6.1.3. Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the WEU
- Mainly Title V of the TEU on the CFSP (of which security is an integral part) (* 6.1.1.).
- The five declarations on the CFSP annexed to the TEU, particularly numbers 2 and 3 on the Western European Union (WEU).
Five objectives for CFSP (as modified by the Amsterdam Treaty):
- to safeguard the common values, fundamental interests, independence and integrity of the Union in conformity with the principles of the United Nations Charter;
- to strengthen the security of the Union in all ways;
- 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;
- to promote international cooperation;
- to develop and consolidate democracy and the rule of law, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
1. The impact of the Treaty of Amsterdam
a. The incorporation of the Petersberg tasks
Under Article 17(J7)(4), the Treaty of Amsterdam incorporated into the TEU the so-called Petersberg tasks: humanitarian and rescue tasks, peace-keeping tasks and tasks of combat forces in crisis management, including peace-making. They became part of the CFSP and the common defence policy. All of the Union Member States may participate in these tasks.
b. Identifying the role of the Commission
Under Article 18(J8)(4), the Commission is fully associated with the work carried out in the field of CFSP. The Commission may, as any member state, refer to the Council any question relating to CFSP and may submit proposals to the Council. It may also, as any member state, request the Presidency to convene an extraordinary Council meeting and make suggestions to the Policy Planning unit for work to be undertaken. The Commission also implements the CFSP budget (which is part of the EC budget).
c. The introduction of new CFSP bodies
The Amsterdam Treaty introduces the new office of a High Representative (HR) for CFSP. He or she will also be the Council Secretary General. Under Article 26(J16), the HR shall assist the Council in the field of CFSP with the formulation, preparation and implementation of policy decisions and, when appropriate and acting on behalf of the Council at the request of the Presidency, with conducting political dialogue with third countries. Mr Javier Solana was appointed as the first HR and took office on 18 October 1999.
d. the introduction of new CFSP policy aspects
Unanimity is the general rule in CFSP but the Amsterdam Treaty allows for a constructive abstention procedure, by which a Member State will not be obliged to apply a particular decision. By derogation from the general rule of unanimity, the Council acts by qualified majority when 1) adopting joint actions, common positions or taking any other decision on the basis of a common strategy, and 2) when adopting any decision implementing a joint action or a common position. The Amsterdam Treaty introduces the concept of Common Strategies. These have to be adopted at the level of the European Council, which decides on Common Strategies to be implemented by the Union in areas where the Member States have important interests in common.
e. EU/WEU relations
Article 17(J7)(3) of the Treaty of Amsterdam seeks to clarify the nature of these relations, stating that the EU will avail itself of the WEU to implement decisions which have defence implications, and that the EU will draw up political guidelines for such situations. The Council, in agreement with the institutions of the WEU, must adopt the necessary practical arrangements to allow all Member States who wish to, to participate fully and on an equal footing in planning and decision-taking in the WEU. For its part, the WEU will be responsible for organising the forces and the chain of command.
2. Post-Amsterdam developments
a. European Council in Cologne
At the June 1999 European Council in Cologne, as a result of the Kosovo conflict, the EU took a major step toward establishing its own military capabilities and placed the Petersberg tasks at the core of the process of strengthening the European Common Security and Defence Policy (ECSDP). The aim was to create capacity for autonomous action, backed up by credible military forces, and the readiness to respond to international crises without prejudice to actions by NATO. Even though the Cologne declaration was only an interim one, it marked a fundamental change of direction. The European Council made it clear that the integration of the WEU into the EU institutional framework was not necessary, despite the fact that it was foreseen in the Amsterdam Treaty; rather, those functions that the WEU assumed in the field of Petersberg tasks would be included in the EU.
b. Helsinki European Council
In December 1999, the Helsinki European Council gave Javier Solana, Secretary General/High Representative (SG/HR), Secretary General of the WEU, a mandate to make full use of WEU assets in the interim period to prepare the EU for exercising its future responsibilities. A concrete military aim set by the European Council was that by the year 2003, in voluntarily cooperation, the member states should be able to deploy within 60 days, and then sustain, forces capable of the full range of Petersberg tasks, including the most demanding, in operations up to corps level (up to 15 brigades consisting of 50,000-60,000 persons). This new force, to be called the European Rapid Reaction Force (ERRF), would be available for deployment to a crisis area up to 2500 miles away within 60 days, where it could remain for at least a year. Its mission would include humanitarian rescue operations, the prevention of armed conflict, or even full-scale intervention to separate fighting parties.
c. The Lisbon initiative
At the WEU Assembly's Special Session in Lisbon in March 2000, a proposal was launched to create a European Security and Defence Assembly (ESDA), which would monitor the activities of the EU security bodies from the perspective of national parliamentarians. In June 2000, the WEU Assembly agreed to its transformation into the "Assembly of the Western European Union-the Interim European Security and Defence Assembly".
d. The Feira Council
At the June 2000 Council, in Feira, Portugal, the EU formally endorsed the establishment of its interim Political and Security Committee (PSC), composed of national representatives dealing with all aspects of CFSP, including a European Security and Defence Policy. It also established its interim EU Military Committee (EMC), composed of the Chiefs of Defence represented by their military delegates, which will give advice and make recommendations to the PSC. EU Military Staff, within the European Council structures, will provide military expertise and support to the ESDP, including the conduct of EU-led military crisis management operations. The Feira Council also created a European Security and Intelligence Force (ESIF) which will consist of 5,000 well-armed police, able to carry out actions in support of global peacekeeping missions. This force will be under the control of the PSC, while effective operational control will be in the hands of the HR. It will require a pool of more than 15,000 men committed and trained for service with the ESIF.
e. The Capabilities Commitment Conference
On 20 November 2000 in Brussels, the member states took part in a Capabilities Commitment Conference, making it possible to draw together the specific national commitments corresponding to the military capability goals set by the Helsinki European Council. These commitments have been set out in a document know as the "Force Catalogue". In accordance with the guidelines of the Helsinki and Feira European Councils on collective capability goals, the member states also committed themselves to medium and long-term efforts in order to further improve both their operational and their strategic capabilities. The member states committed themselves, particularly in the framework of the reforms being implemented in their armed forces, to continue taking steps to strengthen their own capabilities and carrying out existing or planned projects implementing multinational solutions, including in the field of pooling resources. The conference also made it possible to identify a number of areas in which efforts will be made in upgrading existing assets, investment, development and coordination, so as gradually to acquire or enhance the capabilities required for autonomous EU action.
f. The Nice Council
In December 2000, the European Council in Nice assessed each member state's undertakings in regard to forming the European Security Defence Policy.
3. WEU: recent developments
On 17 October 2000, the WEU military committee adopted the transition plan which seeks, while the permanent structures of the EU take shape, to ensure continuity in crisis management. However, the WEU Military Staff, with its Planning Cell and Situation Centre, will disappear once its counterpart is set up in its final form within the EU.
The meetings of the Council of Ministers of the WEU in Oporto in May 2000 and in Marseille in November 2000 paved the way for the transfer to the EU of the WEU functions required for performing Petersberg tasks.
4. WEU/NATO relations
- From 17 to 23 February 2000, the first ever joint WEU/NATO crisis management exercise took place. This was based on a peace support mission scenario (Petersberg mission) consisting of a WEU-led operation using NATO assets and capabilities. The aim was to test the close co-operation by the two organisations since the 1996 decisions taken by NATO ministers in Berlin, on the development of the European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI) within the Alliance. The exercise was an opportunity to practise and validate WEU/NATO procedures and arrangements for consultation and information exchange.
- The decision was taken by WEU and NATO to prepare a Joint WEU/NATO Exercise Study (JES 01), to take place in the Netherlands in June 2001. JES 01 will focus from a technical/operational viewpoint on procedures for establishing an Operation HQ (OHQ) for a WEU-led operation using NATO assets and capabilities under the political control and strategic direction of WEU.
- On 26 April 2000, the Council approved the WEU exercise programme for 2001 and noted proposals for 2002 onwards, on the understanding that exercises in that period would be scheduled only following specific decisions to that effect, which would be taken in the light of relevant institutional developments.
ROLE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
In its resolutions of 15 June 2000 and of 30 November 2000, the EP declared:
- that it welcomes the debate on European security and defence policy which began in Portschach in October 1998, as well as guidelines set out in the Cologne and Helsinki declarations, and notes the Member States determination to implement these two declarations;
- that it welcomes the progress made in the field of the CESDP at the European Councils of Lisbon (23-24 March 2000) and Santa Maria de Feira (19-20 June 2000);
- that, in accordance with international law, there should be an appropriate mandate from the UN Security Council authorising the use of military force. The EP is aware of the possibility of a deadlock in the Security Council and stresses the need for reform of the UN institutions. The EP considers that in the absence of a mandate as a result of a deadlock in the Security Council, the international community, of which the EU is a part, should only be able to intervene militarily in urgent cases at the express request of the Secretary-General of the United Nations;
- the EP proposes, in the context of the CFSP and the CESDP, regular meetings bringing together representatives of the competent committees of national parliaments and the EP, with a view to examining the development of the two policies jointly with the Council Presidency, the HR for the CFSP and the Commissioner responsible for external relations;
- the EP places great importance on cooperation between the EP and NATO Parliamentary Assembly.