EU Security At Risk Due To A Lack Of Economic Independence?
The recent visit by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani demonstrated two disturbing trends in Europe: its willingness to do business with a dictatorial regime with terrorist ties, and the increasing dependence on outside financial sources and its impact on European foreign policy.
As Hans Kundani of the German Marshall Fund notes, European countries are trading less within the EU bloc, thus becoming more dependent on economies outside the EU in different ways.
“But the changing relationship of EU member states with the rest of the world — in particular the increased leverage that non-Western states will have over them — mean that it is now necessary for the EU to go further in connecting its internal and external policy and to make even more complex trade-offs between member states’ interests. In short, the EU needs a mechanism through which it can prioritize between internal and external objectives,” he warns.
Financial Tools Should Be Employed To Combat Human Trafficking While the international standards on human trafficking have been set out in the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, today there are more slaves or indentured servants than ever before.
The standards, which have been reaffirmed by regional legal frameworks such as the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, lay out the rules by which countries should abide, but many lack the tools to combat human trafficking, or are not fully utilizing all the tools they can, argues Olivia Enos of the Heritage Foundation.
Noting that ISIS has generated $323 million in revenues from smuggling of European migrants, she says the US Treasury Department could play a role in combating the illicit activity.
“If applied effectively, the Treasury has tools at its disposal that could effectively curtail funding sources for human trafficking. They also could uncover vast human trafficking networks. The Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network already supports law enforcement agencies by identifying ‘red flags’ on financial transactions that may help identify victims, traffickers, or smugglers,” Enos writes.
By integrating the fight against human trafficking into a broader national security strategy, the US would be serving both its financial and national security interests, she maintains.