The Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU

Term Paper (Advanced seminar), 2005

19 Pages, Grade: 2,1


Table of Content


Section I: The Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union
1.1 History and targets of the CFSP
1.2 Important articles and titles of the Treaty on European Union referring to the CFSP
1.3 Structure of the CFSP - problems and ways within decision structure
1.3.1 The institutions affected by the CFSP
1.3.2. The decision making structure of the CFSP
1.4 Identitiy and interests of member states
1.4.1 The “Grande Nation”: France
1.4.2. The European Developer: Germany
1.5 Summary

Section II: The EU’s role in conflict resolution in the former Yugoslavia on the example of Serbia and Montenegro
2.1 Marks in the decade of war in the former Rebulic of Yugoslavia with special importance to the parts of Serbia and Montenegro
2.2 Attempts and engagement of the EU in conflict resolution in Serbia and Montenegro
2.3 The Belgrade Agreement

Section III: Dimension of EU’s foreign policy in the framework of SouthEastern Europe
3.1.1 Gergana Noutcheva and Michel Huysseune : Focus on the results of the SAA for Serbia and Montenegro
3.1.2. Jadranko Prlic: A new european future for the Balkans?
3.1.3. Rafael Biermann: From stabilization to integration
3.2 Conclusion



What is the Common Foreign Security Policy (CFSP) of the European Union? What are its intentions and goals, how is it situated in the framework of the European Union? How can decisions be made in that context and what influences the outcome of this process? Attempts of explanation will be made, although it is expected that the reader has sufficient knowledge about the history of european cooperation on the fields of foreign and security issues, as this research will start with the foundation of the CFSP in the Treaty on the European Union of Maastricht 1992/93.

After investigation of the abilities and concepts of the CFSP the case of Serbia and Montenegro shall be put into focus. What has happened in the region paralell to the development of the CFSP in the decade of 1990 - 2000, affecting this new state. What sort of engagement was imposed by the European Union? Did it have adequate success or was it an overall failure to try and would have been better to leave this matter to the United States “South Eastern European Cooperative Initiative” (SECI) ?

What was achieved through the Belgrade Agreement of March 2002, a real solution or a sort of ceasefire between the parties?

Concluding the two research questions and presenting three different but in fact not so different views on the development of engangement of the European Union in southeastern europe shall then lead into a conclusion dealing with the question wether or not the CFSP and its initiatives can be a tool to improve the position of the EU in the world context and as a regional actor.

Section I: The Common Foreign Security Policy of the European Union

1.1: History and targets of the CFSP

As mentioned in the introduction this part shall give an introduction to the CFSP context, as well as the main aims and goals of it. It is expected that the reader has sufficient knowledge about the institutions and history prior to the CFSP in the Maastricht Treaty of 1992. Therefore the time from the Davignon Report to the Single European Act is only mentioned where appropriate, and without background information but just as referrer to or against the results from Maastricht onwards.

The historical motivation for the Common Foreign Security Policy is simple. While the economic power and influence of the European Union grew stronger for 4 decades it’s security and foreign policy issues remained weak as every state had it’s own policy without any quotable information exchange among them1. Kreft also mentions another reason vital for the establishment of a CFSP which according to him lead to the Single European Act. He quotes that the US SDI program and the thread from the USSR in the period from 1984 to 1987 were a key feature leading to Maastricht in 1992.2

Having this in mind, we now can understand the central aim of the CFSP for the European Union.

“ The idea that the European Union should speak with one voice in world affairs is as old as the European integration process itself. But the Union has made less progress in forging a common foreign and security policy over the years than in creating a single market and a single currency. The geopolitical changes following the collapse of communism, and the outbreak of regional crises in the Balkans and beyond, have led EU members to redouble their efforts to speak and act as one. ” 3

In the 12 years from Maastricht to today, the CFSP has become active in several ways. As an aid to understand it’s aims the following main topics can be found.4

- Sanction policy and humanitarian aid in crises e.g. former Yugoslavia, Great Lakes territory in Africa, Libya
- Preventive diplomacy i.e. stabilization pact on the MOE-states, the “Royaumont Initiative” for the stability and security in southeastern Europe ¾ Support of the development of democracy in states outside the EU such as Russia or South Africa
- The overall relation towards Russia and the other former Soviet Republics
- Non-Proliferation and disarmament of weapons in combination with regulations of weapon exports
- Fight against terrorism, drug dealing
- Consultations in international organizations such as OSCE and UNO Understanding these involvements, we next will have a look into the treaties.

1.2: Important Articles and Titles of the Treaty on European Union referring to the CFSP

Having mentioned the main targets we now will have a closer look into some important articles and chapters of the treaties, dealing with the CFSP.

The Common Foreign Security Policy has with Title V its own title in the Treaty of Maastricht.

Releasing the EPC, Article 11 (former article J.1) sets out five main principles5

- to safeguard the common values and fundamental interests of the Union
- to strengthen the security of the Union
- to preserve peace and strengthen international security
- to promote international cooperation
- to develop democracy and the rule of law, including human rights

Upon this the EU implements the CFSP as an intergovernmental (the so called 2nd) pillar in the Community structure.

Further goals of the European Union also refer to the CFSP, as an example the Article 2 of the common provisions of the Union states, that objective of the CFSP shall be

to assert its identity on the international scene, in particular through the implementation of a common foreign and security policy including the progressive framing of a common defence policy, which might lead to a common defense …6

Article 17 of the Title V refers to the Security Policy.7 It enforces the WEU as integral part of the new CFSP, as well as attempting to provide a guideline about a probable integration of the WEU into the European Union. It furthermore sets out the tasks, in which the common security and defense shall operate (humanitarian and rescue tasks, peacekeeping tasks and tasks of combat forces in crisis management, including peacemaking.)8

The fields of politic the CFSP shall deal with is wide. The following examples were originally attached to other institutions of the EU but now are part of the duties CFSP covers9

-Development Cooperation (article 130)
- trade issues (articles 110 - 116)
- economic sanctions (article 228a)

Article 15 (former J.1) finally states that every position adopted is the position of all members. In that circumstance we can understand that every institution acting in the framework of the CFSP directly acts in the framework of the full EU.

Bearing this in mind, the foundation of a completely separate pillar of the European Union with it’s already mentioned intergovernmental base leads to a totally different way of decision making and decision structures, which shall be investigated in the next part.

1.3: Structure of the CFSP - problems and ways within it’s decision structure

1.3.1. The institutions affected by the CFSP

In the following the EU’s organs and their roles within the CFSP structure shall be presented.

The European Council is the “head of inspiration” giving the most impulses towards the CFSP. Within this framework the Foreign Ministers of the EU meet at least once a month to coordinate and discuss the guidelines and strategies given from the EC. This institution is called General Affairs Council (GAC). The third important institution is the Political Committee with responsibilities for the organizational tasks.10

The European Parliament has no direct influence towards the CFSP. The rules and guidelines enforce a hearing once a year in the Parliament about what has happened in the CFSP framework.11 Nevertheless the CFSP is part of the European Union and therefore it’s expenses are paid by the budget of the EU. As there the EP has direct control it often comes to the situation of “log-rolling”, bringing the EP in a position only to agree to a budget related issue, when the GAC implements a wish of the Parliament where itself would otherwise have no influence.12

The last important institution is the European Commission. Before Maastricht the Commission had no fixed position within the CFSP context.

This changes with article C of the treaty.

“ The Union shall be served by a single institutional framework which shall ensure the consistency and the continuity of the activities carried out in order to attain its objectives while respecting and building upon the acquis communautaire.

The Union shall in particular ensure the consistency of its external activities as a whole in the context of its external relations, security, economic and development policies. The Council and the Commission shall be responsible for ensuring such consistency and shall cooperate to this end. They shall ensure the implementation of these policies, each in accordance with its respective powers. ” 13

By now and given by article C II the Commission is given direct involvement in the CFSP. From now on the Commission is represented by a member of it in the meetings of the GAC, often by the president of the Commission itself.14

The European Court of Justice has no rights to interfere in the CFSP context. Article L restricts its powers to the sections where Community law applies. As the 2nd pillar is intergovernmental the supervision of this pillar remains completely to the member states.15

The tasks of daily politics are carried out by the member state that currently has the presidency of the EU. Also the The High Representative for the CFSP is involved in these tasks.16

1.3.2: The decision making structure of the CFSP

The decision structure of the CFSP is very complex. It is regulated in Article 23 in the TEU. In the Maastricht version it was regulated that each decision has to be unanimous which was revised in the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1999. From that point on at maximum 1/3 of the members have the possibility of a constructive abstention and even in the case a state veto’s (which formerly made the decision to fail in any circumstance) it now may be redirected by a qualified majority to the European Council, which by then again has to vote unanimous in order to make the decision pass.17

The possibilities of decision making are summarized on appendix A18

If the European Council sets up a guideline (according to article 13.1) the General Affairs Council has 4 options of which may lead to different outcomes.

1. If there are no constructive abstentions the decision has passed
2. If there are no more than 1/3 of the members taking the option of a constructive abstention with at least 62 weighted votes for the decision it has passed
3. If there are more than 1/3 of constructive abstentions the decision has failed
4. If one states calls a veto the decision has failed.

In case the European Council sets up a common strategy (according to article 13.2) there are again 4 possible outcomes. In this circumstance there is still no possibility for a constructive abstention, but only agreement or veto.

1. If there is no announcement of a member state’s veto the common strategy has passed and comes into action.
2. If there is a national veto announced, the decision is passed back to the European Council by a qualified majority vote which then decides unanimous in favor of the strategy it has passed
3. If there is a national veto announced, the decision is passed back to the European Council by a qualified majority vote which then decides not unanimous in favor of the strategy it has failed
4. If there is a national veto announced but the GAC fails to bring up a qualified majority vote to pass it back to the European Council the strategy has failed.

As we see the structure is very complex and often influenced by a state’s veto.

1.4: Interests and Identities of member states

For understanding why a member state may consider to announce a veto in the CFSP decision making structure we need to understand what influences the member. Identity and interests vary from state to state. As investigating 25 state positions and identities would be a matter for a PhD paper, in this work only two contradictory positions will be presented.

1.4.1: The Grande Nation: France

For the understanding of the positions of France and Germany I will mainly refer to the work done by Michael Kreft, investigating the identity and interests of both states.

France describes itself as a “Grande Nation” that was traumatized by the two world wars, with a stronghold position of independence. France carries out the Conviction that it is an integral part of Europe which without it would not be able to exist. The other way round France is certain that it could stand alone without Europe in any circumstance.19

As already mentioned the country regarding itself having a strong identity of independence within the European Union’s framework which is aiming for integration of policy field, France interests within the CFSP framework are until today very contradictive.

In my opinion, a very good example for these contradictive positions even within France we may look on the following France has capable resources of nuclear weapons which the European Community wanted to be used for the defense and in the duty of Europe. This approach was supported by French commission president Jaques Delors, but refused by the French government several times.20

Stanley Hoffmann summed up what the intention and fears of France are in one very good sentence:

„ France aims at maximizing it s influence and minimizing the risk to be controlled by it ” 21

In this context we can understand now that the French foreign and security policy is aiming at maximizing its power as described by the Neo-realistic approach.22 23 On the other hand the French integration policy is more agreeable to the Union’s as it aims for stability and peacekeeping in the surrounding territory - and in a broader view for sure the surrounding territory of the EU. 24


1 t p. 116

2 o p. 275


4 t p. 124


6 see above

7 p


9 o p. 287

10 t p. 118

11 t p. 119

12 p p. 228


14 o p. 286

15 o p. 285

16 t p. 118

17 t p. 122 and

18 v

19 o pp. 299-302

20 o pp. 308-9

21 French Dilemmas and Strategies in new Europe --/--/Hoffmann (editor) After the Cold war: International Institiutions and state strategies in New Europe 1989-91 Cambrigdge

22 o p. 312

23 further information on Democracy theories see also: Manfred G. Schmidt: Demokrathietheorien, Opladen 2000

24 o p. 313

Excerpt out of 19 pages


The Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU
Vrije University Brussel  (Vakgroep Politische Wetenschapen)
European Relations
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ISBN (eBook)
File size
482 KB
The work describes the relations of the European Union as a regional actor with impact to the CFSP and the South Eastern European Stability Pact in the case of Serbia and Montenegro. Shortcoming remarked: Theory of "actorness" in the first section needs to be improved.
Common, Foreign, Security, Policy, European, Relations, Balkan;, Kosovo;, Südeuropa;, VUB
Quote paper
Daniel Herrmann (Author), 2005, The Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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