175. A number of witnesses raised the question
of coherence in the EU's actions and often linked it to discussion
of the provisions of Lisbon Treaty whose fate is currently in
suspense. The Lisbon Treaty would create the position of High
Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, supported
by a new European External Action Service. It also contains provisions
on the strengthening of the European Security and Defence Policy
176. Two issues were raised: coherence in practical
co-operation and co-ordination between the various EU institutions
and, importantly, the need for an overall coherent policy to guide
those institutions. In general, our witnesses had seen some improvement
in both, but considered that further improvement was needed in
order to make the EU more effective.
177. As far as the review itself was concerned,
Dr Solana told us that "the Commission has demanded
that I co-operate with the Commission and we are doing that."
He had given some information to the European Parliament, a policy
he would try to maintain although he did not think it would be
a good idea to have big debates in the European Parliament to
get the Strategy approved (Q 218).
178. Dr Solana told us that the phrase in
the Security Strategy which called on the EU to be more "active,
capable and coherent" related also to the Lisbon Treaty,
even if it had not at that time been conceived. He did not doubt
that it would be easier to fulfil this call if the Treaty were
to be ratified and implemented (Q 231). With the Treaty,
co-operation among institutions would be much better. When dealing
with fragile states, for example, development, security elements,
economic policy and trade should all be packaged together (Q 233).
In the Lisbon Treaty "structured co-operation
is about capabilities
if you want to belong you
have to contribute" (Q 225).
179. Robert Cooper (Director-General, Politico-Military
Affairs in the Council Secretariat) thought that: "The big
challenge is coherence and that is connected to the [Lisbon] Treaty
on the one hand, and it is also connected to a bit more. I ask
myself sometimes if all of our activity really fits into a kind
of coherent political objective or not" (Q 288). It
was a "day-to-day struggle to ensure that one has a viable
political strategy surrounding all of the things that you do"
(Q 291). Again, the Lisbon Treaty would have been helpful
in the way Europe handled its relations with other states such
as China and Russia because it made much clearer who is in charge
of putting forward proposals with one person clearly in charge
180. Professor Heisbourg (International
Institute of Strategic Studies) spoke of the importance of the
EU's knowing what it was trying to do. The "headline goals"
(goals to be achieved for crisis management capability) adopted
as a result of the St Malo agreements between the UK and France
and on the European scale at the Helsinki European Council in
December 1999 had disappeared, and "the biggest strategic
sin one can commit is to forget what one is trying to do"
(QQ 140, 141). He pointed out that, although the threat of
global terrorism was well known at the time the ESS was drafted,
it "hardly says anything about homeland security and defence
of the Union" (Q 130).
181. Dr Giegerich, on the other hand, did
not think that the Lisbon Treaty would make the problems of coherence
go away. "It is actually very ambiguous in terms of the institutional
set-up, of responsibilities between individuals with overlapping
competencies and very strong positions" (Q 106). Professor Bailes
thought that , if one looked at interventions abroad more in terms
of self-interest, and said what changes were wanted from Europe's
point of view, it would be seen that those changes could only
in a small part, if at all, be achieved by the use of European
military force. "We should be moving towards more intervention
in the world but less military intervention, considering how all
the other very considerable resources of the EUthe economic/financial
influence, the development aid, the technologyare going
to be deployed to change situations abroad in the way that is
good both for people there and for ourselves" (Q 139).
182. Dan Smith thought that the "big division
the Council of Ministers and the European
Commission where you do not just get inter-departmental rivalry,
you get something deeper and bigger than thatthe gulf has
been a bigger one to cross." It was impressive that in the
last two years he had seen increasingly conscious efforts to cross
the divide, partly with the idea of the External Action Service.
As and when this was created, he did not see that it need be done
"with the same sort of separated institutional structure
internally that the Member States are used to" (QQ 26,
183. Mr Smith thought that there had been
in the Commission's work "resistance to the bringing in of
security notions and this is also a political resistance which
has been straightforwardly expressed and argued through in the
European Parliament in the process of shaping the financial perspectives
for the current period." However, the ESS helped to guide
the work of the parts of the Commission dealing with security
and conflict prevention (Q 28).
184. Professor Kaldor thought that a problem
lay in involving the Commission in the planning of missions. The
lack of coherence of the whole EU would be partly, but not completely,
solved by the Lisbon Treaty. The implementation of the European
Action Service would be very important. It should be different
from the traditional diplomatic service. The EAS "should
human rights and law and order
of access of local people to the EU
much more a diplomacy
between peoples or citizens" (Q 120).
185. Major-General Messervy-Whiting of Birmingham
University thought that: "Even with the Lisbon Treaty, actually
getting the various bits of the Brussels machinery to
together efficiently, singing off the same hymn sheet, is the
toughest nut of all, even though the Lisbon Treaty will give them
the framework with which to do that" (Q 66). The strategy
touched adequately on the mix of civilian and military capabilities
but the most difficult problem was to get the military and the
civilian, the Commission and the Council, and the other parts
of the organisation working together efficiently (Q 76).
186. The question of coherence also encompasses
the problem of when, where and why the EU should intervene in
situations. Dr Giegerich raised the question of the lack
of implementation in protecting human rights and "how one
can allow gross violations to stand and not intervene
is on the one hand criteria for intervention,
which the European Security Strategy does not provide, the when,
where and why. The 'why' it does provide but not in any specific
sense" (Q 118).
187. Professor Kaldor thought the EU needed
a legal framework for missions. There were "huge problems
of the competencies of international humanitarian law, human rights
law, the domestic laws of individual Member States, the rules
of engagement, the laws of countries where you are operating".
The EU could develop with a group of lawyers a legal framework
which guided the kind of activities that it was going to engage
in, including criteria for "responsibility to protect"
188. The intergovernmental nature of EU foreign
policy makes coherence unavoidably harder to achieve and there
is an unavoidable trade-off between coherence and capability:
Member States acting independently would be more coherent but
less capable. Dan Smith, Secretary-General of International Alert,
pointed out that the EU was often held back by the Member States
who had to reach a compromise between their different interests
on complex and difficult issues. The higher the profile of the
issue, the poorer EU coherence looked (Q 31).
189. Our witnesses agreed that part of "coherence"
consisted of working with other organisations outside the EU:
"... one of the aspects of coherence
is not just a
plea for an end of institutional turf warfare in Brussels, it
is a plea for the Member States to work more closely together,
it acknowledges the need to work effectively with partners in
other multinational institutions and other centres of power
(Nick Witney, Q 77).
190. The establishment of the Civilian Planning
and Conduct Capability (CPCC)
in 2007 was considered to have assisted the coordination of operations
in the field. Lieutenant-General Leakey, Director-General of the
EU Military Staff in the Council Secretariat, believed that coherence
had improved over the past five years: "we are getting the
idea but there is a long, long way to go" (Q 306). On
arriving in Brussels he had found "compartments of people
doing their own thing, turf wars and egos
in Brussels in
the last 16 months it has changed out of all recognition
the CPCC has been set up and we have people working collaboratively".
When he had visited Chad the Commission had gone with him and
joint missions were now running (Q 333).
191. Kees Klompenhouwer, Director of Civilian
ESDP Operations, thought that the organisation of civilian missions
was also improving. "We are going from improvising as we
go along to organising what we are doing by the establishment
of the CPCC which is able to conduct operations and support operations
in the field. We can still improve on planning
to this is civ-civ co-operation
between the civilian sides.
Civ-mil is relatively unproblematic
" The methodology
used was similar but "one challenge is working with the Commission,
which is very jealous of its prerogatives" (Q 334).
At the working level however people realised that when missions
did not work due to internal differences, everyone's reputations
were affectedMember States, Commission and Council. While
respecting the competences of others, everyone had an interest
in seeking improvements in systems for bureaucratic management,
financial controls, procurement rules and framework contracts.
192. Nick Witney told us: "When we conduct
military operations run from one of seven possible alternative
locations across Europe and civil operations run from an entirely
different place within Brussels, you find at the very heart of
direction of interventions complete separation between civil and
military." The Lisbon Treaty seemed to address the problem
of trying to ensure that the combined efforts of Member States
marched more coherently in step in aid and trade policies and
not just in the military and diplomatic sides fields (Q 66).
193. Dan Smith felt however that there was still
a long way to go on capability, in particular "in the institutions
there is still more to do. There is a lot of stovepipe
thinking." Attention particularly needed to be given to detail
(QQ 25-27). "However, while the EU remains ... an alliancealbeit
a very close oneof sovereign states, there is always going
to be a difference between what the EU is capable of doing and
what a single state of that population and wealth would be capable
of doing" (Q 34).
194. For the former Europe Minister, Jim Murphy,
political will and co-operation were required: "We can achieve
an awful lot more by co-operating with other European nations
that we could ever do by ourselves. That is the important part
of the Strategy that in the past I do not think we have made enough
of and, hopefully, if we can agree a comprehensive Strategy, it
is a very strong case for Europe in and of itself to be a world
player" (Q 375).
195. The question of coherence will need to
be addressed seriously with or without the entry into force of
the Lisbon Treaty if the effectiveness of the EU's actions in
the security field is not to fall far short of its aspirations.