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Security and Defence Policy of the European Union

Дата публикации: 09 июня 2016
Автор: Alexander Baichorov
Публикатор: Александр Павлович Шиманский
Рубрика: АНГЛИЙСКИЙ ЯЗЫК (HAPPY ENGLISH)
Источник: (c) http://portalus.ru
Номер публикации: №1465466445 / Жалобы? Ошибка? Выделите проблемный текст и нажмите CTRL+ENTER!


Alexander Baichorov, (c)

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Автор: Alexander Baichorov, professor, Ph.D., Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Belarus to the EU.


The Treaty of Amsterdam on the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)

The Amsterdam Treaty of the European Union came into force on 1 May 1999. It introduced a series of new issues in the establishment of a Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union (CFSP).

According to the Treaty, the position of a High Representative of the CFSP - i. e. foreign minister - is introduced. The European Council recommended NATO Secretary General Javier Solana to this position in June 1999.

A new Policy Planning and Early Conflict Prevention Section is introduced within the Secretariat of the European Council to make proposals and control CFSP implementation. All the initiatives in this sphere used to have been input by EU chairman-state. The new section is planned to consist of no less than 20 members: three representatives of the Secretariat of the European Council, one representative of the European Commission, one representative of the Secretariat of the European Parliament and fifteen diplomats to be nominated by Minister CFSP himself from a list of candidates suggested by all member states.

As staled in Article 184 of the Amsterdam Treaty, the three EU representatives shall take the responsibility for the CFSP establishment. The European Parliament will be involved in informational and consultative activities.

The Amsterdam Treaty stipulates that CFSP strategic decisions shall be made unanimously, the rest - by qualified majority. However, any member state can veto any decision if it threatens this country's vital national interests.

A certain novelty here is "constructive abstention" voting, when a country announces that it does not see any benefits from the suggested decision, but it does not vote against it so as not to prevent it from being adopted by the majority. In practical terms, it is likely that a position of "constructive abstention" will be taken with regards to decisions on "Petersburg missions" (peacekeeping and humanitarian tasks), whereas the unanimity principle - on all military issues.

The Amsterdam Treaty did not introduce anything new into the relations between the EU and the Western European Union (WEU). Proposals by certain states (France) to empower the European Council to give directives to the WEU, are not reflected in the Treaty.

Therefore, it can be stated that the Amsterdam Treaty, as it came into force on 1 May, gives no grounds to talk about the formation of a common foreign policy of the EU. It envisages only establishment of certain mechanisms designed to facilitate the development and realisation of the common foreign and security policy.

Cologne EU Summit Decisions

The decisions of the June 1999 EU Cologne Summit became a further important leap forward on the way of CFSP strengthening. For the first time decisions on the level of Heads of State and Government were made to reinforce not just the common CFSP, but also a common security and defence policy.

In the EU Declaration on Strengthening the Common European Security and Defence Policy the Heads of State and Government expressed their confidence that the European Council shall be able to make decisions within the whole spectrum of tasks in the field of conflict prevention and crisis management, as covered by the Amsterdam Treaty. To this end, the EU shall have capabilities to accomplish separate (from NATO - A. Baichorov ) actions supported by trustworthy combat forces, means of decision-making on their use and readiness to do this in response to international crises without conflicting with NATO actions (Para 1).

The Declaration further sets out:

* We shall develop effective European military capabilities; build up our intelligence, strategic transport and command and control capabilities; make a constant effort to reinforce the defence industrial and technological basis which would be competitive and dynamic (Para 2).

* We would develop an effective crisis management system under the authority of the EU, within which both

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NATO and neutral and non-aligned states could parti-cipate in EU-led operations fully and on equal terms. We shall create conditions for European allies and EU partners to participate in this matter to the maximum extent (Para 3).

* The WEU has accomplished its mission as an organisation. By the end of 2000 the European Council will decide on the inclusion of major WEU functions in the EU. Different status of the member states regarding collective security guarantees will not be altered. The Alliance will remain the core of the collective defence of EU member states (Para 5). 1

The European Council entrusted the future EU President (Finnish President M. Achtisaari) with the realisation of concrete activities listed in the Report on Strengthening Common European Security and Defence Policy prepared by the German Presidency (approved by and coordinated with other EU members). The report, in particular, identifies the necessity of a progressive definition of the common defence policy in conformity with Article 17 of the Amsterdam Treaty. Additionally, it is specified in the Report that the Treaty also envisages a possibility of WEU integration in to the EU. The German Presidency Report reminds that already at the 1998 Vienna Meeting of the European Council it was stated that the CFSP should have been supported by trustworthy operational "powers". It welcomes the French- British St. Malo Declaration of 4 December 1998, in which for the first time Great Britain at the high level upheld the idea of developing autonomous European defence capabilities. The Washington NATO Summit, as specified in the Report, welcomed a new impetus the Amsterdam Treaty had gi-ven to the strengthening of the common European securi-ty and defence policy and confirmed that a stronger European role can help to contribute to the Alliance's vitality in the 21 st century. The NATO Summit further emphasised that the CFSP development as provided for by the Amsterdam Treaty would fit into the common security and defence policy within the framework of the Washington Treaty. This process shall lead to a higher level of cooperation, complementarity and synergy.

It is highlighted in the German Presidency Report that the EU goal is to build up the CFSP by means of developing a common European security and defence policy. This development shall not be perceived as an alternative or a parallel line to NATO. According to the Report, the Atlantic Alliance remains the foundation of its members' collective defence. The responsibilities stemming from Article 5 of the Washington Treaty and Article V of the Brussels Treaty will in any case be preserved for these treaties' signatories. The policy of the Union shall not cast doubts on the specific character of the security and defence policy of certain member states.

The report enumerates steps to be made in the fo-reseeable future for the development of the common European security and defence policy:

* defence ministers will be invited to attend meetings of the European Council if required;

* the Political and Security Committee will be operating in Brussels on a permanent basis;

* the EU Military Committee consisting of military representatives will be working out recommendations for the Political and Security Committee; EU Military Secretariat including the Situational Centre will be set up;

* such WEU institutions as the Satellite Centre and the Centre for Security Studies will be used by the EU to collect intelligence data and for strategic planning.

All decisions relating to crisis management, in particular, those having military or defence complications, shall be made in accordance with Article 23 of the Amsterdam Treaty, i. e. in all cases member states will maintain the right to decide whether or not they wish to deploy the national forces.

Two kinds of crisis management operations are planned to be carried out under the auspices of the EU: employing NATO potential and resources and without these. A successful European security and defence policy is considered to envisage:

* possibility for all EU member states including non-allied [to NATO or the WEU] members to participate in EU-led operations to a full extent and on equal terms;

* conditions under which non-EU European NATO members could most fully be engaged in EU-led operations maintaining the existing cooperation practice within the WEU;

* provision of equal rights for all participants of EU-led operations;

* development of effective mutual consultations, cooperation and transparency between NATO and the EU;

* study of possibilities to engage associated WEU partners - i. e. countries of Central and Eastern Europe - in EU-led operations. 2

The European Council decisions in Cologne became a certain compromise between those EU and NATO members that would like to see the future CFSP based on a cooperative approach to security, and the member states considering that the common security and defence policy should be largely determined in NATO. This approach was most explicitly voiced by the US Secretary of Defence in his article Stronger Europe Providing Stronger NATO . It says that Kosovo reminds us that challenges to the European security require decisions where Europe can play the leading role. It is also mentioned in the article that the EU being a strong economic force that is getting even stronger, has to endeavour to make a powerful voice in European diplomatic and military questions as well. To this end,

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Europe has to continue working on the furtherance of the European identity in the security and defence field within NATO. 3

The transatlantic solidarity was reaffirmed in the Declaration endorsed at the EU - US Summit held on 21 June 1999 in Bonn. EU and US Heads of State confirmed the indivisibility of transatlantic security in the 21st century, fully recognised the overriding responsibility of the UN Security Council for the upkeep of international peace and security , noted that NATO remains a cornerstone of the transatlantic security providing an irreplaceable connection between North America and Europe, welcomed the EU growing crisis response capability and significant progress achieved in strengthening the European pillar of NATO, and supported the new impetus given by the Amsterdam Treaty and the 1999 Cologne Summit to the reinforcement of the common European policy in the security and defence field. It is stated in the Declaration that a stronger European role in this sphere will contribute to the vitality and effectiveness of the Atlantic Alliance.

Concrete Suggestions on Shaping the Security and Defence Policy of the EU

The decision by the European Council to transform the European Corps into a Rapid Reaction Force was the first concrete move on the way of shaping operational capabilities of the European security and defence policy. Initially, the Euro-Corps consisted of French and German troops later joined by Belgian, Luxembourg and Spanish units. Since 1993, its headquarters has been located in Strasbourg. The Euro- Corps comprises 60,000 troops and more than 1,000 tanks and armoured personnel carriers. The Joint Committee exercising political guidance over the Euro-Corps will soon come up with a new Missions Plan, according to which the Euro-Corps will be able to carry out crisis management, humanitarian, peacekeeping and peace enforcement operations.

After the EU Cologne Summit decisions, merger of the EU and the WEU is a question of a few years. In the next months, the talks will spin around the terms and modalities of this integration. The work in this direction could have started already, but for the main obstacle that arose between the French and the British approaches, as well as the position of Turkey unwilling to lose her rights in the WEU after its integration with the EU.

France considers (and positions of the majority of WEU member states are close to the French approach) that decisions relating to European security and defence have to be made by the European Council and the WEU integrated into the EU (or other institutions established after its integration) has to execute them. To this end, the WEU operational forces have to be upgraded in the future and be at the European Council's disposal. NATO shall chiefly be brought in for the EU territorial defence.

Great Britain believes that all political decisions in the field of European security and defence have to be made by the European Council. However, they have to be executed involving NATO units and infrastructures (Combined Joint Task Force, CJTF structures). According to this approach, there is no need to establish or upgrade parallel purely European units.

At first sight, the British approach apparently seems a pro-NATO one. However, in reality it is much more anti-NATO than the French one. Traditionally, NATO has been viewed as the highest authority and the main West's defence force. It is therefore still unclear whether or not it will agree to jump up each time the European Council cracks a whip. The British approach actually subordinates the Alliance to the EU, which is very unlikely to be admired by the US and Canada.

Anyway, no practical steps will be taken or WEU and EU integration programmes are to be implemented until a compromise is found between these two approaches. The WEU Secretary General J. Cutileiro will remain on his position until the end of 1999. The WEU Secretary General will not be re-elected. Instead, J. Solana will hold this position on the concurrent basis. Under his chairmanship, main principal decisions on WEU and EU integration will be made in 2000.

The change of the British position definitely became the most important shift that predetermined transition from addressing CFSP problems to discussing issues pertaining to the common European security and defence policy. Until 1998, London refused even to talk about European defence issues, referring to the fact that this was NATO's business, rather than that of the EU. In the second half of 1998, under the pressure of the military-industrial lobby the British Government agreed to start to consider within the WEU the problem of the upgrade of the armed forces of European nations and consolidation of efforts in the sphere of armaments production.

On 20 July 1999 prime ministers Tony Blair and Massimo D'Alema came out with a proposal to elaborate the convergence criteria similar to the ones contained in the Maastricht Treaty to reform the armed forces and defence industry of EU member states. The Bri- tish-Italian Plan that is to be addressed and approved in December 1999 at the European Council, envisages the establishment of overriding goals on refining peacekeeping capabilities of European states and directi- ves on reinforcing European arms trade cooperation. It demands that EU defence and foreign ministers review the realisation of these tasks every six months. International observers noted that this plan was the first attempt by EU states to draw lessons from the Kosovo conflict, which had revealed a colossal supremacy

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of the US Air Force and the US intelligence capabilities. 4

The British-Italian plan, the Franco-British St. Malo Declaration 5 and the Declaration of the Cologne European Council on building up common European security and defence policy prove the endeavours by European political leaders to preserve European arms markets, support their defence industries, and make European armaments more attractive to new NATO members and partner states. The EU faces great technological, financial and culture-related challenges on this way. It will not be easy to work out the Maastricht convergence criteria suitable for Great Britain and France sharing globalist approach and effort to project their forces onto other continents, and Germany that only in March 1999 very reluctantly started to take part in mili-tary operations outside its borders.

Prospects for the Common Security and Defence Policy of the EU

Formation and evolution of the EU have always been chiefly determined by its leaders' enthusiasm. The European public has been following them with fluctuating reluctance. Therefore, maintaining appropriate public relations has always been significant for the European integration processes. In this regard, the new leadership of the European Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission still have to explain to the "broad public" that adoption of CFSP is not an end of sovereignty, but rather its expansion. A single country (Belgium, Austria, or even Germany) cannot affect decisively the order of the world and pan-European events. However, through CFSP its capabi-lity to do this goes up dramatically. In terms of its consequences, the CFSP formation is similar, to a degree, to the introduction of Euro: the emergence of a single European currency resulted not in the cession, but rather in reinforcement of sovereignty, since prior to Euro, a single country, even a big one, was unable to protect its interests from the fluctuations of the currency market. Now it is the other way around.

Completion of the single currency formation within the EU, introduction of Euro, solution of complex budgetary problems before 2006 bring the CFSP formation to the foreground on the EU agenda for the years to come. Jacques Poos, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg, on 21 June in his farewell speech in the European Council, which he had chaired for fifteen years, noted that at present realisation of the "security and defence" dimension in the context of the overall EU construction was coming to the forefront.

It would be wrong to assert that commencing CFSP formation process, inter alia , through the search of common approaches towards security and defence- related issues, is a sort of a negative reaction to the US and NATO domination or that the CFSP is aimed at the establishment of a European defensive counterbalance to the Alliance. NATO continues to be the core of the EU defence.

Pursuance of the common security and defence policy of the EU is connected not so much with the Europeans' longing for acting without the US as with the US unwillingness to be involved in every European crisis settlement. It is Washington that long since insisted that European allies should pay more attention to the security and defence-related issues, allocate more funding for the army, upgrade their armed forces, etc. Defence industries of the European nations do not produce cruise missiles, most state-of-the-art navigation and communications (including spy) satellites, reconnaissance and fire control systems and long-range military cargo aircraft. Thus, now it is not a matter of whether Europe is capable of overcoming its technological dependence on the US in the defence area. Rather, it is a matter of converting European countries into more capable allies. The Pentagon has been encouraging the consolidation of the US defence industry: merger of Lockheed and Martin Marietta in 1995, Boeing and McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Currently, when the Europeans are trying to do the same, the Pentagon voices its concern over the anticipated merger of British Airspace and GEC-Marconi, although this will in no way lessen their dependency from American high technologies in the military field. The US Department of Justice has announced that this merger possibly violates the antitrust laws, although both Lockheed and Boeing are much bigger than the British corporation to be formed as a result of the merger. The duality of the US position regarding the EU plans to enhance cooperation in the defence area is determined by desire of the US political establishment to reduce the burden on the American taxpayer associated with crisis settlement in Europe. Along the same lines, political forces close to the military-industrial complex are concerned about the growing competition with European arms manufacturers.

The NATO air campaign against Yugoslavia tangibly demonstrated how big is the technological gap between American and European weapons systems. The realisation of this fact also stimulated the shifts undertaken by the EU that for the first time decided to reinforce the developing CFSP by a common approach to security and defence. Alain Richard, the French defence minister, long before the appearance of the British-Italian Plan, called for introduction of "convergence criteria" designed to "harmonise" defence expenditures of European NATO members. (According to A. Richard, if Europe reasonably spends 2% of the GDP for defence, it will be quite enough).

Apparently, decisions of the EU Cologne Summit are yet to be put into practice, and it is hard to say, how

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long it will take to do this. Surely, the first attempts to reinforce the yet unborn CFSP by some crisis management "powers" in Europe cannot be considered as a transition of the EU into a military-political union. Most EU member states have been and will be solving their own strategic defence and military tasks through NATO. However, the resolution of tactical problems within separate European crisis management can now theoretically become possible by means of operations under the aegis of the EU and employing resources of the "integrated" WEU and/or NATO.

1. E uropean Council Declaration on Strengthening the Common European Policy on Security and Defence . Permanent Delegation of the FRG to NATO, 7 June 1999, para. 1, 2, 3, 5.

2. Presidency Report on Strengthening of the Common European Policy on Security and Defence . Permanent Delegation of the FRG to NATO, 7 June 1999, para. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

3. International Herald Tribune , 23 April 1999.

4. Tom Buerkle. A Maastricht Approach to EU Defence? - International Herald Tribune , 21 July 1999, p. 6.

5. See: Bulletin Quotidien Europe , No. 7358, 7-8 December 1998, p. 4.

Опубликовано 09 июня 2016 года




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