Brexit: Common Security and Defence Policy missions and operations Contents

Chapter 4: Third country participation in CSDP missions and operations

145.To date, approximately 45 third countries have contributed to CSDP missions and operations.279 As of April 2018, there were 288 third country personnel,280 of a total of around 4000 overall personnel.281 Table 1 shows the current participation of third countries in CSDP missions and operations. The Global Europe Centre characterised third country contributions as ranging “from civilian to military components”, depending on “the context of the mission and the terms of the partnership”. Third countries usually provided “less than 20 staff”.282

Table 1: Third country participation in CSDP missions and operations (April 2018)

Mission/operation

Third countries

Number of personnel

Military missions and operations

EUFOR (Operation) Althea (Bosnia-Herzegovina)

Turkey

160

Switzerland

20

Chile

19

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

3

Albania

1

EUFOR Somalia (Operation Atalanta)

Serbia

5

Montenegro

1

EUTM Somalia

Serbia

6

EUTM Mali

Albania

4

Serbia

3

Georgia

1

Montenegro

1

EUTM RCA (Central African Republic)

Georgia

37

Serbia

7

Bosnia-Herzegovina

2

Civilian missions

EULEX Kosovo

Switzerland

2 (1 based at the Specialist Chambers in The Hague)

US

11 (1 based at the Specialist Chambers in The Hague)

EUPOL COPPS (the Palestinian Territories)

Canada

1

EUAM Ukraine

Norway

3

Switzerland

1

Source: Written evidence from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (BSD0014)

146.There are various reasons, sometimes overlapping, for why third countries choose to participate in CSDP missions and operations. First, for candidate countries and those in the EU’s neighbourhood, participation is an opportunity “to demonstrate solidarity with the EU”. Second, they are an opportunity for some third countries, through even a symbolic contribution, “to associate themselves with the broader international values and principles that the EU stands for”.283

147.Third, for non-EU NATO states such as Turkey and Norway, CSDP missions and operations provide an opportunity to address shared security challenges,284 recognising “the role of the EU in crisis management”.285 Fourth, some countries have sought “to be seen as operating at the regional level” by associating with specific missions and operations, such as Brazil and South Africa in Operation Artemis.286 Finally, CSDP missions and operations allow third countries to acquire operational expertise287—for example by gaining experience in a peace enforcement operation such as Operation Althea.288

148.In return, third country participation has a value to the EU: it demonstrates “broader political support” for missions and operations, from outside the bloc.289 Third countries also provide valuable additional capacity and capabilities. Major General Stickland, for example, told us that “I will take any help I can get” to deliver Operation Atalanta, while General Sir Adrian Bradshaw and Mr Lapsley noted that Turkey was one of the main troop contributors to Operation Althea.290

149.Mr Ahern noted that there was a balance to be struck between “having more contributing nations acting together and the positive political message that that sends and … the fact that the more parties you have, the more complicated it can get”.291

Examples of third country participation in CSDP missions and operations

Turkey

150.Mr Lapsley told us that only one operation—Operation Althea—has a sizeable number of personnel from a third country:292 Turkey is the second-largest contributor to the mission,293 with 160 personnel.294 As discussed in Chapter 2, Operation Althea is unique, as it operates through the Berlin Plus arrangements—it is “commanded at the strategic level by NATO”.295 Mr Lapsley said this allowed Turkey to have “a high degree of understanding and access to what is going on in that mission through the fact that they are also members of NATO”.296 Turkey has also been a significant contributor to EULEX Kosovo,297 although no personnel are currently deployed.298

The United States

151.The Global Europe Centre told us that the US had chosen not to participate in military CSDP missions and operations, but had contributed to civilian missions “on a case-by-case basis”.299

152.Mr Lapsley told us that the US decided to contribute to EULEX Kosovo from an early stage, “because it wanted to send quite a strong message that it supported this mission and it was a good thing for the EU to be taking on”.300 Dr Ejdus observed that “not all third parties are born equal”; in his view, the US had “probably had the biggest influence” on EULEX Kosovo. Politically, it had “influenced from within the mission, but also from without”.301 The US had had a “highly positioned political adviser in EULEX over the years”.302 Dr Jacobs concurred: the US had provided the assistant to the Head of Mission, which while “not a management position”, was “a strategic position, because that person knew everything that went in and out of the Head of Mission’s office”. The US had also had a secondee in the north of Kosovo, and had headed the Police Department, all “strategic” roles.303

153.Mr Lapsley noted that the US’s “operational contribution [to EULEX Kosovo] now is pretty small—just a couple of experts”. He did not think that the US currently expected a high level of access to or influence over the mission, given this limited deployment of US personnel. However, he thought that the US “probably started off with slightly higher expectations of the role it would play in the mission than turned out to be possible”. This demonstrated the “tension” faced by third countries seeking a “substantial involvement” in a CSDP mission.304

The Republic of Korea

154.Major General Stickland described the Republic of Korea (RoK) as “the most significant, third party state” in Operation Atalanta.305 For four to six days each month, “it is genuinely part of the operation”. The RoK was “also exploring whether it wants to put staff officers into the Force Headquarters or the Operational Headquarters”. He explained that, in view of “the size of the sea space and how we could use its capability”, the EU was now discussing whether the RoK could change the arrangement to provide three weeks every three months to the mission.306

Serbia

155.Brigadier General Aherne told us that Serbia had provided specialist military medical personnel and the Mission Chief Medical Officer to EUTM Somalia.307 Since 2012, this contribution has been a medical team and headquarters officers;308 currently it has six personnel in the mission.309 Brigadier General Aherne described this contribution as “valued in the extreme”.310

Existing third country arrangements

156.To participate in a CSDP mission or operation, a third country must sign either a Framework Participation Agreement (FPA), covering CSDP missions and/or operations overall, or a Participation Agreement (PA), relating to a specific mission or operation.311 Major General Stickland explained that these agreements establish “the baseline arrangement to which a third state decides how they want to work with the EU”.312 They include command and control structures, procedures, legal aspects, and the financial commitments of the third party.313

157.Mr Lapsley told us that around 18 countries have concluded “overarching” FPAs with the EU.314 They “are pretty much routinely asked whether they want to join missions”. Switzerland has signed a number of PAs for specific missions and operations.315

158.After signing an FPA or PA, a number of “technical agreements” are then agreed between the EU and the third country, on subjects such as information exchange, planning documents and sharing confidential information including intelligence.316

159.Box 6 sets out some standard elements of a FPA.

Box 6: Standard elements of a FPA

  • Terms for participation in CSDP missions overall, while leaving the decision on participation in any mission to be decided on a case-by-case basis;
  • The agreement and the contribution of the third country to an EU crisis management operation should be “without prejudice to the decision-making autonomy of the Union”;
  • The period of the agreement and procedures for automatic extension;
  • The EU will decide whether to invite the third country to participate in a mission, and will share all relevant information and assessments related to that operation. If the third country decides to propose a contribution, this will then be considered by the EU, which will take the decision on participation;
  • The third country is required to “associate itself” with any Council Decisions on a mission in which it participates;
  • An agreement on the status of forces/mission (between the EU and the state where the mission/operation operates) will govern any third country personnel;317
  • “Without prejudice” to the agreement on status of forces/mission, the third country “shall exercise jurisdiction over its personnel participating in the EU crisis management operation”—the contributing state reserves the ultimate right to stop its personnel from undertaking activities and/or to remove them from the operation; 318
  • For both civilian and military missions, the third country “shall have the same rights and obligations in terms of day-to-day management of the operation as the Member States of the European Union taking part in the operation”;
  • The EU will take the decision on ending a civilian operation, “following consultation with” the third country;
  • For military missions, “national authorities shall transfer the Operational and Tactical control of their forces and personnel to the EU Operation Commander”;
  • The third party “shall assume all the costs associated with its participation in the operation unless the costs are subject to common funding”;319 and
  • The third country “shall contribute to the financing” of the “operational budget” (civilian missions) or “common costs” (military missions), but the third country will be “exempted from financial contributions when: (a) the Union decides that the third country provides a significant contribution which is essential for that operation; or (b) the third country has a GNI per capita which does not exceed that of any Member State of the Union”.

Source: Adapted from the Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Korea establishing a framework for the participation of the Republic of Korea in European Union crisis management operations, OJ L 166/3 (5 June 2014)

160.Mr Lapsley explained that “third countries … do not contribute to the Athena common costs mechanism for a military operation if the European Union judges that their contribution to the mission as a whole is significant”. In practice:

“The EU has always judged that a third country’s contribution is significant, for the fairly obvious reason that if a third country offers to put some people into a mission and is then told, ‘Right, according to your GDP scale, that means you are on the hook for 10% or 15% of the overall costs of the mission’, that is a fairly powerful disincentive to make the offer in the first place.”320

Influencing CSDP missions and operations as a third party

Committee of the Contributors

161.Once a third country’s participation in a mission or operation has been agreed, and a FPA or PA signed, a Committee of the Contributors (CoC) is established by the Political and Security Committee. Box 7 sets out the role and structure of the Committee of the Contributors for a mission or operation.

Box 7: Committee of the Contributors

The Committee of the Contributors includes:

  • Representatives of all Member States;
  • Representatives of third countries participating in the mission and providing contributions; and
  • Provision for a representative of the Commission to attend the meetings.321

Participants “are invited on a regular basis to talk about oversight of the mission”.322 The Committee of the Contributors is designed as a forum for discussing “all problems relating to” the mission’s “day-to-day management” with contributing third countries.323 The Political and Security Committee “should take account of the views expressed by the CoC”.324

For civilian missions, the Chair of the Committee of the Contributors is the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (or her representative). For military missions, the Chair is the High Representative (or her representative), in close consultation with the Chairman of the European Union Military Committee (or with his or her representative). The PSC decisions establishing each Committee of the Contributors state that the Chair will convene the Committee regularly, and that emergency meetings can be convened on the Chair’s initiative, or at the request of a member.325

162.Lord Ricketts thought the “arrangements for … permanent and continuing consultations” were “not a bad point of departure”,326 and Mr Vimont told us that third countries, including the United States, Norway and Georgia, were “knocking at the door” of the EU to participate in CSDP missions.327

163.Mr Lapsley, on the other hand, told us that, in practice, the Committee of the Contributors model “does not work very well”. When the model was established, “the expectation was that it would be a very senior committee and that it would meet and give real impetus and guidance on how missions were being conducted”, but “10 years on, the model has rather withered on the vine and most Member States do not take the meetings very seriously.” He concluded: “In some cases the inadequacies of that model have led third countries to decide that they are not convinced that they want to take part in missions.”328

Influence at an operational level

164.Notwithstanding the shortcomings of the Committee of the Contributors model, our witnesses said that at an operational level, third countries had some influence. Reflecting on EULEX Kosovo, Dr Ejdus explained that “third parties … have equal access on the ground, and they are fully able to deliver their mandate”. Staff from Norway, Turkey and other countries had “been accepted very well. They have full access … They have been treated equally as secondees of the Member States.”329

165.For military missions and operations, Mr Lapsley said that “generally, depending on the size of its contribution”, a third country “would have officers integrated into the operational headquarters for that mission”. This resulted in information sharing, and so, “through participation in headquarters, a third country can get a reasonable insight into what a mission is up to and what is going on”.330 Major General Stickland agreed: third countries were “genuinely part of” Operation Atalanta, and those with a staff officer in the Headquarters were “part of the planning team”.331

166.The positions available to third countries in CSDP missions and operations are, however, somewhat limited: SaferGlobe told us that third countries are invited “in most cases to fill gaps”.332 Dr Duke told us that after a Member State force generation conference has been held to determine the necessary assets and staffing, FPA signatories are invited to contribute personnel.333 Major General Stickland said third parties to Operation Atalanta, for example, “have second choice of vacancies and things of that nature, rather than being a core Member State”.334

167.Dr Ejdus added: “Although there are no formal obstacles to the third parties having the highest strategic management positions, there is an understanding that third parties cannot have the Head of Mission position, or some really strategic position in the mission.”335

Influencing the planning and strategy of CSDP missions and operations

168.Mr Lapsley said that the “essential difference” between the experience of Member States and third parties with respect to CSDP missions was that the latter “are not part of the political decision-making chain”.336 Dr Duke related this to the underlying point of principle, that “third state contributions are without prejudice to the decision-making autonomy of the Union”337—as set out in Box 7.

169.This means that third countries cannot participate in the principal planning stages for new missions and operations, which were described in Chapter 2: they are excluded from drafting the Concept of Operations or the Operation Plan,338 as they are not included in the formations which plan CSDP missions, and also from the PSC, the Politico-Military Group, the Civilian Committee, the EU Military Committee, the EU Military Staff and the Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability Directorate.339

170.Mr Vimont summarised the position as follows:

“When there are third country partners in a military or civilian operation, they usually come in at the end of the decision-making process … We have what we call a decision-shaping process. They come and give their opinion and we exchange ideas, but at the end of the day they leave the room and the EU 28—to date—are left on their own and work on their own. Not being there is of course a bit of a problem.”340

171.Major General Stickland concurred: “Fundamentally the regulation for third party states is that you drop into the organisation and get on with the plan. You cannot decide the levers and the nature of the Operation. You are just joining it.”341 The Global Europe Centre agreed that third country contributions were therefore made “under the terms already determined by the EU”, as a result of the EU’s “internal decision-making process”.342

172.Professor Menon drew our attention to Turkey’s experience. Prior to the establishment of the CSDP, Turkey had contributed to Western European Union crisis management operations.343 When these were replaced by CSDP missions and operations, it had been “absolutely appalled”344 at the role available to third countries, and felt “maltreated by the way European security co-operation [had] developed”. This example, Professor Menon said, demonstrated that the EU’s approach of “’You can join in once we have decided’” was “not a very attractive model”.345

Conclusions and recommendations

173.There is an established precedent for third country participation in CSDP missions and operations through the negotiation of bilateral agreements with the EU. Third countries are well integrated into the CSDP missions and operations in which they participate, and have some influence at an operational level.

174.Third countries have no formal role in decision-making or planning, and the Committee of the Contributors model—designed to facilitate consultations between the EU and contributing third countries—does not work well.


279 European Security and Defence College Handbook on CSDP, Third edition (18 May 2017), p 174: https://eeas.europa.eu/sites/eeas/files/handbook_on_csdp_-_3rd_edition_-_jochen_rehrl_federica_mogherini.pdf [accessed 30 April 2018]

280 Written evidence from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (BSD0014)

281 EEAS, ‘Military and civilian missions and operations—Overview of the current EU mission and operations’: https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/430/military-and-civilian-missions-and-operations_en [accessed 30 April 2018]

282 Written evidence from the Global Europe Centre (BSD0005)

283 Written evidence from Dr Simon Duke (BSD0001)

284 Ibid.

285 Written evidence from the Global Europe Centre (BSD0005)

286 Written evidence from Dr Simon Duke (BSD0001). Operation Artemis in the Democratic Republic of Congo was the first EU military operation in Africa. Brazil and South Africa participated. European Union Institute for Security Studies, CSDP: getting third states on board (March 2014), pp 1–3: https://www.iss.europa.eu/sites/default/files/EUISSFiles/Brief_6_CSDP_and_third_states.pdf [accessed 30 April 2018]

287 Written evidence from the Global Europe Centre (BSD0005)

288 Q 34 (General Sir Adrian Bradshaw)

289 Q 6 (Angus Lapsley)

290 Q 57 (Major General Charlie Stickland), Q 6 (Angus Lapsley) and Q 28 (General Sir Adrian Bradshaw). The other two major contributors are Hungary and Austria.

293 Turkish Embassy in Sarajevo, ‘Turkey-Bosnia and Herzegovina Bilateral Relations, 16.2.2018’: http://sarajevo.emb.mfa.gov.tr/Mission/ShowInfoNote/340627 [accessed 30 April 2018].

294 Written evidence from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (BSD0014)

295 Q 7 (Angus Lapsley)

297 Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ‘IV. Turkey’s International Security Initiatives and Contributions to NATO and EU Operations’: http://www.mfa.gov.tr/iv_-european-security-and-defence-identity_policy-_esdi_p_.en.mfa [accessed 30 April 2018]

298 Written evidence from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (BSD0014)

299 Written evidence from the Global Europe Centre (BSD0005)

301 Q 65.The US also runs its own rule of law operation in Kosovo.

302 Q 65 (Dr Filip Ejdus)

303 Q 65 (Dr An Jacobs)

305 Q 55. This is not displayed in Table 1, because the Republic of Korea’s contribution is not permanent, but rather four to six days per month.

306 Q 55 (Major General Charlie Stickland)

307 Written evidence from Brigadier General Gerald Aherne (BSD0011)

308 Written evidence from Dr Kseniya Oksamytna (BSD0009)

309 Written evidence from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (BSD0014)

310 Written evidence from Brigadier General Gerald Aherne (BSD0011)

311 Letter from the Rt Hon Sir Alan Duncan MP, Minister for Europe and the Americas, to Lord Boswell of Aynho, 27 October 2017: http://www.parliament.uk/documents/lords-committees/eu-external-affairs-subcommittee/cfsp-priorities-2017/171027-cfsp-letter.pdf [accessed 30 April 2018]. For example, Switzerland has signed individual PAs with the EU on participation in EUAM Ukraine and EUCAP Sahel Mali. EEAS, ‘Participation Agreement between the European Union and the Swiss Confederation on the participation of the Swiss Confederation in the European Union Advisory Mission for Civilian Security Sector Reform in Ukraine (EUAM Ukraine)’: http://ec.europa.eu/world/agreements/prepareCreateTreatiesWorkspace/treatiesGeneralData.do?step=0&redirect=true&treatyId=10902 [accessed 30 April 2018] and EEAS, ‘Participation Agreement between the European Union and the Swiss Confederation on the participation of the Swiss Confederation in the European Union CSDP mission in Mali (EUCAP Sahel Mali)’: http://ec.europa.eu/world/agreements/prepareCreateTreatiesWorkspace/treatiesGeneralData.do?step=0&redirect=true&treatyId=10903 [accessed 30 April 2018]. Major General Stickland additionally described two informal ways in which Operation Atalanta works with non-EU countries. We are not aware of there being such opportunities in relation to other CSDP missions or operations. First, some states, provide “associated support”. Their vessels are not formally Operation Atalanta-flagged, but if in the region of the mission, may “exchange information and, if necessary, react with that organisation if an incident was to occur.” He explained that this is a “quite a vexed issue”: “It adds a little value, but fundamentally those ships go where the individual nation wishes them to go, rather than as a core asset to an operation.” Q 46 Second, some states, such as China, work with Operation Atalanta in a way Major General Stickland described as “co-ordinated”. The mission acts as the co-ordinating authority to allocate ships to escort the World Food Programme, and can request third countries to support these vessels “under the auspices of the Atalanta footprint, but [with] no agreements.” Q 46

312 Written evidence from Major General Charlie Stickland OBE (BSD0010). These take the form of a bilateral agreement between the EU and the participating third country. They are usually dealt with under Article 37 (or Article 24) of the Treaty on European Union.

313 Global Europe described co-operation via FPAs as “loosely institutionalised” in comparison to NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. Written evidence from the Global Europe Centre (BSD0005). The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) is a multilateral forum for dialogue and consultation on political and security-related issues among Allies and partner countries (50 in total). North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), ‘Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council’: https://www.nato.int/cps/ic/natohq/topics_49276.htm [accessed 30 April 2018]

314 Q 6. The US has signed a FPA solely for civilian missions. The White House—President Barack Obama, ‘FACT SHEET: U.S.-EU Cooperation on Common Security and Defense Policy’: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2014/03/26/fact-sheet-us-eu-cooperation-common-security-and-defense-policy [accessed 30 April 2018]

315 Q 6 (Angus Lapsley)

316 Written evidence from Major General Charlie Stickland OBE (BSD0010) and Q 6

317 See Oxford Public International Law, ‘Status of Armed Forces on Foreign Territory Agreements (SOFA)’: http://opil.ouplaw.com/view/10.1093/law:epil/9780199231690/law-9780199231690-e410 [accessed 30 April 2018]

318 See also Q 10 (Angus Lapsley).

319 This is consistent with the principle that ‘costs lie where they fall’ for participating Member States. This is discussed in Chapter 2.

321 Political and Security Committee Decision (CFSP) 2015/1916 of 20 October 2015 on the establishment of the Committee of Contributors for the European Union CSDP mission in Mali (EUCAP Sahel Mali) (EUCAP Sahel Mali/3/2015), OJ L 280/28 (24 October 2015) and Political and Security Committee Decision EUTM Mali/2/2013 of 12 November 2013 on the establishment of the Committee of Contributors for the European Union military mission to contribute to the training of the Malian Armed Forces (EUTM Mali), OJ L 320/31 (30 November 2013) The terms of reference of Committees of the Contributors are set out in the 2002 document ‘Consultations and Modalities for the Contribution of non-EU States to EU civilian crisis management operations’ (for civilian missions) and the European Council Conclusions of Nice of 7, 8 and 9 December 2000 and those of Brussels of 24 and 25 October 2002 (military missions).

322 Q 6 (Angus Lapsley)

323 Political and Security Committee Decision (CFSP) 2015/1916 of 20 October 2015 on the establishment of the Committee of Contributors for the European Union CSDP mission in Mali (EUCAP Sahel Mali) (EUCAP Sahel Mali/3/2015), OJ L 280/28 (24 October 2015). This is standard wording across missions and operations.

324 Political and Security Committee Decision (CFSP) 2015/1916 of 20 October 2015 on the establishment of the Committee of Contributors for the European Union CSDP mission in Mali (EUCAP Sahel Mali) (EUCAP Sahel Mali/3/2015), OJ L 280/28 (24 October 2015) and Political and Security Committee Decision EUTM Mali/2/2013 of 12 November 2013 on the establishment of the Committee of Contributors for the European Union military mission to contribute to the training of the Malian Armed Forces (EUTM Mali), OJ L 320/31 (30 November 2013). This is standard wording across missions and operations.

325 Political and Security Committee Decision EUTM Mali/2/2013 of 12 November 2013 on the establishment of the Committee of Contributors for the European Union military mission to contribute to the training of the Malian Armed Forces (EUTM Mali), OJ L 320/31 (30 November 2013). This wording is standard across missions and operations.

332 Written evidence from SaferGlobe (BSD0007)

333 Written evidence from Dr Simon Duke (BSD0001), see also Q 89 (Pierre Vimont).

337 Written evidence from Dr Simon Duke (BSD0001)

338 Written evidence from SaferGlobe (BSD0007)

339 Written evidence from Dr Laura Chappell and Dr André Barrinha (BSD0004). See Chapter 2 for how CSDP missions and operations are established.

342 Written evidence from the Global Europe Centre (BSD0005)

343 The Western European Union ran a number of crisis management operations for example in Albania from 1997–2001. It ceased to exist as a Treaty-based International Organisation on 30 June 2011. Many WEU tasks and institutions were transferred to the CSDP. Western European Union, ‘Closure of WEU organs in Paris and Brussels’: http://www.weu.int/home.htm [accessed 30 April 2018] The development of the WEU is briefly discussed in Chapter 2.




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