Is there something happening in European defence?

By Mario Laborie Iglesias 

 

Here is a look at the prospects and major challenges for the EU’s common security and defence in 2016.

EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), an integral part of its common foreign and security policy, should, at least in theory, constitute the most obvious manifestation of the political will of EU member states to promote European values ​​and interests, and contribute to peace and security worldwide.

However, since its founding in 1999 and for various reasons, CSDP has remained as a second-line priority for European leaders. Little prepared for the use of hard line power, the economic crisis and the downward trends in defence budgets may partly explain this situation. Consequently, although there have been notable advances – 18 missions and civilian and/ or military operations currently up and running – CSDP is, at the moment, far from the situation envisaged in the Treaty of Lisbon, just at a time when the context of security for Europe is deteriorating rapidly.

Indeed, at present the EU faces the greatest threats and risks since its inception. Major changes in the geopolitical environment which are destabilising the new international order that emerged after World War II; the old and new armed conflicts close to European borders; the euro crisis; a new wave of jihadist terrorism; and, above all, mass immigration, which is calling into question some European principles that seemed firmly consolidated, seem to be sufficient arguments to explain the breadth and complexity of the current strategic environment.

As these challenges increase, there is a growing demand for European nations to develop a genuine common security policy involving greater and more efficient cooperation over military capabilities. The idea is that no country can cope alone with the aforementioned challenges, and integration in defence is not only a beneficial alternative, it is crucial for the development of the European project.

As these challenges increase, there is a growing demand for European nations to develop a genuine common security policy involving greater and more efficient cooperation over military capabilities.

The mandate of the European Council in December 2013 and changes in the political leadership of the European institutions, which began after the parliamentary elections in May 2014, promoted the beginning of a process of reviewing CSDP’s parameters. In June last year, the heads of state and government of the Union once again urged the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, to continue with the evaluation of changes in the strategic world context, and to identify their implications, challenges and opportunities for the EU.

In this context, some initiatives are expected to see the light over the course of 2016. First, the European Council in June should seek the approval of the Global Security Strategy (GSS), with a view to a first submission to foreign ministers at their meeting in Amsterdam in early February. The GSS, which is being drafted by various EU institutions, in close coordination with the Member States, is aimed at enabling “the Union to identify a clear set of objectives and priorities for the present and future.” The basic concept is that the EU should harmonise their mechanisms, resources and policies to promote their values ​​and interests globally, while the security of European citizens is guaranteed.

In September 2015, Federica Mogherini proposed to supplement the future GSS with a number of sub-strategies, one in particular devoted to the defence sector. This could take the form of a long-awaited White Paper to clarify the political will of States to develop its defence at European level. This sub-strategy should clarify issues such as the level of ambition of the CSDP, interaction with other international organizations – especially with NATO, which also has a summit in Warsaw next July, with important implications; the strategic concept of the use of European military forces: concrete measures for the integration of forces; the definition of common strategic capabilities to be developed; or the way to simplify the process of decision-making and financing military operations and missions. However, despite its importance, so far, European bodies have not made any statement on the official launch of the White Paper and the chances are that it will have to wait for the approval of the GSS.

For its part, the European Commission is developing the so-called “European Agenda for Security”. In line with the commitment of its president, Jean-Claude Juncker, a “Plan of Action” to strengthen markets and European defence industries has been included within the 2016 working programme. That plan, which aims to ensure an effective EU response to security threats during the period 2017-2020, should replace the Internal Security Strategy adopted in 2010.

Nevertheless, it is the states, through the European Council, who have the last word in the field of security. The role of the Commission is to facilitate cooperation between EU countries to tackle cross-border security issues. Thus, the Action Plan on defence envisages action in various domains and recognizes three priorities: the fight against terrorism and the prevention of radicalisation; the containment of organised crime and combatting cyber threats. This plan, which is expected to start next autumn, will involve different services within the Commission and shall be implemented in close cooperation with the European Defence Agency (EDA) and the European External Action Service (EEAS). Therefore, it is imperative to seek the necessary coherence in the planning and execution of this ambitious project.

Also taking into consideration this European Agenda for Security, in 2017 the Commission plans to launch a preparatory action (PA) on research related to the CSDP. Adopted by the European Council in December 2013, PA is a response to the need to preserve scientific and technological knowledge in defence of the Member States, and to maintain and improve the long term competitiveness of the European defence industry. Given that common research programmes are essential for the promotion of certain military capabilities, the intention is to insert a subject area on CSDP within the next multiannual financial framework: 2021-2027. This initiative made substantial progress in 2015, a year when consultation procedures and ways of participation for the countries concerned were laid down. For 2016, it is expected that the Council and the European Parliament approve its budget and management structures are put in place.

In view of the above initiatives, it appears that something is moving in European defence. However, there are several limitations that prevent the construction of a European foreign policy capable of meeting the security challenges. First, a pragmatic and integrated European spirit is required to develop a CSDP that would go beyond the individual interests of each nation, however it is precisely the extreme complexity of defining common interests which, until now, has weighed down the progression of common European defence.

There are several limitations that prevent the construction of a European foreign policy capable of meeting the security challenges. First, a pragmatic and integrated European spirit is required to develop a CSDP that would go beyond the individual interests of each nation.

But undoubtedly the main obstacle to the further integration of European defence comes from the intransigence on the part of some Member States over ceding sovereignty to EU institutions.

In other words, for the above initiatives to succeed, European countries must be willing to develop new forms of cooperation on the basis of strategic convergence. At the same time, concrete measures and deadlines are needed for better and more efficient integration over defence. Thus, without real political will and leadership, CSDP will continue inevitably to be conditioned by national policies. The challenge is twofold: first, to address the gap between ambitions and capabilities; and secondly, to identify approaches so that the sovereign decisions of each Member State are respected, but at the same time, guaranteeing the right level of solidarity among EU member countries.

It could be concluded that foreign and CSDP action is inextricably linked. That is, an effective foreign policy requires that European leaders clearly identify the strategic priorities and the role the CSDP must perform. Soft power tools are very valuable but European citizens must realise that without military capabilities it is not possible to be a global player which preserves our vital interests. With this in mind, President Juncker indicated several months ago that “Europe is primarily a soft power. However, in the long run, even the most powerful soft power cannot act without having, at least, some integrated defence capabilities.”

All announcements and initiatives cited in this text indicate an awareness of the need for action. But it is worth noting that political and strategic documents are vital only if they are translated into action. The Commission will struggle to promote common defence due to restrictions imposed by its treaties and the refusal of European leaders to share some areas of national sovereignty. Therefore, it is basically up to the leaders of the EU Member States to boost measures which will enable CSDP to make decisive inroads.

In summary, the overall Global Security Strategy, along with a possible White Paper on Defence; the Defence Action Plan and the Preparatory Action on CSDP-related research, will be the key points debated on in European security and defence which countries and citizens will inevitably have to deal with in this crucial year that has just begun.

 

 Published by:

logoesglobal

 

 

 

esglobal

esglobal es el primer medio digital en español para quienes están interesados en entender lo que ocurre en este mundo cada vez más complejo. No damos noticias; ofrecemos análisis y reflexión. Intentamos siempre descubrir el otro lado de las cosas, sorprender en el qué y en el cómo contamos lo que ocurre, y lo que podría ocurrir, tratando de anticipar tendencias, de exponer posibles consecuencias. Queremos complementar, de un modo más pausado, la avalancha de información que nos inunda el día a día.

Nuestro idioma es el español, aunque nuestros autores proceden de los lugares más diversos. Aspiramos a trasladar a nuestros lectores los diferentes modos de ver un mundo con realidades muy diversas, y a servir de altavoz a aquellos que quieren difundir sus ideas y su conocimiento en español.

A nuestros lectores les une una curiosidad global. Creemos en el intercambio abierto de opiniones –por algo somos un medio interactivo- siempre dentro del respeto a una discrepancia civilizada.

Heredera de Foreign Policy en españolesglobal es editada por la Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior (FRIDE).

Would you like to share your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published.

Legal note

1.    Terms and Conditions

2.    Privacy Policy

3.    Cookies Policy

 

1.    Terms and Conditions

Contact data for the web owner

This website has been created by KATOIKOS to promote their products and services.

– Name: Katoikos, S.L

– Co. tax Code:  B87123162

– Address:  Calle Campomanes 10, 28013  Madrid (SPAIN)

Registration details: Registered in the Commercial Register of Madrid.

Intellectual and Industrial Property

The various elements of this page, and website as a whole, are protected by Spanish legislation on intellectual and industrial property. The trademarks, trade names or logos appearing on this website are the property of the company, or, where appropriate, of third parties, and are protected by Trademarks Law, and of which KATOIKOS holds the legitimate license.

The information provided may not be used for commercial or public purposes, or modified. If the user downloads materials for personal and non-commercial use, warnings shall be kept about copyright and trademarks. To download and use the company logo that appears on the website, prior authorization is required.

Any unauthorised use of the images may violate copyright laws, trademark laws, the laws of privacy and publicity, and communications regulations and statutes.

Liability for Damage

KATOIKOS assumes no liability for damages you may suffer when browsing the web or in the use of computer applications that are part of it. Neither are warranties given as to the correction of malfunctions or updating of content.

Content you share with us

We may include features on this website that allow you to share your content with us and other users of the site. Please note that by sharing content it may become publicly accessible. You grant to Katoikos a worldwide, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license, without compensation to you:

 (a) to use, reproduce, distribute, adapt (including without limitation edit, modify, translate, and reformat), derive, transmit, display and perform, publicly or otherwise, such content, in any media now known or hereafter developed, for Kaotikos’ business purposes, and

 (b) to sublicense the foregoing rights, through multiple tiers, to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law. The foregoing licenses shall survive any termination of your use of the site, as further described below.

For all of the content you share through the site, you represent and warrant that you have all rights necessary for you to grant these licenses, and that such content, and your provision or creation thereof through the site, complies with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations and does not infringe or otherwise violate the copyright, trademark, trade secret, privacy or other intellectual property or other rights of any third party, and is furthermore free from viruses and other malware.

Rules of Conduct

When using this website and/or sharing content with us, you are prohibited from posting or transmitting :

1. any unlawful, threatening, defamatory, racist, obscene, scandalous, deceptive, false, fraudulent, inflammatory or profane material or any material that could constitute or encourage conduct that would be considered a criminal offence, give rise to civil liability, or otherwise violate any law.
2. Any virus, worm, Trojan horse, Easter egg, time bomb, spyware or other computer code, file, or program that is harmful or invasive or may or is intended to damage or hijack the operation of, or to monitor the use of, any hardware, software or equipment;
3. Any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, “junk mail,” “spam,” “chain letter,” “pyramid scheme” or investment opportunity, or any other form of solicitation; and
4. Any material non-public information about a person or a company without the proper authorization to do so.

In addition, you will not:

1. Use this website for any fraudulent or unlawful purpose;
2. Interfere with or disrupt the operation of the website or the servers or networks used to make the website available; or violate any requirements, procedures, policies or regulations of such networks;
3. Access or use this website through any technology or means other than those expressly designated by us.
4. Restrict or inhibit any other person from using this website (including by hacking or defacing any portion of the website);
5. Except as expressly permitted by applicable law, modify, adapt, translate, reverse engineer, decompile or disassemble any portion of this website.
6. Remove any copyright, trademark or other proprietary rights notice from this website.
7. Frame or mirror any part of the webiste without our express prior written consent;
8. Create a database by systematically downloading and storing all or any content;
9. Use any robot, spider, site search/retrieval application or other manual or automatic device to retrieve, index, “scrape,” “data mine” or in any way reproduce or circumvent the navigational structure or presentation of this website, without our express prior written consent.

Links

Kaotikos  reserves the right to remove any messages or statements or cancel any links.

This site may include hyperlinks to other web sites that are not owned or controlled by Katoikos. Katoikos has no control over, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, privacy policies, security or practices of any third party websites.

Content may be hosted on YouTube or other social media. Those operate their own set of terms and conditions and privacy policy which are separate to the ones presented on this website. Katoikos no control over and assumes no responsibility for, the content, privacy policies, security or practices on YouTube or other social media.

 The right to terminate your access

Katoikos reserves the right to terminate your access to this website at any time if you do not comply with these Terms and Conditions or you infringe Kaotikos’ rights in the content provided on this website.

Governing Law

These Terms and Conditions are governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of Spain, without regard to its choice of law provisions.  You agree to the exclusive jurisdiction by the courts of Spain.

Changes to the Terms

Katoikos reserves the right to make changes to the Terms and Conditions from time to time. You acknowledge and agree that your continued access to or use of this website will constitute your acceptance of such changes.

2.    Privacy Policy

Kaotikos takes the protection of your personal data very seriously and collects, processes and uses your data only in accordance with the standards of the legal data protection regulations.

Data is collected, processed and used with technologyes of the provider web trends for marketing and optimisation purposes and also for sending news and information you may be interested in by any electronic services, such as email or SMS.

Our website user’s database is registered at the Spanish Agency of Data Protection. You have the rights of access, rectification, deletion and opposition, regulated in articles 14 to 16 of the LOPD.

For this, please write to:

KATOIKOS (Data Protection) Calle Campomanes 10, 28013, Madrid (SPAIN)

Or send an email to info@katoikos.eu. Your ID will be requested for these issues.

3.    Cookies Policy

This site, like many others, uses small files called cookies to help us customise your experience. Find out more about cookies and how you can control them.

This page contains information on what ‘cookies’ are, the cookies used by the Kaotikos’ website and how to switch cookies off in your browser.

If it does not provide the information you were looking for, or you have any further questions about the use of cookies on the Katoikos’s website, please email info@katoikos.eu.

What are ‘cookies’?

‘Cookies’ are small text files that are stored by the browser (for example, Internet Explorer or Safari) on your computer or mobile phone. They allow websites to store things like user preferences. You can think of cookies as providing a ‘memory’ for the website, so that it can recognise you when you come back and respond appropriately.

How does the Katoikos’s website use cookies?

A visit to a page on the Kaotikos’s website may generate the following type of cookies: Anonymous analytics cookies.

This website uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc., a Delaware company whose main office is at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View (California), CA 94043, USA (“Google”).

Google Analytics uses “cookies”, which are text files placed on your computer, to help the website analyze how users use the site. The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website (including your IP address) will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the United States. Google will use this information on our behalf in order to track your use of the website, compiling reports on website activity and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage. Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google’s behalf. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google.

Anonymous analytics cookies

Cookier Name Origin Aim End
__utma Google Analysis 2 years since set –up or update
__utmb Google Analysis 30 minutes since set –up or update
__utmc Google Analysis When browser sesión ends
_utmt Google Analysis 10 minutes since set –up or update
__utmz Google Analysis 6 months since set –up or update

How do I turn cookies off?

It is usually possible to stop your browser accepting cookies, or to stop it accepting cookies from a particular website. All modern browsers allow you to change your cookie settings. You can usually find these settings in the ‘options’ or ‘preferences’ menu of your browser. To understand these settings, the following links may be helpful, or you can use the ‘Help’ option in your browser for more details.

Cookie settings in Internet Explorer
Cookie settings in Firefox
Cookie settings in Chrome
Cookie settings in Safari web and iOS.

 

© 2019 Katoikos, all rights are reserved. Developed by eMutation | New Media

Become a
Being up to date with Europe only takes a few seconds.
Your information will never shared with a third party.
logo
subscriber!
Get our periodical newsletter sent to your inbox!
I have read and agreed the Privacy Policy (required)
Become a
Being up to date with Europe only takes a few seconds.
logo
subscriber!
Get our periodical newsletter sent to your inbox!
Your information will never shared with a third party.
I have read and agreed the Privacy Policy (required)