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BITS Research Report 00.3
November 2000


The European Union's Common Foreign, Security, and Defense Policy

Denise M. Groves



1. The European Union's Drive for Common Foreign, Security, and Defense Policies

Probably the most well-known attribute of the European Union's CFSP and CESDP is the effort to build autonomous crisis management capabilities — a Rapid Reaction Force of 60,000 soldiers able to be deployed to a crisis spot within two months. This goal in particular and the CFSP in general are legally based on authority introduced in the 1993 Maastricht Treaty and later revised in the 1997 Treaty of Amsterdam. In addressing the future of the CFSP, the Treaty on the European Union provides for the development of a common defense policy and allows for the possibility of integrating the Western European Union (WEU) into the EU4. In anticipation of that prospect, the Treaty of Amsterdam also incorporated the framework of the so-called Petersberg Tasks, which were themselves initially adopted by the Western European Union several years earlier. The 1992 Petersberg Declaration had defined the range of operations the WEU could undertake in support of the United Nations or the OSCE, specifically humanitarian and rescue missions, peacekeeping, and tasks of combat forces in crisis management, including peacemaking.5 The EU's planned Rapid Reaction Force will be formed to fulfill the same tasks.

On a political level, the movement for crisis management capabilities stemmed partly from European discomfort with the dominant international position of the United States. There was also a gradual consensus among European governments that they wanted and needed to take greater responsibility in international affairs — a level of responsibility befitting the economic and political clout the EU already possessed.6 After embarrassingly slow and inadequate responses to each of the multiple crises erupting in the former Yugoslavia, many in Europe became convinced that an effective common foreign and security policy — with the means to back it up — was necessary.

In 1997, the Amsterdam Treaty had allowed for the establishment of a European capability to respond to a range of humanitarian and peacekeeping tasks, but any effort to begin work on such a capability had to wait until the Member States ratified the new Treaty. Not until December 1998 at the British-French summit in St. Malo, France was the campaign for the establishment of "autonomous crisis management capabilities" launched. Changes in political leadership in several key countries in Europe in 1997 and 1998 contributed to the upsurge in activity on the CFSP issue. For example, under the leadership of the Conservative Party, Great Britain had traditionally resisted the notion of creating a security identity for the EU, instead stressing its view that NATO formed the bedrock of European security. But after the elections of spring 1997, which brought the opposition Labour Party into office, Prime Minister Tony Blair set to work revising the government's position on the issue. At the informal EU summit in Austria in 1998, Blair suggested that the UK would no longer oppose the idea of forming a stronger security and foreign policy role for the European Union so long as it "in no way undermines NATO but rather is complementary to it.7 " He further declared that a "common and foreign security policy for the European Union is necessary, it is overdue, it is needed, and it is high time we got on with trying to engage with formulating it."8  In an address to the North Atlantic Assembly several days later, Blair argued that Europe badly needed to change its "unacceptably muted and ineffective" voice on foreign policy.9 He suggested that the very credibility of the EU was at stake if it did not reinforce the commitments made in the 1997 Amsterdam Treaty to create a common foreign and security policy. With regard to military capabilities, Blair asserted that "diplomacy works best when backed by the credible threat of force," adding that "Europe needs genuine military operational capability...and genuine political will. Without these, we will always be talking about an empty shell."10 By the time of the St. Malo bilateral summit in December 1998, Blair had paved the way for a British endorsement of the common policy. In their joint declaration issued at the summit, the British and French leaders formally announced their agreement that in order for the EU to make a reality of the Treaty of Amsterdam, the EU must have its own military capability, the means to decide to employ it, and a readiness to do so.11 In March of the following year, and only ten days before the NATO air-strikes over Kosovo began, the EU Foreign Ministers discussed the basic elements of an independent EU crisis management policy during their informal meeting at Reinhardtshausen. 12

The political crisis in Kosovo and the subsequent military operations by NATO in support of the Kosovar population in the Yugoslav province in the first part of 1999 seemed to legitimize growing calls within Europe for autonomous capabilities within the EU. Inability by the West to prevent the outbreak of violence in Kosovo was frustrating enough, but the manner in which the military operations were conducted that spring also revealed an apparently stark disparity in force capabilities between the United States and European NATO members. In fact, American forces dominated Operation Allied Force. US forces sent almost 800 aircraft to fight the Kosovo war, double the amount dispatched by all the other NATO states combined.13 According to a declassified study issued by the US Department of Defense, American aircraft flew over 60% of the total missions.14 Other reports indicate that the United States accounted for more than 80% of the weapons delivered.15 This disparity only compounded the disagreements among many of the NATO members on crucial issues such as the heavy reliance on air power, the resistance to deploy ground troops, and the strategic direction of the campaign.

1.1. The NATO Summit in Washington

When NATO members gathered in Washington in April 1999 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Washington Treaty and to formally welcome three new members into the Alliance, the on-going war in Kosovo dampened what was to have been a celebratory atmosphere. After weeks of air strikes, Yugoslav President Milosevic showed no sign of capitulation, while discord within the Alliance about burden-sharing and overall strategy was well known. Still, in spite of the squabbling — or perhaps because of it — the Washington Summit yielded a number of communiqués and declarations pronouncing NATO's encouragement for a stronger European pillar of the Alliance while at the same time identifying areas that needed improvement. The Alliance's "Strategic Concept" issued during the meetings referred to the progressive developments within the EU, approving actions by the Europeans "to strengthen their capacity for action." NATO members also agreed that the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy is compatible with the interests of the Alliance. Furthermore, in the Washington Summit Communiqué, NATO acknowledged the "resolve of the European Union to have the capacity for autonomous action so that it can take decisions and approve military action where the Alliance as a whole is not engaged." The Communiqué also announced that NATO was ready to "define and adopt the necessary arrangements for ready access by the European Union to the collective assets and capabilities of the Alliance, for operations in which the Alliance as a whole is not engaged militarily as an Alliance." 17

But while NATO welcomed the process taking place in the EU, it was careful not to abandon its pronounced devotion to the concept of ESDI in deference to the EU's new agenda. The European Security and Defense Initiative (or ESDI) was a NATO initiative that had evolved in the first part of the 1990s and was intended to strengthen the role, responsibilities, and contributions of the Europeans within the Alliance. By 1996, ESDI had fostered a closer relationship between NATO and the Western European Union, and had led to calls for specific measures that would allow the WEU access to NATO assets.18 At the Washington Summit, NATO agreed to recognize the EU’s decisions to develop its own security and defense policies, but the principles of the Strategic Concept as well as the Summit Communiqué specifically reinforced the conviction that its own ESDI will continue to develop "within NATO." 19

At the 50th anniversary summit, NATO also formally announced the Defense Capabilities Initiative (DCI), which is a program meant to "improve defense capabilities to ensure effectiveness of future multinational operations across the full spectrum of Alliance missions in the present and foreseeable security environment."20 Although the concept for the DCI had been under discussion for some time, NATO's experience in Kosovo seemed to reinforce US Defense Secretary William Cohen's view that there was a need for such an initiative. Inclusion of the term "full spectrum" in the DCI implied that NATO allies needed to improve their force capabilities to be able to address not just large-scale aggressions (the type expected throughout the Cold War), but also to be able to handle "non-Article 5 operations."21 Indeed, the Strategic Concept strongly reinforced the previously adopted idea that NATO could undertake such operations in the future. In light of this broader spectrum of possible contingencies, the DCI called for improvements in five functional areas: deployability and mobility; sustainability and logistics; command, control, and communications; effective engagement; survivability of forces and infrastructure. 22

1.2. The European Council Summit in Cologne

The influence of the US on the Washington Summit declarations is clear, particularly in the emphasis on containing the development of the ESDI concept within NATO as well as the directives for augmenting military capabilities. But while the US maintained that Kosovo effectively demonstrated that Europeans needed to concentrate on becoming more effective partners within the Alliance, the movement within Europe for separate capabilities outside of the NATO framework had already gained swift momentum well before the war in Kosovo. In a series of meetings beginning in late 1998 through 2000, the EU took decisions that rapidly propelled the Union toward the development of a more mature CFSP, which includes the establishment of a Rapid Reaction Force.

After months of work, EU leaders met in Cologne and officially embraced the idea that the EU should have "autonomous capabilities." At the European Council Summit in June 1999, the leaders set about envisaging future strategic capabilities for the Union. The implicit idea was to empower the EU to negotiate the strategies and tactics for future military crisis management on a more even level with its transatlantic partners. That is, while officials from the European member states of NATO might have publicly agreed that their capabilities were deficient in comparison to the US, they were not content to maintain an unequal dependency within the Alliance or to repeat the bitter experiences of the Kosovo War.

In an Annex to the German Presidency's Conclusions released at the summit in Cologne, the EU leaders declared that their aim was to "strengthen the [Common Foreign and Security Policy] by the development of a common European policy on security and defense." 23 According to the report, the progressive framing of this aspect of the CFSP would require "a capacity for autonomous action backed up by credible military capabilities and appropriate decision-making bodies." 24 The EU also stated that it intended to be able to take decisions on conflict prevention and crisis management operations as defined in the Treaty on European Union, namely the Petersberg Tasks. This would require the definition of modalities to include the functions of the WEU into the EU so that the EU can fulfill its responsibilities in the area of the Petersberg Tasks.25 EU leaders recognized, however, that implementation of their goals and the ability to undertake such operations would necessitate "reinforcement of [EU] capabilities in the field of intelligence, strategic transport, command and control."26

European leaders concluded the Cologne Summit admitting that a number of problems on a technical and political level lay before them and would have to be resolved in order to achieve the desired autonomous capabilities. For example, they agreed that structures such as a Political and Security Committee as well as Military Committee were necessary in order to "ensure political control and strategic direction of EU-led Petersberg operations."27 The inclusion of a military staff, a Situation Center and a Satellite Center (structures not coincidentally similar to those in the WEU) were suggested in order to create a capacity for analysis, intelligence, and planning. With regard to military capabilities for crisis management operations, it was noted that Member States needed to develop their forces, with particular emphasis on deployability, sustainability, interoperability, flexibility, and mobility. In addition, a number of other political questions, such as the matter of using NATO assets for EU operations and creating modalities for the participation and co-operation of non-EU allies, would require further consideration. The need for unifying leadership on these questions was apparent. Thus, the Cologne Summit Presidency Conclusions included an announcement that NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana would take up the post as the EU's High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy. Only a few months later, he was also named Secretary-General of the WEU. Given these positions, it became Solana's task to guide the EU into foreign waters.

1.3. The European Union's Drive for Common Foreign, Security, and Defense Policies

Among the first issues before the EU was the nagging question of its military capabilities. Several months after the EU Summit in Cologne, the WEU Council of Ministers gathered in Luxembourg where it released the results of its Audit of Assets and Capabilities for European Crisis Management Operations. The results of the Audit confirmed that "Europeans, in principle, have the available force levels and resources needed to prepare and implement military operations over the whole range of Petersberg Tasks." 28 However, the Audit identified a number of "gaps and deficiencies" where European assets and capabilities "should be strengthened to attain a higher level of operational effectiveness in crisis management." It concluded that critical areas such as strategic planning, communications, command and control, intelligence, strategic lift and tactical mobility, and logistics capacity need to be augmented.29 These conclusions closely paralleled the DCI directive issued at the NATO summit only a few months earlier.

1.4. The European Union's Drive for Common Foreign, Security, and Defense Policies

Although the results of the WEU Audit were generally accepted, some EU Member States — particularly the Nordic states — expressed concern about whether there would be equitable attention paid to the development of non-military capabilities for crisis management. These concerns were highlighted in a draft report prepared by the Finnish Presidency in anticipation of the European Council Summit to be held in Helsinki in December 1999. The report argued that the development of effective non-military crisis management tools should be developed in parallel with advances in the military sector. However, the official and final version of the report released at the summit reflected the pressure of the European powers — France, Great Britain, Germany, and Italy — to concentrate European attention on proposals for military planning.30

The final draft of the Presidency Conclusions reaffirmed the EU's determination to "develop an autonomous capacity to take decisions and, where NATO as a whole is not engaged, to launch and conduct EU-led military operations in response to international crises."31 In the first Annex to the Report on Strengthening the Common European Policy on Security and Defense,the EU emphasized that the creation of a "European Army" was not envisaged, that the EU would act in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter, and that it recognized the "primary responsibility of the UN Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security."32 In order to assume its responsibilities as defined in the Treaty on the European Union, the Council leaders defined for themselves a "headline goal" and set a date by which time Member States "will be able to deploy rapidly 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 of 50,000 – 60,000 persons)."33 They agreed that by 2003, these forces should be deployable in full within 60 days, and must be sustainable for at least one year34. In addition, the Member States decided to develop smaller rapid response elements to be established within the headline goal and to be made available for deployment at very high readiness.

Drawing on the conclusions of the WEU Audit, the European Council indicated that "more effective European military capabilities will be developed on the basis of the existing national, bi -national, and multinational capabilities, which will be assembled for EU-led crisis management operations carried out with or without recourse to NATO assets and capabilities." They also agreed to develop collective capabilities in the fields of command and control, intelligence, and strategic transport.35 The approval of the Presidency Conclusions also provided direction on the establishment of new political and military bodies within the European Council in order to ensure the necessary political control and strategic direction for crisis operations. The structures described, including a Political and Security Committee, a Military Committee, a Military Staff, and a planning and analysis cell, closely mirror NATO's basic decision-making structure, which would theoretically enable the EU to act either closely with, or independently of, the Alliance.

The reasoning behind the establishment of structures such as these was at least partially based upon the assumption that any European force within the foreseeable future would have to depend upon some NATO assets in order to conduct larger or high intensity operations. On the issue of consultation and co-operation with NATO and with non-EU European NATO members, the Helsinki Conclusions pointedly referred to "the decision-making autonomy of the EU", but conceded that "appropriate structures for dialogue and information on issues related to security and defense policy and crisis management" were necessary. Until more formal relations between the EU and NATO, the Council concluded that strictly informal contacts between Solana and the Secretary General of NATO, George Robertson would suffice. For the interim period, the task of outlining the "modalities for full consultation, co-operation and transparency between the EU and NATO" was then delegated to the incoming Portuguese Presidency.36

The pronounced commitment to establish a Rapid Reaction Force by 2003 largely overshadowed an additional Annex in the final Helsinki Presidency Conclusions, one that addressed the non-military aspects of EU's CFSP. This section, however, contained fewer specific details and employed many ambiguous terms. In its discussion about non-military tools such as "civilian police, humanitarian assistance, administrative and legal rehabilitation, search and rescue, electoral and human right monitoring, etc," the report contended that "considerable experience...[and] resources" already exist in a number of areas. The EU leaders called for further assessments of such capabilities and for regular updating.37 In order to develop rapid reaction capabilities employing such non-military instruments, they also called on Member States and the Union to define "a framework and modalities, as well as [pre-identify] personnel, material and financial resources [to be used] in response to a request of a lead agency like the UN or the OSCE" and only "where appropriate" in autonomous EU actions. The importance of a "coordinating mechanism" was emphasized, particularly with regard to maintaining the database of existing resources, for sharing experiences and best practices, and in order to conduct a study to identify the Union's strengths and weaknesses. The EU called for the creation of an "ad hoc center to co-ordinate the effectiveness of EU Member States’ contributions," but only in particular cases and depending on the EU's role in an operation. 38

1.5. The Road to Feira

The conclusions and instructions outlined in the first Annex of the Report on the Security and Defense Policy were ambitious; the European Council expected that much would have to be accomplished during the time period after the Helsinki meetings and before the next summit in Feira, Portugal, in June. Indeed, over this time period, development of the CFSP maintained the swift momentum gained since the major decisions taken at the Cologne Summit — in spite of growing skepticism about the feasibility of building the Rapid Reaction Force by 2003.39 The conclusions of the summit in December had placed a great deal of work at the doorstep of the incoming Presidency, including the establishment of the structures called for in the military report. But the Portuguese seemed up to the task: by March, 2000, the interim committees called for at Helsinki met for the first time.

The Political and Security Committee (PSC), composed of national representatives of senior/ambassadorial level, is instructed to deal with all aspects of the CFSP, including the Security and Defense Policy. In the case of a military crisis management operation, the PSC will exercise, under the authority of the European Council, the political control and strategic direction of the operation. The Military Committee is composed of the Chiefs of Defense, represented by their military delegates. This committee will give military advice and make recommendations to the PSC, as well as provide direction to the Military Staff. The Military Staff is to provide military expertise and support for the security and defense policy work, including the conduct of EU-led military crisis management operations. It will perform early warning, situation assessment and strategic planning for Petersberg tasks including identification of European national and multinational forces.40

The Portuguese presided over several other activities in the military field of the common defense policy. For example, around the time of the Helsinki Summit, it had been proposed that the Eurocorps — a Franco-German initiative launched in 1993 — assume command of NATO's KFOR troops currently deployed in Kosovo. The Eurocorps had been originally established as a force answerable to the WEU, but partly because of the fact that it is now composed of almost 60,000 troops from Spain, Belgium and Luxembourg in addition to France and Germany, it is commonly viewed as a prototype for the future EU Rapid Reaction Force. It could also be utilized to begin implementation of the EU's headline goal. Therefore it was significant for the EU when, under pressure from both France and Germany, NATO eventually agreed to the proposal to turn over control of the KFOR mission for six months. Several months after the initial proposal, in April 2000, a contingent of 335 Eurocorps officers led by a Spanish general finally took over command of the nearly 1,000 staff officers at KFOR headquarters.41 The Eurocorps' performance in this mission will be monitored closely as European officials begin to formulate procedures for future implementation of common security and defense policies. 42

Also during the Portuguese Presidency, an annual joint military exercise to test the working relationship of NATO and the WEU was staged. Code named CMX/CRISEX, the exercises in February 2000 simulated a crisis management operation by both organizations in a Kosovo-like scenario. The maneuvers were conducted largely through computer models, but were designed to test the WEU's responsiveness and ability to manage such an operation while employing NATO assets. As with the Eurocorps, this operation was conducted in anticipation of building procedures for an EU crisis management capability that will necessarily have to work in collaboration with NATO. According to German Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping, the exercise was practical because use of NATO assets and capabilities in EU-led missions "will likely be the rule rather than the exception."43 Both the WEU and NATO considered the exercise to be "an important test of ESDI-related concepts and arrangements" and that it will offer valuable lessons for WEU-led operations using NATO assets.44

Fewer concrete results were obtained on the non-military side of the security and defense policy equation. The Helsinki Declaration had invited the Portuguese Presidency to carry work forward on the question of conflict prevention and strengthening the efficiency and responsiveness of the EU's non-military capabilities. That job has generally fallen to Chris Patten, the External Relations Commissioner for the European Union. Patten has committed himself to this task. For example, he declared in December 1999 that: "There must be less fire-fighting and more concentration on the causes of the fires...Europe needs not only a crisis management capability but also a conflict prevention policy."45 In February 2000, Patten further claimed that "Conflict prevention — removing the root causes of conflicts themselves — and conflict management are at the heart of the EU's and the Commission's Foreign and Security Policy Agenda."46 And yet, during the months of the Portuguese Presidency, compared to the developments in the area of military strength, relatively little was accomplished on a meaningful level to address the "root causes of conflicts."

Patten's efforts have largely centered around the establishment of a "Rapid Reaction Facility," a fund that had been suggested in the Helsinki Conclusions.47 The purpose of the fund would be to allow for better mobilization and rapid deployment of non-military crisis response tools. Based on the conclusion that Member States of the EU and the EU itself have already "accumulated considerable experience or have considerable resources" at their disposal, Patten sought to improve upon the effectiveness and responsiveness of those assets.

In April 2000, Patten's office announced a proposal for the establishment of the Rapid Reaction Facility. According to the proposal, the Facility should be "designed to accelerate the provision of finance to support EU activities world-wide, to contribute to operations run by international organizations and to fund NGO activities."48 The Facility is meant to address crisis situations and is aimed at the "preservation or establishment of the civic structures necessary for political, social, and economic stability." This could include election monitoring, border management, de-mining operations, police training and provision of police equipment, and civil emergency assistance, and other non-combat assistance. It is a structure that is meant to provide rapid primary funding to the designated and contracted government agencies, international organizations, or NGOs who are best suited to address the crisis at hand. Because it should not duplicate the developmental assistance provided by ECHO, the funding provided through the Rapid Reaction Facility for a single activity will be limited to a period of 9 months and capped at an amount of 12 million EUROs. The proposal indicates that there are no geographic restrictions to possible responses by the Facility. However, the Facility's annual budget is restricted to 30 million EURO for the first year of operation and 40 million EURO per year through 2006. According to the proposal, the "specific added value [of the Rapid Reaction Facility] is represented by the rapidity of the interventions in situations of high tension and by the possibility of mixing different instruments of intervention in order to achieve a comprehensive and coherent action in security related emergencies."49

1.6. The European Council Summit in Feira

One of the most important and pressing tasks for the Portuguese Presidency had been to devise procedures for a relationship with NATO that will allow for consultation and cooperation with the Alliance and also grant non-EU states the chance to participate in EU operations. The Presidency Conclusions adopted by the European Council at their summit meeting in Feira in June seem to demonstrate that, for the interim at least, the EU believes the best way to protect its autonomy and yet allow non-EU states the chance to participate would be to create a kind of parallel but distinct structure that would enable "dialogue, consultation and co-operation", but not a substantive role in the decision-making process.

After conspicuously noting that there will be "full respect for the decision-making autonomy of the EU and its single institutional framework," the first Appendix to the Presidency Conclusions detailed the modalities and principles that would guide relations during both the routine "non-crisis" phase and during the operational "crisis" phase.50 During the routine phase, there will be exchanges between the EU and non-EU NATO allies as well as other countries who are candidates for EU membership.51 In the course of one presidency term, or about six months, there will be regular meetings in the total "EU + 15" format. There will be at least two meetings between just the EU and non-EU NATO states, or the "EU + 6" format. According to the Feira report, additional meetings will be organized if the need arises. Aside from noting that the meetings will take place "at the appropriate level," no other specifics were given.

In the second operational phase, that is, in the event of a crisis, dialogue and consultation between the EU + 15 will be "intensified."52 If there is a possibility that the EU will lead a military crisis management operation, the consultations will offer an opportunity for an exchange of views. If there is also a possibility that the EU will employ NATO assets, particular attention will be given to consultation with the six non-EU European NATO states. If the EU does launch an operation and does use NATO assets, those six states may participate in the operation if they so wish. But if the operation is conducted independent of NATO assets, then the six European NATO members and the other EU candidate states may only participate upon invitation by the Council of the European Union.

Those states that confirm their participation in an operation by contributing "significant military forces," will share the same the same rights and obligations as EU Member States in the "day-to-day" conduct of that operation. However, it is important to note that the EU retains the ultimate authority for the political and strategic direction of the operation and only it can decide when to launch and end an operation.

With regard to the EU's institutional relationship with NATO, the European Council approved a second Appendix attached the Presidency Conclusions.53 Here again, the EU noted that "development of consultation and cooperation between the EU and NATO must take place in full respect of the autonomy of EU decision-making." Stressing the equal and mutual nature of the EU-NATO relationship, the European Council agreed that there are four main issues that must be coordinated between the two organizations. The report suggested establishing "ad hoc working groups" to define security arrangements for information exchanges; to define capability goals in order to make the elaboration of the headline goal compatible with NATO's Defense Capabilities Initiative; to set up arrangements so that the EU can gain access to NATO assets; and to define the permanent arrangements that will govern relations between the EU and NATO.54 The European Council declared its intentions to have the permanent arrangements ready by the time of the Nice Summit in December 2000.55

In the Presidency Conclusions, the European Council also reiterated that "improving European military capabilities remains central to the credibility and effectiveness of the Common Security and Defense Policy." It further stated that it was looking forward to the first Capabilities Commitment Conference scheduled for late November.56 At that conference, Member States are to make their commitments to the headline goal and a review mechanism is to be created to measure the progress made toward achieving that goal.

There were two additional appendices to the Feira Conclusions, each dealing with the non-military aspects of the CFSP. In that context, the Council noted the establishment of another institutional structure, the Committee for Civilian Crisis Management.57 According to a Council decision that was taken in late May, the Committee will act as a counterpart to the European Council's Situation Center. The Committee, which first met on June 16, is meant to "provide information, formulate recommendations, and give advice on civilian aspects of crisis management to the interim Political and Security Committee."58 In addition, the Feira Presidency Report stated that a coordinating mechanism has been set up at the Council Secretariat, which has further developed "the inventory of Member States and Union resources relevant for non-military crisis management."59 As a first priority, the mechanism has focused its attention on establishing a database of civilian police capabilities. A study was also conducted (and was included in the Presidency Conclusions) to define a series of concrete targets in the area of civilian aspects of crisis management. Largely as a result of that study, the Presidency identified concrete targets for civilian police capabilities, namely, that the "Member States should, cooperating voluntarily, as a final objective by 2003 be able to provide up to 5000 police officers for international missions across the range of conflict prevention and crisis management operations." A rapid deployment element was also included in this proposal.

The stated intent of the Study on Concrete Targets on Civilian Aspects of Crisis Management was to "enhance [the EU's] capability in civilian aspects of crisis management in all relevant areas."60 It argued that by paying particular attention to those areas where the international community has demonstrated weakness, the EU could provide an "added value" to the EU's ability to react to crisis situations. Again noting that the EU has already accumulated considerable experience or resources in this area, the report urged the Union to concentrate on filling in the gaps. It went on to say that improving law enforcement, the rule of law, civil administration and civil protection in crisis areas should be matters of priority. The report offered multiple measures the EU could adopt, but the suggestions were rather ambiguous. For example, "the EU could consider ways of supporting the establishment/renovation of infrastructures of local courts and prisons as well as recruitment of local court personnel and prison officers in the context of peace support operations."61 The proposal to be able to deploy up to 5000 police officers by 2003 was the only target specifically outlined and accepted by the European Council.

The report also suggested that the Committee for Civilian Aspects of Crisis Management could continue working on developing other concrete targets. In fact, Commissioner Patten had previously stated that it was his intention to propose other targets. The press release announcing the proposal for the Rapid Reaction Facility stated that "the next step will be the establishment of non-military headline goals to match the military one."62 Patten has been a long-time advocate of establishing non-military headline goals. He has argued that conflict prevention and management requires effective co-ordination in the area of humanitarian assistance, including setting a target number for mobilization of civilian and military police, identifying resources for rehabilitation and reconstruction assistance, and knowing "where to turn" when there is a need for mediation, arbitration or confidence-building missions.63 However, while the EU agreed to a civilian headline goal of 5,000 policemen, no further decisions on civilian crisis management capabilities have been taken.


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