The EU sterile integration countermeasure

The latest attacks on European soil have brought up the integration problem. While jihadist cells seem to ramp up in the “Old Continent”, the real question is how the European Union should react? The answer leads straight forward to Isis.

After the Paris attacks in January and November 2015 and the last attacks in Brussels on 22 March 2016, what appears to occur is a mere palliative and feeble resort to the integration argument that alone can’t solve the foreign fighters problem, neither jihadist terrorism in Europe.

The predicament has to be eradicated by its roots, extirpating the Islamic State from its territories in Syria, Iraq and Libya. What proves this assertion is the analysis not only of the parallel increase of jihadist cells and the afflux of Isis militants in Europe, but the fact that this growth is proportional to the constant living of the group’s propaganda. The fact that Isis hasn’t been defeated constitutes a factual victory for the group, as well as at the eyes of young Muslims who live in precarious economic and social conditions.

This is not the first time that a jihadist group puts in place a global propaganda, but it is the first that has been made so thoroughly – via magazines, radio, streaming television, apps, gameplays –sharpened by means of religious doctrine recalling the “repartition” of the Middle East (with emphasis on Sykes-Picot agreements of 1928), and “legitimized” through a self-proclaimed Muslim Caliphate controlling a territory and a population (willy-nilly).

It’s noteworthy to mention that the Islamic State is not a State for the International public law and, at the same time, the raids of the International coalition led by US have been justified in Iraq through the consensus of Baghdad’s government, and in Syria thanks to a juridical assumption: the “unwilling or unable”clause, due to the ineffectiveness of Damascus’ government blocking Isis’ military advance (consequently affecting Iraq).

The lack of military power suffered by EU reverberates the necessary need of a leadership, leading to the US.

Despite the fact that after Paris attacks on 13 November the President Hollande decided to summon up the article 42.7 of the Lisbon Treaty – calling on the intervention by EU countries against the aggression – instead of Atlantic Treaty’s article 5, the organization still lacks of a concrete and stable leadership.

Consequently, NATO’s umbrella should be singled out to agglomerate the necessary consensus to act against the Islamic State in its territories, by means of ground troops with a mandate of peace-enforcement. A big obstacle seems to constitutes the US government’s reticence about being dragged in “another Afghanistan”. At the same time such an operation couldn’t be set up without its presence (and military contribution).

It is the only solution to the current European crisis, which should be accompanied by a long-term resettlement policy, because the EU-Turkey agreement on migrants doesn’t seem to be direct towards that term.


Massimo Pascarella. Laureato in “Scienze politiche e relazioni internazionali”, possiede un Master in “Analisi d’intelligence e conflittualità non convenzionale”. Collabora con il quotidiano nazionale boliviano “El Deber” e con vari Think Tanks italiani occupandosi dei conflitti e dei cambiamenti di potere nel Vicino Oriente e dell’analisi dei gruppi jihadisti.