Drones watching Fortress Europe

The market for military long-endurance drones is dominated by two companies from Israel and one from the USA. Their products are now flying missions to monitor the Mediterranean Sea.

The Israeli company Elbit has been commissioned by the European Union to monitor the Mediterranean Sea. The company, which specializes in defence and surveillance technology, announced this at the beginning of November. For two years unarmed drones of the type „Hermes 900“ are to be launched from Portugal for reconnaissance missions. The flights will probably take place in the western Mediterranean around the Strait of Gibraltar. Responsible is the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), which announced such plans two years ago. Last summer, EMSA tested two different drones in a pilot project. With their long endurance, they also belonged to the so-called MALE class, but are considerably smaller than the „Hermes 900“. Drones watching Fortress Europe weiterlesen

The EU Security-Industrial Complex

Ben Hayes about his book „NeoConOpticon“

On the occasion of the current Swedish EU Council Presidency, on 29-30 September 2009, the Fourth European Security Research Conference takes place in Stockholm. This „major component in the evolution of civil European security research“ is organized by the European Commission and the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems within the „European Security Research Programme“ (ESRP) of 7th Framework Programme for Research and Development (FP7).

Timely for this event that tries to bring together „stake-holders“ and „policy and business decision-makers“, a quite critical report elucidates the incorporations of European security politics and industry. NeoConOpticon – The EU Security-Industrial Complex, written by Ben Hayes and published by the Transnational Institute (TNI), in association with Statewatch, gives a comprehensive overview about new applications and gadgets that are alleged to produce „security“ for European citizens. But most notably, the report identifies the actors on the „supply side“ and „demand side“ of a „security“, that has become a highly profitable and sellable product.

Ben Hayes is part of the civil liberties organisation Statewatch in London since 1996. He also works for the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) in Berlin and the Transnational Institute (TNI) in Amsterdam. The EU Security-Industrial Complex weiterlesen