Автор Mihail Naydenov   
Петък, 01 Октомври 2004 03:04
I am pleased to be here today at the fifth issue of the Economic Policy Institute’s Summer Seminar for Young Public Servants from Southeastern Europe: “Preparation for EU Accession”. The topic I have to deal with within the current panel “The Security Dimension of Widening and Deepening” is the role of the Common Foreign and security Policy (CFSP), especially the European security and Defense Policy (ESDP), for the formation of the EU as a global actor. I think it is the right time and place to raise this issue, particularly in the presence of such distinguished audience of promising young public servants who work for the future of our region as an indivisible part of Uniting Europe.

Given the new realities following the end of the bipolar model of international relations in 1989-90 and the new risks and threats today, especially after the two tragic dates of 11 September 2001 and 11 March 2004, the issue of the EU role in the world affairs is more than pressing. If the EU wants to play a global role, which is commensurate with its economic weight, the further development of the CFSP with its EDSP component is unavoidable. The determination and concrete moves related thereto of the EU to add a military dimension to its economic and political potential constitutes a substantial factor for building up its role as a global player.

The EU has so far been developing as a complex and constantly evolving structure. The European Integration has been a process of widening and deepening, but never of completing. The logic of EU integration consists not only of extending the geographical scope of the Union, but also of including new areas of cooperation into the process as well as of further developing the already existing policies.

EU activities with external dimensions

Speaking about the EU as a foreign and security policy actor, it should be noted that its specific nature and mode of functioning leads to the distinction of several kinds of activities of the Union having external dimensions. The CFSP/ESDP is only one of them and although it could not be said it is more important than the others, this instrument is a condition sine qua non for the completion of the whole foreign policy mechanism which would allow the EU to play a global role.

If there is an attempt to distinguish the activities of the EU having external dimensions, it would be found out that they are related to different legal, institutional and decision-making contexts. Without pretending to be exhaustive and universal, the following activities of the EU with external dimensions could be outlined:

- CFSP, including ESDP;
- Economic activities with external aspects falling under the European Community’s competences (First Pillar), mainly trade, aid and development relations with third parties, labeled usually as “external relations” ;
- Enlargement, which influences both foreign and domestic policies of the applicant countries and thus promotes the EU values and interests;
- European Neighborhood Policy, aimed at preventing the emergence of new dividing lines between the enlarged EU and its neighbors and offering them the chance to participate in various EU activities, through greater political, security, economic and cultural co-operation. ENP addresses one of the strategic objectives the EU set in its Security Strategy (2003) - building security in its neighborhood. ENP is distinct from enlargement. It neither prepares for enlargement, nor rules it out at some future point. (Günter Verheugen, 19.03.2004)
- Sanctions, or restrictive measures, applied in pursuit of CFSP goals, e.g. reduction of economic or diplomatic relations. Some of them require a mixed, cross-pillar, use of instruments in order to be implemented, e.g. a CFSP (Second Pillar) Common Position is implemented at Community level (First Pillar) through a Regulation.
- protection of human rights in third countries - human rights and democratic values as the cornerstone of EU foreign policy (Art. 11 of the TEU); clauses requiring third countries to respect human rights (often known as 'human rights clauses', incorporated in bilateral trade and cooperation agreements, also included in the Cotonou agreement within the framework of the development policy); internal policy often has repercussions on the EU external relations; a horizontal priority, i.e. mainstreamed in the EU other policies – provisions under both the “First pillar” and the “Third Pillar” affect aspects of HR that have implications for citizens of third countries, e.g. the fight against trafficking in human beings, the fight against racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism, the asylum policy and the immigration policy; also instruments under the CFSP, e.g. the Common position (20 July 2000) on support to democratic forces in the FRY;
- conflict prevention – conditionality of EC cooperation with third countries, e.g. in the context of the relations established by the Lomé Convention (in replaced in 2000 by the Cotonou Agreement), the EC has a special responsibility to help ACP States to find peaceful conflict solutions; ensuring the EC funds provided to ACP countries not to be diverted to military uses; freezing or suspending aid as an extreme measure with a view to motivating peaceful solutions; the EU program for the prevention of violent conflicts adopted at the Gothenburg European Council (June 2001).
- humanitarian aid - a key aspect of the Union’s international presence; leading role in international humanitarian efforts; the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) established in 1992; Some 18 million people are helped each year in more than 60 countries through 200 partners (NGOs, ICRC, and UN agencies like the UNHCR and the WFP). More than €500 million a year spent on financing humanitarian projects.
- Other activities can also be mentioned, such as external activities under Justice and Home Affairs particularly in the light of the fight against terrorism; environment policy (projects with third countries); visa and asylum policy; national foreign policies of the EU member states (Brian White, 2001).

The issue of defining whether there is or what is to be understood exactly under “EU foreign policy” is debated at academic and practical level ant at present opinions are diverse.

Trying to encompass the external dimension activities of the Union, the EU External Relations commissioner Chris Patten (7 November 2003) gave the following definition: “In Brussels jargon, external relations, or “external action” (…) is a much wider concept than CFSP. It encompasses the so called “first pillar” policies such as development co-operation and technical assistance, trade, environmental, visa and asylum policy and other areas, plus “classical” foreign policy or CFSP. The rules for decision making and the role of the Commission and of the Council are different for first pillar and CFSP.”

Development of the CFSP/ESDP

The idea of establishing political and defense structures designed to upgrade the successful economic integration enterprise that formally started with the creation of the three Communities in the 1950’s has always been promoted through a series of proposals, which shared one goal, despite their diversity of visions of how to achieve it. The failure in the 1954 of the plans of establishing European Defense Community, i.e. an integrated European army under joint command, known as “Pleven” plan, as well as an European Political Community (federal or confederative structure), were followed by the two courageous but unsuccessful “Fouchet” plans in the early 1960’s, which envisaged a union of states with common foreign and defense policies. However, the attempts in this respect continued, but the objectives became less ambitious and the gradual transfer of sovereignty method of integration was adopted as more effective. As a result thereof came the informal launching of the European Political Cooperation in 1970 and the establishment in 1974 of a new structure – the European Council. With the entry into force of the Single European Act in 1987, the European Political Cooperation acquired its own institutional and legal basis.

The new political and security realities after the end of the Cold War lead the member states to find more appropriate solutions in this field. An important transformation in this field was made with the entry into force of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) in 1993, as a result of which the European Political Cooperation was replaced by the CFSP (Title V of the Treaty), known as the “Second Pillar” in the new structure. For the first time the Member States incorporated in the Treaty the objective of a "common foreign policy". Article 2 of the Common provisions of the TEU states that one of the objectives of the Union is to “assert its identity on the international scene, in particular through the implementation of a common foreign and security policy, including the eventual framing of a common defense policy, which might in time lead to a common defense”. The treaty of Amsterdam (1999) brought in a number of improvements in CFSP and the treaty of Nice (2003) also made contributions thereto. Despite the abovementioned incontestable advancements, the CFSP still operates as an intergovernmental mechanism*, which differentiates it from the traditional “First Pillar” common policies, such as trade, agriculture etc.

The objectives of the CFSP, as set out in article 11 of the consolidated TEU, shall be:
1. to safeguard the common values, fundamental interests, independence and integrity of the Union in conformity with the principles of the United Nations Charter,
2. to strengthen the security of the Union in all ways,
3. to preserve peace and strengthen international security, in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter, as well as the principles of the Helsinki Final Act and the objectives of the Paris Charter, including those on external borders,
4. to promote international cooperation,
5. to develop and consolidate democracy and the rule of law, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Over nearly four decades disagreements among member states on the issue of adding a military dimension to the integration process persisted, making impossible the build-up of a common defense policy. However, efforts continued to be made and as a result thereof the ESDP, as a part of the CFSP, is now under formation.

Following the historic Franco-British summit in St. Malo in 1998 where was recognized the need of building an EU “capacity for autonomous action” came the Cologne European Council (June 1999), where the member states agreed to provide the EU with "the capacity for autonomous action, backed up by credible military forces". The Helsinki European Council (December 1999) set as a “Headline goal” the formation by the year 2003 of the European Rapid Reaction Forces (ERRF), composed of 15 brigades (one army corps), approximately 60 000 troops. They are supposed to have the capacity to be deployed within 60 days into an EU-led “Petersberg”** operation (in or outside Europe) and to be sustained for at least one year. However, this does not mean the creation of a European army.

In order to meet the Headline Goal requirements, at the Capabilities Commitment Conference (Brussels, 20 November 2000) the ministers of defense of the EU countries committed to provide for the ERRF 100 000 troops, 400 combat aircraft and 100 naval vessels. One year later in Brussels was held the Capabilities Improvement Conference where shortfalls were identified and where was made the decision to start the European Capability Action Plan in order to remedy them.

The Laeken European Council (December 2001) declared the operational readiness of the ESDP and that the EU was able to conduct some crisis-management operations. The Helsinki Headline Goal was declared formally met in 2003, but the Thessaloniki European Council (June 2003) acknowledged that the EU operational capability was still limited and constrained by recognized shortfalls. At the General Affairs and External Relation Council meeting in Brussels in May 2003 the EU Defense Ministers declared the ERRF ready to perform the “Petersberg tasks”, but they recognized that existing gaps in military capabilities limited the forces’ ability to deploy quickly, defend themselves if a conflict intensifies or handle more than one mission simultaneously.

The Nice European Council (December 2000) approved the formation of the permanent political and military bodies for the decision-making and the political and strategic control of EU-led operations: the Political and Security Committee; the Military Committee; the Military Staff***. At the Feira European Council (June 2000) the EU allowed non-EU European NATO member countries and EU applicant countries to take part in the formation of the ESDP through contributing to the build-up of the ERRF as well as through participating in some sessions of the ESDP political and military bodies (format EU + Bulgaria, Iceland, Norway, Romania and Turkey).

Following the adoption of the EU Security Strategy (‘A Secure Europe in a Better world’) on 12 December 2003, taking into account the new security challenges and the need of qualitative improvement in EU capabilities (while the initial Headline Goal’s accent was generally on the quantitative side), the EU defense ministers adopted in May 2004 a new plan – “Headline Goal 2010”, which was endorsed by the Brussels European Council summit in June 2004. Under the plan, reflecting the EU Security Strategy, the EU is committed to be able by 2010 to respond to crises throughout the world. The plan envisions the EU member states to “be able by 2010 to respond with rapid and decisive action applying a full coherent approach to the whole spectrum of crisis management operations covered by the Treaty on the EU” .

Another significant step in improving the EU operational capabilities is the Franco-British-German initiative (February 2004) for the creation of “battle groups” for conducting missions under the mandate of the UN Security Council. The proposal consists of having highly trained battalion-sized battle groups (1,500 troops each), including combat and service support elements as well as deployability and sustainability assets. They should be capable of conducting high intensity operations. These formations should be deployable within 15 days notice and sustainable for at least 30 days (extendable to 120 days by rotation). Initial operational capability is planned to be achieved by 2005 and full operational capability by 2007. The proposals were approved by the Council in May 2004 and integrated into the document “Headline Goal 2010”. The member states are to start contributing to these multinational "high readiness joint packages" at the beginning of the second half of 2004.

The ESDP has also a civilian component, developed at the Feira European Council (1999) and Gothenburg European Council (2001). It took shape in the EU-led police mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which started on 1 January 2003 and is the first ever EU-led civilian crisis management operation. The civilian dimension of the EU consists of four elements: police cooperation (possibility of providing up to 5 000 policemen, including 1 000 within 30 days); strengthening the rule of law (possibility of providing up to 200 judges, prosecutors and other experts in the field); civilian administration; civil protection.

On 31 March 2003 the EU launched its first military peace-keeping mission “Concordia” which succeeded the NATO “Allied Harmony” operation in the Republic of Macedonia. On 15 December 2003 the EU launched its police mission “Proxima” as a follow-on operation.

The second EU peace-keeping mission and the first deployment outside Europe, operation “Artemis” in Congo, was formally approved by the Council on 5 June 2003 and was successfully concluded on 1 September 2003.

The first EU rule of law mission – EUJUST THEMIS in Georgia – was launched on 16 July 2004 and is supposed to last 12 for months.

The EU prepares to take over by the end of 2004 the NATO-led peace-keeping mission in Вosnia and Herzegovina (SFOR). Planning for the EU mission, currently known as ALTHEA, is already under way. This mission is to be realized in particular after the conclusion in Brussels on 16 December 2002 of the agreement between NATO and the EU, which provides for the EU access to NATO assets and capabilities in EU-led operations when the North Atlantic Alliance is not engaged as a whole (the “Berlin plus” mechanism). This allows the Union to enhance its capability in conduct high-intensity operations.

Another important element of the ESDP is the conflict prevention. An EU program for the prevention of violent conflicts was adopted at the Gothenburg European Council (June 2001).

After the tragic events of 11 September 2001, the EU declared the struggle against terrorism as a priority for the CFSP. The ESDP operational capabilities could play an important part in this respect. However, terrorism is not among the “Petersberg tasks” (see the Constitution), but their implementation could help the struggle against this challenge. Moreover, the EU multilateral approach, reflected in its Security Strategy, combining “hard” and “soft” power options, is a good basis for tackling this phenomenon.

Last but not least, a very important component of the ESDP construction is its industrial dimension. Armaments cooperation programs between some member states of have so far been developed outside the framework of the EU – both at Community and intergovernmental “Second Pillar” level. Member states have neither transferred sovereignty, nor developed a systematic coordination of their national armaments policies. However, efforts continued to be made in this direction, especially by the European Commission (see A major breakthrough in this sphere occurred in July 2004 when the Council formally adopted a Joint Action on the establishment of an Agency in the field of defense capabilities development, research, acquisition and armaments following more than a year of intensive preparatory work. Intergovernmental in character, the agency will aim at developing defense capabilities in the field of crisis management, promoting and enhancing European armaments cooperation, strengthening the European defense industrial and technological base and creating a competitive European defense equipment market.

Towards a “European foreign policy”?

The new realities of today’s world following require adaptation not only of capabilities to tackle with security risks and threats, but also a change in mentality. If the EU pretends to play a global role commensurate with its economic power, it needs to be able to anticipate events and to become an agenda-shaping actor.

The EU has the potential to be a global actor, but first it must consolidate its ability to speak in a single voice and to act as a coherent mechanism on the international scene. Now, this depends to a decisive extent on the political will of the member states to continue the construction of the CFSP with its defense component. Without the CFSP/ESDP the EU would be at best local actor with limited capabilities. Only the “First Pillar” potential of the Union, despite its enormous economic influence, is not enough. Therefore, a CFSP with defense component lies in the core of a real “European foreign policy".

Speaking about a “European foreign policy”, it should be noted that this is not only a matter of formation of the CFSP/ESDP, but also of the whole mechanism for conducting the external activities of the Union. A coherent EU foreign policy mechanism is missing at the moment. There is a differentiation of mechanisms with regard to different external activities (e.g. trade – EC’s mechanisms, CFSP – “Second Pillar”, sanctions – cross pillar etc.).

There are different solution models. One of them is to give the CFSP precedence over the other mechanisms which are to be subordinated to it. This is a direct approach, practically impossible to be realized at the moment. Another solution could be developing further the CFSP with its military component, while not subordinating directly to it the other mechanisms for external action, and, at the same time strengthening the sense of solidarity and building horizontal coordination between member states foreign policies. The shared sense of belonging to a common strategic culture would be very constructive in this case.

Another question arising in this line of thoughts is not only to have a functioning CFSP, but what one? Would the member states be able to overcome their inclination to the intergovernmental model and to accept the Community supranational form as a precondition for another success story following the example of the economic integration?

Developing a CFSP means not only institution and capacity building, but also a right common situation assessment and a vision for the objectives to be pursued. The EU Security Strategy provides for a pragmatic, balanced approach of tackling the security challenges. The document focuses on the ideas of “effective multilateralism”, strengthening of international institutions and “rule-based international order”. It combines “soft” and “hard” power options, “the full spectrum of instruments for crisis management and conflict prevention at our disposal, including political, diplomatic, military and civilian, trade and development activities”, underlying that “none of the new threats is purely military; nor can any be tackled by purely military means. Each requires a mixture of instruments”. The EU recognizes the “need to develop a strategic culture that fosters early, rapid, and when necessary, robust intervention”, but military enforcement operations are only one possible option. The Strategy paper also calls for greater coherence among the different instruments having external action implications.

The combination of “soft” and “hard” power is a precondition of a successful CFSP. Both elements are necessary for the role of a global actor. “Soft” without “hard” power leads to incapacity to face serious challenges. The opposite presages problematic post-conflict peace-building period, which could lead to even compromising a successful peace-enforcement operation. Efficient crisis management strategies connect military power to other essential elements, such as economic development, addressing the social issues, poverty eradication, education, health care, good governance, law enforcement etc. Treating the roots of the conflicts would require the use of some “First Pillar” instruments (e.g. development and assistance), while the CFSP/ESDP is a central piece of a reliable conflict resolution strategy.

Having in mind the impressive progress made in the last years in the area of CFSP/ESDP, it should be pointed out that the CFSP/ESDP is still a separate mechanism with unanimity**** as a general rule, particularly in defense, even in the Constitution for Europe which has not yet entered into force. In the constitution treaty the distinction between CFSP and the other aspects of the EU external action is not overcome, despite some major advancements.

The Constitution for Europe brings in improvements, allowing for a better foreign policy coordination. A key institutional innovation is the creation of the post of Union Minister for Foreign Affairs that merges the tasks of the High Representative for the CFSP with the Commissioner for the external relations’ ones. The Minister will be mandated by the Council for CFSP and, at the same time, will be a member and vice-president of the Commission and in this capacity he/she will be in charge of the Commission’s responsibilities in the field of external relations as well as of the coordination of the other aspects of the EU external action. The EU Foreign Minister will chair the External Relations Council and will be assisted by a European External Action Service (a kind of a EU “diplomatic service” to be established). Another improvement in this area is the possibility of enhanced cooperation in the field of defense. Nevertheless, it should be pointed out that the Constitution does not transform the Union into a federal or con-federal structure and the role of the European parliament is still not raised at the necessary level.

The Constitution for Europe is a move forward, but not the end of the enterprise. Whether ratified or not, it would be a lighthouse for the future path to walk. It should be recognized that in the last 13 years too many changes have been made in the EU construction - Maastricht with the birth of the EU and its CFSP, amended by Amsterdam and Nice treaties, and, finally the substantial changes in the Constitution for Europe. Taking into account the difficulties met in the ratification of the treaties in some countries, the question arises whether there is a reforms “fatigue” or something else?

It should be recognized that the EU integration has been so far an occupation primarily for elites. There is a lack of a dependable communication strategy and the elections for European parliament this year made another proof of this fact. The debate of the future of Europe is not yet at the necessary level. A discernible trend, especially in the applicant countries, is being seen – the high public approval for EU integration in the first years diminishes while getting closer to accession, which means that more questions are being asked when concrete results are felt as a consequence of the accession preparation.

There is a need in the EU, especially in the new members, to take timely measures to translate the sense of the integration into the language of the citizens through concrete actions. The democratic deficit is felt both at institutional (e.g. EP) and public/societal level. The sensitive issue of political integration with defense implications necessitates the overcoming of this shortfall. Shortcomings have to be identified not only at ESDP capability level, bit also in the public opinion’s realm. If economic integration is better suited to be an “elite occupation”, the political one, especially with military dimension, is certainly a different story.

“Foreign Policy” challenges of Uniting Europe during and following the bipolar model

ECs – 1950’s-1990

USSR and the threat of communism;
bipolar system of international relations;
zero-sum game

Enlargement in the course of ECs integration: overcoming the consequences of the II WW, consolidating democracy and bringing stability and economic prosperity in Europe

partnership against the USSR;NATO, WEU, CE, ECs – overlapping institutions with the primacy of the Atlantic Alliance in security issues;la France du général de Gaule

EU – after the end of the Cold War

New challenges and globalization - former Yugoslavia,divisions over Iraq, EU military and civilian missions; terrorism, WMD etc; new system of international (?) relations still under construction;uni- vs multipolar world

Eastern enlargement to new democracies; overcoming the consequences of the Cold War; bringing democracy, stability and prosperity;ENP to avoid new dividing lines after enlargement

partnership for a stable world;building stronger EU contribution to NATO, more equitable burden-sharing, the ESDP process and NATO - mutually reinforcing? the challenge of decoupling the Alliance;EU multilateralism vs US unilateralism;the “Old Europe”

Enlargement – pressure for a more coherent EU foreign policy?

The widening and deepening EU – constriction under progress with seemingly predictable but not yet guaranteed outcome…

The EU as a “Sisyphus effort”?

Lecture at the Economic Policy Institute’s (EPI) fifth issue of the Summer Seminar for Young Public Servants from Southeastern Europe: “Preparation for EU Accession” (September 8-13, 2004), delivered on 12 September 2004, “A La Fiesta Hotel Park”, Varna, Bulgaria.

Mihail Naydenov

Sofia, 6 September 2004

Mihail Naydenov is senior expert at the Defense Policy Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Bulgaria. This work is presented by the author in his personal capacity and cannot be considered in any way as engaging the Ministry.

The author has a master degree in International Relations at Sofia University (the year 2000). He is founding member of the T’Club, Sofia. He is also a member of the Bulgarian Diplomatic Society, the United Nations Association in Bulgaria, as well as an associate member of the Harvard Club of Bulgaria.

E-mail:  Е-мейл адресът e защитен от спам ботове. ; Е-мейл адресът e защитен от спам ботове.

* There are specific instruments of the CFSP/ESDP, different from the ECs’ ones. Article 12 of the consolidated TEU stipulates that the Union shall pursue the objectives set out in Article 11 by: defining the principles of and general guidelines for the common foreign and security policy; deciding on common strategies; adopting joint actions; adopting common positions; strengthening systematic cooperation between Member States in the conduct of policy.
** humanitarian and rescue tasks; peacekeeping tasks; tasks of combat forces in crisis management, including peacemaking. On 19 June 1992 in Petersberg, near Bonn, Germany, the Council of the Western European Union (WEU) adopted a declaration with the above-mentioned tasks as an expression of the Union's intention to develop as an EU defense component. The Treaty of Amsterdam, which came into force on 1 May 1999, has incorporated the "Petersberg tasks" in the new Article 17 of the EU Treaty. In November 2000 the WEU member countries decided to transfer the operational functions of the Union to the EU. Compare the tasks with those in the Constitution for Europe, Article III-210: 1. The tasks referred to in Article I-40(1), in the course of which the Union may use civilian and military means, shall include joint disarmament operations, humanitarian and rescue tasks, military advice and assistance tasks, conflict prevention and peace-keeping tasks, tasks of combat forces in crisis management, including peacemaking and post-conflict stabilisation. All these tasks may contribute to the fight against terrorism, including by supporting third countries in combating terrorism in their territories.
***Different actors are involved in the CFSP/ESDP process – the European Council, the Council of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs, the Political and Security Committee, the Military Committee, the Military Staff, the European correspondents network, the CFSP Working Group and the CFSP counselors. The Commission and the European Parliament are also involved in the process. For more information see:
**** Unanimity is the general rule in the CFSP decision-making, but the Amsterdam Treaty allows for a "constructive abstention". In this case the country that abstains through issuing a formal declaration is not obliged to apply the decision, but according to the principle of solidarity it has to accept that the decision commits the Union as a whole and has to agree to abstain from any action that conflict with that decision. The rule does not apply if the abstaining Member States account for more than one third of the weighted Council votes. The qualified majority (62/87 votes and the positive vote of at least 10 countries) is applied in two cases: for decisions applying a common strategy and for decisions implementing a joint action or a common position. Because of important reasons of national policy the member states are able to block a qualified majority voting ("emergency brake"). In such cases there is no vote and the Council may decide by a qualified majority to refer the matter to the European Council for a unanimous decision. It should be noted that unanimity is compulsory for decisions with military or defense implications.