Observatory on European defence, June 2005
16-17 June 2005
European Council - Ratification Problem of the Constitutional Treaty, Six-monthly ESDP Report, International Terrorism, Iraq, Iran
The European Council - in a tense meeting following the negative outcome of the French and Dutch referenda on the new Constitutional Treaty, and the difficulties in reaching an agreement on the EU 2007-2013 financing perspectives, discussed and adopted several measures concerning security and defence policy.
The problems encountered by the new Treaty will certainly have consequences in the field of security policy as well; at present no one knows what the effective scope of this stop to the institutional integration process will be. The Constitution introduces some innovative measures in the CFSP and ESDP fields, some of which have already been partially anticipated by unanimous Council decisions.
This was the atmosphere in which the six-month report on the ESDP submitted by the Luxembourg Presidency was approved.
The European Council heard the report on the execution of the Action Plan on the fight against terrorism, and pointed out some priorities for the second half of 2005, but did not set deadlines for the adoption of the measures.
The Council also discussed the difficult situation in Iraq and declared its support for the Commission’s intention to open an EU delegation in Baghdad as soon as security conditions permit. On 22 June, a conference on Iraq co-chaired by the United States and the European Union was held in Brussels, with the participation of more than 80 countries and international organizations.
On 28 June, the EU Presidency issued a declaration focused on the situation in Iran, following the Iranian presidential elections held on 17 June. The new President was called upon to respect the international commitments related to the implementation of the Paris agreement of November 2004 between the EU-3 (France, Germany, United Kingdom and Solana) and Teheran. By the end of July concrete proposals will be presented, on the condition that the Iranians continue to suspend all uranium enrichment activity in the meantime. The 16/17 June European Council stated that the positive outcome of the negotiations is the necessary condition for a future agreement on commercial and political cooperation between the EU and Iran.
20 June 2005
EU-US Summit - International Terrorism, Non Proliferation, China Arms Embargo
The usual bilateral summit between the European Union and the United States touched several topics of the security schedule, of which cooperation in the fight against terrorism and the non-proliferation of the weapons of mass destruction stand out as objects of common declarations of intent.
There were some contrasts, in particular related to policy towards China.
An American bill of 30 June is aimed at sanctioning the EU in case it lifts the arms embargo on China. The proposal foresees an annual report of European companies and governments that sell arms to China, in order to carry out further restrictions on the transfer of sensitive American technology.
EU Missions - Sudan, Aceh (Indonesia), Bosnia
In June, the EU’s commitment to several international missions was confirmed.
Following the General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) of 13 June, an EU civil and military operation in Darfur is being set up to provide support to the strengthening of the African Union (AU) mission, Amis II.
Simultaneously, the commitment taken on last month in the NATO framework, was concretised on 8 June with a formal decision aimed at sustaining the expansion of the AU mission in Darfur. The Atlantic Alliance will provide the logistic support for intelligence, planning and command, as well as the training of African forces (with about 30 trainers based in Kenya).
On 22 June, NATO adopted the political decision needed to launch the mission, scheduled for July. On 9 June, the COPS decided to send a short mission to the Indonesian province of Aceh to asses the possibility of setting up an EU mission composed of military observers (about 200, in civilian clothes and unarmed) to monitor the peace talks scheduled for July between the representatives of the Indonesian government and the separatists from the province.
In addition, the GAERC of 13 June dealt with the Balkans: the EU Defence Ministers intend to extend the Althea military mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina beyond the month of December 2005, maintaining the current approximately 7,000 men from 33 different countries. On 14 June, the COPS appointed Italian General Chiarini as the commander of Althea, as of 5 December.
EU Capabilities - European Security and Defence College, European Defence Agency, European Gendarmerie
The development of EU operational capabilities was the issue of several meetings during the month of June.
The 16/17 June European Council noted the progress made in the field of the EU’s military capabilities and outlined the further efforts to be accomplished, in particular concerning the creation of the Battlegroups, adjustment of the decision-making process for rapid response operations, development of the civ/mil planning cell within the EU’s Military Staff and establishment of the European Security and Defence College (ESDC).
On 27 June, the General Affairs and External Relations Council reached an agreement on the creation of the ESDC, already promoted in general by the Conclusions of the June 2003 European Council of Thessalonica; the College will set up a network linking international and European bodies to favour development of a European security culture, through the training of the civilian and military staff of member States and European institutions.
The first meeting of the Steering Board of the European Defence Agency (EDA) on “Capabilities” formation was held on 21 June. The Board placed the ESDP’s priority operational needs at the core of the Agency’s action. The EDA approved the schedule for development of one of its leading projects, C3 (Command, Control and Communications).
On 17 June, the European Gendarmerie, a multinational force supported by France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands (with HQ in Vicenza, Italy), carried out its first 3-day exercise at the national French centre of gendarmerie forces training; moreover, from 20 to 30 June an exercise for training a deployable police Military Staff was carried out.
DetailsRoma, Istituto affari internazionali, 2005