CHAPTER 1: introduction
1. The period since the end of the Cold War has
been characterised by widespread international instability. Conflicts
have raged from Afghanistan to Sierra Leone, from Angola to Chechnya;
while failed or failing states threaten to descend into chaos.
Military force alone cannot tackle actual or potential instability.
Thus, although American military might succeeded in toppling the
Taliban regime in a matter of months, it will take years to achieve
long-term stability in Afghanistan. Closer to home, the Balkans
remain politically fragile in the wake of almost a decade of brutal
ethnic conflict; the trend of failing states seems likely to accelerate
in the future. In order to buttress security a variety of policy
instruments are required. These range from military force to civilian
2. Does the European Union have a role to play
in trying to prevent and resolve such instability and conflict?
The EU, hitherto a civilian actor, has played an important, if
often unnoticed role in stabilising regions threatened with insecurity
by using the economic, technical and political means available
to the Community. Going beyond that Britain and France spearheaded
an EU effort to establish a European Rapid Reaction Force in 1998;
a military force to carry out the 'Petersberg tasks'.
In response, the Nordic countries, drawing on their strong traditions
in the area of conflict prevention and supported by the German
Red-Green coalition, insisted that civilian crisis management
capabilities are developed alongside the military aspects of the
new European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP).
The European Council in Cologne in 1999, and subsequent Councils
in Helsinki, Feira, Nice and Gothenburg established four headline
goals for civilian ESDP in the areas of policing, rule
of law, civil administration and civil protection.
Civilian ESDP is intended to allow Member States to respond at
short notice to crises requiring non-military intervention. In
November 2002, the Danish Presidency declared that the four headline
goals had been met.
3. Considering the dearth of media and political
attention that has been given to civilian ESDP in comparison to
the military aspirations of ESDP it is interesting that the first
ever ESDP mission is non-military; the EU took over the international
police mission in Bosnia on 1 January 2003. Nonetheless, current
policies on civilian ESDP are not yet certain. Many issues have
not been finalised; for example the Committee examined the timing
of civilian ESDP missions: should such missions only come into
play following a military campaign, or is there scope for combining
military and civilian missions? We accordingly concluded that
an inquiry would be timely and of value.
4. In carrying out our investigation into civilian
identified two key issues for consideration:
scope of the EU's civilian crisis management function:
Does civilian ESDP perform functions that could not
be carried out as well or better by other organisations? The Organisation
for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has been active
in police missions in the Balkans for some time and initially
appeared to be the obvious candidate to take over the International
Police Task Force in Bosnia when the UN mandate expired.
Member States already make active civilian contributions through
a number of other organisations, most notably the OSCE and the
UN and some, including Britain, are willing to act in a purely
We therefore examined whether the civilian ESDP provides added
value to international crisis management provision.
structures in place to formulate and implement civilian ESDP:
Four headline goals have been established; do they
form the basis for effective crisis management? Do the international
organisations in Brussels allow for effective civilian crisis
management? Civilian ESDP was created as an intergovernmental
policy area in the second pillar of the EU Treaty.
It therefore has to coexist alongside the Commission's pre-existing
prerogatives in the area of conflict prevention. In theory there
is a clear distinction between conflict prevention (managed by
the Commission) and crisis management (controlled by the Council).
In practice the distinction is far from clear and can give rise
to tension between the various institutions, as has been exemplified
by the EU Police Mission in Bosnia
(hereafter EUPM). Although the EU has previously funded police
training missions across the world from the EC budget, as managed
by the Commission, it decided to take on the EUPM through its
civilian ESDP procedures and hence run it more directly from the
Council. We were keen to explore the implications of the potentially
overlapping areas of competence of the Council and the Commission
and their implications, particularly in terms of financing, as
well as the scope for much better co-ordination between the Commission
and the Council, and joint use in an emergency of their respective
funds and instruments.
1 The Cologne European Council meeting in June 1999
placed crisis management tasks at the core of the process of strengthening
the European common security and defence policy; these are also
known as the Petersberg Tasks (named after the place where the
Western European Union Ministerial Council met in June 1992).
Included are humanitarian, rescue, peacekeeping and combat-force
tasks in crisis management including peacemaking. Back
Members of the Sub-Committee are set out in Appendix 1. Back
Q195, Q196. Back
Pillar One: European Community; Pillar Two: Intergovernmental/EU
CFSP, ESDP; Pillar Three Intergovernmental/Police and Judicial
Co-operation in criminal matters. Back
See para 15 for detailed discussion of the EUPM. Back