Observatory on European defence, June 2007
12-13 June 2007
EU Justice and Home Affairs Council - Countering International Terrorism
On the 12-13th of June, the Justice and Home Affairs Council addressed several issues linked to international terrorism.
An agreement on a Council Declaration aimed at strengthening the cooperation of countering cross-borders crimes, including terrorism, was reached. The measures achieved are based on the Prum Treaty fundamental arrays (presently in force among Austria, Germany and Spain, that will be joined by the end of 2007 by France, Holland, Luxemburg and Belgium) dealing with national authorities' information exchange. On 7th June Europol and Eurojust resolved a Memorandum of Understanding for the implementation of protected communications for the information's exchange about cross-borders crimes between the two European agencies. The initiative is based on a previous agreement in June 2004.
Moreover, the Council adopted recommendations about the information's exchange on persons' kidnapping for terrorist purposes, the arms and explosives' availability limitation for terrorists and countering the use of internet for terrorist purposes ("Check the web" project).
14-15 June 2007
Nato - Afghanistan, Iraq, Capabilities, Antimissile Defence
On the 14-15th of June, the North Atlantic Council formally met at the defence ministers level to mainly discuss Afghanistan, Iraq, capabilities and antimissile defence.
A long term engagement in Afghanistan was confirmed and the need of a full involvement of Afghan security authorities for the territory control was confirmed, underlying the importance of an appropriate training. The support to the local government (especially in countering the opium cultivation) and concrete humanitarian aids must accompany the country's stabilization process. Moreover, Nato committed itself to adopt any possible measure to avoid civil victims and to improve the coordination with US led forces. According to the UN mission in Kabul, in the first 4 months of 2007 at least 400 civilians have been killed due to rebel groups and international forces combats. Karzai President officially and firmly lamented the killing of about 90 civilians due to the aerial bombing by the international forces in June.
The fundamental role of training was underlined also in the Iraq case: the Nato training mission will train local police forces beginning in September. In the three-year period 2004-2006, allied forces have trained over 4000 officers in the country and more than 900 in Nato allied countries.
According to the Riga Summit guidelines in November 2006, the capabilities development and transformation issue has been challenged especially regarding the possibility to have the use of deployable commands and to optimize the rotation calendar of Nato response Force (Nrf).
In regards to common theatre defence systems (other than 1.000 km range) for troop's protection are now under survey at Nato and an initial effectiveness for 2010-2011 has been confirmed. Regarding the issue of an antimissile shield proposed by the US has proven to be problematic. Ministers have repeated the need to evaluate political and military implications of the American project under construction. Such evaluation will be defined by February 2008 and will consider a possible complementarity with the US and at the same time consultations with Russia, safeguarding the principle of indivisibility of allies security.
About Us and Russian positions, on the 7th of June, by the G8 Summit, Moscow had an American proposal for its involvement in the project; further proposal exchanges between president Bush and Putin were agreed upon regarding the possible data sharing of an ex-soviet site in Azerbaijan that would allow the total European coverage.
21-22 June 2007
European Council - Treaty Reform, six-monthly Esdp Report, Portuguese Presidency Mandate
The Council has been dedicated to the difficult achievement of the accord to confer the mandate for negotiations in an Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) to reform the treaties.
After the failure of the Constitution ratification, the Treaty establishing the European Community (Ect) and the Treaty on the European Union (Eut) will be amended eliminating any reference to the Constitution. The Tce will be called Treaty on the Functioning of the Union and will have juridical force as the Eut.
The IGC will work from July to October 2007 in order to allow the ratification by the European Parliamentary elections (June 2009). The extension of the majority vote system is not expected to concern Efsp and Esdp and by replacing the European foreign minister, the office of High representative of Efsp will merge with the one of External Relations Commissioner.
The Council has approved the presidency six-monthly report on Esdp. The report analyses the progresses carried out in the first six months of 2007 regarding missions and capabilities development, and bears the mandate for the coming presidency (Portugal). The mandate is about the missions continuation and in particular about starting of Esdp mission aimed at the reestablishment of the rule of law in police, justice and customs sector in Kosovo; about capabilities progress especially for planning, civil-military coordination and the development of civil command and control structures; about the support to the European Defence Agency (Eda) activities and the strengthening of the cooperation with Nato and Onu.
Esdp Mission - Democratic Repubic of Congo, Afghanistan
The Justice and Home Affairs Council on the 12-13th of June has approved two common actions concerning Eu missions in Congo with regard to reforms in the security sector. The assistance operation Eusec and Rdc, operational since May 2005, has been extended until the 30th of June 2008. The new mission about police sector reform Eupol-Drc which from the 1st of July will replace the current mission Eupol Kinshasa (limited to the training of one police unit in the capital), spreading to the whole territory, will last as well till the June 2008. The mission will employ about 40 experts for an initial one year period and will deal also with the relationship between the police and the justice department.
On the 15th of June, the Esdp police mission Eupol Afghanistan began its local police training. About 195 policemen are employed using the framework created by the Gppo (German Police Project Office), operational in the country since 5 years. The German commander Eichele is entrusted with the operation command; it is going to last at least three years and its financing for 2007 is over 43 million euros.
Eu - Capabilities
On the 7th of June the Eu and Onu signed a joint declaration, in Berlin, regarding the cooperation of operations management and foreseeing concrete measures to intensify effectiveness.
The military exercise Milex took place from the 7th to the 15th of June, during which the Eu Operations Centre within the Military Staff's Civ/Mil Planning Cell, established the 1st of January to enable the Eu to conduct autonomous operations out of the Berlin Plus framework, was activated for the first time. Milex 07 has tested the coordination between the Operations Centre in Bruxelles and the General Quarter in a member State (Sweden) with particular attention to deployable communication systems.
With regard to battlegroups, full effectiveness has been reached by Italy for (nation framework), Slovenia, Hungary and will be available the 2nd of September.
On the 12th and 13th of June the Justice and Home Affairs Council approved the procedures to allow recourse to the Efsp budget line "Preparatory Actions" for the preparation of civil management crisis operations.
On the 18th of June, the Eu Defence Ministers approved a draft of directives to reform the General Secretariat Organization for the command and control of Civil Pesd Operations. The implementation will last one year and intends to establish in the Commission a new structure "civilian planning and conducting capacity" essentially devoted to the planning, but also to the training and the dissemination of lessons learned and the coordination with other actors.
On the 28th of June the Directive Committee of the European Defence Agency (Eda) approved a roadmap and a calendar for the definition of a Capability Development Plan (CDP) to support Eu governments in the identification of priority capabilities to develop possible areas of cooperation. The initiative, that follows "An Initial Long-Term Vision for European Capability and Capacity Needs" document approved in October 2006, does not constitute a supranational programme, but rather a support tool for national decisions.