Consequences for EU External Policies in the Fields of Climate, Environment, Development and Security

2. Policies: The Evolution of EU External Policies in the Fields of Climate, Environment, Development and Security - New Trends and Possible Initiatives

3. Earth Observation: New Opportunities for the Contribution of Earth Observation Programmes for the Implementation of EU External Policies

4. Institutions: The Roles and Responsibilities of EU Institutions in External Relations in the Fields of Climate, Environment, Development and Security

5. Networking: Partnership Opportunities with European Professional Organisations, NGOs and Others in the Fields of Climate, Development, Environment and Security

The report is organised into two main parts plus an annex. Following a Preface on EU, Space and Security and an introduction on integrating environment, development and security policy, Part I covers ten specific issue areas plus a cross-cutting chapter on peace and security issues. For each of the specific topics we present a brief description of the global issues involved (particularly from an integrated environmental security perspective), then highlight key international and EU policies and initiatives on the topic and finally put forward information and ideas regarding the (potential) role of Earth Observation / Remote Sensing.

In addition, in Part I, we include chapters on Africa and on the Arctic as two regions of particular importance for EU external policy where the interplay between climate change, environment, development and security is especially timely.

Regarding Earth Observation/Remote Sensing (EO/RS) we emphasise that the role of space is not only to help in monitoring the implementation of EU external action but ? and at least equally important ? also to provide needed data and analysis on the issues as a basis for the design and development of new EU foreign and security policies. 

Part II of the report provides up-to-date information on the current set up and functions of the main EU institutions and the bodies within them most relevant to the focus of this report. The extensive guide is accompanied by an introduction on the historical evolution of the roles and responsibilities of the EU institutions under various treaties and especially since the coming into force of the Treaty of Lisbon.

In the Annex I we present the results of a survey conducted among a number of international, governmental and non-governmental organisations and think tanks regarding their views on the role of RS/EO and their interest in establishing / further developing relations with the ESA.

The report as a whole should serve as a guide to ongoing institutional and policy developments in EU external action as well a useful handbook for the ESA and others who wish to increase the effectiveness of their interaction with the EU in the fields of climate change, environment, development and security.

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Author(s)Géraud de Ville and Ronald A.Kingham
PublisherInstitute for Environmental Security
Place publishedBrussels / The Hague
Date / Journal Vol No.December 2011


AGR Agriculture / Food
AID Aid / Development Assistance
ARC Arctic
BIO Biodiversity
CLI Climate
CNE Conflict Prediction / Early Warning
CNP Conflict Prevention
CNR Conflict Resolution
EMD Emergencies / Disasters
ENE Energy
EOR Earth Observation / Remote Sensing
EUR European Union
FAM Famine / Hunger
FOR Forests
ILL Illegal Trade in Natural Resources
MEA Multilateral Environment Agreements
MIG Migration / Refugees / Displaced Persons
NTR Natural Resources
WAS Wastes
WAT Water / Sanitation

Scope Areas