Obama Team Seeks to Engage with the Court -- a Fence-Straddling Position as a “Non-Signatory” Participant
The International Criminal Court (ICC) represents a manifest irony in U.S. foreign policy. While Washington has defiantly refused to join the tide of broad international acceptance and join the ICC or submit to its jurisdiction, the U.S. has traditionally been a strong supporter (and sometimes even a leader) in international efforts to bring to justice those individuals and states guilty of war crimes and atrocities -- precisely the kinds of crimes the ICC was created to prosecute. The U.S. leadership was critically important in the prosecution of German and Japanese officials after World War II and in support for tribunals dealing with the genocides in Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia and elsewhere.
On March 17, 2010, The European Institute held a special breakfast meeting of its Transatlantic Roundtable on Transportation regarding transatlantic cooperation on transportation security. A delegation from the European Parliament’s Transport Committee, including Chairman The Honorable Brian Simpson (S & D Party, UK), The Honorable Mathieu Grosch (European People’s Party, Belgium), The Honorable Saïd El Khadraoui (S & D Party, Belgium), and The Honorable Gesine Meissner (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, Germany) spoke about their visit to Washington and current civil aviation security issues in the European Union. Michael Scardaville, Director for European and Multilateral Affairs at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, provided a U.S. perspective on these pressing security matters. The main topics of discussion were the second U.S.-EU civil aviation agreement (Open Skies II), the U.S.-EU passenger name records agreement, privacy and human rights issues with the implementation of full body scanner in airports, the overall approach to civil aviation security, the increasing importance of high speed rail in the U.S., and the importance of the U.S. and EU to coordinate policies and procedures to ensure security on both sides of the Atlantic. A high emphasis was placed on increasing dialogue between the U.S. and EU on unresolved issues of contention. Passenger privacy and the protection of data are especially big concerns for Europe, and the U.S. and EU will continue to work together to try to find a holistic approach to providing security.
For at least a decade, “cyberspace” – with its potential for exposing digital networks to eavesdropping and crippling attack – has been highlighted by strategists as a new “fifth dimension” of warfare. The most vulnerable global power in this regard is the United States and its European allies, analysts say, because these nations rely so heavy on electronic networks for their military operations as well as their civilian infrastructure from communications and road traffic to banking and hospitals. All of these can potentially be taken down by massive attacks by hackers, especially those with backing from a government.
Europe continues to be world’s leading region in terms of corruption-free governance, according to the latest (November 2009) survey by Transparency International (TI), the Berlin-based watch-dog on corruption around the world. The biggest European countries are rated above the United States, but some east European nations continue to struggle with corruption. (The full report is available at http://www.transparency.org/.)
The European Union will move a step forward in its campaign to curb piracy in the Gulf of Aden by dispatching a team of advisers to train Somali security forces to protect shipping in the region, EU foreign ministers said after a council meeting in Brussels on July 27.
© COPYRIGHT THE EUROPEAN INSTITUTE 2009
You may share using our article tools. Please don't cut articles from our site and redistribute by email or post to the web.