Committee Reports
Sub-committee on Transatlantic Defence 


Building European Defence: NATO's Esdi and the European Union's Esdp 

Mr Wim Van Eekelen (Netherlands) 

Rapporteur* 


 







 


18 April 2000 


 



 


* Until this document has been approved by the Defence and Security Committee, it represents only the views of the Rapporteur. 

TABLE OF CONTENTS 

I. OVERLAPPING INSTITUTIONS 

    A. INTRODUCTION 

    B. ESDI WITHIN NATO 

    C. ESDP OF THE EUROPEAN UNION 

II. PRINCIPLES FOR EUROPEAN DEFENCE 

    A. NATO PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY ESDI RESOLUTION 

    B. ALBRIGHT'S "THREE D'S" AND ROBERTSON'S "THREE I'S" 

III. BUILDING A EUROPEAN CRISIS REACTION FORCE 

    A. HEADLINE GOAL COMPONENTS 

    B. CAPABILITIES EXISTING ON NATIONAL LEVEL 

    C. CAPABILITIES THAT MUST BE ACQUIRED 

    D. CHALLENGES AND COSTS 

IV. EU-NATO RELATIONS 

    A. LINKS BETWEEN THE EU AND NATO 

    B. RIGHT OF FIRST REFUSAL 

    C. COMMAND ARRANGEMENTS AND FORCE COMMITMENTS 

    D. ROLE OF THE EUROCORPS 

V. THE WEU AND THE EU 

    A. WEU MILITARY STRUCTURE 

    B. WEU AND EU POLITICAL ARRANGEMENTS 

VI. NATO ASSETS 

    A. NATO ASSETS VS. ALLIES' ASSETS 

    B. NATO AIRBORNE EARLY WARNING AND COMMAND SYSTEM 

    C. FUTURE COMMON ASSETS 

VII. CONCLUSIONS 


I. OVERLAPPING INSTITUTIONS 

A. INTRODUCTION 

1. Since the December 1998 Franco-British summit in St Malo, the issue of European defence has gained renewed momentum. The European Union has embraced the idea of a European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) as a logical evolution for a union that has already embarked down the path of monetary union. This effort by the EU in many respects parallels the steps taken within NATO to strengthen the European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI), inevitable given that 11 of the 15 EU countries are also NATO members, including powerful members of both organisations. 

2. In general, the development of ESDP has been viewed positively. The six European members of NATO outside the EU have voiced concern that they not be excluded, but most of them hope one day to become EU members, so their current position should be short-lived. The United States, which for decades has pressured the European allies to bear a greater share of the burden of European defence, has generally responded positively, while expressing significant concerns about some aspects of the process. And while some of the members of both organisations are cautious about other allies using ESDP to weaken the transatlantic relationship, they all have embraced the idea as one whose time has come. 

3. As a result, there are two similar processes going forward simultaneously. The first is the effort by NATO to further develop its European Security and Defence Identity, comprising the 17 European members of the Alliance. The second is the proposal by the European Union to develop a European Security and Defence Policy for its 15 members, 11 of which are members of NATO. This document will use the term ESDI to refer to the "European pillar" of NATO, and ESDP to refer to the budding arrangements within the European Union, previously known as the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). 

B. ESDI WITHIN NATO 

4. At NATO's 1996 Berlin Summit, the Alliance declared it intended to "build a European Security and Defence Identity within the Alliance," whose purpose was to "enable all European Allies to make a more coherent and effective contribution to the missions and activities of the Alliance" and "to act themselves as required." Toward these ends the Alliance announced that the Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) concept would be the mechanism to facilitate the use by European coalitions of the willing of "separate but not separable" NATO capabilities in operations other than those envisioned in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty. The creation of CJTF was a direct response to the new roles and missions outlined in NATO's 1991 Strategic Concept. 

5. NATO has shown its willingness to lend assets (including planning capabilities and the Deputy SACEUR as a commander) for European-led crisis management operations when the Alliance as a whole does not wish to become involved. During the Berlin Summit, ministers agreed to allow the Deputy SACEUR, the senior European officer in NATO, to wear a second hat as the senior WEU commander. This helped ensure that ESDI was constructed within, not outside, the structure of the transatlantic alliance. However, the reference to WEU-led operations did not specify how political guidance would be given to the WEU commander. 

6. At the April 1999 Washington Summit, the Allies restated their commitment to develop ESDI within NATO, noting that "This process will require close co-operation between NATO, the WEU, and if and when appropriate, the European Union." 

C. ESDP OF THE EUROPEAN UNION 

7. Meeting in June 1992 at Petersberg, Germany, to consider implementation of the Maastricht Declaration, the 10 member states of the Western European Union declared their preparedness to "make available units from the whole spectrum of their conventional armed forces for military tasks conducted under the authority of WEU." The WEU members stated that their forces, acting under the authority of the WEU, would be made available for a variety of missions outside the common defence called for in Article 5 of both the Washington Treaty that founded NATO and the Modified Brussels Treaty that created the WEU. These "Petersberg tasks" were defined as: 

8. At the same time, the European Union in the 1990s took practical steps to strengthen its foreign policy apparatus and strengthen its embryonic CFSP. The Amsterdam Treaty introduced majority voting for decisions concerning the implementation of agreed policies; a procedure for "constructive abstention"; a central policy planning unit to enable EU foreign ministers to develop common analyses; and the post of "High Representative for CFSP" (known by the French acronym as "Monsieur Pesc") to act as EU spokesman and interlocutor in foreign and security policy. 

9. The December 1998 joint declaration of British Prime Minister Tony Blair and French President Jacques Chirac in St Malo, France, was particularly significant. The two leaders agreed that "the Union must have the capacity for autonomous action, backed up by credible military forces, the means to decide to use them and a readiness to do so, in order to respond to international crises". They committed themselves to this task "acting in conformity with our respective obligations in NATO... contributing to the vitality of a modernised Atlantic Alliance which is the foundation of the collective defence of its members". Although it emphasised a continued commitment to NATO, the St Malo declaration left also open the possibility of European military action outside the framework of the Alliance. 

10. At the June 1999 EU Summit in Cologne, the EU took a historic step toward establishing its own military capabilities. Even though the Cologne Declaration was only an interim one, it marked a fundamental change of direction. The European Council made it clear that the integration of the WEU into the EU institutional framework was not necessary, despite the fact that it was foreseen in the Amsterdam Treaty; rather, those functions that the WEU assumed in the field of Petersberg tasks would be included in the EU. As a result, the European Council decided to set up several committees and decision-making structures in parallel to the WEU

11. At its December 1999 summit in Helsinki, the European Council set a concrete military "headline goal" for its 15 members: 

"by the year 2003, co-operating together voluntarily, Member States will be able to deploy within 60 days and then sustain forces capable of the full range of Petersberg tasks as set out in the Amsterdam Treaty, including the most demanding, in operations up to corps level (up to 15 brigades or 50,000-60,000 persons). These forces should be militarily self-sustaining with the necessary command, control and intelligence capabilities, logistics, other combat support services and additionally, as appropriate, air and naval elements. They must be able to sustain such a deployment for at least one year. This will require an additional pool of deployable units (and supporting elements) at lower readiness to provide replacements for the initial forces." 

12. On March 1, 2000, the EU established, on an interim basis: 

  • its Political and Security Committee (known by its French acronym, COPS), composed of national representatives of ambassador or equivalent senior level dealing with all aspects of CFSP, including ESDP; 
  • its EU Military Committee (EMC), composed of the Chiefs of Defence, represented by their military delegates, which will give advice and make recommendations to the COPS, as well as provide military direction to the Military Staff; the Chairman of the EMC would be a four-star officer who would act exclusively in an international capacity and whose authority would stem from the Military Committee. 
  • its EU Military Staff within the European Council structures, which will provide military expertise and support to the ESDP, including the conduct of EU-led military crisis management operations. The nucleus of the future Military Staff is taking shape with the secondment of military experts from member states to the Council secretariat, but overall numbers remain very small. 

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    13. The Council will examine the establishment of a committee for civilian crisis management, in view of reaching a decision at the Feira Summit later this spring, and it approved the creation of a co-ordinating mechanism for civilian crisis management to work with the European Commission. A preliminary database on member states' civil police capabilities has been established. 

    14. This report will examine how the European Union countries might proceed toward achieving this headline goal, including an examination of the capabilities needed, possible command structures, the role of the WEU, and co-operation with NATO. As ESDP is a rapidly changing process, this interim spring report will set out some of the issues that must be addressed by the EU and NATO. The final report in the autumn will look more closely at what has been accomplished by the EU and its members in 2000. 


    II. PRINCIPLES FOR EUROPEAN DEFENCE 

    A. NATO PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY ESDI RESOLUTION 

    15. At its November 1999 session in Amsterdam, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly approved a resolution that sets out Assembly policy on ESDI. That text was clear in its emphasis that a successful ESDI depends upon the European allies developing the capabilities needed to fulfil NATO's 1999 Strategic Concept. Welcoming the steps that the EU had taken toward developing its European Security and Defence Policy, the Assembly called for close co-operation between the EU and NATO. In particular, the Assembly called for: 
  • Member governments to maintain defence budgets at levels necessary to fund modernisation needed to fulfil the Strategic Concept; 
  • An ESDP that does not conflict with NATOís strategic perspective or unnecessarily duplicate NATO capabilities; 
  • Involvement of the NATO allies that are not members of the EU in issues that affect their security; 
  • Governments to ensure that their work to implement ESDP does not detract from their commitments to NATO. 
  • B. ALBRIGHT'S "THREE D'S" AND ROBERTSON'S "THREE I'S" 

    16. In the wake of the December 1998 St Malo Summit, US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright endorsed the British-French efforts to build a stronger European defence, but she did so while articulating American concerns about the project in what came to be known as the "three D's": no diminution of NATO, no discrimination against non-EU NATO members, and no duplication of effort or capabilities. Over the course of 1999, the formulation evolved slightly: no discrimination, no duplication, and no decoupling of Europe's security from that of the North American allies. 

    17. Unfortunately, the construction of the "three D's" focused on negatives --- eventualities that should not occur --- rather than the positive developments that must be achieved. As a result, NATO Secretary General George Robertson, speaking at the Assembly's November 1999 plenary session in Amsterdam, cast the issue in terms of the "three I's": indivisibility of the transatlantic link, improvement of capabilities, and inclusiveness of all Allies. 

    18. The secretary general's formulation is at the heart of what ESDP is all about. First, it should not be seen as a challenge to NATO or an effort to undermine the transatlantic link. The United States and Canada are faithful allies and essential contributors to European security. Their commitment to the common defence of the Alliance, as enshrined in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, is unquestioned, and their participation in crisis management operations is welcome whenever it is forthcoming. 

    19. ESDP, however, is about improving European capabilities so that European countries can undertake a greater share of the responsibility for European security. Politically, this is not an easy task. It will require governments and parliaments to appropriate enough money for defence in their annual budgets, at the expense of more popular options like tax cuts or social programmes. It will require defence ministries to redirect their defence resources, sometimes at the expense of communities that have grown to rely on bases or defence industries. And it will require new, innovative ways of thinking that challenge old, established ways of doing business. 

    20. Finally, ESDP must allow all European allies to join in common actions. Certainly, it is a project that has been given new life and momentum thanks to the European Union, and the EU should remain at the forefront of this effort. But ESDP cannot exclude the six European allies that are not EU members. The Czech Republic, Hungary, Iceland, Norway, Poland and Turkey all have undertaken the solemn commitment contained in Article 5 to come to the aid of another ally whose security is threatened. They deserve no less than a seat at the table when European security issues are being discussed. The Western European Union developed a sound mechanism for ensuring that all members of the EU and NATO would have a seat through its system of associate members (non-EU NATO members), observers (non-NATO EU members plus Denmark), and associate partners (future EU members). These meetings should be continued in whatever forum the EU may develop to run its ESDP. 

    21. The "three I's" construction also helps avoid the difficult question of what constitutes "unnecessary" duplication. While this sentiment is laudable, it also neglects the real need that the European Union has to develop its own institutions to implement its ESDP. There cannot be a European Security and Defence Policy without a professional staff to evaluate threats and crises and plan for contingencies. The member countries of the EU cannot be expected to decide how to manage a crisis without having an assessment of that crisis and a range of options from which to choose. The creation of a policy unit in the office of the high representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, is a good first step. However, this unit should not be allowed to evolve into an unwieldy bureaucracy, and it should draw liberally on the knowledge and abilities already existing on the staff of the Western European Union. 

    22. That being said, it is important that the development of ESDP not create excessive duplication in capabilities between NATO and the EU. It is essential that the two institutions institute regular contacts between them at all levels so that Mr Solana's staff at the EU can develop the institutions needed for ESDP with full knowledge of the capabilities that are available at NATO. The artificial "Brussels Wall" that has been erected at the EU to block contacts with NATO must be torn down to enable full transparency and co-operation between the two institutions that will play the leading roles in European security. 


    III. BUILDING A EUROPEAN CRISIS REACTION FORCE 

    A. HEADLINE GOAL COMPONENTS 

    23. In order to achieve the headline goal, European countries will have to develop the capabilities needed to ensure effective performance in crisis management. These capabilities include the ability to deploy forces quickly, sustain them in the field and operate together with one another, as well as flexibility, survivability, and command and control. In addition to 50,000 to 60,000 ground troops, comprising 15 brigades, the EU force would require the support of 300 to 500 aircraft and around 15 surface warships. 

    24. Actual personnel numbers could be much greater, depending on the length of rotations and the ultimate duration of the mission. For example, if troops were expected to serve for six months before rotating out, a one-year deployment would require 100,000 to 120,000 troops to be available, with half ready to deploy and the other half available to prepare for deployment. However, such an organisational structure would require withdrawal of forces after 12 months. While this is what the headline goal calls for, a firm withdrawal date would restrict political flexibility in managing a crisis, because an adversary would be able to wait out the EU. In order to sustain a mission indefinitely, EU members would need, at a minimum, three times the number of forces deployed --- one group of forces training for deployment, another deployed, and another recovering after deployment. In other words, fulfilling the headline goal may require as many as 150,000 to 180,000 ground troops that can be deployed, plus adequate numbers of sailors and airmen to sustain maritime and air deployments. Other experts have even suggested a 4:1 ratio. 

    25. When speaking about the state of European forces, an official at one ally's delegation to NATO stated, "They can deploy, but they cannot sustain." With 2 million men and women in uniform, Europe has no shortage of military personnel. Analysts say the problem is not so much in deploying troops, it is in supplying the logistical support needed to keep an operation going in the field. An important question to answer is exactly what capabilities are needed to fulfil the headline goal --- to identify specific assets needed, examine what the European allies already possess, and how they might go about obtaining what they lack. 

    26. At the same time, the EU is at its most effective when it integrates political, economic and civilian assistance. ESDP would allow it to add military capabilities to this package, but the emphasis in crisis management should be on integrating all of these areas. 

    27. For the time being, the EU has proved its ability to carry out low-end tasks as far as Petersberg tasks are concerned. Operation Alba which was undertaken in 1997 to restore order in Albania and help with the delivery of humanitarian assistance is an example, albeit one conducted as a coalition of the willing under Italian leadership. In a mid-level intervention, the Bosnia and Kosovo interventions show that the Europeans are able to project forces without major problems. However, in areas like transportation, communications, strategic lift, and intelligence, the European allies will have to decide whether they will acquire their own capabilities or seek to inherit the co-operative arrangements with NATO that have been negotiated by the WEU

    28. The first joint WEU/NATO crisis management exercise (CMX/CRISEX 2000) held in February 2000 was designed to test all the detailed joint work undertaken since Berlin. The fictitious scenario on which the CRISEX exercise was based entailed a crisis situation in an island laid waste by ethnic clashes, with the result that tens of thousands of persons are displaced; a UN resolution calling for aid; the NATO decision to support WEU with its own means; and the NATO and WEU decision to entrust the command of the operation to DSACEUR (Deputy SACEUR). 

    29. This interim spring report will focus on identifying the key questions relating to achievement of the headline goal. The visits to the United Kingdom and France, two of the leading countries in developing ESDP, will provide some of the answers, as will further research and discussions with officials at NATO, the WEU, and the EU. ESDP remains an extremely fluid concept, one that will be fleshed out further as the year goes on. 

    B. CAPABILITIES EXISTING ON NATIONAL LEVEL 

    30. To determine what capabilities the European allies already possess toward the headline goal, one might start by looking at the European contributions in Bosnia and Kosovo. With the exception of the United Kingdom and France, most European countries have failed to invest in the equipment and training that would enable them to project power effectively. Germany, Italy, and Spain still have work to do in professionalising and restructuring their military forces. A survey of the largest allies yields the following capsule analyses of their power-projection capabilities: 

    31. Germany: In 1997, Germany took the unprecedented step of deploying a sizeable contingent of combat troops to the former Yugoslavia as part of SFOR. Roughly 2,500 German forces are serving there, and Germany has committed around 6,000 persons to KFOR. While Germany plans a 56,000-strong Crisis Reaction Force, it currently only counts about 10,000 personnel in its reaction forces. One airborne unit in southern Germany is fully capable of deploying out-of-area, and some other units are maintained at high readiness. Other units assigned to the reaction forces contain up to 30% conscripts, who cannot be deployed outside the country, so their readiness is lower. German defence planners are working to improve the mobility of their forces, focusing on transport aircraft and helicopters. Plans ultimately call for six combat aircraft squadrons, six manoeuvre brigades, and a naval contingent, but only three brigades today are pledged to NATO's main reaction force, the ACE Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC). 

    32. United Kingdom: In 1998 the British SFOR contingent numbered some 5,000 ground troops, second in size only to the US contribution. A nuclear state with significant power projection capabilities, the United Kingdom has more than 25,000 forces stationed abroad. The recent Strategic Defence Review directed changes designed to make British military forces more deployable, sustainable and flexible. As part of the SDR, the United Kingdom is developing Joint Rapid Reaction Forces, which will comprise all high-readiness forces across all services, including 77,000 army troops. The United Kingdom provides most of the logistical and administrative support to the ARRC, as well as the largest share of its combat forces. In addition, British forces make up a sizeable part of the maritime and air components of NATO reaction forces, including 16 surface combatants and more than 100 combat aircraft. 

    33. France: France carries an important share of the burden of defending Western interests, and maintains substantial defence spending levels. France makes noteworthy contributions to international peacekeeping, and has committed 2,500 troops to SFOR missions --- the third largest contingent after the US and the UK as well as more than 5,000 to KFOR. French Reaction Forces are among the largest of any Western nation. These include the Force d'Action Rapide, which comprises one airmobile, one parachute and two light armoured divisions, and the Force d'Action Navale, which includes a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, 9 surface combatants and several nuclear attack submarines and replenishment auxiliaries. 

    34. Italy: Italy's NATO missions include its commitment of 2,000 military personnel to SFOR. Its KFOR contingent is 4,500 personnel, one of the largest, with a full complement of tanks, armoured vehicles, and helicopters. 

    35. Your Rapporteur will continue his research into the capabilities that the other allies possess and report his findings in the final report this autumn. 

    C. CAPABILITIES THAT MUST BE ACQUIRED 

    36. While European capabilities in terms of the forces required for Petersberg tasks are judged by NATO's International Military Staff to be sufficient overall, European armed forces face shortcomings in satellite capabilities, strategic mobility and command and communications systems. The WEU found, in light of the Kosovo conflict, that European forces lack the capacity to carry out complex operations independently on a sustained basis, pointing to shortfalls in lift and refuelling capacity, in addition to lacking appropriate weapons systems. However, there may be less costly ways to gain access to some of these capabilities, such as using unmanned aerial vehicles or civilian satellite capabilities for intelligence in peace support operations. 

    37. At the recent EU defence ministers gathering in Portugal, it was announced that a Force Generation Conference will be held in November 2000, during the French presidency of the EU. That conference would identify all the capabilities needed to handle EU-led operations and which EU members are willing to provide which capabilities. The interim military body has been mandated to provide a detailed definition of the force. However, there is already a divergence of opinion on the role of NATO, with the United Kingdom believing that the NATO planning system should remain pre-eminent while France has called for a sizeable EU planning staff. 

    38. Several documents submitted to the Lisbon European Council will provide some guidance to the Force Generation Conference, namely "Strengthening the Common European Security and Defence Policy" and "Elaboration of the Headline Goal: 'Food for Thought'" as well as the WEU audit recommendations. This last document pinpoints the areas where efforts should be concentrated on, notably: 

  • "For operations at the higher end of the Petersberg task spectrum, military air and sea transport assets and capabilities should be considerably reinforced;" 
  • "With regard to sustainability and survivability of forces, nations should reinforce their logistics capacity to support their forces once they have been deployed and should improve their capabilities for establishing supply lines;" 
  • "Search and rescue capabilities should be capable of covering a hostile environment;" 
  • "With regard to medical support to forces, efforts should be made in the field of long-haul medical evacuation and in the NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical weapons) area; 
  • "Capacities in the area of Civil-Military Co-operation (CIMIC)" should be improved; 

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    39. Your Rapporteur intends to continue his research for the autumn report on the specific capabilities that need to be procured by the EU members if they are to reach the headline goal. 

    D. CHALLENGES AND COSTS 

    40. A major challenge to meeting the headline goal will come when defence budgets are passed by EU member states this year. As is discussed at greater length in the report by Mr Paul Helminger for the Economic Committee, European defence budgets have been declining or static for the past decade. Developing the capabilities needed to meet the headline goal will require, at least, that European countries spend their defence budgets more effectively, and greater efforts toward interoperability and standardisation in European defence equipment in the future should produce some efficiencies. However, in the near term, ESDP most likely will require increases in defence spending. Whether the governments that so eagerly are pursuing ESDP will be willing to pay for it remains to be seen. 

    41. A larger challenge is that of a political framework for ESDP. If the headline goal force is developed, who will decide when it is deployed, who will give political guidance to that deployment, and who will exercise legislative oversight? NATO's air operation in Kosovo was plagued by difficulties in co-ordinating civilian oversight of a military mission. It is unclear how the EU, starting from scratch in its security policy, will avoid the difficulties that NATO experienced in this area. 

    42. With most capabilities to be procured at the national level, the ESDP will encounter many of the same problems that confront NATO, even after 50 years of defence co-operation. Three problems are at the fore: 

  • Fair distribution of responsibilities: At the Force Generation Conference, the EU members will have to decide how they will share the burden of fielding the European reaction force. If 15 brigades are to be available, which country will be responsible for how many? How will this be decided? Who will provide support? Who will assess readiness? Who will command? And how will gaps be filled if no country offers to provide a needed capability? 
  • Cost-sharing: Beyond the question of force contributions, EU countries will have to decide how they will pay for whatever common costs they encounter in organising the ESDP force. The European Commission has recently proposed a "Rapid Reaction Fund," but it seems to be aimed only at civilian and police tasks. According to the Presidency Reports annexed to the Helsinki Conclusions, "member States will participate in the ad hoc committee of contributors." The WEU cost-sharing formula could provide a basis, but the contributions of the neutral EU members would have to be considered in determining national cost shares. 
  • Free-riders: In any alliance, there are temptations for individual member states to spend less than their fair share on the common defence. In the EU, there is the specific problem of the four neutral countries and whether they will contribute to the European force to the extent that their national wealth might suggest. In NATO, no nation fulfils the force goals that are agreed to with the Alliance. How the EU will deal with free-riding is an unanswered question 

  • IV. EU-NATO RELATIONS 

    A. LINKS BETWEEN THE EU AND NATO 

    43. During the 30 years NATO and the EU have lived alongside each other, the two organisations and their respective officials have worked in splendid isolation, to all intents and purposes existing in different worlds. The EU evolved as a regulatory body, developing common European rules through a necessarily time-consuming procedure entailing numerous consultations. NATO, as a military alliance, was forced to develop the ability to react quickly and agilely to new developments. The EU has no experience in the military field; therefore, it would do well to draw upon the experience that NATO has developed in European security over the past 50 years. Some steps have been taken so far to improve contacts, such as the weekly breakfast between NATO Secretary General George Robertson and Mr Solana. But co-operation must go further. The EU must allow other officials to meet with their NATO counterparts to discuss the relationship between the two organisations before the EU commits time and resources to its own structures. 

    44. In view of the Presidency report to Feira, the Council, the Political Committee and the Provisional Security Committee (PSC) have held discussions on the basis of a Presidency paper on "EU-NATO relations." The Presidency stated that it looks forward to a further deepening of these contacts before the Feira Summit later this spring. Some ideas for cross-representation with NATO include for instance that the Chairman of the European Military Committee (EMC) participate in the Political and Security Committee and in the NATO Military Committee with the right to contribute to discussions, although a member of neither. DSACEUR would normally participate in the EMC, although not a member. The Council said in Lisbon that it continues its work in view of defining the "appropriate arrangements that, while respecting the Union's decision-making autonomy, will allow the EU military crisis management." With a desire for transparency, the Political Directors of the EU have met with representatives from the EU candidate states, and further meetings are envisaged between them with the non-EU European NATO members. 

    45. As both the EU and NATO prepare to face the challenges posed by the ESDP, there are several areas of common interest and concern which demand consultation, co-ordination and co-operation. Fortunately, EU officials have indicated, in meetings with Assembly members and staff, their intention to transfer all arrangements between NATO and the WEU to the EU. The NATO-WEU Framework Document, initiated at the 1996 Berlin Summit, would simply have to be signed by the EU and NATO

    46. In this regard, the independent monitoring work of WEU is reinforced by information exchange between WEU and NATO. Each informs the other, through the respective secretariats and in close co-ordination with the WEU Presidency, about the results of its examinations, and either organisation may request a joint Council meeting. Information exchange may also take place on a number of other levels, at joint meetings between the relevant bodies. The range of inter-institutional contacts between WEU and NATO is broad and comprehensive: 

  • at the Chiefs of Defence Staff level; 
  • between the Council Working Group (WEU) and the Political Committee (NATO); 
  • between the Politico-Military Group (WEU) and the Policy Co-ordination Group (PCG/NATO); 
  • between the Military Delegates Committee (WEU) and the Military Committee in permanent session (NATO), which for the most part consist of the same representatives; 
  • between the WEU Military Staff (WEU MS) and the NATO International Military Staff (IMS); 
  • and between the WEU Military Staff and the NATO Combined Joint Planning Staff (CPJS). 
  • B. RIGHT OF FIRST REFUSAL? 

    47. Some Allies, particularly the United States, have been adamant that in any arrangement between the EU and NATO, the North Atlantic Alliance must retain the "right of first refusal"; that is, in any crisis situation, the EU should get involved only if NATO first determined that the Alliance as a whole would not act. In reality, this construction is too formalistic and ignores how a crisis would be managed. 

    48. All Allies would, through their national defence establishments, monitor a developing crisis. In consultations with other allies, it would become clear what level of enthusiasm existed in various allied countries for intervention. If all 19 NATO countries leaned toward action, the operation would be conducted under NATO auspices. If there were a sense by the North American allies that a given crisis was better suited for a European-led operation, the ESDP mechanism would swing into action. The large overlap between the two organisations should ensure that bureaucratic turf battles would be avoided. At the same time, NATO and the EU should avoid firm, formal rules. 

    C. COMMAND ARRANGEMENTS AND FORCE COMMITMENTS 

    49. Under the CJTF concept devised at Berlin, European elements within NATO headquarters are simultaneously pledged to the WEU, under the command of the Deputy SACEUR, the top European commander in NATO. This arrangement is referred to as "double hatting," evoking the image of a European officer taking off his NATO hat and putting on his WEU hat when a European-led operation got underway. Hence, military representatives who sit in the interim Military Staff Committee are in most cases military representatives to NATO. Exceptions are France and Belgium who appointed two different delegates to make the point that NATO is not the sole decision-making organisation in defence and security policy. 

    50. At the same time, it is important to remember that any units pledged to the European reaction force would also be pledged to NATO. It is inconceivable that any European country could afford to maintain two separate sets of high-readiness forces, one for the EU and one for NATO. While some NATO allies worry about the implications of a European force, the inevitable result would be to improve NATO's own capabilities. 

    D. ROLE OF THE EUROCORPS 

    51. The European Corps (Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and Spain) was set up at the 59th Franco-German summit, which took place in La Rochelle on 21 and 22 May 1992. It is composed of the first Belgian Mechanised Division, the Franco-German Brigade, the first French Armoured Division, the 10th German Armoured Division, the 10th Spanish Mechanised Infantry Brigade, and a reconnaissance company from Luxembourg. The European Corps at full strength is composed of some 80,000 troops. Eurocorps can operate within WEU or NATO for Article 5 common defence operations and can be mobilised for humanitarian missions, missions to evacuate EU nationals and peace-building operations, under the aegis of the United Nations or the OSCE. The commitment of Eurocorps under the political control of WEU was the subject of an agreement signed in September 1993 and commitment under NATO authority was codified in order to develop the European pillar within NATO

    52. The Eurocorps staff took over command of the NATO peacekeeping operation in Kosovo in April 2000. The 44,000-strong peacekeeping forces, however, remain under the authority of US General Wesley Clark, NATO's supreme commander. In practice, most of the command staff continue to be drawn from the existing NATO team because the Eurocorps is only able to deploy about 350 officers for the Kosovo headquarters, which currently has a staff of 1,200. The decision marked an important stepping stone, demonstrating European readiness to take more responsibility in a crisis management operation. Indeed, it is the first time that a European multinational headquarters is deployed for a peacekeeping operation. 

    53. Some have suggested that the Eurocorps could form the basis of an EU force. While there are some fears that this "European Army" could ultimately divide or weaken the structure of NATO, in reality, any improvement in European force capabilities will strengthen both the ESDP and NATO. By giving the Europeans the ability to perform operations like KFOR, it would fulfil the idea behind the CJTF concept that the European allies could act in crisis management operations that did not require the participation of the entire Alliance. At a time when many in the United States, including 200 Members of the House of Representatives, have supported US withdrawal from KFOR unless the European allies did more, any steps toward stronger European capabilities will strengthen NATO, not weaken it. In any case, there seems to be little inclination to enlarge the Eurocorps with other members. Therefore, the future European headline goal will have to include contributions from other multinational and national units. 


    V. THE WEU AND THE EU 

    A. WEU MILITARY STRUCTURE 

    54. The military structure of the Western European Union comprises: 
  • The Permanent Chairman of the Military Delegates Committee, a three-star flag officer who also serves as Director of the WEU Military Staff, under the authority of the Council; 
  • The Chairmanís support staff; 
  • the Planning Cell, with a one-star flag officer as Director; 
  • the Situation Centre. 

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    55. The WEU structure functions as a strategic planning body, not an operational headquarters. It is the headquarters of the Operation Commander designated by the Council which is responsible for drawing up the operation plan. 

    56. The EU defence ministers have agreed to set up interim structures for a European Military Committee and a European Military Staff in Brussels. It would only be logical if the existing WEU institutions were subsumed into any similar EU bodies, in order to take advantage of the expertise and institutional knowledge that has already been built up, not to mention the substantial cost savings that would ensue. 

    57. The development of European co-operation in space activities for security purposes has been on the WEU's agenda since 1989. In April 1991 in (Luxembourg), the WEU Council of Ministers decided to set up a Satellite Centre, which was inaugurated in Torrejon, Spain, in 1993 and became a "WEU subsidiary body" in May 1995. The main function of the Satellite Centre is to analyse imagery from satellite and airborne sources relating to areas of interest to WEU. The Centre uses commercially available imagery gathered by satellites. High-resolution imagery from the Franco-Italian-Spanish Helios defence observation satellite is also made available to the Centre. One of the conclusions of the WEU audit of assets and capabilities for European crisis management showed that improving the WEU Satellite Centre to military high resolution satellite imagery was necessary and that "procedures for co-operation between the Satellite Centre and other international organisations, particularly the EU and NATO, should be clarified". 

    58. The forces answerable to WEU (FAWEU) are multinational forces pledged to the WEU that provide a diverse set of military capabilities, for a wide range of operational needs. These forces are available to the WEU for planning purposes, but they would actually be made available by nations on a case-by-case basis. There are about 90 armoured battalions, up to 200 infantry battalions, 120 frigates and destroyers, 7 aircraft carriers, 90 combat aircraft, more than 130 artillery battalions, and various headquarters. 

    59. In addition to the multinational FAWEU, there are several national FAWEU. These are military units or headquarters which have been designated by states to be made available to the WEU on a case-by-case basis. As well as the units designated by WEU's ten member states, Norway, Turkey, Austria, Sweden and Finland and each of the associate partners have specified units which could carry out WEU missions. Furthermore, an agreement with Ukraine made provision for the use of Ukraine's long-haul air transport assets in support of the Petersberg tasks. 

    B. WEU AND EU POLITICAL ARRANGEMENTS 

    60. Equally important are the political arrangements that the WEU has forged to enable broad consultation on European security matters among WEU members, EU members not in NATO, NATO members not in the EU, and several EU associate members. These arrangements include: 
  • WEU Members (NATO and EU members): Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom. 
  • WEU Observers (EU members but not NATO members): Austria, Denmark (NATO member but not WEU member), Finland, Ireland, Sweden. 
  • WEU Associate Members (NATO members but not EU members): Czech Republic, Hungary, Iceland, Norway, Poland, Turkey. 
  • WEU Associate Partners: Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia. 

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    61. What is particularly relevant to ESDP is the ability of the WEU to meet regularly "at 21," that is, with all WEU members, observers and associates, a gathering that includes all EU members plus all European members of NATO. In addition, every other weekly meeting is held "at 28," with the seven associate partners. 

    62. At Cologne last year, the conclusions reached at the summit spoke of the need to include non-EU countries in ESDP, stating, "We want to develop an effective EU-led crisis management in which NATO members, as well as neutrals and non-allied members, of the EU can participate fully and on equal footing in the EU operations. We will put in place arrangements that allow non-EU European allies and partners to take part to the fullest possible extent in this endeavour." 

    63. The conclusions at Helsinki indicated that all European allies should have a significant say in EU defence consultations and operations. Analysis of that document indicates that within ESDP: 

  • EU states participating in a given operation shall have full rights at all institutional and operational levels; 
  • EU non-participating states shall have full decision-making rights in the Council and be entitled to attend the ad hoc committee, but shall not be expected to have a say at the strictly operational level; 
  • non-EU NATO members shall be informed and consulted "upstream"; that is, they shall have a say at the institutional level (inside NATO) and an automatic right of participation if NATO assets and capabilities are to be in play; if not, they shall have a say at the operational level if they contribute with "significant" military forces to the operation; 
  • other European and non-European countries may be invited by the European Council, to participate and if they do so with "significant" military forces, they shall have a say "downstream," at the operational level. 

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    64. In this regard, one must note positively the draft paper regarding ESDP by the government of Portugal, which holds the EU's rotating presidency for the first half of 2000. Reports about this confidential paper indicate that it suggests that the six non-EU NATO members be included in all discussions regarding ESDP, which would go a long way toward assuaging fears by those countries and the North American allies that they would be left out of ESDP. 

    65. Your Rapporteur believes that the non-EU European members of NATO must be involved in all consultations within the ESDP, but recognises that all EU political decisions can only be taken by the full members of the EU. In other words, the non-EU allies should be an integral part of "decision-shaping" but cannot have a vote when the time comes for EU "decision-making." This is a problem that will diminish over time as the EU admits new members, a process that should proceed as expeditiously as possible. 


    VI. NATO ASSETS 

    A. NATO ASSETS VS. ALLIES' ASSETS 

    66. NATO first endorsed the concept of the European Security and Defence Identity at the December 1993 North Atlantic Council (NAC) ministerial meeting in Brussels. At the June 1996 Berlin Summit, the North Atlantic Council reiterated its support for ESDI and called for arrangements to permit the "use by the WEU of NATO capabilities, assets, and headquarters and headquarters elements for missions to be performed by the WEU." The communiqué issued at Berlin stated, "The NAC will 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." With the EU poised to take over the responsibilities of the WEU, it should seek to maintain the arrangements that already exist between NATO and the WEU

    67. It is important, however, to distinguish between "NATO assets and capabilities" and the assets and capabilities of the 19 NATO member countries, because the two are not the same. As is discussed more extensively in the report by Sen. Giovanni Lorenzo Forcieri for the Sub-committee on Future Security and Defence Capabilities, NATO relies on contributions from its 19 member states for most of its military capability. NATO's most important assets are its headquarters, communications system, situation centre, pipeline system, and early-warning aircraft (commonly referred to as AWACS). The actual military units, including much of the support that would be needed for an EU-led operation, belong to the member states. 

    68. For the EU to attempt to duplicate these NATO assets would be a misuse of limited defence resources. It would be far more cost-effective for the EU to concentrate on transferring existing WEU arrangements for gaining access to these NATO assets for a European-led operation. In addition, the EU should examine the possibility of gaining access to such assets from member countries that possess them; for example, the joint headquarters that the United Kingdom and France each are developing. Of course, a reliance on NATO assets implies that any EU-led operation would have consensus approval by the 19 NATO member countries, which is more reason for the six European allies not in the EU to participate in EU discussions on ESDP. 

    69. Still, there will be a shortfall between the NATO assets available to the EU and the capabilities that the EU will require for a crisis management operation. Most notable among these are airlift, airborne ground surveillance, and real-time satellite intelligence. Not all of these will be needed for all European operations; for example, some crises will be close enough to permit use of ground transport, and in some cases the use of unmanned aerial vehicles or civilian satellites for reconnaissance in peace operations could preclude the need for military satellites. The EU will have to decide in some cases whether to develop its own capability, rely on NATO or a non-EU NATO member to provide its assets, or to forgo a capability and utilise other assets that its members already possess. 

    B. NATO AIRBORNE EARLY WARNING AND COMMAND SYSTEM 

    70. While NATO mainly relies on the national military capabilities of its members, there are some costs that are specific to the Alliance as a whole that are paid for out of three common budgets: 1. The NATO civil budget pays the costs of the civilian headquarters and staff in Brussels; 2. The military budget pays for the Alliance's military headquarters and activities, including the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium; and 3. The infrastructure budget, or NATO Security Investment Programme (NSIP), allows the Alliance to underwrite the cost of support facilities, including command, control, communications and intelligence (C3I) facilities; improvements to training installations; transportation and storage facilities. The civil budget for 1999 was US$164 million; the military budget, US$720 million; and the NSIP budget, US$734 million. 

    71. The cost shares are determined by consensus among the Allies and have been changed most frequently after the addition of new members, most recently in 1999. France, which does not participate in NATO's integrated military command, opts out of many activities in the military and NSIP budgets; when France does not pay, other countries pay a pro rata larger share. 

    72. In addition to covering the cost of the Alliance's military headquarters, the common NATO military budget funds the operation and modernisation of the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Programme. Though this programme, 12 NATO Allies jointly own and operate a fleet of 17 E-3A airborne warning and control system (AWACS) planes and two Boeing 707 trainers. The main operating base for the programme is at Geilenkirchen, Germany, and some planes are also stationed at bases in Italy, Turkey, Greece and Norway. The AWACS planes provide an early warning system against low-level aircraft, as well as managing air traffic, assisting in close air support and search-and-rescue operations, and providing long-range communications. These aircraft have been used to support the NATO peacekeeping mission in Bosnia and the Kosovo air campaign. 

    73. The operations of the NATO AWACS programme is funded out of an annual US$220 million common budget that is divided among the participating countries. The programme was authorised by the Alliance in 1978 and underwent a US$600 million modernisation in the mid-1990s. Acquisition of the aircraft from 1982 to 1985 and development of related ground infrastructure from 1978 to 1988 cost about US$3 billion. 

    74. Proponents of the NATO AWACS programme point to it as a successful example of burden-sharing within the Alliance, and the operating crews and support personnel are perhaps NATO's best-integrated international unit. Some allied officials believe that it provides a possible template for co-ordinating other common programmes that would provide the Alliance with a capability outside those possessed by national militaries. Common assets could save money by avoiding unnecessary overlap in national capabilities. The European members of the Alliance, possibly acting in concert with the North American allies, might consider common assets as a cost-effective way to develop the capabilities needed for an effective ESDI. 

    C. FUTURE COMMON ASSETS 

    75. Among the European allies, airlift is probably the most suitable candidate for a common programme. Inherent in this, of course, is a consensus among the European allies as to what missions they see as most likely in the future and what capabilities would be needed to carry them out. In many cases in Europe, existing road or rail links might be sufficient to send troops and equipment to a crisis region, or a nearby port might suggest sea-lift as a more cost-effective option. In other cases, roads or railroads might be inadequate, leaving airlift as the only option. 

    76. As a first step, German Defence Minister Rudolf Scharping has proposed the creation of a common European airlift command, an idea that has been endorsed by France. The Netherlands is leading efforts to develop a similar command for European sea-lift capabilities, again with the assistance of France. The proposed airlift command would exercise common management of European military airlift capabilities and would co-ordinate with civilian resources that might be utilised. This idea could be taken one step further to include the actual procurement and operation of additional transport aircraft, and it should be open to all interested European allies. 

    77. Of course, the whole question of airlift raises a question discussed earlier: the "unnecessary duplication" of capabilities in constructing ESDP. But Europe cannot rely totally on the United States for a capability that may be essential to some of the crisis management operations the EU envisions undertaking. What may be needed is closer co-ordination between the United States and other allies to determine what NATO airlift needs will look like, then to arrive at some arrangement to fulfil this need. In this connection, one should mention the proposal in the 2001 US defence budget to cut procurement of the C-17 from 15 aircrafts to 12 in order to allow the United Kingdom to purchase three planes. If approved by Congress, this proposal would allow the United Kingdom to quickly purchase the strategic airlifters while allowing the United States to defer hundreds of millions of dollars in outlays. If expanded to include a common European airlift fleet, it could allow the Europeans to procure a modest airlift fleet in co-ordination with the United States, avoiding unnecessary duplication of capabilities. 

    78. Another potential candidate for a common capability is airborne ground surveillance, an air-based radar system that enables commanders to gain a broad view of ground forces. Attempts by NATO to develop this capability have been bogged down in transatlantic industrial competition. Another area might be C4I, which is particularly relevant given the satellite analysis capability the WEU possesses at its centre in Torrejon, Spain. Common assets could be a cost-effective mechanism for the European allies to develop the capabilities they need to implement ESDP. 


    VII. CONCLUSIONS 

    79. The efforts by the European Union to improve European defence capabilities should enable European countries to undertake a greater share of the responsibility for European security. While the EU's headline goal is an ambitious target, its members' efforts to develop the capabilities needed to manage crises in Europe will also help NATO carry out all of the missions envisaged in its Strategic Concept. While ESDP will be led by the EU, it is essential to include the non-EU European members of NATO in the consultation process that shapes decisions, and it is encouraging that the development of ESDP appears to take this into account. Many challenges await the European countries --- they must decide how together they will make political decisions heretofore reserved to national governments, they must increase their defence budgets to procure the necessary capabilities, and they must transform their armed forces. But if governments and parliaments can manifest the political will to accomplish these goals, European security and the Alliance will be stronger as a result.