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Europe has chosen a particularly difficult time to build itself.

Amidst all the

changes that are taking place in the world at an increasing speed, we find
ourselves immersed in a global financial crisis of gigantic proportion.

It was in this very house that I was told the old monk’s mantra “in turbulent
times, make no change”. That is exactly what the EU is doing right now. This
is not necessarily bad in itself. Those who forge themselves in difficult times are
best prepared to face dire straits in the future, if they survive their birth.

Within the very concept of the European Union, CSDP, the Common Security
and Defense Policy, a part itself of the CFSP, the Common Foreign and
Security Policy and heir to the ESDP, the European Security and Defense
Policy, accounts for more than half the amendments to the TEU, the Treaty
on European Union, or Maastricht Treaty. We can say that the European
Security Policy is playing blacks on a board severely tilted upwards. There is
very little will to incorporate Foreign Affairs in the General Structure of the

A very graphic way of picturing the former EU Structure was the Pillar
Structure. In it, we could see three Greek columns (usually in Doric style)
holding the Union. The Central Pillar, the strongest and the raison d’être of the
entire building was the Community Pillar. It held the economic and social policy
of the Union. Decisions in this Pillar were made by QMV (Qualified Majority
Vote). It was, by far, the most developed one and the real founding father of the
whole building.

To the right, the Third Pillar comprised the Judicial and Interior Affairs. Up until
the Lisbon Treaty, this Pillar was different and had different rules that were
needed to reach an agreement.

To the left, the Second Pillar was always the weakest link, the “problematic
child” who was always the most difficult to handle. It dealt with Foreign Affairs
and Security and Defense. These were topics which Nations tended to regard
as “of national sovereignty” and “casus belli” if you dared messing with them.
Each European Nation has its own history and it is really difficult to forget the
implications of it. The closest we have come to an agreement is in the fact that
there are, so far, topics in which no agreement is possible.
For this Second Pillar, consensus is needed and all decisions tend to be
scrutinized as someone with a microscope studies creatures that swarm and
multiply in a drop of water (quoting H.G. Wells in “The War of the Worlds”).
Arising from the Reform Treaty, that is, the Lisbon Treaty has been made
possible that the development of those core decisions may be taken by QMV.

So, although they depict the EU which emerges from the Lisbon Treaty as a
central planet with the satellite of EURATOM orbiting it, we may argue that
there is still a huge difference between the First and Third Pillars and the
Second one which remains multinational, that is, a subject of consensus.

The intent of this lecture is not the European Union itself but the Security and
Defense Policy and, more precisely, its Institutional Framework and Decision
Making Process. Nonetheless, we need to start with the formation of the EU
and understand the nature of the Union so that we can fully grasp the long and
winding road the CSDP has followed.

The first step towards the creation of the European Community was taken by
French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Robert Schuman. On May 9th, 1950 he
proposed a plan, designed by Jean Monet, to integrate and jointly manage
Germany’s and France’s Steel and Coal production. Thus was born the
E.C.S.C., the European Coal and Steel Community in which Italy and the three
countries of the Benelux were also included.

Already in 1951, France made the first attempt to create something which
constituted the embryo of CSDP. The EDC (European Defense Community)
intended to put all Armed Forces of the signatory members under the command
of a multi-national structure in order to prevent Germany from controlling its own

The EDC had failed by 1954 (under a veto of the same country which had
sponsored it: France) so that another existing structure, the Brussels Treaty
Organization was enlarged with Germany and Italy and transformed in the
Western European Union (WEU) in 1955. Although technically still alive, the
WEU has always been overshadowed by NATO and little practical outcome can
be found.

On March 25th, 1957, on the Capitoline Hill in Rome, those same six nations
created the European Economic Community and EURATOM (the European
Agency of Atomic Energy). Not much was achieved as the Treaty came into
effect next January 1st. The EEC only provided for free movement of goods
while people, capitals and services were still subject to customs. A twelve years
lapse was established to progressively reduce custom fees among member

Yet, the basic institutions that we review today were created there and then.
The Council, in which the most important decisions are taken by unanimous
vote, the Commission, the European Assembly (the European Parliament to
be), the European Court of Justice and the Economic and Social
Consultative Assembly were all born those days.

But, whether we like it or not, Europe is not complete without the UK. The
British Islands have played a key part in European history, though not always a
constructive one. The Brits refused to join the EEC at the time because they did
not want to loose their ties with the Commonwealth, they did not want to create
a Free Trade Zone and they were suspicious of an organization which was
meant to advance towards political unity.

Only three years later, though, Premier Harold McMillan requested to join the
EEC only to be vetoed by President Charles De Gaulle … twice. Finally, both
the UK, Ireland and Denmark joined the Community in 1973.

As you need to know where you are going before you prepare for the trip,
political guidance was to be established prior to developing a security
organization. Thus EPC was born. 1970 saw the birth of the European Political
Cooperation, a forerunner of CFSP. Prior even to the EPC being born, a strict
distinction between it and the European Communities had been demanded, in
order to avoid that the legal obligations of the latter would be extended to the
field of Foreign Policy.

Things have changed pretty little ever since.

Following the fall of dictatorships in Southern Europe, Greece (1974), Portugal

and Spain (1975) joined in to double the initial number of members and match
the number of stars in the European Flag.
A key moment in the history of Europe was the creation of the ECU (European
Currency Unit) in 1979. 1983 saw the birth of the Schengen Agreement which
was to open the inner borders of the Community to the rest of the economic
driving forces: labor and capital.

So far, not much had changed in the Institutional Framework of Europe.

Jacques Delors is guilty of starting the process 30 years after the signature of
the Treaty of Rome with the European Single Act. The Council of Europe, a
periodic meeting of the Heads of State and Government in which the strategic
decisions are taken.

And, just when we thought that we had it all figured out, the Curtain falls. It is a
new Europe we are dealing with. It is a new World altogether.

With the Maastricht Treaty, in 1993, EDC became the CFSP and was
somewhat formalized. The discussions on issues of foreign and security policy
in the run-up to the Maastricht Treaty had been dominated by questions
concerning the field of application (it was especially controversial whether the
term ‘common security policy’ would include defense), the decision-making
process and the role to be played by Community institutions. Especially the UK,
but also France, were in favor of an intergovernmental Europe and against
the transfer of authority over foreign policy to the Community, other Member
States, particularly Germany and the Benelux countries, wished to see a
communautaire Europe with an integrated Community framework and a
common foreign policy. As far as security and defense aspects were concerned,
three camps could be identified: first, Member States with an Atlanticist
stance and a resistance to any substantial weakening of the NATO framework
(Britain, the Netherlands, Portugal, Denmark), second, the Europeanists,
especially in France, Germany and Belgium but also Italy and Spain, who were
in favour of the EU developing its own security and defense capabilities, and
third, the neutral/non-aligned states (Ireland as well as Austria, Finland,
Sweden, and Malta.)

The provisions on CFSP were included in Title V of the Treaty on the

European Union. Decision making by QMV, as we saw above, was only
possible for follow-up decisions in some instances, in implementing what had
been agreed before by a unanimous vote or consensus.
Extreme caution was exercised to avoid stepping on anyone’s toes. Because of
the pressure of some NATO Member States (most importantly the UK), article
J.4 stated that “the policy of the Union […] shall not prejudice the specific
character of the security and defense policy of certain Member States and shall
respect the obligations of certain Member States under the North Atlantic Treaty
and be compatible with the common security and defense policy established
within that framework”.

Neither the UK nor France were much in favor of losing “National sovereignty”
in favor of a unified Foreign Policy which might go against their interests or,
simply, nor in favor of them.

The foundations for what is now referred to as the European Security and
Defense Policy (ESDP) – and what would be relabeled into the Common
Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) in the Lisbon Reform Treaty – were not
laid until December 1998 when the British prime minister Tony Blair agreed in a
meeting with French president Jacques Chirac on board a British ship in St.
Malo 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”

Europe had gone through the Gulf War and the humiliating experience of being
unable to deal with the Balkans’ crisis by itself before it realized that their
interests were not always going to coincide with those of the Big Brother across
the ocean. And the worst was yet to come.

In 1997, the Amsterdam Treaty established the figure of Mr. PESC. Not much
else was achieved in the Security and Defense policy although plans were
made for a Euro-Army and long term common defense. The integration of the
WEU inside the EU was also considered.

The Amsterdam Treaty provided that the Council can act by a qualified majority
when adopting joint actions and common positions on the basis of a common
strategy, when adopting any decision implementing a joint action or a common
position as well as when referring a decision to the European Council where a
member of the Council declares that, for important reasons of national policy, it
opposes the adoption of a decision to be taken by qualified majority.
Constructive abstention was also introduced in CFSP. A minimal degree of
flexibility was introduced for the first time.

To further emphasize the change, the post of High Representative for CFSP
was introduced and was to be combined with the post of the Secretary-General
of the Council. A Policy Planning and Early Warning Unit was established
within the Council Secretariat and it was also decided that the Council could
appoint special representatives with a mandate in relation to particular policy

After the Nice Treaty there has been the possibility of an enhanced
cooperation between EU Member States also in the area of CFSP, which the
Council should authorize by QMV. However, the Nice Treaty also provided that
a Member State may request that the matter be referred to the European
Council for a decision by unanimity, which means that the Member States
retain their right of a veto. It was stated that enhanced cooperation will not
relate to matters having military or defense implications.

At Nice, Nations seek to reduce the number of decisions needing consensus as

well as to ponder the votes of different nations according to their population
and weight.

The Constitutional Treaty born after The Laeken Declaration was rejected by
France and the Netherlands in the Spring of 2005, so it was put on hold and an
Intergovernmental Commission, different from the one which had drafted the
aborted Constitution, was tasked with drawing up a new Reform Treaty (and to
carefully avoid using the term Constitution).

France and Germany, in a joint proposal concerning the Union’s architecture

from January 2003, suggested administering the functions of the High
Representative for the CFSP and the Commissioner for External Relations in
personal union. a ‘Union Minister for Foreign Affairs’, who would conduct
security and foreign policy on behalf of the Council and also act as vice-
president of the Commission. In the context of the envisaged abolition of the
six-monthly rotational presidency in external relations, it was planned that this
Foreign Minister should also chair the Foreign Affairs Council, which would
further enhance the continuity of CFSP. Together with the Member State
governments the Foreign Minister was to have the right to make proposals for
the development of CFSP.

The resulting post would be named ‘High Representative of the Union for
Foreign Affairs and Security Policy’ instead of ‘Union Minister for Foreign
Affairs’ assisted by a European External Action Service, which would
comprise a significantly increased number of personnel in comparison to the
Policy Planning and Early Warning Unit, which assisted the High
Representative for CFSP. This European External Action Service should be
comprised of officials from the Council Secretariat and the Commission as well
as of detached staff from the national diplomatic services of the EU Member

The Lisbon Reform Treaty would provide for the possibility of ‘permanent
structured cooperation’ for those Member States “whose military capabilities
fulfill higher criteria and which have made more binding commitments to one
another in this area with a view to the most demanding missions”. Such
possibility had been vetoed in several occasions prior to this one.

A mutual defense clause was introduced in the treaty text itself, which would
oblige the other Member States to give a Member State which is the victim of
armed aggression on its territory aid and assistance by all the means in their
power. As there was much opposition, It was specified that mutual defense
would not affect the specific nature of the security and defense policy of
certain Member States and that this obligation would be implemented in
close cooperation with NATO, which for its members would remain the
foundation of their collective defense.

EU Member States also agreed to establish the European Defense Agency

(EDA) at the European Council in Thessaloniki in June 2003 and the agency
started work in July 2004. All member States except Denmark participate (the
Danes use the “opting-out” possibility every time defense or the military is
involved. This mechanism was put in place after the referendum for the
Maastricht Treaty, when Denmark initially rejected it). Lt.Col. Javier Otón will
brief you on the EDA tomorrow far more extensively. A most interesting issue as
it involves operations, logistics and industry.
The terrorist attacks in Madrid and London boosted the will of Nations to further
unite their efforts. Still, Decisions are to be taken by consensus except for
development of already agreed policies which can be taken by QMV. The
division of Europe in the Iraq crisis had led to a hardening of its position not
least in order to avoid the possibility of the formation of an anti-US decision

There were two declarations to the final act of the IGC which adopted the
Lisbon Reform Treaty. Some Member States – most importantly Great Britain –
had insisted on these declarations in order to make explicit that the EU cannot
override a Member State over foreign policy. The first ‘Declaration concerning
the common foreign and security policy’ says that the provisions on CFSP,
including the creation of the office of High Representative of the Union for
Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the establishment of an External Action
Service, will not “affect the responsibilities of the Member States, as they
currently exist, for the formulation and conduct of their foreign policy nor of
their national representation in third countries and international
organizations. The second ‘Declaration concerning the common foreign and
security policy’ states that the same provisions on CFSP will not “affect the
existing legal basis, responsibilities, and powers of each Member State in
relation to the formulation and conduct of its foreign policy, its national
diplomatic service, relations with third countries and participation in international
organizations, including a Member State’s membership of the Security
Council of the United Nations”

CFSP, including CSDP, also in the Reform Treaty remains the last policy field
in the EU, which is still intergovernmentally institutionalized – with
unanimous decision making in the Council as a rule. Member States would still
not accept any superordinated agency, e.g. in the form of the European Court of
Justice, which watches over the observance of the provisions on CFSP/CSDP.