Co-operative System of European Security

Term Paper (Advanced seminar), 2002
30 Pages, Grade: 1,0 (A)


Table of Content


1. Introduction

2. Defining Europe and Europe’s interests
2.1 Europe’s interests
2.2 The Periphery
2.3 United States and Europe’s security
2.4 Europe’s relationship to Russia

3. Security Architecture of Europe
3.1 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
3.1.1 The objectives and legal basis of the Alliance
3.1.2 The evolution of the Atlantic Alliance
3.2 Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
3.3 United Nations (UN)
3.4 Council of Europe (CoE)
3.5 European Union as an emerging player
3.5.1 Bilateral Arrangements
3.5.2 ESDP and EU Military Structure

4. A Co-operative System of European Security

5. Conclusion and Outlook



Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

1. Introduction

The process of European integration makes significant and visibly progress. Only few months ago a considerable number of European citizen decided enthusiastically to adapt the new € currency, while the procedure and negotiation towards the eastward enlarge- ment of the Community produces predominantly positive news. At latest with the Council Meeting of Laeken it had been concluded that a major step of the enlargement - and thus an unprecedented step in Europe’s history - might be accomplished in 20041. Nonetheless, the events of two recent wars on the Balkans (Bosnia and Kosovo) and the consciousness of Europe’s inability to cope with these local conflicts prevails still in the collective memory of most of European political and military leaders. After the end of the Cold War the today’s security scenario is lacking the - to certain extent healthy - superpower polarity of the good old days that often served to impose tense order in a confrontational world. Intra-failed-state and regional conflicts are now joining with lo- cal instability and insurgencies, which may define the most likely forms of upcoming armed conflicts in Europe or its near periphery2.

Thus, aim of this paper shall be to elaborate a feasible and predictable scenario of Euro- pean future security policy and its accompanying means. To the purpose of this discus- sion it deems necessary first to identify where Europe is, or where it ends, and what should be considered indispensable for a European security model. Correspondingly, there are already a number of international organizations in existence, which solely may already provide sufficient security to what is considered of Europe’s interest. Part of this paper shall be the evaluation if these existing institutions. This should allow for some recommendations, which ought to be the last part of this discussion.

2. Defining Europe and Europe’s interests

2.1 Europe’s interests

Though probably contradicting the thinking of some Eurocrats, Europe is far more than the European Union it its today’s shape or even after its enlargement. On the other side, the elaboration of this issue should not necessarily touch historical considerations or cultural concerns3. To put it in the words of BARTOSZEWSKI: ‘The question for the geographical borders of Europe shall rather be answered by a philosopher’4.

Instead certain equivalence between the relevant territory and the interests of western, central and eastern-central European countries should be assumed5. After the experi- ences of two devastating World Wars, the attempts to reconcile and the rapprochement of the European nation states initiated a process, which prevented any hostile activities -even under the conditions of the Cold War -, from Europe’s soil. The predecessors of the today’s European Union thus coined probably best its interests. Accordingly, the TEU preamble thus emphasises “the historic importance of the ending of the division of the European continent and the need to create firm bases for the construction of the fu- ture Europe”. Further the contracting parties are “confirming their attachment to the principles of liberty, democracy and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and of the rule of law”, their desire “to deepen the solidarity between their peoples while respecting their history, their culture and their traditions … in view of further steps to be taken in order to advance European integration“6. It is not less worth quoting the preamble of the Treaty establishing the European Community. The participating states herein declare to be “resolved to ensure the economic and social progress of their countries by common action to eliminate the barriers which divide Europe, … recog- nising that the removal of existing obstacles calls for concerted action in order to guar- antee steady expansion, balanced trade and fair competition”, while being “anxious to strengthen the unity of their economies and to ensure their harmonious development by reducing the differences existing between the various regions and the backwardness of the less-favoured regions”. Regarding the designation of this paper, however, these ob- jectives could be hardly achieved in an insecure environment. Accordingly the Member States of the EU/EC are thus determinate “pooling their resources to preserve and strengthen peace and liberty, and calling upon the other peoples of Europe who share their ideal to join in their efforts”7. Yet, PRODI himself probably identified the initial questions best, when he stated: “[I]f it is to exercise true leadership in the field of secu- rity, the Union will not be able, in the long term, to avoid a number of questions which have not hitherto been discussed: what cause would we all be willing to die for? How far can the efforts of technocrats ‘export stability’; when should human lives be put at risk?“8. Thus, it is worthy bearing in mind that the foremost aim of all efforts to recon- cile, to bring peoples closer together and finally to integrate what we consider today and tomorrow ‘Europe’ was anything but the strong desire of Europe’s peoples for a sus- taining and enduring peace. The Kosovo campaign - as the most recent European ad- venture with use of military means - thus may provide the best example of the age old dilemma lurking when discussing the application of a potential European security model: “[W]e witnessed all the historic reluctance of democratic nations and their po- litical leaders to resort to the use of force, or the threat of its use, and to put lives at risk”9.

2.2 The Periphery

It is thus peace, political stability and social justice, which internally guarantee a pros- perous development not only among the territory of the today’s and future EU, but also its near periphery. Simultaneously, there can be hardly a stable and secure environment without a prosperous economy. However, inevitably peace is the very precondition and basis for this spin off. What is considered near the concerned area was defined by the New Strategic Concept of NATO under just turbulent circumstances of the Alliance’s Kosovo campaign. Since there is a significant overlapping of country’s membership in NATO and/or the EU - even in a more or less distant future - this concept of concentric circles 10 would allow adapting NATO’s proposal on Europe as such. What the Atlantic Alliance deems to be near had been more or less clearly identified in the Alliance’s Strategic Concept, which was agreed upon during the Washington Summit in 1999. Ac- cordingly, security challenges and risks “include uncertainty and instability in and around the Euro-Atlantic area and the possibility of regional crises at the periphery of the Alliance”. Further, “[s]uch conflicts could affect the security of the Alliance by spilling over into neighbouring countries, including NATO countries, or in other ways, and could also affect the security of other states”11.

Yet, there is another approach to define Europe and its interdependencies in security matters to its periphery. LINK argues: ‘Europe is preoccupied by three peripheral con- texts; a Eurasian, an Atlantic, and a Mediterranean. In all circumstances it remains a problem to what extent these peripheral contexts participate in European history and how they interfere in it’12. Hence, what is so far considered part of the discussion could briefly regarded in the Atlantic context. At the same time, considerations regarding Europe’s security environment and political sphere of influence ever has to respect the particular interdependencies with the Eurasian as well the Atlantic area. Yet, the Medi- terranean periphery did so far hardly play any role, since during the Cold War the po- larization of world politics took place on the two other, divergent poles of Europe’s fate.

2.3 United States and Europe’s security

Though the Eurasian periphery lost since the end of the Cold War significantly influence, it still remains a crucial part of European security considerations. Correspondingly, the Atlantic perspective gained much more of influence.

European stability was endangered, in both Balkan wars Europeans themselves failed to act immediately enough. As METZ put it: “Washington would have preferred that some- one else assumed responsibility for stability in the Balkans”. Correspondingly, not only NATO’s status and image could have been damaged, and thus threaten important na- tional interests of the United States13. Nonetheless, during the Kosovo campaign NATO went to war first time for an idea. It was not sufficiently noble to go to war for national interest14. In a typical open-minded and pro-interventionist strategic White House paper of the Clinton administration one can read: “European stability is vital to our own secu- rity. The United States has two strategic goals in Europe. The first is to build a Europe that is truly integrated, democratic, prosperous and at peace - a realisation of the vision the United States launched 50 years ago with the Marshall Plan and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Our second goal is to work with our allies and partners across the Atlantic to meet the global challenges no nation can meet alone … NATO remains the anchor of American engagement in Europe and the linchpin of transatlantic security. As the leading guarantor of European security and a force for European stability, NATO must play a leading role in promoting a more integrated and secure Europe, prepared to respond to new challenges”15. Thus, probably the Kosovo Crisis, after several years of Atlantic disputes over burden-sharing, made the U.S. national interest in Europe appar- ent again. However, MADELEINE ALBRIGHT ascertains, that “America cannot be secure if Europe is not secure, and … Europe cannot be secure when conflict engulfs the Ba l- kans”16.

In contrast, a complete withdraw of the United States and the suspension of its military and political commitment on the continent, which the Bush junior Administration hinted on shortly after its inauguration, would thus have divided NATO - and thus the only remaining instrument of military rapprochement. It would on the other side apparently undermine Europe’s efforts towards its increased military potential while render NATO’s strategic relevance obsolete. At the latest with the development of the Kosovo war, as METZ put it, the United States allowed Peacekeeping in the Balkans to become the test of NATO’s viability17, and thus the decisive factor America’s engagement in Europe. The same author argues that other places and other circumstances may provide the possibility to other nations to take the majority of responsibility and provide the military power. This may constitute the drawn lesson from the U.S. engagement on the Balkans. Once they committed themselves to intervene - and to claim the respective national interest -, the United States at least militarily can not withdraw so easily from Europe’s soil and - correspondingly - from NATO’s structure.

Simultaneously, the today’s NATO has a build-in American dominance in its command structure since the most important command posts are reserved for American generals. Accordingly, METZ asserts that the United States are currently occupied by refining its leadership role in Europe’s security to such an extent, that its primary function is pro- viding solely support to European states. This, however, may shape the Atlantic rela- tionship in the near future. During the Cold War, NATO could be perceived as an in- strument of the United States to contain the so-called Soviet threat. The Battleship America thus was/is supported by the European NATO members in stabilising Europe’s partial freedom. Yet, the future may bring about two more or less independent agents (U.S. and EU) collaborating to secure the wealth of the Western Hemisphere.

2.4 Europe’s relationship to Russia

When the Cold War reached its peak, the Soviet Union had estimated 5 million people in active military, intelligence or police service under arms. Another 10 millions found employment in the huge military industrial sector, while it occupied approximately 20 % of the GDP18. Why talking about the Cold War, after 12 years of peaceful co- existence in an emerging new world order? It deems necessary to do so as soon as the Russian military policy and its objectives are concerned. The world public could wit- ness the prevailing Cold War rhetoric of the “new” Russian military leaders when the Russian navy’s flagship “Kurks” sank. However, it is not only this manner of remaining rhetoric after the breakdown of the Communist regime. Indeed, a significant political and economical role in the attempts to reform - or not to reform - the Russian economy and political structure is staged by the military.

ADOMEIT indicates that the new military doctrine, which was formulated and signed in 2000 as one of the first acts of President Putin, does not any longer unobtrusively de- termine the use of military force against any significant threat or aggression. Instead - and thus first time since the Breshnev era -Russia intimidates on parity of forces. Ac- cordingly, a large-scale war had again been taken in consideration. Simultaneously, the use of nuclear weapons will in future be assumed necessary and legitimated in armed conflicts if all other military means and forces are exhausted or inefficient. Thus, a ‘critical threat to the security of the Russian federation and its allies’ is deemed ade- quate enough for the deployment of the respective military means19.

This, however, does not necessarily initiate the return to Cold War priorities in Russian military planning and assessment, yet, some observers intend on some deeper consid- erations of military leaders in Russia. To reserve and maintain at least certain part of the military budget it was necessary to draw such a scenario. The behaviour of the Russian diplomacy during the Kosovo campaign has to be interpreted in the same way. This is much more valid for any comments and even complaints of Russian politicians regard- ing the dominance of the United States. Though the military and political establishment remained relative silent during the recent campaign of the United States in different parts of the world, Russia seems to feel more comfortable in doing reciprocally business - and declaring the “marginality of the organization”20 - with the European camp of the NATO members, while hoping to prevent the emergence of a new, monopolistic super- power. However, priority among the distribution of military forces is rather given to nuclear and heavy armed forces than to mobile and flexible components. This may indi- cate that the only feasible threat to the security of the Russia federations comes from NATO. ADOMEIT, thus distinguish between two reasons for such a position. One alter- native may refer to the relative inability of Russia to act, react or respond flexibly with its desolate conventional forces. Though this has to be considered discussion a Euro- pean security model, this development may lead to another scenario. Since social, po- litical but above all economic reforms do not really bring about a significant change or even up turn in the domestic development, the Russian government probably fall back on its traditional up-to-bottom approach21. Accordingly, an increase of expenditures for the military - which in the year 2000 experienced a boost of 40 % - as well as the armament industry may trigger a kind of military Keynesianism22. The still existing military industrial complex, which nonetheless has significant capacities for research and production at its disposal - so at least the hopes of domestic reformers - may provoke a sequence of multiplier effects, which will in the end improve the economic situation of a wider percentage of the population. Simultaneously, certain spinouts or innovations from the research efforts may be utilised in the civil sector as well. From that perspective, the Russian economic policy does not diverge so much from those of the United States, which, however, reached a significant different level.

Finally, one of the future keystones in the Russian security consideration towards the emerging European Union will inevitably arise with the issues of the Kaliningrad. The resolution of the region’s social, economic, political and military problems might pro- voke an rapprochement between Russia and the future EU - or result in a contrary de- velopment and hence need to be taken in consideration regarding a European security model23.

3. Security Architecture of Europe

3.1 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

3.1.1 The objectives and legal basis of the Alliance

The NATO handbook states: “The North Atlantic Alliance was founded on the basis of a Treaty between member states entered into freely … The Treaty upholds their indi- vidual rights as well as their international obligations in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. It commits each member country to sharing the risks and respons i- bilities as well as the benefits of collective security … Between the creation of the Alli- ance and the present day, half a century of history has taken place. For much of this time the central focus of NATO was providing for the immediate defence and security of its member countries. Today this remains its core task, but its immediate focus has undergone fundamental change”. This very fact surfaced during the last decade several times, beginning with the Gulf War, followed by the actions taken in Bosnian and Her- zegovina and finally in Kosovo. However, after attempts of collective security like the League of Nations failed to guarantee the existence of save environment, NATO emerged as a so far successful regional arrangement, which - despite its economic, po- litical and military resources - succeed the end of the Cold War. To quote the NATO handbook once more: “NATO’s essential purpose is to safeguard the freedom and secu- rity of all its members by political and military means in accordance with the North At- lantic Treaty and the principles of the United Nations Charter. NATO embodies the transatlantic link by which the security of North America is permanently tied to the se- curity of Europe … The fundamental principle underpinning the Alliance is a common commitment to mutual cooperation among the member states, based on the indivisibility of their security. Solidarity and cohesion within the Alliance ensure that no member country is forced to rely upon its own national efforts alone in dealing with basic secu- rity challenges. In short, the Alliance is an association of free states united in their de- termination to preserve their security through mutual guarantees and stable relations with other countries”24. Yet, the Washington Treaty does not imply an automatic, recip- rocal mutual assistance, since each of the member states may apply the means it deems necessary to cope with an act of violence. It may - after the prominent Article 5 is in- voked, while an attack to one of the member states is considered as an assault against the whole territory of NATO - include the use of military means, but could also only entail political, diplomatic, economic or other measures, which is a unique feature of the Alliance25. The preamble to the Treaty states, the aim of the Allies is to “safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilisation of their peoples, founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law. They seek to promote stability and well-being in the North Atlantic area”26. Due to the end of the Cold War, NATO part- ners were confronted with a certain pressure to adapt the new scenario. Thus, new issues arose, such as the increased Europeanization of the Alliance, which may result in the transformation of the defence community towards a rather security oriented organiza- tion. Accordingly, the role of NATO as an executive or supporting agency of mandates from the United Nations or the OSCE is increasingly conceivable27. Nonetheless, NATO identifies a set of four priorities, which could be characterized as following: “Se- curity: To provide one of the indispensable foundations for a stable Euro-Atlantic secu- rity environment, based on the growth of democratic institutions and commitment to the peaceful resolution of disputes, in which no country would be able to intimidate or co- erce any other through the threat or use of force. Consultation: To serve, as provided for in Article 4 of the Washington Treaty, as an essential transatlantic forum for Allied con- sultations on any issues that affect their vital interests, including possible developments posing risks for members’ security, and for appropriate coordination of their efforts in fields of common concern. Deterrence and Defence: To deter and defend against any threat of aggression against any NATO member state as provided for in Articles 5 and 6 of the Washington Treaty. And in order to enhance the security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic area: Crisis Management: To stand ready, case-by-case and by consensus, in conformity with Article 7 of the Washington Treaty, to contribute to effective conflict prevention and to engage actively in crisis management, including crisis response op- erations. Partnership: To promote wide-ranging partnership, cooperation, and dialogue with other countries in the Euro-Atlantic area, with the aim of increasing transparency, mutual confidence and the capacity for joint action with the Alliance”28.

The hopeful, yet partly disappointing beginnings of the post-Cold War era rendered some elements of the Alliance’s strategy irrelevant. NATO thus does not consider a major threat to its territory as the main risk, while to its periphery much more efforts are devoted. Instead the Alliance perceives its new role in an increasingly political manner, cooperating with other regional organizations as well as the United Nations. The New Strategic Concept thus probably triggers certain doubts regarding the future perform- ance of the Alliance: The ambiguity regarding the necessity of United Nations mandated operations; the future core function of the Alliance itself; and the projected applicability of nuclear weapons. Since the New Strategy, which agreed upon during the Washington Summit in 199929, needed unanimously approval, it permits for some flexibility, but also for interpretation. Though all actions deemed necessary taken by NATO are desired to be in compliance with the UN Charter, particular exceptions are nonetheless conceiv- able30.

3.1.2 The evolution of the Atlantic Alliance

Though it is a fundamental failure of military planning to potentially re-fight the last war, while failing to prepare for the next, the Atlantic Alliance is caught in this way of thinking. As Clark recently confessed in regard to politically troublesome Kosovo cam-


1 European Council (2001).

2 Clark (2000), p. 16.

3 Halecki (1957).

4 Bartoszewski (2002), p. 860.

5 Pond (2000).

6 Preamble on the European Union.

7 Preamble establishing the European Community (Emphasizes added).

8 Prodi (2001).

9 Clark (2001); p. 419.

10 Wellershoff (1999).

11 NATO (1999); emphasizes added.

12 Link (2000), p. 559.

13 Metz (2001), p. 9.

14 Hamre (2000), p. 6.

15 White House (1999), p. 29.

16 Albright (2000).

17 Metz (2001), p. 11-12.

18 Adomeit (2001), p. 107.

19 Adomeit, (2000), p. 5.

20 Rogosin (2002); Rogosin is head of the Foreign Committee of the Russian Parliament.

21 Adomeit (2001), p. 113-114.

22 Mankiw (1999), p. 787.

23 Altenbockum (2002).

24 NATO (2001), p. 30.

25 Woyke (2000), p. 317.

26 NATO (1949).

27 Woyke (2000), p. 321.

28 NATO (2001), p. 31-32.

29 NATO (1999).

30 Wokye (2000), p. 325.

Excerpt out of 30 pages


Co-operative System of European Security
Jagiellonian University in Krakow  (Centre for European Studies)
European Security at the turn to the 21st century
1,0 (A)
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ISBN (eBook)
File size
440 KB
NATO GASP CFSP ESDP Helsinki SFOR Europarat OSCE OSZE UN Vereinte Nationen Europa
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Heiko Bubholz (Author), 2002, Co-operative System of European Security, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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