Select Committee on European Union Seventh Report

CHAPTER 2: the current state of civilian esdp

The Four Headline Goals:

5.  The objective of civilian ESDP is to allow the Union to respond at short notice to crises requiring non-military intervention. The decision at the Feira Council in June 2000 to concentrate on four non-military areas, namely police, strengthening the administration of justice, strengthening civilian administration and civil protection, reflects the intention that experts in these four areas should perform short-term crisis management rather than longer-term conflict prevention. Hence election monitors or human rights experts who are traditionally employed as part of a long-term conflict prevention strategy were not included in the headline goals.

6.  The specific targets within the civilian headline goals were further elaborated at the Gothenburg Council in 2001. The headline goals are summarised in the box below:
Box 2 The Member States have pledged to provide by 2003:[


·  a minimum of 5000 police officers.

·  1000 are to be deployable within 30 days.

Rule of Law

·  200 rule of law experts. This includes international prosecutors, lawyers, and judges able to train and monitor local staff, or, in exceptional circumstances, to replace local staff temporarily.

·  This is to include a 'rapid response' group of rule of law specialists, capable of deployment at 30 days notice to provide early planning on rule of law support.

Civilian Administration

·  'a pool of experts' to set up, or ensure the existence of a functional administrative apparatus, while promoting transition to local ownership as soon as possible in the fields of General Administration, Social Services and Infrastructure.

·  Tasks for this 'pool of experts' are yet to be defined.

Civil Protection

·  2-3 assessment teams of 10 experts each available for dispatch within 3-7 hours of a natural or man-made disaster to assist in assessing the damage and to recommend additional civil protection from EU intervention teams. These experts should be on 24-hour call from a group of up to 100 specially selected experts for this purpose.

·  Civil protection intervention teams of up to 2000 persons ready for deployment at short notice.

·  Supplementary or more specialised resources from government or non-governmental services to be dispatched within a week.

7.  On 19 of November 2002 the Danish Presidency announced that the targets in the four groups had been met.[9] We were surprised to learn from the Minister for Europe, Dr Denis MacShane MP, that some documents regarding the pledges of experts from individual Member States for the four headline goals are confidential.[10] Although figures on the breakdown of the Member State and third country contributions for the EUPM are available[11] the Committee found it baffling that figures on overall pledges from Member States in response to the rule of law and policing targets for civilian crisis management personnel have been classified by the Council Secretariat; given that details concerning the pledges of Member States were made public following a military ESDP conference in November 2000.[12]

8.  The Committee considered the four headline goals; we note concern over the dilemma of establishing the rule of law headline goal. Although there are accepted international rule of law standards it is not clear what the EU should do to assist a country where the legal framework has failed. The Committee consider the term 'rule of law' to be impractical. In real terms this headline goal appears to refer to the administration of justice. What would happen if the country was, for example, predominately Muslim? Would the Union assist in the creation of a Sharia law system? As the Member States have different legal traditional cultures and styles, would they be able to agree on a common model? The headline goals require early clarification.

The Institutional Structure for Civilian ESDP

9.  The Committee for Civilian Aspects of Crisis Management (CIVCOM) was set up in June 2000 in order to allow the EU to meet the four headline goals. It is staffed by the national civil services and reports to Political and Security Committee (PSC) at the Council. The PSC[13] monitors the international situation in the areas under the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). It helps define policies for the Council, either at the request of the Council or on its own initiative, and monitors policy implementation. The Joint Situation Centre (JSC)[14] provides the PSC with intelligence appropriate for crisis management. The PSC also maintains a privileged link with the High Representative whose own Policy Planning and Early Warning Unit (PPEWU) monitors and plans civilian crisis responses. As with all other Council bodies, the Commission is fully associated with the work of the PSC and represented on it.[15]

10.  A set of Crisis Management Procedures involving all the committees have been put in place. FCO representatives have referred to these as 'rather lengthy' and 'a living document intended to be continually revised in the light of experience'.[16]

First Pillar Action

11.  The Union has been involved in conflict prevention since its inception; since April 2001 conflict prevention has been one of the explicit aims of all its external programmes.[17]

12.  The Commission divides conflict situations into three stages:[18]

—  the stage preceding the crisis;

—  the crisis itself; and

—  a stage of reconstruction and rehabilitation.

13.  During the stages preceding a crisis and in its aftermath the Union has a number of instruments at its disposal. It may attempt to address a conflict situation long before it escalates into an acute crisis; for example by providing human rights monitors or funding food security programmes. During the reconstruction and rehabilitation stages, the Union may fund humanitarian aid; for example securing the safety of refugees, fund mine clearance operations and provide support in the development of adequate civilian infrastructure.[19] These instruments and programmes are adopted by the Council and are currently mostly managed by the Commission.

14.  According to Mr. Joost Korte, Deputy Head of the Cabinet of Commissioner Chris Patten, one of the key reasons behind the Council's decision to develop civilian ESDP was the need to expand the EU's options during the acute stage of a crisis.[20] This positive and necessary development should not upset the already existing programmes and procedures for crisis management that were enacted by the Council and that are running well. Although this neat division of responsibilities between the Council and the Commission may be theoretically useful, there are a number of areas of over-lapping competences and potential conflict. The Committee was provided with a number of practical examples:

Institutional organisation: During the preparation for the EUPM, the Commission has handled legal and budgetary issues in the PSC.[21]

Finance: In accordance with Article 28 TEU and Article 274 TEC, the Commission manages many parts of civilian ESDP financing, for example the Special Representatives are paid from Community budgets and the Commission has paid for the start up costs of the EUPM.

Training: The Commission has paid for 80 per cent of the trial training programme for civilian ESDP experts.[22]

Headline goals: There is considerable overlap between Commission programmes and the ESDP civilian experts groups. Most notably, the EU is now operating two different civil protection schemes. On 23 October 2001, the Council decided to establish an EC civil protection mechanism, co-ordinated by the Commission. This mechanism, which brings together the civil protection services of the Member States, can be used in third countries. The civilian ESDP civil protection mechanism, planned at the Council, can draw on the Community one, but is nonetheless separate. Both are modelled on the UNDAC system.[23]

The Bosnia Police Mission

15.  In February 2002, some two months after ESDP was declared operational at the Laeken Council, the EU High-Representative Javier Solana suggested that the Union take over the police mission in Bosnia from the UN International Police Task Force (IPTF).

16.  The EU has been able to set up the EUPM through the commitment of 480 police monitors plus other civilian support. Several major elements of the mission are worthy of note:

—  Lord Ashdown was appointed on 13 March 2002 in a double-hatted[24] capacity as both EU Special Representative to Bosnia and High Representative for the implementation of the Dayton accord, to allow for effective co-ordination between the police mission and the Union's CARDS (Community Assistance for Reconstruction, Development and Stabilisation) programme which prioritises the rule of law.[25]

—  Agreement has been reached on the participation of police and civilian personnel from 18 non-EU states.[26] The United States declined the invitation to participate.[27]

—  Officers deployed in Bosnia will receive one week of training prior to their deployment.[28] However, two-thirds of this force were in Bosnia since 1 December 2002, and therefore had the opportunity to acclimatise prior to the mission becoming operational.[29]

17.  The EUPM will not carry out executive police functions but will provide advice in a 'monitoring and inspecting mode'. Lord Ashdown has also indicated that organised crime will be a priority—this will require the deployment of an additional 24 officers.[30]

18.  The EUPM appears to be a relatively straightforward first test for civilian ESDP. The International Police Task Force (IPTF) was on the ground since 1995 and the EU had 12 months warning of its task to replace the UN.[31] The EUPM, moreover, has been able to retain the services of the final IPTF Commissioner, Sven Fredrikssen, who will serve as the first EUPM Commissioner.

19.  The fact that the Bosnia mission is occurring at all marks a turning point in the history of ESDP. Moreover, the Union responded impressively to an American threat to withdraw from Bosnia early in July 2002 (over the dispute about the International Criminal Court). The Council and Commission managed, within the space of two weeks, to put into place plans for the EUPM to replace the IPTF immediately.[32] Several issues arising from it have been identified by the Committee:

Financing[33]: Start-up costs have been provided by the EC budget, despite the fact that the EUPM is being operated under ESDP; a second pillar institution. Running costs will come from the Member States. The financial arrangements for the mission are being determined on an ad hoc basis. One witness asserted that, for the European Commission, the question of financing and the role of the EC budget has been the key difficulty encountered in planning the operation.[34]

Procurement: The need to comply with Community Procurement regulations (requiring all procurement to take place through open tender) required a considerable proportion of planning time; there are no rules governing procurement procedures during a crisis. Whilst the one year lead time for the operation made this manageable, it could represent a problem for future missions.[35] This has further hampered co-operation between international organisations; for example the EUPM encountered problems in buying or leasing UN equipment due to both EU and UN restrictions.[36]

20.  The Committee recommend that Member State pledges for civilian ESDP are transparent, this would be useful for two reasons: (i) the publication of figures can help to persuade reluctant Member States to do more and: (ii) a lack of transparency reinforces the lack of public attention on an area of the EU which should be a focus for Member States and media alike.

21.  The Committee also recommend that the four headline goals are more clearly defined.

8   Presidency Report to the Gothenburg European Council on European Security and Defence Policy. Back

9   EU Civilian Crisis Management Capability Conference; Danish Presidency press release. Declaration para 2. Back

10   Q174. Back

11   See Appendix 4 for detail. Back

12   "Capabilities Commitment Conference 20 November 2000". Back

13   The PSC is composed of ambassadorial-rank diplomats from the 15 Member States. Back

14   See Appendix 5 for detail. Back

15   Civilian ESDP decision-making structures are summarised in the Appendix 6. Back

16   p36-p37. Back

17   Communication from the Commission on Conflict Prevention, COM (2001) 211 final. Back

18   Q51. Back

19   A comprehensive discussion of the Community policies are described in 'Suggestions for procedures for coherent, comprehensive EU crisis management', a working document produced by CIVCOM for the Council. A version from 19 December 2002 was made available for the Committee to consult. Back

20   Q51. Back

21   p26-p32. Back

22   p38. Back

23   United Nations Disaster Assessment and Co-ordination. Back

24   'Double Hatting' denotes an individual who represents two institutions. Back

25   Q109. Back

26   Bulgaria; Canada; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Estonia; Hungary; Iceland; Latvia; Lithuania; Norway; Poland; Romania; Russia; Slovakia; Slovenia; Switzerland; Turkey and Ukraine. Back

27   Q109. Back

28   p38. Back

29   Q115. Back

30   Q109. Back

31   Q10. Back

32   Q10. Back

33   p50. Back

34   Q117, Q118. Back

35   p39. Back

36   p37. Back

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