APPENDIX 5: EUROPEAN SECURITY STRATEGY
A Secure Europe in a Better World
Council Document, (Brussels, 12 December 2003)
Europe has never been so prosperous, so secure nor
so free. The violence of the first half of the 20th Century has
given way to a period of peace and stability unprecedented in
The creation of the European Union has been central
to this development. It has transformed the relations between
our states, and the lives of our citizens. European countries
are committed to dealing peacefully with disputes and to co operating
through common institutions. Over this period, the progressive
spread of the rule of law and democracy has seen authoritarian
regimes change into secure, stable and dynamic democracies. Successive
enlargements are making a reality of the vision of a united and
The United States has played a critical role in European
integration and European security, in particular through NATO.
The end of the Cold War has left the United States in a dominant
position as a military actor. However, no single country is able
to tackle today's complex problems on its own.
Europe still faces security threats and challenges.
The outbreak of conflict in the Balkans was a reminder that war
has not disappeared from our continent. Over the last decade,
no region of the world has been untouched by armed conflict. Most
of these conflicts have been within rather than between states,
and most of the victims have been civilians.
As a union of 25 states with over 450 million people
producing a quarter of the world's Gross National Product (GNP),
and with a wide range of instruments at its disposal, the European
Union is inevitably a global player. In the last decade European
forces have been deployed abroad to places as distant as Afghanistan,
East Timor and the DRC. The increasing convergence of European
interests and the strengthening of mutual solidarity of the EU
makes us a more credible and effective actor. Europe should be
ready to share in the responsibility for global security and in
building a better world.
I. The security environment: global challenges
and key threats
The post Cold War environment is one of increasingly
open borders in which the internal and external aspects of security
are indissolubly linked. Flows of trade and investment, the development
of technology and the spread of democracy have brought freedom
and prosperity to many people. Others have perceived globalisation
as a cause of frustration and injustice. These developments have
also increased the scope for non-state groups to play a part in
international affairs. And they have increased European dependenceand
so vulnerabilityon an interconnected infrastructure in
transport, energy, information and other fields.
Since 1990, almost 4 million people have died in
wars, 90% of them civilians. Over 18 million people world wide
have left their homes as a result of conflict.
In much of the developing world, poverty and disease
cause untold suffering and give rise to pressing security concerns.
Almost 3 billion people, half the world's population, live on
less than 2 Euros a day. 45 million die every year of hunger and
malnutrition. AIDS is now one of the most devastating pandemics
in human history and contributes to the breakdown of societies.
New diseases can spread rapidly and become global threats. Sub-Saharan
Africa is poorer now than it was 10 years ago. In many cases,
economic failure is linked to political problems and violent conflict.
Security is a precondition of development. Conflict
not only destroys infrastructure, including social infrastructure;
it also encourages criminality, deters investment and makes normal
economic activity impossible. A number of countries and regions
are caught in a cycle of conflict, insecurity and poverty.
Competition for natural resourcesnotably waterwhich
will be aggravated by global warming over the next decades, is
likely to create further turbulence and migratory movements in
Energy dependence is a special concern for Europe.
Europe is the world's largest importer of oil and gas. Imports
account for about 50% of energy consumption today. This will rise
to 70% in 2030. Most energy imports come from the Gulf, Russia
and North Africa.
Large scale aggression against any Member State is
now improbable. Instead, Europe faces new threats which are more
diverse, less visible and less predictable.
Terrorism: Terrorism puts
lives at risk; it imposes large costs; it seeks to undermine the
openness and tolerance of our societies, and it poses a growing
strategic threat to the whole of Europe. Increasingly, terrorist
movements are well resourced, connected by electronic networks,
and are willing to use unlimited violence to cause massive casualties.
The most recent wave of terrorism is global in its
scope and is linked to violent religious extremism. It arises
out of complex causes. These include the pressures of modernisation,
cultural, social and political crises, and the alienation of young
people living in foreign societies. This phenomenon is also a
part of our own society.
Europe is both a target and a base for such terrorism:
European countries are targets and have been attacked. Logistical
bases for Al Qaeda cells have been uncovered in the UK, Italy,
Germany, Spain and Belgium. Concerted European action is indispensable.
Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction
is potentially the greatest threat to our security. The international
treaty regimes and export control arrangements have slowed the
spread of WMD and delivery systems. We are now, however, entering
a new and dangerous period that raises the possibility of a WMD
arms race, especially in the Middle East. Advances in the biological
sciences may increase the potency of biological weapons in the
coming years; attacks with chemical and radiological materials
are also a serious possibility. The spread of missile technology
adds a further element of instability and could put Europe at
The most frightening scenario is one in which terrorist
groups acquire weapons of mass destruction. In this event, a small
group would be able to inflict damage on a scale previously possible
only for States and armies.
Regional Conflicts: Problems
such as those in Kashmir, the Great Lakes Region and the Korean
Peninsula impact on European interests directly and indirectly,
as do conflicts nearer to home, above all in the Middle East.
Violent or frozen conflicts, which also persist on our borders,
threaten regional stability. They destroy human lives and social
and physical infrastructures; they threaten minorities, fundamental
freedoms and human rights. Conflict can lead to extremism, terrorism
and state failure; it provides opportunities for organised crime.
Regional insecurity can fuel the demand for WMD. The most practical
way to tackle the often elusive new threats will sometimes be
to deal with the older problems of regional conflict.
State Failure: Bad governancecorruption,
abuse of power, weak institutions and lack of accountabilityand
civil conflict corrode States from within. In some cases, this
has brought about the collapse of State institutions. Somalia,
Liberia and Afghanistan under the Taliban are the best known recent
examples. Collapse of the State can be associated with obvious
threats, such as organised crime or terrorism. State failure is
an alarming phenomenon, that undermines global governance, and
adds to regional instability.
Organised Crime: Europe
is a prime target for organised crime. This internal threat to
our security has an important external dimension: cross border
trafficking in drugs, women, illegal migrants and weapons accounts
for a large part of the activities of criminal gangs. It can have
links with terrorism.
Such criminal activities are often associated with
weak or failing states. Revenues from drugs have fuelled the weakening
of state structures in several drug producing countries. Revenues
from trade in gemstones, timber and small arms, fuel conflict
in other parts of the world. All these activities undermine both
the rule of law and social order itself. In extreme cases, organised
crime can come to dominate the state. 90% of the heroin in Europe
comes from poppies grown in Afghanistanwhere the drugs
trade pays for private armies. Most of it is distributed through
Balkan criminal networks which are also responsible for some 200,000
of the 700,000 women victims of the sex trade world wide. A new
dimension to organised crime which will merit further attention
is the growth in maritime piracy.
Taking these different elements togetherterrorism
committed to maximum violence, the availability of weapons of
mass destruction, organised crime, the weakening of the state
system and the privatisation of forcewe could be confronted
with a very radical threat indeed.
II. Strategic objectives
We live in a world that holds brighter prospects
but also greater threats than we have known. The future will depend
partly on our actions. We need both to think globally and to act
locally. To defend its security and to promote its values, the
EU has three strategic objectives:
Addressing the Threats
The European Union has been active in tackling the
· It has responded after 11 September with
measures that included the adoption of a European Arrest Warrant,
steps to attack terrorist financing and an agreement on mutual
legal assistance with the U.S.A. The EU continues to develop cooperation
in this area and to improve its defences.
· It has pursued policies against proliferation
over many years. The Union has just agreed a further programme
of action which foresees steps to strengthen the International
Atomic Energy Agency, measures to tighten export controls and
to deal with illegal shipments and illicit procurement. The EU
is committed to achieving universal adherence to multilateral
treaty regimes, as well as to strengthening the treaties and their
· The European Union and Member States have
intervened to help deal with regional conflicts and to put failed
states back on their feet, including in the Balkans, Afghanistan,
and in the DRC. Restoring good government to the Balkans, fostering
democracy and enabling the authorities there to tackle organised
crime is one of the most effective ways of dealing with organised
crime within the EU.
In an era of globalisation, distant threats may be
as much a concern as those that are near at hand. Nuclear activities
in North Korea, nuclear risks in South Asia, and proliferation
in the Middle East are all of concern to Europe.
Terrorists and criminals are now able to operate
world wide: their activities in central or south east Asia may
be a threat to European countries or their citizens. Meanwhile,
global communication increases awareness in Europe of regional
conflicts or humanitarian tragedies anywhere in the world.
Our traditional concept of self-defenceup
to and including the Cold Warwas based on the threat of
invasion. With the new threats, the first line of defence will
often be abroad. The new threats are dynamic. The risks of proliferation
grow over time; left alone, terrorist networks will become ever
more dangerous. State failure and organised crime spread if they
are neglectedas we have seen in West Africa. This implies
that we should be ready to act before a crisis occurs. Conflict
prevention and threat prevention cannot start too early.
In contrast to the massive visible threat in the
Cold War, none of the new threats is purely military; nor can
any be tackled by purely military means. Each requires a mixture
of instruments. Proliferation may be contained through export
controls and attacked through political, economic and other pressures
while the underlying political causes are also tackled. Dealing
with terrorism may require a mixture of intelligence, police,
judicial, military and other means. In failed states, military
instruments may be needed to restore order, humanitarian means
to tackle the immediate crisis. Regional conflicts need political
solutions but military assets and effective policing may be needed
in the post conflict phase. Economic instruments serve reconstruction,
and civilian crisis management helps restore civil government.
The European Union is particularly well equipped to respond to
such multi faceted situations.
Building Security in our Neighbourhood
Even in an era of globalisation, geography is still
important. It is in the European interest that countries on our
borders are well-governed. Neighbours who are engaged in violent
conflict, weak states where organised crime flourishes, dysfunctional
societies or exploding population growth on its borders all pose
problems for Europe.
The integration of acceding states increases our
security but also brings the EU closer to troubled areas. Our
task is to promote a ring of well governed countries to the East
of the European Union and on the borders of the Mediterranean
with whom we can enjoy close and cooperative relations.
The importance of this is best illustrated in the
Balkans. Through our concerted efforts with the US, Russia, NATO
and other international partners, the stability of the region
is no longer threatened by the outbreak of major conflict. The
credibility of our foreign policy depends on the consolidation
of our achievements there. The European perspective offers both
a strategic objective and an incentive for reform.
It is not in our interest that enlargement should
create new dividing lines in Europe. We need to extend the benefits
of economic and political cooperation to our neighbours in the
East while tackling political problems there. We should now take
a stronger and more active interest in the problems of the Southern
Caucasus, which will in due course also be a neighbouring region.
Resolution of the Arab/Israeli conflict is a strategic
priority for Europe. Without this, there will be little chance
of dealing with other problems in the Middle East. The European
Union must remain engaged and ready to commit resources to the
problem until it is solved. The two state solutionwhich
Europe has long supportedis now widely accepted. Implementing
it will require a united and cooperative effort by the European
Union, the United States, the United Nations and Russia, and the
countries of the region, but above all by the Israelis and the
The Mediterranean area generally continues to undergo
serious problems of economic stagnation, social unrest and unresolved
conflicts. The European Union's interests require a continued
engagement with Mediterranean partners, through more effective
economic, security and cultural cooperation in the framework of
the Barcelona Process. A broader engagement with the Arab World
should also be considered.
An International Order Based on Effective Multilateralism
In a world of global threats, global markets and
global media, our security and prosperity increasingly depend
on an effective multilateral system. The development of a stronger
international society, well functioning international institutions
and a rule based international order is our objective.
We are committed to upholding and developing International
Law. The fundamental framework for international relations is
the United Nations Charter. The United Nations Security Council
has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international
peace and security. Strengthening the United Nations, equipping
it to fulfil its responsibilities and to act effectively, is a
We want international organisations, regimes and
treaties to be effective in confronting threats to international
peace and security, and must therefore be ready to act when their
rules are broken.
Key institutions in the international system, such
as the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the International Financial
Institutions, have extended their membership. China has joined
the WTO and Russia is negotiating its entry. It should be an objective
for us to widen the membership of such bodies while maintaining
their high standards.
One of the core elements of the international system
is the transatlantic relationship. This is not only in our bilateral
interest but strengthens the international community as a whole.
NATO is an important expression of this relationship.
Regional organisations also strengthen global governance.
For the European Union, the strength and effectiveness of the
OSCE and the Council of Europe has a particular significance.
Other regional organisations such as ASEAN, MERCOSUR and the African
Union make an important contribution to a more orderly world.
It is a condition of a rule based international order
that law evolves in response to developments such as proliferation,
terrorism and global warming. We have an interest in further developing
existing institutions such as the World Trade Organisation and
in supporting new ones such as the International Criminal Court.
Our own experience in Europe demonstrates that security can be
increased through confidence building and arms control regimes.
Such instruments can also make an important contribution to security
and stability in our neighbourhood and beyond.
The quality of international society depends on the
quality of the governments that are its foundation. The best protection
for our security is a world of well governed democratic states.
Spreading good governance, supporting social and political reform,
dealing with corruption and abuse of power, establishing the rule
of law and protecting human rights are the best means of strengthening
the international order.
Trade and development policies can be powerful tools
for promoting reform. As the world's largest provider of official
assistance and its largest trading entity, the European Union
and its Member States are well placed to pursue these goals.
Contributing to better governance through assistance
programmes, conditionality and targeted trade measures remains
an important feature in our policy that we should further reinforce.
A world seen as offering justice and opportunity for everyone
will be more secure for the European Union and its citizens.
A number of countries have placed themselves outside
the bounds of international society. Some have sought isolation;
others persistently violate international norms. It is desirable
that such countries should rejoin the international community,
and the EU should be ready to provide assistance. Those who are
unwilling to do so should understand that there is a price to
be paid, including in their relationship with the European Union.
III. Policy implications for Europe
The European Union has made progress towards a coherent
foreign policy and effective crisis management. We have instruments
in place that can be used effectively, as we have demonstrated
in the Balkans and beyond. But if we are to make a contribution
that matches our potential, we need to be more active, more coherent
and more capable. And we need to work with others.
More active in pursuing
our strategic objectives. This applies to the full spectrum of
instruments for crisis management and conflict prevention at our
disposal, including political, diplomatic, military and civilian,
trade and development activities. Active policies are needed to
counter the new dynamic threats. We need to develop a strategic
culture that fosters early, rapid, and when necessary, robust
As a Union of 25 members, spending more than 160
billion Euros on defence, we should be able to sustain several
operations simultaneously. We could add particular value by developing
operations involving both military and civilian capabilities.
The EU should support the United Nations as it responds
to threats to international peace and security. The EU is committed
to reinforcing its cooperation with the UN to assist countries
emerging from conflicts, and to enhancing its support for the
UN in short term crisis management situations.
We need to be able to act before countries around
us deteriorate, when signs of proliferation are detected, and
before humanitarian emergencies arise. Preventive engagement can
avoid more serious problems in the future. A European Union which
takes greater responsibility and which is more active will be
one which carries greater political weight.
More Capable. A more capable
Europe is within our grasp, though it will take time to realise
our full potential. Actions underwaynotably the establishment
of a defence agencytake us in the right direction.
To transform our militaries into more flexible, mobile
forces, and to enable them to address the new threats, more resources
for defence and more effective use of resources are necessary.
Systematic use of pooled and shared assets would
reduce duplications, overheads and, in the medium term, increase
In almost every major intervention, military efficiency
has been followed by civilian chaos. We need greater capacity
to bring all necessary civilian resources to bear in crisis and
post crisis situations.
Stronger diplomatic capability: we need a system
that combines the resources of Member States with those of EU
institutions. Dealing with problems that are more distant and
more foreign requires better understanding and communication.
Common threat assessments are the best basis for
common actions. This requires improved sharing of intelligence
among Member States and with partners.
As we increase capabilities in the different areas,
we should think in terms of a wider spectrum of missions. This
might include joint disarmament operations, support for third
countries in combating terrorism and security sector reform. The
last of these would be part of broader institution building.
The EU-NATO permanent arrangements, in particular
Berlin Plus, enhance the operational capability of the EU and
provide the framework for the strategic partnership between the
two organisations in crisis management. This reflects our common
determination to tackle the challenges of the new century.
More Coherent. The point
of the Common Foreign and Security Policy and European Security
and Defence Policy is that we are stronger when we act together.
Over recent years we have created a number of different instruments,
each of which has its own structure and rationale.
The challenge now is to bring together the different
instruments and capabilities: European assistance programmes and
the European Development Fund, military and civilian capabilities
from Member States and other instruments. All of these can have
an impact on our security and on that of third countries. Security
is the first condition for development.
Diplomatic efforts, development, trade and environmental
policies, should follow the same agenda. In a crisis there is
no substitute for unity of command.
Better co-ordination between external action and
Justice and Home Affairs policies is crucial in the fight both
against terrorism and organised crime.
Greater coherence is needed not only among EU instruments
but also embracing the external activities of the individual member
Coherent policies are also needed regionally, especially
in dealing with conflict. Problems are rarely solved on a single
country basis, or without regional support, as in different ways
experience in both the Balkans and West Africa shows.
Working with partners.
There are few if any problems we can deal with on our own. The
threats described above are common threats, shared with all our
closest partners. International cooperation is a necessity. We
need to pursue our objectives both through multilateral cooperation
in international organisations and through partnerships with key
The transatlantic relationship is irreplaceable.
Acting together, the European Union and the United States can
be a formidable force for good in the world. Our aim should be
an effective and balanced partnership with the USA. This is an
additional reason for the EU to build up further its capabilities
and increase its coherence.
We should continue to work for closer relations with
Russia, a major factor in our security and prosperity. Respect
for common values will reinforce progress towards a strategic
Our history, geography and cultural ties give us
links with every part of the world: our neighbours in the Middle
East, our partners in Africa, in Latin America, and in Asia. These
relationships are an important asset to build on. In particular
we should look to develop strategic partnerships, with Japan,
China, Canada and India as well as with all those who share our
goals and values, and are prepared to act in their support.
This is a world of new dangers but also of new opportunities.
The European Union has the potential to make a major contribution,
both in dealing with the threats and in helping realise the opportunities.
An active and capable European Union would make an impact on a
global scale. In doing so, it would contribute to an effective
multilateral system leading to a fairer, safer and more united