9-11 changed this situation and provided a stimulus to sort out the quasi-stagnation status staged before this critical date. The post-September 11 period has been characterised by two trends. On the one hand, the perception of a growing American unilateralism, and on the other hand, the reactivation of the process of adaptation of European security structures, namely in NATO and the EU. The outcome of the merger of these two trends is a pile of papers and writings about the growing divide between both sides of the Atlantic, not only in factual issues but also in intangible values such as different threat perceptions and approaches to deal with the insecurity around us. With the focus of the transatlantic ties, this paper analyses NATO-EU relationship from different perspectives in order to deduce some trends that could be useful to manage difference.
In the analysis special attention has been paid to the many and important events occurred during 2002, to such an extent that they justify the lemma that serves as introduction to the present research. 2002 will be written on the chronology of the international relations system as the year of the second reading of the consequences of the tragic events on September 11. Moreover, as a culmination of 2002, the milestones of the NATO’s Prague Summit, and the Copenhagen European Council in the follow up of the course of action traced by the Seville European Council.
After introducing the ESDP, its main traits, its connections to the security and defence policy developed within NATO and its future, the paper analyses the current state of play of the NATO-EU relationship, with special reference to the recent NATO-EU declaration on ESDP and the challenges ahead. Next, the main body of the research looks into different factors and issues that bear influence on the NATO-EU relationship, from different points of view: historic, institutional, instrumental, financial and functional in order to get pieces of analytical information. But before proceeding to such an analysis, the paper introduces as a required starter the relationship between the United States and Europe, in particular, the EU, their difficulties and challenges. After establishing the premises of transatlantic relations, several ongoing developments are considered: the effect of enlargement on the general policy orientation on NATO-EU interaction, the play of US-Europe (EU), the future of ESDP, the shaping view of the new US national security strategy, the Russian perception of NATO-EU cooperation, the paradigms of conflict since the 90s and its impact on capabilities requirements together with levels of ambition, the defence spending trends, some functional cases for NATO-EU interaction (crisis management and fight against terrorism as major examples), a temporal analysis of the recent trends on NATO/WEU and NATO/EU interaction, etc. are only a representative sample of the issues analysed in the paper.
After scrutinising the NATO-EU relationship from the five different but complementary points of view above mentioned, the paper synthesises the results of the research and provides some pieces of evidence to answer a number of questions pertaining to the future of the NATO-EU cooperation and the influence of the transatlantic relationship: for instance, is possible a full-fledged NATO/EU interaction in security and defence? More generally speaking, are the post-Prague and the current European debate going to influence the NATO/EU relationship? Do the September 11 events ask for an updating of the premises of this relationship established three years ago? Will the US-Europe different perceptions influence this relationship? Are they going to emerge as organisations with a separate (and perhaps) diverging trajectory in the security and defence arena? Or they will emerge as organisations whose interaction is going to contribute to the reinforcement of a renewed transatlantic link? In the search of arguments to answer these questions, particular attention has been paid to provide a balanced and ample whole of references, as the different perspectives and aspects analysed are inter-related. In some cases, it has not been possible to provide a “scientific” answer, as it has only been possible to move at the guess level.
The aim of the research is to elaborate and develop on the NATO and EU relationship, its main issues, potential and its challenges and future, in particular in the light of recent events since September 11. The year 2002 will pass to international relations annals as the year of the new US National Strategy, the year of Russia’s full incorporation to the international community and the establishment of the NATO-Russia Council, the year of NATO transformation and second enlargement, the year of the EU Big Bang to Central and Eastern Europe, the first year of the European Convention on the future of Europe, the year of the EU declaration on the contribution of the European Security and Defence Policy to the fight against terrorism, and finally, the year of the EU-NATO Declaration on ESDP. The list could include additional events with impact in security and defence and in particular on the prospects for cooperation between the two organisations central to the European security. Instead of doing so, the list could be summarised in the following headline: “Year of the Second Reading of September 11”, and Prague, Seville and Copenhagen could be considered as markers of this second reading. Moreover, this is the focus adopted by the present research in an attempt to give answer to a number of questions pertaining to the NATO-EU relationship.
The current debate on the possible divide between both sides of the Atlantic because of a different approach to manage international relations (as expressed in short by the literature, North-American realist unilateralism vs. European idealist multilateralism), which in turn is reflected on differences on a number of strategic questions (missile defence, environment, trade disputes, International Criminal Court, etc.). Consideration of this debate is a required backgrounder to get the whole picture of the NATO-EU relationship. A number of questions will raise, such as now that we have an EU-NATO agreement on ESDP, after 3 years in waiting, is possible a full-fledged NATO/EU interaction in security and defence? More generally speaking, do the Prague Summit and the current European debate influence the NATO/EU relationship? Do the September 11 events ask for an update of the premises of this relationship established three years ago? Do the US-Europe different perceptions will influence this relationship? Are they going to emerge as organisations with a separate (and perhaps) diverging trajectory in the security and defence arena? Or they will emerge as organisations whose interaction is going to contribute to the reinforcement of a renewed transatlantic link?
Following a methodological approach, the present research will try to give answer to these questions. As for the methodology, an analysis-synthesis approach has been selected, including the analysis from five different perspectives: historic, institutional, instrumental, economic and functional. The research consists of three main sections. In the first Section, the EU’s European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) is presented, together with its connections to the defence and security policy within NATO and the challenges ahead, in particular in the light of the recent decisions in the NATO Prague Summit and the Seville and Copenhagen European Councils. The second Section includes the main body of the research, organised in four sub-sections dealing each with a particular focus on the NATO/EU relationship. After introducing the background of the transatlantic link and relations between Europe and United States, the analysis introduces a brief historic perspective of the relation between NATO and the former operational arm of the European defence, the Western European Union (WEU). Although no relevant any longer, this relationship will provide some useful hints that will contribute to explain the present and future state of play of the NATO/EU relationship. Then an institutional perspective will be introduced, to take into account the enlargement processes of both NATO and the EU, as well as the influence of two key players of the European scene: the United States and Russia. An instrumental perspective will continue, with the focus on the capabilities development and its financial implications, a key issue at the nucleus of the NATO/EU relationship. The analysis is closed with a functional perspective, examining the potential for cooperation between both organizations and including two specific fields: crisis management and the fight against terrorism. Building on the analytical section, the research goes on with a synthesis of the outcomes of the different but complementary analysis, providing some prospects on the NATO/EU relationship and it is concluded with some closing remarks.
Note on the use of the terms Europe or European (countries):
During the research it has been found that the media, the security and defence literature and even senior national and international officials proliferate in the use of the noun Europe or the qualifier European, which depending on the context may refer to a different reality. When Americans or Europeans refer to “Europe” or “European” countries, several different meanings are possible, depending on the context: the continent as a geographic space, countries in NATO or the EU or even both. On rare occasions, the whole is confused with the parts, by generalising the expression “European countries” to a reduced number of European countries, characterised by some common feature or position.
The Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) was established by virtue of the Maastricht Treaty (1991), as amended by the Amsterdam Treaty (1997), to enable the Union to exercise its influence on the security and foreign affairs arena. This cooperation framework is known as EU “second pillar”. The article 11 of the Treaty defines the objectives of this CFSP. The basic tools of the new policy are the European Council “general orientations” and “common strategies”, “common positions” and “joint actions”, all them designed to increase the Union’s influence in shaping the security environment. Not having an operational capability, from the outset the EU entrusted the Western European Union (WEU) the support to the Union in framing the defence aspects of the CFSP. In response to the EU request, the WEU defined the new crisis management missions, which would be known since then as “Petersberg missions”, and engaged in an operational development to be able at that time to launch and conduct the new missions. This legal framework ruled WEU-EU relations during the 90s and ended “informally” by virtue of the Amsterdam Treaty, which included in its text the Petersberg tasks (Art. 17). The incorporation of these tasks into the Treaty of the European Union (TEU) deprived the WEU of its raison d’être, and this organisation entered on a quasi-dormant status in November 2000.
The European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) does not appear with this denomination in the TEU. In Art. 17, the Treaty refers to the CFSP as including the “progressive framing of a common defence policy, …, which might lead to a common defence…”. Following the Schumann’s paradigm, it seems that the ESDP would be designed as a little step, a concrete achievement on the way forward. The ratification process of the Amsterdam Treaty took two years (1997-98) and during that time, EU countries did not agreed on the practical implementation of the transfer of crisis management tasks from the WEU to the EU. Paved the way by the Joint UK-FR Declaration of St. Malo on December 1998, ESDP was introduced in the Cologne European Council, in June 99, one month after the entry onto force of the Amsterdam Treaty, with the aim of strengthening the CFSP by providing the military capabilities and political structures that would allow the EU the management of its security and defence interests.
By examining the TEU and the Presidency Conclusions of the European Council, a number of guiding principles of the ESDP and its relation with NATO can be deduced. The first principle is the intergovernmental character of the subject matter, therefore the rule of consensus applies. In addition, given the sovereignty-core nature of the issue, this intergovernmental driver has been allocated at the highest level, the European Council. Heads of State and Government collective decisions are the engine of the ESDP development: they defined the Helsinki Headline Goal (HHG), a deployable corps-sized force, and they provide orientations for its development and operational status.
The second principle is the speciality of the tasks (the “Petersberg missions”) and the means (the HHG established by the Helsinki European Council). One corollary derived from this principle is that the ESDP does not include collective defence missions. Furthermore, the CFSP/ESDP “shall not prejudice the specific character of the security and defence policy of certain Member States and shall respect the obligations of certain Member States, which see their common defence realised in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), under the North Atlantic Treaty and be compatible with the common security and defence policy established within that framework” (Art. 17 TEU). This principle implies a certain degree of conceptual tension between EU Petersberg tasks and non-Article 5 crisis response operations (CRO) conducted by the Alliance in support of the broader objective of reinforcing and extending stability (paragraph 31, NATO Strategic Concept). Although with a different political origin, in practice they overlap to a certain extent and have similar planning. Another interesting point derived from this principle is that Petersberg tasks are not limited by geographical boundaries. Although the logic purpose of ESDP is to contribute to security in Europe and periphery, neither the Treaty nor the Conclusions of the European Council set any geographic limit on the Union's action. This ESDP feature could have been an obstacle in the past for the full NATO/EU cooperation through the NATO support to a EU-led operation conducted “out of area” in the NATO meaning. Until Prague, there has been no real opportunity to challenge this assumption. After the turning point of Prague, the obstacle has vanished as far as the philosophical discussion on the “out of area” issue is no longer relevant in NATO.
The counter-balancing effect to compensate the conceptual tension above mentioned is introduced by the third principle, the complementarity of the ESDP with regard the security and defence policy developed within the Alliance, as stated in texts of both organisations agreed by Member States of each organisation: paragraph 9.a of the Final Communiqué of the 1999 Washington Summit and the paragraph 27 of the Presidency Conclusions of the Helsinki European Council. The expression “where NATO as a whole is not engaged” alleviates the tension, but some ambiguity remains.
Finally, last but not least, this complementarity does not impede the play of the fourth principle, the autonomy of the ESDP in relation to the security and defence policy developed within NATO. From a EU internal point of view, autonomy relates to the condition for a EU ESDP action decided and conducted independently, in accordance with the procedures of the EU decision taking process. From a EU external point of view, autonomy relates to the condition for a EU ESDP action “where the Alliance as a whole is not engaged”. As mentioned above, this formula has been accepted by both organisations and was the result of the compromise leading to the Saint-Malo declaration between France and the United Kingdom. This formula establishes a single pre-condition for EU ESDP action -namely, no decision nor previous action by NATO- and does not imply a EU “subordination” or subsidiary to NATO nor sets up a race between both organisations to be the first to react. Typically, the picture in a given crisis situation would be a transparent exchange of views and information between both organisations, a NATO discussion not leading to a NATO action decision and a EU discussion leading to an EU action decision. In the most of the cases, given the complexity and interdependence of today’s crisis situations, the political exchanges between both organisations would be channelled through joint NATO/EU Councils to that purpose. Other possibility, which today is already a reality, is the relief by the EU to a NATO operation (for example, Allied Harmony in FYROM).
At present, the EU is working at fast pace to develop the ESDP and to fulfil the Helsinki European Council mandate to have it operational by 2003. Once the EU HQ in Brussels has been provided with permanent bodies dealing with the CFSP/ESDP issues, the task is now concentrated on the development of the military and civilian capabilities required for Petersberg missions. During the Spanish Presidency (first semester 2002) was set up the European Capabilities Action Plan (ECAP) approved during the previous Belgian Presidency. The general aim of this Action Plan agreed at the Capability Improvement Conference (CIC) on 19 November 2001 is to remedy the capability shortfalls identified, mainly in the field of command, control and communications, strategic intelligence and the surveillance and protection of troops in the field, strategic transport by air and sea and effective engagement capacity. Based on national decisions, the Plan will contribute to achieve the goals set by the European Council in Helsinki. As for civilian capabilities, different callings to EU countries have allowed to fulfil capability objectives in the areas of police, rule of law, civil protection and civilian administration.
As a previous step to the full operational status in 2003, the Laeken European Council announced in December 2001, “the EU is now able to conduct some crisis management operations. The Union will be in a position to take on progressively more demanding operations, as the assets and capabilities at its disposal continue to develop”. In the follow-on of this Declaration, the Barcelona and Seville European Councils declared the readiness to assume what would be the two first ESDP operations: the assumption by the EU of Police Mission to follow the IPTF in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the readiness to relief NATO in the Operation Amber Fox in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).
Other important progress with influence on ESDP is the positive outcome of the Irish referendum held in October 2002, last obstacle to the approval of the Nice Treaty. After the completion of the ratification procedure, the Treaty has entered into force on 1st February 2003. The Treaty of Nice introduces the possibility of establishing enhanced cooperation within the CFSP, for the implementation of joint actions or common positions, although this enhanced cooperation cannot be used for issues which have military implications or which affect defence matters. Concerning the ESDP, the Nice Treaty includes the formal removal from Art. 17 TEU of the provisions defining the relations between the EU and the WEU. In addition, the Political and Security Committee (PSC) may be authorised by the Council, in order to manage a crisis, and for the duration of that crisis, to take itself the appropriate decisions under the second pillar in order to ensure the political control and strategic leadership of a crisis management operation.
Since its launching in Laeken, the EU is conducting the debate on the future of Europe. Although the initial mandate was to draw up a final “document” which would comprise different options, work has been directed to the drawing of a draft constitutional treaty, whose first draft has been presented on 28 October 2002. Together with the outcome of national debates on the future of the Union, the draft will provide a starting point for discussions in the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC 2004), the intergovernmental body in charge of taking the ultimate decisions.
In Laeken, the European Head of State and Governments already illustrated a number of questions, open, to be addressed. In the field of CFSP, for example, the possible development of a more coherent CFSP/ESDP or the update of the Petersberg tasks to take into account the new threat of terrorism were included. Other questions mentioned will have impact the these policies, as the European Council itself was very concerned on how to ensure that a redefined division of competence does not lead to a expansion of the competence of the Union or to encroachment upon the exclusive areas of competence of the Member States.
At the moment of closing this research, a number of proposals had been tabled in the Working Group on Defence within the European Convention. The Group has drafted a final report that will be used in subsequent work. The debate within the European Convention will close in June 2003, when the final draft of the European Constitution will be transmitted to the European Council and subsequently handled to the IGC 04. Within the margin of error inherent to a guess, it seems that ESDP will move towards a defence policy based on a “reinforced intergovernmental cooperation”, maintaining the intergovernmental approach associated with defence issues. While respecting the traditional neutral positioning of a number of countries, this orientation would allow EU action based on the concept of reinforced cooperation already in use in other EU policies. This approach, together with the constructive abstention in place, would be the basis for EU external action. In the decision-making process, consensus would evolve towards assent or consent, although it is likely that Member States will retain the possibility to call the consensus in case of a national interest particularly concerned. In its implementation in a specific operation, this reinforced cooperation would be close to the coalition concept. As for the NATO-EU relationship, this evolution would favour the relationship between both organisations because they will follow the same intergovernmental pattern.
The relationship between NATO and the EU is framed by the decisions of the Atlantic Alliance adopted in the Washington Summit in 1999 and the decisions of the EU adopted in the Nice European Council in 2000. In the Washington Summit, the Alliance welcomed the new impetus given by the Amsterdam Treaty to the strengthening of the CFSP and the ESDP, and stated its readiness to define and adopt the necessary arrangements for the ready access by the EU to the collective assets and capabilities of the Alliance. Building on the Berlin decisions taken in 1996, these arrangements would include the EU assured access to NATO planning capabilities, the presumption of availability to the EU of pre-identified NATO capabilities and common assets, the identification of European command options for EU-led operations, including the development of the role of DSACEUR and the adaptation of the NATO Defence Planning to take into account the availability of forces for EU-led operations. This new package would be known as “Berlin+”: “Berlin” stands for the line of continuity of the new decisions in relation to the Berlin package approved in 1996; and the “+” stands for the readiness of the Alliance to adopt new measures to improve and enhance the original Berlin package, considered as insufficient by some European allies.
On the EU side, the Nice European Council gave answer to this offer of the Atlantic Alliance, by the adoption of the EU’s view on permanent arrangements for NATO/EU consultation and cooperation, and the principles of this relation. In brief, these guiding principles are autonomy of EU decision-making, shared values, equality and spirit of partnership, mutual reinforcement in the field of capabilities, no direct translation of NATO/WEU arrangements into the NATO/EU framework and no discrimination against any of the Member States of NATO or the EU. On this basis, consultation and cooperation have been established between the two organisations on questions of common interest relating to security, defence and crisis management, so that crises can be met with the most appropriate military response and effective crisis management ensured. In addition, the Nice European Council adopted the EU’s view on the Berlin+, in three particular fields: the Guaranteed access to NATO's planning capabilities, the Presumption of availability of pre-identified assets and capabilities, and the Identification of command options made available to the EU.
The first meeting of the NAC and the PSC at Ambassador level under the new permanent NATO-EU consultation arrangements took place on February 2001. Since then, the work on two main subjects, the way ahead for the NATO-EU relations and the contribution of both organisations to the management of the crisis in Western Balkans have advanced at a different path. While the practical cooperation in Western Balkans has been good, in some cases excellent, with real and effective teamwork in the field, the progress on the permanent institutional arrangements, in particular Berlin+, has been sluggish and an agreement has only been possible after three years of negotiation and under the added catalysing influence of S11 events. Along this time, the interaction between the negotiation of NATO-EU arrangements, in particular Berlin+, and the negotiation of arrangements for non-EU European Allies participation on ESDP has caused a delay of progress. The events of September 11 were an important stimulus and for the first time, during the EU Spanish Presidency were held joint meetings of the Policy Coordination Group and the Politico-Military Group. In addition, for the first time, the NATO Secretary General attended the informal meeting of EU Defence Ministers (Zaragoza, March 2002).
Finally, the comprehensive agreement with NATO on all outstanding permanent arrangements between the EU and NATO has been possible in the margins of the Copenhagen European Council, clearing the way to start formal military cooperation between both organisations, including Berlin+ and a Security Agreement to enable the information and documentation exchanges between both organisations. The EU-NATO agreement has been possible thanks to the new approach adopted by the parties concerned. After the Turkish elections, the new Ankara authorities reacted positively to the agreement reached in the Brussels European Council on 22-23 October on the participation in ESDP of non-EU NATO Allies. Before the NATO Prague Summit and the Copenhagen European Council, attempts were made to approach positions, but the issue was gaining in complexity, as new factors were added, such as the interest of Turkey in having fixed a date for starting adhesion negotiations to the EU, and the final push to solve the Cyprus question before the formal invitation by the European Council.
The EU-NATO declaration addresses the two main issues pending of common agreement: The EU’s ensuring the fullest possible involvement of non-EU European members of NATO within ESDP, and NATO commitment to support ESDP in accordance with the relevant Washington Summit decisions, inter alia and in particular, giving the EU assured access to NATO planning capabilities. In addition, both organisations recognise the need for arrangements to bridge the tools for capabilities development (mainly the Capabilities Development Mechanism (CDM) in the EU and the Defence Planning Process in NATO) to ensure the open, coherent, transparent and mutually reinforcing development of the capability requirements common to both organisations.
With the new agreement establishing the Strategic Partnership between both organisations, it is time now to provide it with substance. In the words of NATO Secretary General, “we now have a real opportunity to develop this relationship across a wide spectrum of activities”. Nothing would have a more negative impact than if, after three years of failure, both organisations would not fully develop this new strategic partnership. As mentioned in Section 1, the Barcelona European Council expressed the Union’s availability to take responsibility for an operation to follow NATO in FYROM, on the understanding that the permanent arrangements on EU-NATO cooperation ("Berlin+") would be in place by then. The EU-NATO Declaration on ESDP on 16 December 2002 clears the way for a EU-led operation with NATO support, fulfilling the wish expressed in several occasions by the Secretary General of the EU Council and HR for the CFSP to launch a military operation before the enlargement. The experience gained in FYROM will be very useful to the EU, as the Copenhagen European Council also indicated the European interest to continue assuming more responsibility in the Western Balkans with the EU willingness to lead a military operation in Bosnia-Herzegovina following SFOR.
These concrete forms of NATO-EU cooperation will be test cases for future developments. According to some analysis, after Prague, NATO is at the crossroads of becoming a security and political organisation, provider of capabilities for “others” to act, or continue to be a security organisation engaged itself in military action. NATO-EU relationship and cooperation is a major challenge in either option. As Prague has been the case for NATO transformation and enlargement, the IGC 04 will be a conference marked by the historic turn of September 11 in the field of CFSP/ESDP of an enlarged EU. In the same way than the EU as a whole expressed and engaged its solidarity with very valuable support after the dramatic attacks, now the EU will try to keep NATO’s pace in order to be a reliable partner in the new strategic partnership between both organisations.
In this research, NATO/EU relationship is included in a wider frame, the relationship between the US and Europe, more precisely, the EU. In turn, the US-EU relationship has to be considered in the light of the dynamics and growing complexity of the present international scenario, increasingly intricate and interdependent, in a globalised world ruled by strong uni-multipolar trends, but at the same time, ruled by the old Westphalian state system. In this global context, the US and the EU are the largest economies in the world and account together for about half the entire world economy. The EU and the US have also the biggest bilateral trading and investment relationship. Transatlantic flows of trade and investment amount to around $1 billion a day, and the joint global trade accounts for almost 40% of world trade. By working together, the US and the EU can promote their common goals and interests in the world much more effectively.
The most recent items of EU-US relations are the Transatlantic Declaration (1990), the New Transatlantic Agenda (1995) and the Transatlantic Economic Partnership (1998). The Transatlantic Declaration lays down the principles for greater EU-US cooperation and consultation in the fields of economy, education, science and culture and trans-national challenges, and set up biannual summits and ministerial meetings, ad hoc Troika/Presidency meetings with the Secretary of State and briefings on foreign security policy. The New Transatlantic Agenda (NTA) and the EU-US Joint Action Plan provide a framework for EU-US partnership and cooperation across a wide range of activities under four broad chapters: promoting peace and stability, democracy, and development around the world, responding to global changes, contributing to the expansion of world trade and fostering closer ties and building bridges across the Atlantic. The Transatlantic Economic Partnership (TEP) is a follow on of the NTA, including multilateral and bilateral elements to address technical barriers to trade and stimulate further multilateral liberalization by joining forces on international trade issues. An innovative aspect of the proposal is to integrate labour, business, environmental and consumer issues into the process.
Since World War II, the US is an integral actor in all spheres of European affairs, the Marshal Plan and NATO creation being primary examples. It has worked with her Allies to transform NATO, enlarge to East and Central European countries and engage Russia. After September 11, the US considers the EU as one of the centres of global power with which the US has to develop an active agenda for cooperation. In the economic arena, the EU’s first pillar, both the US and the EU are partners in opening the world trade and both are committed in this field by enforceable international agreements.
Against this positive background, now is turn to deal with the differences, which certainly have recently grown in number to the extent that more than one analyst have predicted looming prospects for transatlantic divide. Differences between the US and Europe have always existed. Since the creation of the Transatlantic Alliance in 1949, differences have emerged regularly: To start with, the US negative to include an automatic defence guarantee in the Washington Treaty, or US suspicion to the European integration in the fifties, or the adoption of the strategy of flexible response in the sixties, or American calling for burden-sharing in the seventies, or the Strategic Defence Initiative and euro-missiles in the eighties, etc. Someone could argue that now the number of disputes is increasing (environment, International Criminal Court (ICC), trade disputes, missile defence, etc.). Taking into account the growing volume and interdependence of the transatlantic relationship, one could contra-argue that the growing number of disputes is a normal development. The difference now is that there is no “magnet” to polarise the attention of the transatlantic community towards common goals and counterbalancing differences. During the Cold War, the magnet was a very definite threat, the Soviet threat. But the present lack of visible reference is only apparent, because even those who see a transatlantic divide recognise the existence of a magnet, although now it is no material, but immaterial and subtler: a community of shared values, which has endured two world wars, has prevent the third one from being declared and now is challenged by the different perceptions on how to deal new and elusive threats, the terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The emergence of the EU as a European actor with global projection is changing the transatlantic relationship. In 1949, Europe assumed its weakness, vulnerability and the need of a non-European leadership. Now, more than fifty years after, Europe is not weak, with an emerging European project, is less vulnerable, as the Soviet threat has disappeared, and continues to accept a non-European leadership, as reflected by the US commitment to Europe, but not in an unconditional way, as Europe wants to have a voice. As a whole, all these qualitative changes are reasons for suggesting that a renewing of the transatlantic relationship is taking place, which in turn will bear influence on the NATO-EU relationship.
The US-Europe (and EU could be added) relationship in security and defence is channelled through NATO, considered by the US as the fulcrum of transatlantic and inter-European security, while the relationship in other fields is developed face-to-face US-EU. In other words, there are two different approaches for US-Europe relations, through NATO or directly vis-à-vis. Problems and differences might arise more evident in issues in the “grey zone”, that is, issues which overlap the defence, security, economic and political arena, such as the Galileo project in the EU or the differences on the ICC, rejection by the US of the Kyoto Protocol, ABM Treaty, etc. The limitations of this model have lead to some analysts to suggest some forms to renew the transatlantic bargain in a more formal way, including legal instruments such as a treaty.
The immediate antecedent of the NATO/EU relationship was their indirect relation via the WEU. During the 90s, the WEU was the interface between NATO and the EU, which had no defence dimension. In short, the framework established by virtue of the Treaty of Maastricht on the one hand, and the NAC Communiqué of Berlin (1996) on the other hand can be described as follows: in 1992, the EU asked the WEU to be its operational arm, and from 1996, the WEU could ask for NATO support to accomplish its missions. This framework did not provide therefore direct NATO-EU relationship. On the other hand, the first examples of operational cooperation between NATO and European capabilities can be found at that time, such as the Geographical Information System (GIS) support provided by the WEU Satellite Centre (today an EU CFSP Agency) to NATO operations in Western Balkans.
According to Berlin 96 decisions to develop the European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI) within NATO, NATO support to the WEU was based on the appropriate military planning to create militarily coherent and effective forces capable of operating under the political control and strategic direction of the WEU, through theidentification, within the Alliance, of the types of separable but not separate capabilities, assets and support assets, as well as, in order to prepare for WEU-led operations, separable but not separate HQs, HQ elements and command positions, which could be made available, subject to decision by the NAC, and the elaboration of appropriate multinational European command arrangements within NATO, able to prepare, support, command and conduct the WEU-led operations. Further, the Alliance supported the development of the ESDI within NATO by conducting at the request of and in coordination with the WEU, military planning and exercises for illustrative WEU missions identified by the WEU, and, in case of an operation, the NAC would approve the release of NATO assets and capabilities for WEU-led operations, keep itself informed on their use through monitoring with the advice of the NATO Military Authorities and through regular consultations with the WEU Council, and keep their use under review. In addition, in the Brussels Summit on 1994 it was also launched the CJTF concept, designed i.a. to contribute to the ESDI and allow the incorporation of external contribution to NATO operations.
From the very beginning, this scheme of work did not satisfy to some European Allies, arguing that these arrangements let a small margin of manoeuvre for the WEU, which in real terms was obliged to “subcontract” to NATO. Therefore, it is no surprise that the relation between NATO and the EU through the WEU never worked effectively, neither in theory nor in practice. It did not work in the theory, because of the different conceptions of the term “European security and defence identity” (ESDI). Neither did the triangle NATO/WEU/EU work in practice, due to intricate institutional arrangements, and foremost, due to the lack of political will of WEU Member States to engage this organisation in an operation.
With the transfer of the crisis management tasks from the WEU to the EU, the European identity in the WEU has been replaced by the ESDP in the EU, including the different conception of the European “identity” in relation to NATO. It is likely that the tension between the two different conceptions of ESDP/ESDI within NATO will continue to be present, as it is echoed from time to time in the media. However, it should be considered as the image of the mutual dependence of both organisations, rather than as a drift of the NATO/EU relationship. In practical terms, the negotiation of the detailed NATO/EU arrangements will likely be very influenced by these different ways to understand the ESDP.
Regarding the dialectic between Greece and Turkey, in the NATO/WEU context it had a low profile, since Turkey’s Associate Member status allowed a quasi-full participation in WEU affairs, particularly in the field of WEU operations, in which Associate Members could participate on equal footing than full Members, on the only condition of force engagement. In other words, WEU Associate Members were granted the participation in the operation decision-making. In 2000 the EU adopted the Nice arrangements, which did not recognise to non-EU European Allies the equivalent status as in the WEU. With the WEU’s advantageous precedent in mind, it was no surprise that this offer were immediately considered by Turkey as insufficient, since it was notoffered participation in decision-making. As mentioned in Section 2, the recent EU-NATO Declaration on ESDP represents a step forward in overcoming these difficulties.
The analysis in this Section is based on the hypothesis that security and defence policies both in NATO and the EU will continue within intergovernmental parameters. Being self-explanatory in the case of NATO, in the case of EU ESDP it would be necessary to emphasize that renewing the intergovernmental design of ESDP is the likely security and defence outcome of the ongoing debate on the future of Europe.
Coming from intergovernmental grounds, the next question to address is the differential membership and policy orientations concerning NATO-EU relationship in both organisations. NATO and EU are organisations different in many aspects, and one of the most visible dissimilarity is the differential membership. To help the reader to follow the analysis, Annex 1 includes a Membership Table, updated to the recent decisions on enlargement. Column 1 includes the American Allies, Column 2 includes the common membership cluster, Column 3 includes the differential membership, divided into two sub-clusters (Column 3 for non-NATO countries and Column 4 for non-EU countries). Countries in italics stand for future membership. On the EU side, the Table has been drafted in relation to participation in ESDP defence matters. For this reason, Denmark is included in both Columns 2 and 4. The reader can appreciate the complexity of this issue just noting the number and variety of comments on the Column remarks.
First, the block of common membership is going to increase dramatically by 2004, almost twice, from 10 to 18, and to 20 and more after 2007. This increase will lead to a consolidation of the European pillar/component of the Alliance and will certainly have some impact on the Euro-Atlantic concept of security and defence. This effect could be summarised as a convergence within both organisations: a greater Europeanisation in the Alliance and a greater Atlanticism in the EU. Second, the block of EU non-NATO countries (neutral or non-militarily aligned countries) will continue to be roughly the same. Members of PfP and EAPC in NATO, these countries do not oppose the NATO-EU relationship and it is likely their support for a greater interaction as far as the relation between both organisations does not embrace collective defence commitments. Third, the block of NATO non-EU countries will tend to diminish in the mid- and long-term. Turkey continues in her roadmap to membership. The particular geographic position of Iceland, far away from mainland Europe and vital during the Cold War, will continue to bear influence on this country approach to the EU. The case of Norway is different, as this Nordic country is physically attached to the continent and continues to be formally absent of the EU. Keeping this position will imply a sort of “island” in the European “ocean”. In addition to the significant impact on their national policies, an important psychological factor is to be considered, the “empty chairs” effect, by seeing new EU members sitting around the table no longer as invitees, but as full members. It cannot be excluded that this psychological factor will bear a significant pressure on the country leadership, perhaps with a public opinion seeing the country as a kind of “last fossil” of the Cold War.
After this cluster analysis, is now turn to consider national policy orientations concerning the NATO/EU relationship within each membership cluster. The first remark is that the inclusion in one or another cluster does not preclude the existence of different national perceptions between countries within the same cluster. Unfortunately, this is the rule. However, for the sake of simplicity and with no loss of rigour, the research focuses on the general policy orientations, where general trends concerning the national visions on NATO/EU relationship may be deduced.
As mentioned in Section 3.1, general policy orientations concerning the NATO-EU relationship move between two different poles or conceptions. The first conception consist basically in desiring an ESDP/ESDI “within” NATO, separable but not separate from the Alliance, which supports the European countries efforts to get more capabilities and drawing mainly on NATO's military assets. The second conception consists in desiring an ESDP “within” the EU, with capabilities to act autonomously, drawing when necessary on NATO support and assets. National perceptions of the NATO/EU relationship move between these two “extreme” conceptions and specific positioning will depend on national traditions and policies. As mentioned in Section 1, a common feature is that ESDP will act only “where NATO as a whole is not engaged” according to the language agreed by both organisations.
Looking to the future, the question is whether NATO and EU enlargements are going to reduce the stress and friction between these two different conceptions. In other words, will the enlargements smooth the NATO/EU relationship, allowing the emergence of a common understanding? Or the enlargements will increase the number of different views and the entrenchment in national positions, hindering the emergence of such a common understanding? Looking at the strong core of common membership that is going to emerge, the more likely answer is a beneficial influence. The synergy of 18(+) countries included in the common membership cluster will pave the way to solve differences on this question. Although unanimity rules both organisations, minority/unitary positions will more exposed at general criticism and pressure coming from the rest of the members willing to arrive to a consensus. On the other hand, enlargement of both organisations will not increase the existing “friction” between the two different conceptions of security and defence, as they new members may be roughly included into the present spectrum. The new comers constitute in this sense a relatively homogeneous block, well familiarised with both organisations procedures due to the different pre-adhesion mechanisms (PfP, MAP in NATO; Accession Negotiations, dialogue and cooperation in ESDP in EU+15 and EU+6 formats). As far as NATO and EU enlargements reduce the differential membership, the words of the NATO Secretary General will likely come into reality: “And profound NATO-EU coordination in promoting European security will be natural, even an imperative, as common membership in both organisations becomes the norm”.
The next question coming out of hand is how do the enlargements are going to influence the decision-making process in both organisations. Enlargement will create internal management problems both in NATO and the EU and perhaps lengthy discussions will be needed to arrive to a consensus, but according to the previous paragraphs, the enlargement should not be an obstacle for decisions. In order not to dilute the enlargement strategic gain with a functional loss, both organisations should take advantage of the enlargement convergence for wider cooperation. In NATO, the presence of a Member with a leading role helps to integrate the political wills and get a consensus. In the EU, in the absence of a member with a leading role and with a more complex balance of power and influence within the Council, the decision-making foundation rests in the European Council, where the guidelines and strategies are defined.
The Clinton administration’s policy towards ESDP was marked by three major concerns, which Secretary of State Madeleine Albright described as “the three Ds”: No duplication of NATO assets, no discrimination against non-EU NATO members and no actions that would decouple the US from Europe. In essence, an ESDP within NATO, separable but not separate from the Alliance, and drawing mainly on NATO's military assets. This approach continues to shape present US Administration thinking towards European defence policy. Complementary to that, the NATO Secretary General formulated a less negative enumeration, the “three I”s (i.e., the improvement of European capabilities, the indivisibility of the transatlantic link and the inclusiveness of all allies in Europe’s defence policy).
The US position regarding the development of a defence dimension in the EU has to be considered taking into account the importance of the relationship between the US and Europe. “Nowhere are the interests in the United States more fully advanced than through our European partnership, our relations with Russia and our goals in the Balkans, the Caucasus and in the eastern Mediterranean”. In the US, Europe’s response and cooperation after the September 11 terrorist attack on the US was qualified as excellent. Nevertheless, the Introduction of Section 3 shows that despite this cooperation and good relations, there are problems and challenges. All relationships have their rough moments, and the transatlantic alliance is no different. Recent European criticisms of the Bush Administration’s policy approaches have resurrected comments that the relationship is strained, fraying or even falling apart.
After September 11, the US continue to support a ESDP that strengthens NATO, not diverging nor independent of NATO while increasing the EU’s ability to act where NATO as a whole is not engaged. This is the idea reflected on the new US National Security Strategy, Chapter VIII: “… we welcome our European allies’ efforts to forge a greater foreign policy and defence identity with the EU, and commit ourselves to close consultations to ensure that these developments work with NATO”. One interesting point included in the new US Strategy is the vision on the role of NATO and the EU. Chapter VIII provides with some clues. After declaring that “America will implement its strategies by organizing coalitions -as broad as practicable- of states able and willing to promote a balance of power that favours freedom”, it is added that “Europe is also the seat of two of the strongest and most able international institutions in the world: the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), …, and the European Union (EU), …”. These two sentences seem to enclose some contradiction: on the one hand, from the first statement it could be deduced that the approach of ad hoc arrangements is privileged; but on the other hand, from the second statement it could be deduced just the opposite idea in favour of permanent arrangements. However, from an analysis in depth of the New Strategy it can be deduced that there is no such a contradiction. In fact, both permanent and ad hoc arrangements are complementary tools in the new American strategy. The underlying ideas are first, that ad hoc arrangements will not be constituted if a permanent arrangement can deal with the mission, and second, the ad hoc arrangements will be constituted and will run based on the benefits provided by permanent arrangements. The immediate example is Afghanistan, where American and Europeans are conducting operations on an ad hoc basis, but only because they are able to operate together thanks to the common understanding, procedures and doctrines worked within NATO. In addition, under the point of view of a global actor, the recourse to ad hoc arrangements may be indicated in areas where permanent arrangements cannot be used or do not exist. Such an option does not give grounds to say that permanent arrangements are useless and much less that they are death. Just the opposite, as ad hoc arrangements might help the US to win wars, however they are unlikely to provide to win the peace in many situations, as this task requires long endurance, which can only be provided through military and non-military assistance coming from permanent arrangements as NATO or the EU.
After September 11, the main Russian interest vis-à-vis the European security is NATO and having the opportunity to shape NATO decisions on issues that might affect Russian interests. The new tool put in place last May, the NATO Russia Council (NRC), is intended to this purpose. On the other hand, Europe is the main economic partner of Russia and this is reflected on the heavy agendas of the EU-Russia Summits, which include security and foreign policy issues. At the May 2000 EU-Summit, President Putin signalled the Russia’s interest in security and defence cooperation with the EU, conditioned to the EU operation to be subject to a UN mandate. In this way, Russia support to the EU would be included in her foreign policy objective of promoting a greater multilateralism in international relations, and in addition, the P5 seat in the Security Council would provide Russia with some political leverage in a EU ESDP operation. With the exception of some flashes, such as a document for the participation of Russia in the EU crisis management operations approved during the EU Spanish Presidency, the Russian agenda continue to be full with items more urgent (Afghanistan, Iraq, post-Prague implementation, Chechnya, relationship with the US, etc.) and of direct concern for Russia foreign policy.
On this basis, it is not surprising that the issue of NATO-EU cooperation has not drawn too much attention in Russian circles, where it might be considered a US-EU problem with no direct impact on Russian interests. However, after NATO and EU enlargements, this trend may reverse and Russia might well try to mediate between the different perceptions of European security and defence identity. The NATO transformation and the current debate on the future of Europe, together with the recent EU-NATO Declaration on ESDP establishing a strategic partnership between both organisations might foster Russian interest. As a way of example, could it be possible a EU-led crisis management operation with NATO support and Russian participation?
Since the 90s, military capabilities have been influenced by two new emerging paradigms. First, military capabilities have continued to be important, but as crisis management appeared to compete with the old Cold War mission of collective defence, a variety of new fields of intervention, new “tools” were added to national panoplies (economic, diplomatic, political, etc.) together with the traditional resort to military engagement. Unlike the Cold War, in the post-Cold War period new trends appear and parties in conflict no longer respond to the design of one of the superpowers. Common feature of the new patterns is that they require the growing use of strategies based in the use of a mixture of tools, military and non-military. Economic, diplomatic, political tools combine together with military tools to shape different strategies (ranging from permissive to coactive to a mix of “stick and carrot” strategies).
Second, crisis management concepts brought new constraints in the use of force. As far as crisis management interventions did not fall into the category of self-defence, the international community and internal constituencies in Western countries implicitly imposed some restrictions on the use of force when dealing with crisis management. The most representative of these restrictions is the “minimum collateral damage”, i.e., the need to keep at a minimum the damages on non-combatants and civilian population at large. On the other hand, governments, under pressure by their own public opinion and internal constituencies, recognise that crisis management operations do not fall into the category of national territory defence actions and should be conducted therefore at a minimum of own casualties, the so-called “zero casualties” paradigm in order to preserve their limited national defence resources. These new constraints lead to a revision of the weaponry used to deal with a crisis.
On this premises, use of force strategies in the past ten years have follow a common pattern: first, eroding the physical and psychological resistance of the warring party or parties, at a minimum cost of collateral damage and minimum risk to own casualties, usually by relying on air power strategies, till subduing the fighting will. Second, to proceed to the entry with ground troops only with a minimum risk or when a safe environment is in place. As a direct consequence of this strategy, new requirements for military capabilities have appeared. Air precision strikes, precision guided ammunition, protection of own troops, new intelligence assets to feed the decision-making process and new weapon systems, communications, command and control systems able to deal with information and decisions in real time, etc. are only examples of the new capabilities that have joined existing inventories.
From a European perspective, a third paradigm is added, the projection of force and the ability to execute an operation outside national European territory. During the Cold War, action in Europe was based on the collective defence hypothesis, i.e., the support to an Allied country or countries attacked in their territory. This collective defence effort included plans and arrangements for troop movement and logistic support within NATO territory. In the post-Cold War period, crisis response/management operations require the projection of a multinational force to an area outside NATO territory. Therefore, new needs arise in the field of strategic communications, transport and sustained logistic support, etc.
NATO and the EU rely on intergovernmental cooperation and national capabilities are at the very centre of any collective strategy. Otherwise stated, if it is not considered the cross-use of national assets, NATO and the EU will only be able to do what their respective memberships are able to do. In turn, the availability of national capabilities depends on national levels of ambition. Nations have to address, with the same set of national forces, different needs steaming from national security and defence policy requirements, NATO commitments, EU commitments, UN needs, etc. An overview of the national Defence Papers of European countries provides with a general trend of the Armed Forces missions. According to this trend, Armed Forces missions articulate around two clusters: missions in support of multinational cooperation (collective efforts in the framework of UN, NATO, EU, etc.) and missions in support of national tasks (national defence and defence of objectives and interests not covered by multinational cooperation).
According to these clusters, national levels of ambition vary significantly from one country to another, and the centre of gravity between clusters varies according to national traditions and policies. Moreover, level of ambition for multinational missions translate into an engagement or capacity to contribute to a number of crisis management operations, usually in a statement including a threshold for the strength of the forces deployed. Having only a single national set of forces, nations integrate in their national planning the requirements deriving i.a. from NATO and the EU. But at the same time, there are NATO and EU levels of ambition, which require coordination in the military capabilities development within both organisations. This need will be increasingly important as the common NATO and EU membership grows.
In addition, one of the lessons learned in the post Cold War period is that each crisis is different, leading to a certain degree of uncertainty, which also includes the question of the capabilities needed to deal with the next “unknown” crisis. As a way of example, two years ago there was no previous hint on the critical role, both combat and combat support, played by Special Forces in Afghanistan and in the fight against terrorism. This uncertainty increases the need of NATO/EU cooperation in defence planning not only because of the risk of political divide between both sides of the Atlantic, but because of the evident risk of “interoperability” gap between American and European forces and between European forces themselves. Interoperability is at the very foundation of the Alliance. With the new capability approach, the existing capabilities gap is likely to develop in an interoperability gap, as pointed out by Kori Schake, “we are right at the tipping point where technology is going to change organization and doctrine”. As an example, C4ISR interoperability is critical for effective engagement of forces coming from different countries, American or European, and for mutual support. The final outcome of this capability unbalance, if not corrected, could be European forces not being able to “plug” into US systems and forces unless they are provided by the US with the adequate “plug-in”. Although this not calming at all development is not likely in a NATO operation, as one of the main NATO asset is to promote, achieve and preserve interoperability between Allied forces, it could become a reality in a EU or non-NATO operation with NATO support. With no doubt, a new capabilities paradigm is emerging following the enlargement, beyond interoperability: “workability”, including interoperability, together with an immaterial asset, a common mindset.
An approach that could help to enhance cooperation between both organisations in defence planning has already been hinted by their Secretary Generals. Lord Robertson and Mr. Javier Solana have insisted on the need of a capability approach to the process. Furthermore, the NATO Secretary General stated in a recent speech on the need of moving from threat-based planning to capabilities-based planning and accelerating the transition from Cold War, heavy metal forces, to lighter, more flexible, and more mobile forces. On the other hand, Mr. Javier Solana is well known by his motto of developing the ESDP operational through a capability-driven process. National responses to this challenge will have a significant impact on both the credibility of ESDP and the European effort within NATO to get the capabilities required for Alliance missions.
An additional aspect of the Non-duplication is related to the defence planning itself. The EU is developing a tool to cover this need, and the question is to establish the bridges between this EU tool (the Capabilities Development Mechanism) and the NATO Defence Planning in order to achieve coherent outcomes in both organisations. Formulating the requirements, setting of priorities, national contributions, etc. are only examples of the complexity of this issue. The objective of this relation and cooperation between both organisations is to avoid the divergence of capabilities in Members States. In a time of scarce resources, is particularly important that the mechanisms in both organisations are coherent, mutually reinforcing and this need will be more urgent as the common NATO, and EU membership grows. As mentioned in Section 2, the recent EU-NATO Declaration on ESDP includes a specific reference to this need. According to recent progress, both organisations are close to an agreement on this important question.
From the point of view of European countries, there is a need to complete their national inventories with new capabilities to alleviate the growing capability gap with the US. According to the new trends, European countries are gradually shifting their acquisition priorities to command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR), long-range precision strike, rapidly deployable joint forces, unmanned vehicles, etc. For example, with the current projects, capability studies within the EU expert groups show that European countries will have begun to deploy new stand-off precision strike assets by 2005. European countries have launched two complementary tracks in NATO and the EU to develop the missing capabilities.
In NATO, lessons learnt in Kosovo first and in Afghanistan after promoted the launching of the Defence Capabilities Initiative (DCI) in 1999 and the new DCI launched in Prague in order to respond to the need of transformation and capabilities renewal of the European Armed Forces to face the new challenges and threats. The Defence Capabilities Initiative launched by the Allies at Washington was designed to boost European defence capabilities, by strengthening the military capabilities of all Allies. The new capabilities initiative launched at the Prague Summit differs from its predecessor, the DCI, in three aspects. Its focus is sharper, it is based on a tougher form of national commitment and it includes a greater emphasis on multinational cooperation, including role specification. The four areas of focus are defending against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks; ensuring command, communication and information superiority; improving interoperability of deployed forces and key aspects of combat effectiveness; and ensuring rapid deployment and sustainment of forces. The new initiative should improve overall NATO capabilities and narrow the gap between the US and the other Allies.
The development of the Helsinki Headline Goal (HHG) agreed by the European Council in Helsinki in 1999 has followed an iterative approach. Two Capabilities Commitment Conferences were held in 2000 and 2001 and another is scheduled for 2003 during the Greek Presidency. After the analysis of the offers made by Member States, a number of capabilities shortfalls were detected. The critical shortfalls concern C3, strategic intelligence, protection of troops deployed, air and sea strategic transport and effective engagement capacity. At the end of 2001, it was approved the European Capabilities Action Plan (ECAP) to solve these shortfalls. The Plan was launched during the EU Spanish Presidency at the beginning of 2002, as a systematic approach to get the capabilities shortfalls detected in 44 capabilities areas. At present, Member States have volunteered to lead and participate in 18 expert panels in charge of studying possible options to fill the different capabilities gaps. The final reports of these panels are due by March 2003. Based on these reports, Member States will consider and decide on the different short-, mid- and long-term solutions proposed, including the setting up of project groups for specific capabilities. Along the whole process, NATO support has been provided for the HHG development and the ECAP implementation.
Many of the needs identified under DCIs overlap with those that the European Allies must address in developing the EU HHG, therefore the need of mutual reinforcement and cooperation in both organisations to develop military capabilities. Taking into account the uncertainty of the capabilities required to deal with the “next” crisis, even today’s non-overlapping capabilities might be included into the overlapping category in the future. Full implementation of the EU military capabilities objectives and those arising from NATO DCIs will require a multifaceted approach, together with substantial restructuring of the armed forces and update of the resources allocated to defence investments. However, with proper Europe-wide rationalization, additional expenditure requirements might be less than expected.
One of the main features of the Prague Summit was the approval of a NATO Reaction Force (NRF), able to deploy within five to 30 days wherever the Alliance might need to send it, and able to fight alone for up to 30 days. It could consist of up to 21,000 personnel; air assets capable of flying up to 200 combat sorties per day; and maritime forces up to the size of NATO standing naval forces, which can range from eight to 15 frigates and destroyers. Since the presentation of the initial proposal in the informal meeting of NATO Ministers of Defence in Warsaw, a number of reserves arose in some European Allies, as they consider the possible concurrency of the proposed NRF and the current effort in the EU to create a EU HHG. Although the NRF concept is not yet developed, from the initial project might be deduced that both concepts are different in inception and in nature. As mentioned in Section 1, the HHG was tailored to the crisis management missions incorporated to the Amsterdam Treaty, i.e., the Petersberg missions, while the NRF is designed in the follow on of the campaign against terrorism as a force tailored to a full combat mission. But being different in design and nature, some aspects could overlap, for instance, the high readiness of the NRF could partly cover the rapid response elements included in the HHG, or the spectrum of missions of both forces (f.i., evacuation of non combatants). As stated in the Prague Declaration, it is highly desirable that the NRF and the related work of the EU Headline Goal should be mutually reinforcing while respecting the autonomy of both organisations.
The EU has no operational planning capabilities, as EU Members States agreed from the outset that, in addition to the possible NATO support, they would provide national HQs for the operational planning and conduct of the operation. In both cases, the EU will depend on the use of an “outsourced” capability and the use of this capability will depend on the real and effective owner’s availability at a given time. One of the arguments in favour of the use of a NATO capability or asset is that it is already multinational, and the EU could manage its military operations through NATO, with or without US participation. The underlying rationale is that different EU vs. NATO operational planning could produce different outcomes that would complicate any situation in which the EU, acting through ESDP, had to hand over responsibility to NATO, or vice versa, or where NATO had to decide what forces it could usefully transfer to an ESDP operation without prejudicing its own ability to act. Other advantages are that it ensures constructive US involvement, because a NATO involvement in a EU-led operation would commit the US to a common approach. The implementation of Prague decisions concerning the NATO Command Arrangements and NATO Force Structure represent a fertile field for further developing NATO-EU cooperation in this field, with special reference to command and control assets and capabilities assigned to DSACEUR for his European task.
Defence budgets are particularly dependent on the economic situation, especially now that prevails a restrictive budget policy in Europe because of the EU Stability and Growth Pact (SGP). The Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the subsequent SGP impose restrictions to governmental expenditures to help to achieve the overall climate of stability and financial discretion on which the EMU success depends. At the core of this Pact and building on the convergence criteria which inspired the EMU is the excessive deficit procedure, which allows the European Commission warning to a EU Member State incurring or next to incur in a deficit higher than the 3% of the GDP. In the case of France, the media have echoed the French argument “increase in defence spending vs. observance of SGP criteria”. The growing public demands on the welfare state and the limited budgetary resources further contribute to keep down defence spending. A top official of the Danish Presidency was quoted to say that in the mid term (three years at least) there is no policy change envisaged. To aggravate the situation, budget shrinking comes along with other conflicting demands, external and internal to defence. Example of an external conflicting demand is the strategic cost of enlargement, which will have a significant influence on the countries’ expenditures next years. An initial account raises the bill to €40 bn in the next three years. This cost is likely to have some impact on the general budget policies of European countries, and subsequently, on the defence budget. On the other hand, together with the capabilities improvement, the European defence budgets in most European countries have to deal with other important structural costs, such as the transformation and professionalisation of the Armed Forces.
According to a recent report of the British House of Lords in February 2002, financing is perhaps the most important obstacle for procuring new military assets for the EU (and the same would be applicable to NATO). The report concludes that the EU's rapid reaction force will only be able to undertake serious missions if there is an increase in defence spending. The report states that EU countries need to radically restructure defence budgets in order to meet the extra expenditure attached to the Headline Goal, estimated at €25.4 billion over the next 10 to 15 years. Although some countries will have to spend more to make a credible contribution, it will be of greater importance to spend differently and to introduce a system of common evaluation in order to assess the quality, readiness and relevance of national commitments. In addition, a common research-and-development budget and standardisation of equipment would help promote armaments cooperation.
The September 11 events and the appearance of international terrorism as a direct threat against national security have certainly increased the attention of national governments to security and defence issues. Although after September 11 European governments allocated some extraordinary funds for the fight against terrorism, it could not be deduced a clear evidence that this initial move would lead to a significant permanent effort. The UK first, with her Defence Investment Strategy 2002 allocating a financial envelope until 2006, and France after, with her new programme law allocating a sustained effort to defence investment until 2008, are the European countries leading the defence budget effort. This has been a stimulus for other European countries. Germany announced last summer a sustained effort until 2006 of €25 bn yearly, as sufficient to continue the reform of the German Armed Forces. Italy’s new White Paper foresees a gradual increase in defence spending to 1,5% GDP by 2006. Spain’s 2003 defence budget sees a 3,09% increase, nearing 1,5% GDP. These initial moves to improve European capabilities acknowledge that more spending is needed, but accompanied with more rational spending as well. Otherwise, the price to be paid would be a growing “transatlantic capability” gap in NATO and a EU ESDP under leadership of the countries showing less reluctance to spend in defence.
In general, countries consider these numbers as “sufficient” to guarantee the defence commitments, together with rationalisation of defence spending to get the best results in order to solve the European capabilities “Gordian Knot”. In the years after the Amsterdam Treaty, some “convergence criteria” were proposed to foster defence spending. For example, it was suggested to spend in defence around 2% GDP. This approach did not succeeded and concrete targets were proposed and finally agreed (the HHG and the DCIs are typical examples of this target-oriented approach). At present, instead of proposing macroeconomic commitments difficult to hold even by the most supporting and supportive countries, it seems likely the emergence of a multifaceted approach. Based on this multifaceted target-oriented approach, current European countries efforts on the capabilities development are reflected on the next chart (EU ECAP and DCI (PCC)), both for common membership and (current) differential membership. This wide-spectrum approach would include slight increase in defence spending, better defence spending, multinational cooperation and associated measures. Within the term “associated measures” are included actions not only based on more spending but on a better managing. These actions would have a multiplying effect on the whole capability effort. For example, the Spanish Presidency suggested a revision of the rules of the European Accounting System (SEC-95), which considers military equipment investments as intermediate consumption. To the purpose of public deficit, these investments are accounted in one time in the year of reception of the equipment. Taking into account that the life of weapons systems extends over long periods (10-15 years and more), the procedure somehow “punishes” the expending in defence. A possible approach for programming the public deficit generated by defence investments would be to phase in the accounting of defence investments along the life of the equipments. Other associated measures could be the softening of the Stability Pact criteria for defence investments or the establishment of mechanisms for common research and development funding. At the same context, on the background of the Spanish Presidency initiative on armaments cooperation policy, it has been suggested the creation of a European Defence Research Agency. Those are only examples of possible actions to rationalise defence spending, in line with NATO Secretary General and EU Council Secretary General: “At the same time, we will look at innovative new ways to get the most bang for the defence Euro”.
Multinational cooperation provides with several modalities: greater interoperability of existing forces, task sharing, pooling, role specialisation, multinational projects for development, acquisition and/or use and operation of capabilities, common funding, etc., in contrast to new formulas for national funding of defence investments (leasing, joint private-public initiatives, etc.). Multinational cooperation in defence equipment is a real option as far as it does not impose significant restrictions to national sovereignty. Nations, in particular those with stronger “specific” national commitment and level of ambition, are reluctant to accept a situation of loose control of national assets and any attempt to merge different national assets and/or infrastructures is likely to face some difficulties. As mentioned in Section 3.3, national levels of ambition vary significantly among European countries. On the other hand, in order to achieve substantial cost savings, these “shared” capability groupings would have to operate from a reduced number of main bases. This would imply some giving up on national bases, and therefore, a reduction of national operational capability for some countries involved. On the other hand, it is a difficult choice to sacrifice a given military capability in order to be stronger in other. Similarly, role specialisation faces the same obstacle. Nevertheless, it could be a sensible approach in some cases. On the other hand, excessive specialization might prove harmful to Alliance or EU effectiveness, as it would imply dependency on a single country/group of countries.
The events of September 11 have substantially altered European public opinion on security and defence aspects. Now, public opinion is more concerned about the threat perception, as 86% respondents are now most likely to be afraid of terrorism, followed by the proliferation of nuclear, bacteriological or chemical weapons of mass destruction (79%). Other fears are organised crime and an accident in a nuclear power station. Particularly promising is the change in the public opinion perception towards the Armed Forces, as 70% EU citizens are most likely to trust the Armed Forces (followed by the police (67%) and the United Nations (59%)). Other interesting view is the push in favour of European options in security and defence (42%). But in other survey, WorldViews 2002, conducted in six European countries and the US, sponsored by the German Marshall Fund and the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, there is somewhat less enthusiasm for the EU becoming a superpower if it means spending more on defence, as those who answered they favoured the EU being a superpower were subsequently asked, “Would you be willing for Europe to be a superpower even if this meant greater military expenditures?” Of this group, 52% say they would. However, this means that only 34% of the total sample would support the EU becoming a superpower if it involves increases in defence spending. This finding is consistent with the lack of support among Europeans for significant increases on defence spending in general. According to the survey, 42% favour keeping defence spending about the same, while 33% want to cut it back, and only 22% want to expand it, although there is much divergence on the answer among European countries. Although these examples prove the relative value of opinion surveys, whose results require benchmarking and contrast, it seems that a supporting trend is emerging, and the public at large seems now be a little more prepared to accept (light) increases in defence spending.
Under this heading are included a number of issues related to national or collective levels of ambition and collective use of national or collective assets, such as NATO support to non NATO operations or the renaissance of the coalition of the willing approach. NATO support to non-NATO operations, which would imply providing NATO support to Afghanistan ISAF-type operations conducted by a coalition led by one or more countries has an impact on the availability of NATO support to other NATO operations, including EU-led operations with NATO support. A further reduction of NATO support availability is the end of the conceptual discussion about the “out-of-area” issue. The new NATO has adopted a functional rather than a geographic approach. The uncertainty will increase the grip of NATO on its own assets and capabilities modifying therefore the availability of NATO support to non-NATO operations in general.
As mentioned in Section 3.2, one of the main traits of the new US National Security Strategy is the endorsement of the coalitions of the willing as another approach to achieve the strategy objectives (when no other collective mean is possible). Following a Darwinian logic, other powers have adapted and incorporated this additional tool to their national strategies. Although apparently a national issue, this question bears a great influence on the capabilities availability. The concept of coalition of the willing implies reliance on one country (or a reduced number of countries) that provides the core capabilities and a number of countries that join in solidarity in a common effort. The stress on national assets is therefore increased and the long-term sustainability of the mission by the coalition depends on the continuity of this ad-hoc common effort, which not always can be assumed for granted. An ISAF-type operation is a test case, as an operation that overstretches national resources to the threshold of elastic strength and cannot be sustained by only one nation. The proliferation of these mechanisms will increase the stress on national assets, adding further complexity to present operations typology (NATO-led, EU-led, EU-led with NATO support, and now, coalition-led) and to the use of scarce resources in NATO and/or the EU.
In Section 3.1 it has been shown that one the main obstacles to develop the NATO/EU cooperation is the lack of empirical background. The EU decided to have a role in crisis management not until 1997, by incorporating the WEU’s Petersberg tasks to the Amsterdam Treaty. We have seen that before taking this decision, the EU sub-contracted to the WEU the defence issues in 1991 by including provisions to that effect in the Maastricht Treaty. In Section 3.3, it has been presented the complex issue of the NATO or EU use of the same national assets. Now the research will focus on the assets and capabilities of each organisation, as such organisations, i.e., on the “collective” added value provided by each organisation. The research directs the focus on two particular fields, crisis management and fight against terrorism, although other possible fields for cooperation are suggested at the end of the Section.
From a functional point of view, NATO and the EU will try to maximize the mutual benefit resulting from the teamwork between them. One of the main experiences of the past decade is that no single European security organisation is capable of dealing alone with a crisis situation. This empiric experience led to the concept of interlocking institutions, in the sense of institutions mutually interconnected, running as parts of a mechanism, so that the motion or operation of individual parts affect each other. Being a human experience, this smooth operation has not always been possible, and the lack of synchronisation we have witnessed sometimes in the past has been referred to as “inter-blocking” institutions, struggling to find their own functional niche in a complex post-Cold War era.
As for NATO, this collective added value builds on the political engagement backed by a strong military commitment. Initially conceived as an instrument to face a military threat, a defensive arrangement in the meaning of the UN Charter, since the very beginning NATO has always been more than a military alliance stricto sensu. After the Cold War, this idea has been confirmed by giving full content to the provisions of the Art. 2 Treaty of Washington. In the 90s, NATO evolved to adapt the new situation, opening new areas of cooperation in the political and economic aspects in a wider geographic space, the Euro-Atlantic Area (the PfP and the MAP are only examples of this adaptation). It is out of the scope of this research to specify a detailed account of the NATO collective added value, but only to remark that the NATO collective added value ranges from its culture of taking collective decisions to having an integrated military structure to being able to evolve as the situation requires. During the 90s, NATO has given full evidence of its capability to fledge the military muscle to implement peace agreements (Bosnia Herzegovina) or restore peace (Kosovo). As mentioned in Section 3.2, the presence of a leading Member State favours the consensus, but at the same time constrains NATO action in case of reluctance of this leading Member State.
As for the EU, the collective added value builds on its nature as an overarching project for the European construction and integration. With its own style, this project is a reference for the rest of the world and reflects the solidarity and commitment to international peace and stability of a continent torn by wars in the past. In this project, the ESDP primary aim is to provide the EU with a security and defence weight according to its political and economic goals. Since the setting-up of ESDP, the main EU asset is its overall approach to the security and defence issues incorporated to the Treaty of the Union, i.e., the capability to mobilise and engage military and civilian capabilities in crisis management. The ESDP has added muscle to the existing foreign policy tools in hands of the Commission and has provided the EU with military and civilian capabilities that enables it to perform in all crisis management phases, from conflict prevention to nation-building. As mentioned in Section 3.2, the lack of a clear leadership is replaced by a power and influence balance within the Council, one of the effects being the prolongation of collective decisions chain to the highest level, the European Council.
The first conclusion from this quick picture is that both organisations have a wide-based commonality, are mutually complementary and present unique characteristics for a full-fledged cooperation. The questions on European identity and EU's character as a European project are directly linked to the EU's challenge to become a fully-fledged international actor as well as to the preservation of the transatlantic relationship. The strategic partnership should not turn into rivalry that would be detrimental to Europe and the US and to the world at large. Another feature that helps to the NATO/EU interaction is that after Prague, NATO regards threats functionally, not geographically, and the possibility of NATO support to the EU has been got rid of geographic limits. On the other hand, with an estimation of the continued commitment of Europe in the Western Balkans there is a great potential for NATO/EU cooperation in this region in the coming years. As mentioned in Section 2, the recent Copenhagen European Council announcement of the EU willingness to lead a military operation in Bosnia following SFOR should be considered within an all-embracing NATO-EU effort to integrate the Balkans into Europe with political, economic, military and civilian capabilities of both organisations.
Considered the great potential for NATO/EU cooperation, the recent EU-NATO Declaration on ESDP is just picking up the fruits of the pragmatic and close NATO-EU cooperation developed until now in Western Balkans, where NATO and the EU have worked closely to prevent instability, overcome violence and begin to build a lasting peace. The strategic partnership established between both organisations, “founded on our shared values, the indivisibility of our security and our determination to tackle the challenges of the new Century” lays down the basis for NATO-EU cooperation along all phases of crisis management, from conflict prevention to conflict resolution to nation-building. This strategic partnership, with “a NATO working with the European Union in crises and conflicts in combined efforts that are complementary and mutually reinforcing” is one of the common challenges both organisations have to face. The partnershipwill contribute to thestrengthening and re-enforcing the transatlantic relationship, compensating the unavoidable differences often exaggerated in the news media or non-impartial circles.
Immediately after the terrorist attacks of September 11, both organisations reacted and adopted a number of important measures to tackle the terrorist threat. NATO invoked Article 5 for the first time, and the EU convened an extraordinary meeting of the European Council in Brussels. For NATO, September 11 marked the path on the road to the Prague Summit. Considered in principle as the Summit of the Enlargement, Prague became the Summit of the Transformation as well, with the fight against terrorism as background and a new motto: New Members, New Capabilities, New Partnerships. As remarked to the media by a top official of a NATO Ally on the previous days to the Summit, in Prague the Alliance was to be re-built.
As for the EU, the European Council tasked the EU to implement a EU Action Plan against terrorism including all measures and initiatives adopted by the EU in the fight against terrorism. From the outset, this plan included i.a. the reinforcement of the police and judicial cooperation between Member States, implementation of international instruments in the fight against terrorism, cutting down the financial ties of terrorism, reinforcement of the air security and the coordination of the global action of the EU in a coordinated and interdisciplinary approach embracing all the Union’s policies, including CFSP and ESDP. Along its implementation, new initiatives have been included in the Plan, including the implementation of UNSCR 1373 (2001) and 1390 (2001). The implementation of this plan requires the contribution of the three pillars, with a close coordination among the Commission, the Council and the European Parliament.
Included in her programme as a top priority, the Spanish Presidency presented an initiative, finally approved in the Seville European Council, on the contribution of the CFSP, including the ESDP, in the fight against terrorism, in which the European Council“reiterates that the fight against terrorism will continue to be a priority objective of the European Union and a key plank of its external relations policy”. One of the mandates is particularly interesting, the request to the Presidency, the Secretary-General/High Representative and the Commission to step up their efforts in the priority areas identified by promoting coordinating work within Council bodies and with relevant international organizations, notably the UN and NATO, in order to increase the effectiveness of the contribution of the CFSP and ESDP, in the fight against terrorism.
This mandate paves the way towards a full-fledged cooperation between NATO and the EU in a number of fields, for example, the protection of civil population. Although the advantages of such cooperation are out of question, some institutional obstacles would have to be addressed. The responsibility in this field in the EU at Community level corresponds to the Commission, while in NATO is channelled through the Civil Emergency Planning structures. In other words, under the present EU institutional arrangement, a full-fledged NATO-EU cooperation in the fight against terrorism would imply a dual-track approach. On the one hand, aspects pertaining to the ESDP would be dealt within the intergovernmental framework of the second pillar, as the rest of ESDP issues. On the other hand, civil emergency cooperation in the fight against terrorism would be channelled towards the Commission through its civil protection tools and mechanisms. An additional coordination effort within the EU would be needed. This is a challenge for institutional cooperation worth to be considered, as European public opinion is increasingly demanding a cooperative effort for a greater protection against terrorism and its effects.
NATO-EU cooperation potential might embrace other areas, for example, the Mediterranean dialogue. For NATO, the Prague Summit includes a decision to “upgrade substantially the political and practical dimension of our Mediterranean Dialogue as an integral part of the of the Alliance’s cooperative approach to security”. At the same time, it is stated that the NATO Mediterranean Dialogue and the EU Barcelona Process “are complementary and mutually reinforcing”. The EU Euromediterranean policy in channelled through the three “baskets” of the Barcelona process. One of the main practical obstacles to this cooperation was the lack of a proper interface to bridge between the dialogue conducted by NATO with 7 North-African countries and the political dialogue conducted by the EU in a wider format including 13 Mediterranean countries. This obstacle has been removed after the initiative launched by the Spanish Presidency on the Mediterranean dimension of the ESDP, since ESDP could be a nexus for real cooperation between both Dialogues. The outcome of the first Seminars held under Spanish and Greek Presidencies in 2002 are very promising. This initiative offers a flexible tool to enhance cooperation with Mediterranean countries from a joint NATO-EU perspective, allowing the full exploitation of the synergy of NATO-EU interaction in a field that would expand its benefits to a number of important areas, including the fight against terrorism.
Other area for possible cooperation between NATO and the EU is the parliamentary field. On the EU side, the parliamentary scrutiny of the ESDP is one of the issues included in the ongoing Treaty revision process. The role of the European Parliament (EP) and national parliaments are questions to be considered. Not included in the debate, but related to, is the associated issue is the future of the WEU Parliamentary Assembly, depositary of the WEU parliamentary acquis and which proclaimed itself as “interim European Security and Defence Assembly” in 1998. On the NATO side, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NPA) provides a critical forum for international parliamentary dialogue on an array of security, political and economic matters. Although there is no formal link between NATO and the NPA, NPA enjoys a strong working relationship with NATO and completes the transatlantic link by including the inter-parliamentary dialogue between North American and European legislators. There is an antecedent of parliamentary dialogue and cooperation between the EP and the NPA, in 2000, after the launching of the ESDP and the Helsinki Headline Goal by the EU. On February 2000, the NPA held its first joint meeting with the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy ("Foreign Affairs Committee") of the EP. That meeting provided a very valuable exchange of views and it was decided to set up a regular consultation process between the NPA and the EP Foreign Affairs Committee with modalities that remains to be defined.
In Section 3.2, it was mentioned that one of the effects of NATO and EU enlargements is the transformation of the dialogue that both organisations hold with third countries, in particular Russia, Ukraine and others. It was also mentioned that the growing interest of these countries in NATO and EU issues would require the provision of a common ground to have a complementary and mutually reinforcing dialogue. The NATO-EU regular meetings at political level provide a forum for exchange and dialogue between both organisations on these issues.
In Section 3, NATO-EU interaction was considered within the wider frame of the US leadership and commitment to Europe, and more specifically, in the context of US-EU relationship. The ties between the US and Europe reaffirm a community of values and interests among democratic states, guiding principle of the transatlantic relations. In one of his books, H. Kissinger asserts that leaders of Europe have used George W. Bush’s accession to the Presidency to reaffirm their commitments to the transatlantic ties, but that the question remains whether the Alliance is still considered the expression of a common destiny or whether it is turning into safety net for essentially national o regional politics. He adds the concluding remark that leaders of both sides of the Atlantic face no more important challenge that to answer this question.
This question has been answered by NATO leaders at the Prague Summit, just in front of the Prague Declaration (paragraph 1), confirming their “commitment to the transatlantic link; to NATO’s fundamental security tasks including collective defence; to our shared democratic values”. The only reference to these buildings blocks in a single sentence is enough to lead to a truly “expression of a common destiny” in an unequivocal way. However, the same conclusion might be reached with the only consideration of the third building block, the NATO’s fundamental security tasks including collective defence. Is there any stronger commitment, representative sample of a common destiny that invoking Article 5 of the Washington Treaty in support of any Allied?
To complete the answer to the previous question, another significant step in Prague has been the preparation of the EU-NATO agreement on ESDP. The Prague Declaration reflects the desire of closing the gap between both organisations, which had already been reiterated by both Secretaries Generals of NATO and the EU. If NATO and the EU share common values and strategic interests, they will have to find a way to establish a framework for full cooperation and exploitation of the respective assets and capabilities in a genuine strategic partnership able to release the full potential of both organisations, based on the decisions of Member States. As remarked by Lord Robertson, ensuring peace, security and stability is not a zero-sum game and a role for the EU need not be at the expense of NATO interests, and vice versa.
The EU-NATO Declaration on ESDP lays down the principles of this new strategic partnership. A partnership based on the different nature of both organisations, but at the same time on the complementarity one another. The implementation of this partnership require effective mutual consultation, dialogue, cooperation and transparency, with equality and due regard for the decision-making autonomy and interests of both organisations. In the implementation of the strategic partnership the decision on which organisation is to going to lead a given crisis will be critical, both for NATO and the EU. The decision will important both for the organisation “in charge of” leading the mission and for the organisation “not engaged”, as both organisations rely on partially overlapping national capabilities.
As shown in Section 3.1, NATO-WEU relationship encountered in the past, and now NATO-EU, two main obstacles. On the one hand, the question of the participation of the differential membership, and the other hand, the different conception of the European identity within NATO, and now within the EU. As mentioned in Section 2, the first obstacle has been overcome with the recent EU-NATO Declaration on ESDP, and the ESDP development and NATO-EU cooperation should not be any longer under external pressures coming from bilateral issues. However, the different perception of the European identity remains, and coupling together with the tension unilateralism vs. multilateralism, will continue to bear in influence in the NATO-EU relationship. The negative impact of these two factors could be compensated by including in the revision of the TEU the principles the new NATO-EU Strategic Partnership is built on, enabling in this way a real term is to develop into detail the Washington 99 and Nice 00 decisions, and their illustration and implementation in EU-led and effective cooperation between both organisations. The challenge in the short operations with NATO support, for example, following some present NATO operations in Western Balkans. The decisions taken in Prague concerning the streamlining of NATO Command Arrangements will have special impact on some of the chapters of NATO-EU relation, such as the European Command Arrangements in support of EU-led operations, DSACEUR European role and his command and support capabilities allocated for EU-led operations being one of the most important issues.
At the same time, in Section 3.2 it has been shown that the current enlargements of both organisations could make easier this relationship, contributing to a smooth dynamics between both organisations. From an instrumental standpoint, in Section 3.3 has been shown the core issues at the European capabilities “Gordian Knot”. Given the reliance on a single set of national assets and the limited resources, the emerging EU defence dimension could be fully developed in the framework of the new NATO-EU Strategic Partnership, while at the same time, efforts within NATO and the EU to get more capabilities depend on EU and national economic policies. Full advantage of the respective assets and capabilities of each organisation should have to include forms of extended cooperation.
Another benchmark of NATO/EU cooperation will be the perception of the public opinion. After September 11, this will be more evident in Europe in particular. If NATO and the EU drag their feet on the cooperation issue, there is a real risk of a bad perception of the European defence within the EU, and subsequently of NATO. The public opinion will see that a lack of real and effective cooperation leads to overspending and duplication, i.e., no cost-efficient spending on defence. At the same time, no organisation can by-pass the general truth “no-organisation-can-deal-alone”, and the resulting final image perceived by the public opinion will be that of a Europe under-defended.
The notions of strategic partnership and extended cooperation exclude the concept of division of labour, a by-product of the legitimate American call to Europe for a more just “burden-sharing”. During the early 90s, division of labour referred to the dissociation collective defence/crisis management because of the definition of the Petersberg tasks by the WEU in 1992. As NATO strategic doctrine evolved by virtue of the Strategic Concepts of 1991 and 1999, this initial meaning became irrelevant. At present, there is a risk to come back to use this term again, this time with a different meaning: the US, based on her superior capabilities, would perform the higher missions and the European forces would perform the smaller missions. As graphically depicted by R. Kagan, “Americans are from Mars and Europeans are from Venus”. The argument, based on the capabilities gap between the US and the rest of the Allied, assumes that more demanding tasks would be undertaken by the US, with a minimum of risk thanks to high-tech capabilities, and other manpower-intensive less demanding tasks would be undertaken by the Europeans, even accepting a greater risk either for their own troops or collateral damage given the deficit of risk-cutting high-tech capabilities in Europe. Such a division of labour is politically unsustainable. At the political level, division of labour refers to a dissociation that contradicts the principle of “common destiny” and “risk sharing” inherent to the transatlantic relationship. It would create different perceptions of risk, cost and success, and would put enormous strain on NATO unity and cohesion. The new capabilities initiative in NATO and the EU’s efforts to develop the Helsinki Headline Goal by 2003 are a serious European attempt to partially balance the capabilities gap.
Furthermore, division of labour contradicts the concept of “European identity” in either of its perceptions. For those who desire an ESDP within the Alliance, division of labour will lead to two NATOs, which is precisely what it is not desired. For those who desire an autonomous ESDP, division of labour will lead to an ESDP somehow subordinated to NATO and the US. Finally, public opinion is divided face to division of labour, and favours the complementarity rather than the competition between Europe and the United States, as shown by the results of a recent survey.
Temporal Analysis - The Need of Guidance at the Highest Level
In Section 1, it was considered the ESDP development since its inception by virtue of the incorporation of the crisis management tasks of the WEU in the TEU in Amsterdam 97. On the other hand, in Section 3.1 has been considered the operational development of the WEU along the 90s and the parallel ESDI development in the context of the WEU/NATO relationship. Now, the research synthesises and puts into perspective both developments to deduce some trends. To help the reader in the analysis, the chart includes the most significant milestones of the NATO/WEU/EU relationship since early in the 90s. For the EU, the chart reflects the sequence of revisions of the TEU since 1991: Maastricht 91 (where the WEU receives the mandate to develop as operational arm of the EU), Amsterdam 97 (crisis management missions are included in the TEU), Nice 00 (where the formal link between the WEU and the EU is removed from the Treaty). The next revision of the TEU is in 2004, on the outcome of the IGC04 following the European Convention. Recently, we have the NATO/EU declaration on ESDP of December 2002. As for the WEU, the chart indicates the definition of the Petersberg missions in 1992 as a consequence of the EU request in Maastricht, the establishment of links with NATO to implement the 96 Berlin-Brussels decisions, and finally, its deactivation in 2000 with the transfer of the Petersberg tasks to the EU.
Regarding NATO, the main events are the Rome Declaration and the NATO Strategic Concept of 1991, where reference was made to the advantages of a European security and defence identity. Next, we have the Brussels Summit in 1994, where mandate is given to develop the ESDI within NATO, and the Berlin-Brussels decisions of the NAC in 1996 to implement such mandate. Since 96 to 2000, NATO and the WEU worked on the detailed development and implementation of the ESDI decisions. Although the formal link between NATO and the WEU has not disappeared with the WEU deactivation, the fact is that this organisation has no operational capabilities to sustain it any longer. After Amsterdam 97, the Washington Summit and the current NATO Strategic Concept in 1999 decide the necessary steps to develop the new NATO/EU relationship and the final decision for implementation has just arrived after the recent EU-NATO Declaration on ESDP. In the meantime, we had the September 11 shake-up, and as a consequence, the Prague Summit, which has given birth to a new NATO.
If we group together these developments, on the same picture, we have an event-based aggregation in temporal clusters. The rational behind each cluster is the relationship cause-effect between the events included in the cluster. The first cluster corresponds to the aggregation of Maastricht 91, Petersberg 92, Brussels 94 and Berlin-Brussels 96. The second cluster corresponds to the aggregation of Amsterdam 97, Washington 99, WEU deactivation, Nice 00 and the EU-NATO Declaration on ESDP. The third cluster, in dotted line, corresponds to the aggregation of September 11, Prague and the ongoing EU Treaty revision process. This third cluster is in dotted line because it is an “open” cluster for two reasons. First, on the NATO side, Prague decisions to transform NATO are to be implemented, and in the EU side, the ongoing process for the EU Treaty revision is underway. In both cases, these developments will take at least the next two years. Second, during this time, a revised NATO-EU relationship will emerge, building on the recent Joint EU-NATO Declaration on ESDP, as a natural outcome of the ongoing processes both in NATO and the EU.
The permanent references to NATO Summits on the one hand and to European Councils on the other hand only confirm one idea that is increasingly more relevant: the need to establish contacts between each organisation at the Summit/European Council level. In NATO, Summits were rare during the Cold War, but have had five Summits in just 10 years. In the EU, the European Council meets twice a semester and is the only responsible for providing the guidelines and important decisions concerning CFSP/ESDP. No best way might be offered to foster NATO/EU cooperation but allowing the Heads of State and Government to meet together, to discuss issues on common concern. After September 11, the Prague Summit and the ongoing debate on the future of Europe have made acknowledgement of receipt of the new threat. What is the meaning for the overall process of NATO/EU cooperation? Is it time for a NATO/EU Summit? Several arguments induce to a positive answer. First, a joint meeting of Heads of State and Government would provide an opportunity for exchanges at the highest level, providing guidance for NATO/EU cooperation in this new scenario after September 11. The transformation of the global agenda driven by the September 11 events is the kind of important events that justify a NATO/EU meeting at the highest level to discuss implications and courses of action for NATO/EU cooperation, as the fight against the terrorism requires short-delay responses. Second, the ongoing processes to revise the Treaties of the Union and to transform NATO are developments of prime importance, and more important, they are interrelated. A NATO-EU joint meeting at the highest level would allow the anchoring both processes on the same premises of common security. Third, a NATO/EU Summit would be an opportunity to provide “peer pressure” at the highest level. This peer pressure would be proverbial to overcome present reluctances of some countries towards ESDP, by showing that the ESDP does not put at risk the transatlantic link and the especial relation of the US with Europe, and of some others towards an effective NATO/EU cooperation, by showing that a full-fledged relationship and cooperation is not contrary to the principle of autonomy of both organisations. Finally, but not least, a joint meeting would spread a coherent picture of NATO-EU relationship to the outside world, reflecting one of the main assets of any strategy -a strategic partnership.
After Prague, we have a new NATO, more open, with new members, new capabilities, new partnerships, and between the later, the new EU-NATO partnership. When the ongoing debate on the next stage of the ESDP is closed and the new Treaty reflects the new Strategic Partnership between both organisations, the present security equation in Europe will be completed and the NATO-EU strategic partnership will reflect the healthy condition of US-Europe relationship. Leadership in both sides of the Atlantic face the challenge of preventing emerging, and to some extent, “natural” differences from becoming a divide. Rather than detrimental, the tension between the two different conceptions of the European identity will vitalise the transatlantic relationship. Being of a different nature, NATO and the EU are complementary and mutually reinforcing. Each has comparative advantages and coherent strategies to put these to best effect are needed. Autonomy of each organisation should not be used as disguise to obstacle a full-fledged and all-embracing play and cooperation. If the roles of NATO and the EU are based on complementarity and spirit of cooperation, then NATO and the EU would be able to develop a strategy to promote and expand a sphere of common values for peace, prosperity and stability there where there is urgent need for the international community support. In doing so, the “essential truth” of R. Kagan on the transatlantic divide will never become such a truth, while it enriches itself with new forms of enhanced cooperation.
The fight against terrorism is a test case for cooperation in this new strategic partnership. The subtle, insidious and devious of the threat requires a systematic approach encompassing all disciplines. Neither the EU nor NATO can deal alone. A joint NATO and EU effort will project on the common enemy one of the main assets in Sun Tzu strategy: the alliances. In addition, scale economies and the positive perception by the public opinion is the reward of NATO-EU cooperation. As far as the population at large perceives the new threats, the public opinion wants to feel safe and in security, asking for defence and protection at a minimum cost, with no regard to what organisation or instance provides the security. Inefficient use of resources due to a faulty NATO-EU cooperation, the core organisations in Europe, will have a negative impact on the perception of public opinion.
The capabilities development is the tool for both organisations to be able to accomplish their respective missions. Their credibility will be also measured against their ability to meet the requirements of the new missions. In addition to the need of complementary effort, enlargements emphasize coherent and reinforcing capabilities development tools in both organisations. As far as defence remains in the realm of the state and strong national levels of ambition remain, significant scale economies will not be likely in Europe, but multinational cooperation will have positive effects in the field of new capabilities paradigms. In addition, the need of coordination is further underlined by the dynamics of European integration and the transformation of the Armed Forces, which impose additional constraints and requirements.
NATO and EU memberships tend to converge in the long term. This trend will bear significant influence in the NATO-EU relationship, as it will soften the friction generated by the different perception on the European identity. Membership convergence will lead to a functional merge? No easy answer for this question: the spectrum of possibilities ranges from their existence as separate organisations with stronger links to a merge of both organisations, including the issues of the mutual security and defence guarantee and the specific arrangements to preserve the transatlantic link. It would be a gratuity to close this research with a forecast, but in any case, only one thing is true: the difficulty of foreseeing the September 11 strategic shake-up two years ago is the same than trying to foresee the future European security and defence scheme.
As the NATO Secretary General said to the media in this New Year Reception to the press, 2002 started with some people questioning the future or relevance, or even putting obituaries for NATO. The reality has proved them to be wrong. Along 2002, NATO has emerged transformed and revitalised, with a new strategic partnership with the EU. The challenge ahead of NATO and the EU in this historic opportunity is impressive: this new strategic partnership should prove as efficient as NATO for more than 50 years.
This research was closed in February 2003. In the following weeks took place the clash of different positions within the UN Security Council on how to deal with the Iraqi crisis, under the pressure of the media and a divided public opinion. With no doubt, these events will have influence on the future development of international security in the framework of UN, with global and regional reach. On a regional scope, NATO-EU relationship could also be affected. Considering that the different views within the UN Security Council can not be associated with specific geographic areas, it can be concluded that there is no univocal relation between this clash of views within the UN and the US-Europe differences in the meaning analysed in Section 3 and other points of this research -although some media have presented the clash within the UN as a clash between Europe and the US. Nevertheless, inter-relation and interdependence produce overlap and this issue will somehow influence on NATO-EU cooperation. The opposition of some European countries may increase the American reluctance towards an ESDP considered as a policy with no clear intentions, and on the other hand, the superpower push might increase the pressure by some European countries for an independent ESDP. Although natural reactions in the short term, the challenge ahead for European and American leaderships is overcome these obstacles, by repairing this lost of trust and building on the principles of the strategic partnership, the quicker the better, in order to avoid delaying full cooperation between NATO and the EU.
José Luis Andrés Martín
| || || |
(1) Canada has stated her desire to participate in EU-led operations. During the EU Spanish Presidency (GAC held on May 02) were approved conditions of Canada participation in ESDP.
| || |
| || |
| || || |
(3) Since 1966, France does not participate in the Integrated NATO Military Structure.
| || |
| || |
(4) Neutral or non-military aligned countries participant in EAPC/NATO PfP.
| || |
| || |
| || |
| || |
| || |
(6a) No application for EU membership currently in prospect.
| || |
| || |
(6b) Norway meets criteria for EU adhesion. Norwegian people have rejected joining the EU in two occasions (referendums held in 1972 and 1994).
| || |
| || |
(7) Turkey applied for EU membership in 1987 and was accepted as an applicant state in the Helsinki European Council in December 1999. The October 2002 Commission Report states that Turkey had made considerable progress in towards thecriteria established by the Copenhagen European Council in 1993, but it does not fulfil these criteria yet. Following the Seville European Council mandate to revise Turkey’s candidature, the Copenhagen European Council has agreed that Turkey’s candidature will be assessed in December 2004, in order to start negotiations in 2005.
| || |
| || || |
| || |
Czech Rep. (8)
| || || |
(8) The Brussels European Council in October 2002 endorsed the recommendations of the Commission that this applicant fill the political criteria and will be able to fulfil the economic criteria and to assume the obligations of membership from the beginning of 2004. The Copenhagen European Council invited in December 2002 to join in 2004.
(11) Country invited in the Prague Summit to join NATO.
| || |
| || |
| || |
| || |
| || |
| || |
| || |
| || |
| || |
| || |
| || |
| || |
| || |
| || |
| || || |
| || |
(5) Cyprus applied for EU membership in 1990. The Copenhagen European Council in December 2002 invited Cyprus to join, although it was reiterated the preference for a reunited Cyprus to join the EU on the basis of a comprehensive settlement.
| || || |
| || |
(9) Neutral or non-military aligned countries non-participant in EAPC/NATO PfP.
| || || || |
(10) Probable EU adhesion in next round (2007).
(11) Country invited in the Prague Summit to join NATO.
| || || || |
 Déclaration de Petersberg de l’UEO, 1992: « Outre une contribution à la défense commune dans le cadre de l'application de l'Article 5 du Traité de Washington et de l'Article V du Traité de Bruxelles modifié, les unités militaires des Etats membres de l'UEO, agissant sous l'autorité de l'UEO, pourraient être utilisées pour: des missions humanitaires ou d'évacuation de ressortissants, des missions de maintien de la paix, des missions de forces de combat pour la gestion des crises, y compris des opérations de rétablissement de la paix »
 In real terms, this means humanitarian operations, disaster relief, search and rescue, non-combatant evacuation operations, military support to civilian authorities, and enforcement of sanctions.
 In an attached Annex, the European Council noted that “As things stand at present, the "Berlin+" arrangements and the implementation thereof will apply only to those EU Member States which are also either NATO members or parties to the "Partnership for Peace", and which have consequently concluded bilateral security agreements with NATO”. That means that for the moment, Cyprus and Malta will not take part in EU military operations using NATO assets.
 WEU Council of Ministers, Minutes agreed in connection with the document on associate membership, Rome, 20 November 1992.
See Remarks of Javier Solana, EU High Representative for the CFSP, Defence Ministers Meeting (General Affairs and External Relations Council), Brussels, 19 November 2002, and Remarks at the First Parliamentary Meeting on European Defence, Brussels, 5 November 2002.