Select Committee on European Union Thirty-First Report


The foreign policy, defence and development Sub-Committee (Sub-Committee C) of the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union has decided to undertake an inquiry into "The European Security Strategy". The Sub-Committee is chaired by Lord Roper.

Since the European Council adopted the European Security Strategy in 2003, the international environment has evolved and issues such as climate change and energy security have taken on greater prominence. New threats are appearing on the horizon, including electronic attacks and non-military espionage. Risks such as pandemics, financial turbulence, water shortages and food crises are becoming more important and necessitate a European and international response. The EU has enlarged to 27 Member States, bringing it closer geographically to regions of instability, such as in the Caucasus and the Middle East.

Furthermore, thinking on these issues within the EU has evolved. The High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Dr Javier Solana, and his counterpart in the Commission, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, recently presented a joint report to the March 2008 European Council in which they drew attention to the impact of climate change on international security. This report and any follow-up work, which are expected to lead to the adoption of a document by the December European Council, will be examined as part of this inquiry. Another example is energy security, which has become a priority for the EU in recent years.

In the light of these challenges, the Sub-Committee has decided to review the usefulness of the European Security Strategy and the extent to which it informs policy-making in the European Institutions and in the EU Member States. In the context of the planned review of the Strategy under the French presidency of the EU in the second half of 2008, the Committee will assess the extent to which the Strategy provides a useful conceptual framework for addressing the threats and risks faced by the EU in the 21st century. It will also assess whether the recommendations for action contained in the Strategy need to be adapted and how they can be more effectively implemented.

In the framework of this inquiry, the Sub-Committee will consider written evidence. The Sub-Committee would therefore welcome submissions on the following questions:

(1)  To what extent has the European Security Strategy provided a useful tool for addressing the security challenges faced by the EU? To what extent does it inform policy-making in the European Institutions and in the EU Member States? Have the EU Strategy for the Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and other similar EU strategies served as tools for the implementation of the European Security Strategy?

(2)  What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Strategy? Does it provide a coherent and well-balanced assessment of the threats and risks facing the EU? Is there a need for the Strategy to pay greater attention to evaluating and analysing the EU's sources of vulnerability and dependence, such as on energy supplies?

(3)  Should the Strategy place a greater emphasis on drivers of insecurity, such as challenges to the rules-based international system, climate change, competition for energy, poverty, inequality and poor governance? Does the Strategy sufficiently take into account the interrelationship between security and development?

(4)  How successful has the Strategy been in promoting security in the EU's neighbourhood?

(5)  Does the Strategy make appropriate recommendations on the action the EU should take to address the security challenges it faces? Is there a good balance between short-term and long-term priorities for action?

(6)  In what ways could the Strategy be better implemented? Has the promotion of stability taken precedence over the promotion of democracy and good governance in the EU's neighbourhood?

(7)  To what extent have the EU's Strategic Partnerships and political dialogue with third countries and organisations, including the UN and NATO, contributed to achieving the aims of the Strategy? Has the Strategy contributed to shaping EU policy and thinking in relation to the United States and other important partners such as Russia, China, India and Africa?

(8)  Is there a need to review the Strategy and the effectiveness of its implementation periodically?

(9)  Are there any other issues which should be brought to the Sub-Committee's attention as part of this inquiry?

previous page contents next page

House of Lords home page Parliament home page House of Commons home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2008