Is the Crime in the Eye of the Beholder?

The French Constitutional Council has, for the second time, struck down a law that prohibits the usual consultation of terrorist websites. There is a higher abstract risk associated to the act of publishing a message than in the isolated act of reading it. Focusing on the prevention of the harm likely to be inflicted by the reader of the websites might not be the only way to deal with this statute, though.

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Der Donald-Test

Nicht nur unser Sicherheitsgefühl hat in den vergangenen Wochen gelitten, sondern auch unsere Zuversicht angesichts der Frage, in wessen Hände die Macht in westlichen Demokratien so alles fallen kann. Vor diesem Erfahrungshintergrund ist es nicht allein unsere Angst, die darüber entscheidet, was wir uns an staatlichen Sicherheitsbefugnissen wünschen. Wir fragen uns auch, oder sollten uns zumindest fragen: würden wir diese Sicherheitsbefugnisse auch, sagen wir, einem Donald Trump geben?

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The Teething of EU’s Mutual Defence Clause

France was the first member state to call for mutual assistance under Article 42(7) of the Lisbon treaty. The move came as a surprise. Most of the discussions in previous days were focused on the possibility to use the much heftier Article 5 defence clause of NATO. Compared to the tangible military assistance that NATO partners can offer, Europe’s obligation to assist has so far been seen as toothless and symbolic. While the EU’s mutual defence clause is still limited in its effect, its use is a timely reminder that there is strong interest within the EU to work closer together on defence.

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