Select Committee on European Union Thirty-First Report

CHAPTER 3: Changes in the Security Environment Since 2003

The changing security environment since 2003

50.  In this Chapter, we look specifically at some issues which are not, or not sufficiently, addressed in the Strategy, and which should be given particular attention in the context of the review. These include climate change, the link between development and security, energy security, the concept of the "responsibility to protect", and multilateral nuclear disarmament.

51.  The international environment has evolved since 2003. As set out in Chapter 1, the European Security Strategy was a creature of its time, and helped reconcile different views on Iraq. However, according to Professor Bailes the disadvantage was that the Strategy was heavily influenced by the USA's new perception of threats. In her view the wider security environment had changed since 2003, including "a recrudescence of old East/West tensions … and new functional concerns about economic and financial stability, food supplies, energy, as well as climate change, continuing conflicts and so on". She argued that this should push the review of the European Security Strategy towards a wider and more comprehensive treatment of security problems (Q 126).

52.  Professor Heisbourg also took the view that the security environment had changed dramatically since 2003: "The world really is as different from what it was five years ago as it is between today and the years which immediately followed the end of the Soviet Union. We had ten or 15 years of the post Cold War era in which the west had its unipolar moment … the Solana document is still very much in the west unipolar moment mood". For Professor Heisbourg, the current security environment was characterised by the rise of Asia on the one hand, and globalisation on the other, which he described as "the overriding, overwhelming feature of the international security landscape". He also emphasised the importance of global terrorism (QQ 130-132, 140).

53.  Our witnesses had contrasting views about the extent to which the European Security Strategy suffers from major gaps. The Government highlighted that although the impact of climate change, energy security, poverty and development on security are referred to in the European Security Strategy, they are not given enough prominence (pp 94, 95).

54.  Javier Solana, High Representative for CFSP told us that he preferred to leave the definition of challenges and threats untouched, but that there was a need to address some major gaps in the document. These included energy security; climate change, which "has to be tackled in much more detail"; and other challenges such as "the development of military capabilities in the world" (Q 218). Similarly, for Dan Smith, Secretary-General of International Alert, there are various absences, including climate change and the lack of attention to the problem of injustice and unfairness in the world (Q 9).

55.  Professor Bailes was more critical, noting that the original document was "extremely weak" in spelling out exactly the broader set of climate, ecological, population and migratory issues, which have all become more complicated since 2003. "It is clear to me that if one were to have a really good revision of the Strategy and a more comprehensive approach it would have to give far more space to those kinds of issues" (Q 149). For Dr Giegerich, the EU should continue to focus on the five key threats (terrorism; proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; regional conflicts; state failure; and organised crime) identified in the Strategy (Q 89).

56.  Jim Murphy MP, the then Europe Minister, added a further criticism that there was insufficient coherence between those who were working on the external and internal challenges of security. This needed to be addressed, although he acknowledged that there was an informal exchange of information between the two groups of senior officials (Q 359).

57.  The coherence between the EU's internal and external security activities needs strengthening as coordination between the EU's external policies and home affairs policies was identified as an area of weakness in evidence to the Committee. We believe this should be covered in the review of the Security Strategy.

Climate change and its implications for international security

58.  For Jim Murphy, the then Minister for Europe, climate change is the "major emergence" in terms of threats and challenges since 2003 (Q 376). He commented to the Committee in his letter of 26 May 2008 that the review of the Strategy should develop the treatment of climate change, taking into account its security dimension. This work should be informed by the existing work that is taking forward the joint report which Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner and High Representative Solana submitted to the March 2008 European Council on the implications of climate change for international security (p 94).

59.  The Government commented to the Committee in its letter (pp 94, 95) that the report "highlights the fact that climate change is a fundamental threat to our security". The report argues that climate change will have a growing and significant impact on global security, multiplying existing threats and risks such as shortages of food and water, and exacerbating tensions and instability, particularly for states and regions that are already fragile and conflict-prone. The High Representative has been asked to submit recommendations on appropriate follow-up action to the March 2008 report by December 2008 at the same time as the review of the ESS. The Government would like to see the report lead to appropriate action being taken by the EU, including regional studies and deeper analysis of climate and security issues.

60.  Gareth Thomas MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary-of-State of the Department for International Development (DFID) submitted written evidence (pp 125-128) to us stressing the strong links between climate change, development and security issues. He pointed out that climate change is already having, and will continue to have, significant physical impacts in developing countries, which will have "significant and detrimental effects on the human security of many millions of poor people". Developing countries tend to have limited adaptive capacity, which exacerbates their vulnerability and the potential impact of climate change on human security.

61.  As Gareth Thomas noted, the consequences of climate change may also increase the risk or severity of violent conflict, by influencing or exacerbating pre-existing social and political tensions, especially in fragile states or areas already at risk of conflict. In particular, the consequences of climate change may contribute to:

·  increased political and economic instability;

·  increased migration and urbanisation;

·  increased competition over resources such as water and land; and

·  changes in the viability of livelihoods, e.g. pastoralists.

62.  Gareth Thomas underlined that the link between climate change and conflict/insecurity was indirect: "Any conflict normally has multiple causes and drivers. It is the consequences of climate change that influence social, political and conflict dynamics …". This understanding of climate change as interacting with several other factors was shared by Dan Smith: "in a situation where you have bad governance, a history of conflict, low levels of human security and low income, then the effect of climate change, interacting with those weaknesses in society and inequality are going to produce a higher risk of armed conflict than climate change may in a completely different circumstance" (Q 17).

63.  Professor Bailes remarked that what EU policy has particularly lacked up to now was a consideration of "chains of consequence", particularly how climate change feeds across into the fields of food security, population and migration (Q 149). The Oxford Research Group developed a similar theme regarding the interplay of environmental and socio-economic factors, stressing in particular the very long-term nature of the context out of which security risks and threats grow. They painted a picture of steadily growing global socio-economic divisions and inequalities, coupled with environmental degradation and especially climate change. If these continued to be inadequately addressed, they argued, the result would be an explosive mix of environmental pressures and endemic suffering (p 143).

64.  Gareth Thomas underlined two additional points. First, governance and conflict management structures are key intervening variables. Thus the consequences of climate change may lead to increased conflict depending on the ability of people and institutions to adapt, manage change peacefully, and mediate competing needs, interests and visions of the future. Second, whilst climate change is likely to have an impact on migration flows, the exact dynamics of this migration are unclear. Movement within national borders is by far the most significant form of migration for the poorest. It is therefore important to consider the impact of potential migration flows on developing countries as well as on the EU.

65.  The above two points were echoed in the evidence given by Dan Smith. Referring to the weak adaptive capacity of developing countries he said: "the general sense that climate change is going to break the back of a pretty weak camel is right". However, he commented that while the analysis contained in the Solana-Ferrero-Waldner report was broadly correct, its conclusions and recommendations are relatively unambitious and should be revisited (Q 18). His main criticism was that the report lacked an emphasis on adaptation to climate change, especially for poor countries. According to Sir David King, formerly Chief Government Scientist, climate change is a greater threat than terrorism[11]. Under even the best scenario it would be three and a half decades before mitigation really had an effect. In the meantime, people would be forced to adapt to climate change, such as by changing crop cycles and changing the way their houses were built, hopefully with help from their governments and the international community. In the worst case, they would adapt by migrating or fighting with each other over scarce resources. Therefore the EU should be focusing much more on helping developing countries adapt to climate change, including building institutions that could resolve conflicts peacefully (QQ 18-20).

66.  This importance of adaptation was also stressed by Gareth Thomas (pp 126-127), who thought the recommendations of the Solana-Ferrero-Waldner report should be further strengthened. He called for climate change considerations to be integrated into the EU's international development and humanitarian activities, including through a greater emphasis on disaster risk reduction. Gareth Thomas emphasised that there should be an increased focus on the need to promote and strengthen existing institutions to promote development and prosperity in the face of climate change in order to avoid future security threats. In addition he noted the importance of investment in new technologies and the EU pushing for an ambitious deal in the UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) negotiations on climate change, both on mitigating the negative effects and on adaptation to current and future climate change.

67.  There was general agreement among our witnesses that the European Security Strategy should place a greater emphasis on climate change as a challenge, but they did not agree as to whether this should be done by the inclusion of a simple cross-reference to the Solana-Ferrero-Waldner report and its successors, or a more detailed analysis. Gareth Thomas' view was that the European Security Strategy's analysis of the dynamics surrounding climate change and security could be a lot more sophisticated than it currently is, so as to move beyond a focus purely on competition over natural resources.

68.  The climate change and energy package is a priority of the French EU Presidency of July-December 2008, on which the EU hopes to reach agreement by December 2008 [12].

69.  The most important development since 2003 is that the EU has become more aware of the current and potential effects of climate change. This is a crucial concern because developing countries will be among those hit hardest by the consequences of climate change but have the least ability to cope and adapt, thereby potentially impacting on competition for natural resources, conflicts and international security. We believe that the review should recognise this.

70.  These security implications strengthen the case for the UK and the EU to play a leading role in addressing climate change, which is a fundamental challenge of our times. Its relevance as a threat multiplier and an exacerbating factor of human insecurity and conflict means it is one of the main issues which should be given significant attention at the December European Council.

71.  Further analysis and research is required to identify with a greater degree of precision the exact implications of climate change for international and human security, including for conflict and migration dynamics. These are likely to vary considerably in different regions of the world, and we therefore strongly support the work currently underway by Dr Solana and Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner on regional analysis which is the place for further development of these issues.

72.  We are concerned that the EU has not yet paid enough attention to the importance of adaptation in developing countries. Without undermining the ambition of its mitigation objectives, the EU should place a greater emphasis on meeting this challenge, including by stepping up the budgetary resources available for this end. Technology transfer to these countries will also play an important role.

Development and security

73.  The European Security Strategy recognised the link between security and development. Since its adoption in 2003, the mutual interdependence of security and development, as well as the challenges posed by fragile states, have been increasingly recognised by the EU and the United Nations. There was wide agreement among our witnesses that the European Security Strategy should contain a stronger emphasis on these links. This view was shared by the Government, which "believes that the review should also acknowledge more fully the link between development and security, and underline in this context the importance of the Millennium Development Goals …". With regard to fragile states, the Government also saw the review of the European Security Strategy as an opportunity to improve the EU's impact in conflict-affected countries by setting out clear priorities for EU work on stabilisation (p 95).

74.  For Mr Popowski of the Directorate-General for Development in the Commission, this was the most important issue in the European Security Strategy. The Commission's view is that "we need sustainable development in order for security to be sustainable" (Q 200). The Commission already took these links into account in the elaboration of country strategy papers (multiannual development plans) and through the implementation of Policy Coherence for Development (PCD). This approach seeks to ensure that all policy areas, including security policy, of the EU do not undermine, and where possible support, development goals such as the MDGs.

75.  Both Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner and Mr Popowski concluded that the EU needed to engage in a comprehensive approach to security (QQ 165, 200). Challenges such as energy security, pandemics, climate change and sharply increased food and oil prices had risen up the international agenda, many of which required a global response, including by developing countries. For Mr Popowski, "the original version of the European Security Strategy did not pay enough attention to the question of insecurity in developing countries because that is exactly where some of the threats may and will originate from. In our internal discussions we spoke about the security risk and security costs of non-achievement of the Millennium Development Goals because if we fail to achieve them collectively it might produce devastating results in terms of human security …" (Q 201).

76.  Development and human security was crucial to addressing the root causes of current and imminent threats, which, according to Mr Popowski, lie "not so much in the rivalry between states and ideologies but in physical and psychological pressures on populations in developing countries. That can have very grave consequences when oppression and poverty are key factors, but also loss of dignity, for example, or deprivation of human rights. The EU policies should be definitely focused on that" (Q 207). Mr Popowski also underlined the importance of the statement in the European Security Strategy that distant threats, including those originating in developing countries, may be as much of a concern as those near at hand. He gave the example of the Democratic Republic of the Congo: "If things go wrong again in the Congo it can, and I'm sure it will, have a knock-on effect on Europe as well" (Popowski, Q 206).

77.  The above themes were also taken up by the Quaker Council for European Affairs and the Oxford Research Group. For the Quaker Council, it was important to identify as security challenges the root causes of conflict, including "poverty, inequality, injustice, lack of education, alienation in a globalized world which offers little by way of chances to those who are already vulnerable and deprived. Addressing these underlying issues may do much more for security for people all over the world than some of the approaches highlighted in the strategy" (p 147).

78.  The Oxford Research Group argued that long-term trends of global socio-economic divisions and environmental degradation were combining to create dangerous tensions, radicalisation and frustrated expectations. Their evidence outlined the contribution of the "brutal divisions of wealth and poverty" to various forms and consequences of insecurity and instability, such as crime, migration, and radical and extreme social movements, as experienced in Peru, Mexico, Nepal and China. Revolutions, riots and serious unrest due to high food prices and food shortages had occurred in Haiti, Egypt and elsewhere. The Oxford Research Group also pointed to the role of socio-economic divisions in the causation of terrorism and extremism: "While there are many reasons for the development of radical Islamist movements such as al-Qaida, a very strong element is the perception of marginalisation" (p 142).

79.  Echoing some of the points made by the Oxford Research Group and the Quaker Council, among others, the EU Counter-Terrorism Strategy[13] states that there is a range of conditions which may create an environment in which individuals can become more easily radicalised. All of the conditions are challenges for development policy, and include:

·  poor or autocratic governance;

·  rapid but unmanaged modernisation;

·  lack of political or economic prospects and of educational opportunities.

80.  The EU Counter-Terrorism Strategy states that to counter these factors, in its external action "the EU must promote even more vigorously good governance, human rights, democracy as well as education and economic prosperity, and engage in conflict resolution. We must also target inequalities and discrimination where they exist and promote inter-cultural dialogue and long-term integration where appropriate".

81.  The Quaker Council criticised the lack of emphasis in the European Security Strategy on the role of development policies and programmes, which were "barely mentioned; … conflict analysis should become an integrated part of development programming exercises and they should be regularly updated". The Quaker Council called for all these and related issues to be included expressly in the European Security Strategy. The Quaker Council also called for Western countries to spend more on development assistance relative to their defence spending.

82.  In a similar vein, Dan Smith said: "on the relationship between security somewhat classically understood and development somewhat classically understood I think the expression of that relationship in the European Security Strategy is quite inadequate". However, while he believed that it is in the interests of the European Union that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) be achieved he cautioned against writing achievement of the MDGs as specific targets into a new European Security Strategy, as they functioned best when they are seen as aspirations: "I have a lot of reservations when they are made into bureaucratic objectives, wholly quantifiable and a tick-box approach is taken to them because that homogenising view of world development misses the distinctions and the differences between the different countries. I far prefer the trend in the development debate which is looking under the heading of the fragile states discourse … at the specific issues … which are different in Nepal from in Tanzania" (Q 17).

83.  The increasing importance of the links between security and development should be taken into account in the review of the European Security Strategy. Achieving human security and resolving conflicts in developing countries make a direct contribution to the security of the EU and to addressing global challenges ranging from pandemics to migration and environmental degradation.

84.  An important part of this agenda is tackling the root causes of conflict and radicalisation, including poverty, inequality, the perception of injustice and marginalisation, poor governance and human rights abuses. The development assistance of the EU should be conflict-sensitive and contribute to peace-building and conflict prevention in fragile states.

85.  It is in the EU's interests to help prevent violent conflict and security threats from developing. An emphasis on prevention can save lives and often only costs a fraction of the cost of international intervention once a crisis has developed. Greater attention and resources should be devoted to this objective.

Energy Security

86.  In the 2003 European Security Strategy, growing dependence on energy imports and reliance on interconnected infrastructures in energy and transport, inter alia, are identified as European security challenges. Witnesses highlighted the growing salience of these challenges since 2003. Caroline Flint MP, Minister for Europe, told us that the 2003 Security Strategy was right to highlight energy dependence as a "special concern" for Europe. Regardless of financial challenges across Europe it was something the EU had to keep focussed on because "it will always be a problem if we do not attend to it now" (Q 417).

87.  In his written evidence, Commissioner for Energy Andris Piebalgs explained that the general approach outlined in the 2003 Strategy and the call for the EU to work with partners and be more "active, coherent and capable" had been integrated into the "Energy Policy for Europe" endorsed by the European Council in March 2007 (p 129). He noted that the Energy Policy for Europe was a strategy to achieve three objectives: security of supply, "climate protection" and competitiveness. It was based on the combination of action at European and Member States' levels, solidarity between Member States and an effective international energy policy speaking with a common voice. The Energy Policy for Europe addresses energy security both in its short term and medium to long term dimensions. The Commissioner concluded that "the development of security and solidarity within Europe will enable the development of a strong common voice in external energy relations. Internal and external policy should not be seen as separate tracks" (p 129).

88.  This theme was taken up by Caroline Flint, who said the Government wanted to see improved security supply for the EU and the achievement of a fully liberalised and complete internal market for energy, because "such a market would help to mitigate many of the energy security risks faced by the EU both in the short term and long term" (Q 417). The Commission's third energy package, designed to create a fully-functioning internal market in gas and electricity, was a major step forward in this respect. The energy and climate change package, which the EU hopes to agree under the French presidency of the EU, was also important (Q 419).

89.  The Minister stated that the EU's negotiating mandate for the post-Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Russia had now been agreed (although talks started on 4 July they were suspended due to the recent conflict in Georgia). The EU had made clear that the new agreement should reflect the key principles of the Energy Charter Treaty and that this would involve discussions with Russia about security of supply. The EU aimed to create a more open and transparent market and to seek an agreement with Russia on how this could be backed up by legally-binding dispute resolution mechanisms (QQ 417-19).

90.  According to Caroline Flint, what was lacking in the European Security Strategy was the recognition that the EU needed to be less reliant on a few sources of supply (Q 422). "I think there is unity [within the EU] on that" she said, but the question was how this could be put into practice, including in terms of countries' commitments, relationships and contracts. "The fact that both the Strategy and the [EU second strategic] review on energy are identifying these issues … means we are creating a debate that nobody can really avoid" (Q 422).

91.  Similar views to the witnesses above were expressed by Luis Simón Navarro of the University of London and James Rogers of Cambridge University in their written evidence. They pointed to the "important consequences" of increasing European energy dependency, especially on Russian energy supplies, which they saw as largely contributing to the reassertion of Russia's power: "The combination of Russia's rise and energy dependence results in a myriad of economic and geopolitical challenges for [Europe] and, arguably, represent the most far-reaching change since the approval of the [Security Strategy] in 2003". They concluded that a "bold and coherent" EU response was required, including solidarity among the Member States in their dealings with Russia; progress on a common energy policy; and greater diversification of energy sources (p 138).

92.  Energy security is an increasingly important challenge for the EU, and should be fully addressed in the review of the European Security Strategy. Concerns have been heightened by the EU's dependence on Russian oil and gas imports which we highlighted in our report in May 2008 on the EU and Russia. Greater diversification of energy sources and routes, as well as solidarity between the Member States in their external energy relationships, should be identified as key objectives of EU security policy.

The "Responsibility to Protect"

93.  Another notable development is the adoption of the concept of the "responsibility to protect" by the UN reform summit in 2005. All 191 Member States of the United Nations (UN), including all EU Member States, committed themselves to the "responsibility to protect". This concept holds that states have a responsibility to protect their own populations from genocide, crimes against humanity and other threats; and that if a state is unable or unwilling to do so, then the international community has the obligation to take action, including through the use of military force as a last resort and if appropriate.

94.  There was a remarkable degree of consensus among our witnesses that the EU's commitment to the "responsibility to protect" should figure in the revised Security Strategy. Jim Murphy MP, the then Minister for Europe, stated that the UK National Security Strategy acknowledged the importance of the responsibility to protect, and in his view, so should the European Security Strategy (Q 367). Other witnesses concurred with this view. For Professor François Heisbourg, the responsibility to protect "is tremendously important" and should definitely figure in the revised Strategy.

95.  Jim Murphy also acknowledged that much remains to be done in terms of implementation of the concept, and that it is not "precise enough". Therefore there was a need to build a common understanding across the international community on what the concept entailed. On a similar note, Dr Solana explained that the "responsibility to protect" was a "very dear idea for us, less dear for others. The problem we have had with other countries is they see everything through that potential prism that signifies military action …" (Q 223). He also mentioned that the "responsibility to protect" should be thought about in terms of climate change: "responsible sovereignty is terminology we have to begin to use and possibly link it with climate change" (Q 223).

96.  On the implementation of the concept, Professor Bailes' view was that when the EU does intervene in a crisis, its approach to peacebuilding and stabilisation should reflect ideas of human security. This means, in particular, creating an environment of respect for human rights and humanitarian law. However, she cautioned against linking the "responsibility to protect" to the EU's military instruments: "we should seek human security through a coordinated strategy with a complete range of instruments" (Q 146). This echoed Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner's view that the EU could play a role in reducing the international tension around the "responsibility to protect" and working towards a more sophisticated, nuanced approach to applying it which does not limit the debate to whether or not to use military force (Q 169). However, Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner also emphasised that in advance of a crisis developing, the EU should apply what she called a "responsibility to prevent", where "the European Union can play a very strong role". The EU should focus more on tackling the underlying root causes of conflict and insecurity. In this context she referred to the full panoply of instruments at the EU's collective disposal, including policy dialogue, development co-operation, external assistance, trade policy instruments, social and economic policies, and co-operation with international partners and also with civil society (Q 169).

97.  The "Responsibility to Protect", as agreed at the UN summit in 2005, reflects a major shift in the international community's thinking since the European Security Strategy was adopted in 2003 and it should be taken into account in the review of the European Security Strategy. We believe that the EU should be ready to play a leading role in attempts to put this concept into operation; and should endeavour to reduce the suspicion felt towards it by many developing countries. The review should also underline the fact that the concept refers to the use of force only as a last resort and should put more emphasis on its use as a preventive tool.

Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament

98.  The Security Strategy identifies the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction as a key threat, stating that it is "potentially the greatest threat to our security". Our witnesses also identified this as a key threat (for example Jim Murphy MP, the then Minister for Europe p 94; Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner Q 165). Jim Murphy said that the nuclear threat had become "more acute" since the adoption of the European Security Strategy in 2003 (Q 364).

99.  The Government want to use the European Security Strategy review to highlight priorities for future action in combating proliferation and in particular nuclear proliferation. They see the review as an opportunity to update the perception of threats, including on regions of concern and terrorists' use of chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear materials; and to highlight emerging issues, such as the proliferation risks of the potential renaissance of civil nuclear technology (p 95).

100.  One of the key pillars of international non-proliferation efforts is the multilateral nuclear disarmament agenda. The main fora in which multilateral discussions take place are the Conference on Disarmament, based in Geneva, and the Review Conferences of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) which take place every five years, with the next one in 2010. Given the forthcoming change of administration in the United States, there is an opportunity for the US and the EU to forge a strong partnership to make progress on multilateral nuclear disarmament ahead of the 2010 Review Conference. There have been very important developments in the last few months on both sides of the Atlantic with regard to the need to revive the multilateral nuclear disarmament agenda[14].

101.  Jim Murphy said that he wanted to see the EU, including the EU Member States, playing a bigger role and devoting greater energy to the multilateral disarmament commitments that nuclear nations had signed up to (Q 364). The Government believe that the review of the European Security Strategy should reflect EU priorities for the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (p 95).

102.  Javier Solana, High Representative for the CFSP, thought that there was an opportunity to make progress with the new US administration. The EU was cooperating with the teams of both candidates, Senators John McCain and Barack Obama. He expressed optimism on what could be achieved both on the reduction of the numbers of nuclear weapons and also on the question of nuclear posture: "That will put us in a much better position for dealing with Iran" (Q 227). However, how to deal with it at the EU level depended very much on how it was looked upon by France and the UK, the two Nuclear Weapons States as defined by the NPT. For Javier Solana, the EU should be a forum in which the issues pertaining to the 2010 Review Conference could be discussed (Q 228).

103.  In the same vein, Robert Cooper of the Council Secretariat said that where the EU could "get its act together" it could have quite a lot of impact in the context of the NPT Review Conference, notably because the EU represented states ranging from Ireland to Britain and France. "Something that commands consensus in the European Union at the very least attracts a lot of attention from parts of the non-aligned movement, for example, and can become the focal point for a consensus. In that multilateral context the EU is not a negligible actor at all. On the whole, what either of the US potential presidents is going to do takes them much more in the European direction and ought to assist the process of creating the large consensus that is very important. All of those developments seem to me to be very welcome indeed" (Q 269).

104.  The fundamental interest that the EU has in the revival of negotiations on multilateral nuclear disarmament should figure prominently in the review of the European Security Strategy. We believe that the EU will need to discuss in depth the multilateral nuclear disarmament agenda ahead of the 2010 NPT Review Conference. We strongly encourage the Government to work towards a consensus on a common EU approach. We recommend that the EU maintain an intensive dialogue with the US administration and the new US president so as to capitalise on the recent initiatives on both sides of the Atlantic in favour of significant progress on this issue.

11   Comments reported in The Independent, 8 March 2004. Back

12   The House of Lords Internal Market EU Sub-Committee has recently published a report on the EU's renewable energy target, European Union Committee 27th Report (2007-08): The EU's Target for Renewable Energy: 20% by 2020 (HL 175); and the House of Lords Environment and Agriculture EU Sub-Committee will shortly be publishing its report on the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. Back

13   EU Counter-Terrorism Strategy, Council of the EU, doc. 14469/4/05, Brussels, 30 November 2005, p 9. Back

14   These efforts are led by George P. Shultz, William J. Perry, Henry A. Kissinger and Sam Nunn in America (Wall Street Journal, January 15, 2008). The issue of nuclear disarmament was also taken up in the UK by three former Foreign Secretaries and a former Secretary General of NATO ("Start worrying and learn to ditch the bomb", letter to The Times by Lord Hurd, Malcolm Rifkind MP, Lord Owen and Lord Robertson, 30 June 2008). Back

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