The impetus for the development
of the CESDP
7. These efforts have gathered momentum in the last
two years, with the important agreements made at the Anglo-French
St Malo summit in December 1998 and, twelve months later, at Helsinki.
There are several causes for this.
8. First among these is the fact that European countries
have needed to adapt to the end of the Cold War. While they no
longer see territorial defence as the overwhelming priority, in
many cases they have not been able to reallocate resources to
take this imperative into account. Limited territorial defence
requirements were replaced by the need to provide adaptable and
deployable forces for limited conflicts and small operations of
the kind seen in Bosnia and Kosovo. In consequence, there is now
a recognition that some degree of co-ordination is necessary between
states providing forces for these purposes. This has proved to
be a difficult problem. European countries together spend 60
per cent as much on defence as the US; and the countries comprising
the EU have 1.9 million men and women under arms while the US
has 1.4 million. Despite this, only 2 per cent of European forces
were capable of being deployed in Kosovo. The Europeans only
provided half the number of military forces specified for the
Kosovo operation. This has resulted in the fact that European
governments have had to acknowledge that too much is being spent
on conscript armies with limited military utility, when they instead
need highly mobile well-trained and combat-ready forces, including
operational logistical support to allow projection of power
to the theatre of operations. This will be very expensive.
9. Secondly, European countries have had to acknowledge
that they are over-dependent on the United States. Europe possesses
few of the military capabilities necessary for handling major
European crises, and this has been made clear by the débâcle
of Bosnia and deficiencies in Kosovo. In the latter case, the
Americans provided some 75 per cent of the firepower, and the
European allies lacked reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft
as well as long range precision weapons and bombers. British
ministers have drawn attention to the fact that European governments
spent two-thirds as much as the Americans on defence, but could
deploy only 10-15 per cent of US troop levels.
Significant problems remain in European governments' capacity
to deploy and sustain forces.
10. Thirdly, there is the decline in defence expenditure
in NATO Member States, and especially in European Member States,
since the end of the Cold War. In the words of General Klaus
Naumann, former Chairman of NATO's Military Committee, after the
Cold War "we were too generous in allowing ourselves a peace
dividend which led to deficiencies in our armed forces" (Q283).
This decline in expenditure has created tensions within the alliance.
In particular the United States Government seems to take the
view that European partners are not carrying a sufficient share
of the financial costs of the alliance.
11. Fourthly, the two most effective military powers
in Europe at present, Britain and France, have moved closer in
their appreciation of the need for Europe to contribute more to
military and humanitarian missions and to rely less on the US.
This does not mean that their philosophies have converged: on
balance, it is true that the French still look at defence from
a "Europeanist" perspective, and the British from a
more "Euro-Atlanticist" perspective. Nevertheless,
the British Government accepts that France is unlikely to rejoin
the integrated command structure of NATO and that the EU should
now provide the framework for a European defence pillar. Moreover,
the French Government now accept that Europeans are not willing
to duplicate their forces when defence budgets are decreasing,
and that any steps towards a European military capability should
complement, but not attempt to duplicate, existing NATO capabilities
necessary for the conduct of missions. Other EU member governments
have supported this initiative.
12. Finally, European governments have come to accept
that in the future they cannot take for granted US involvement
in the humanitarian, crisis control and peace support missions
in which the EU has an interest. Congressional backing for the
Kosovo mission was noticeably half-hearted. The mood, according
to Lord Wallace of Saltaire, is "that the Americans do not
wish to be involved in all these activities and that they wish
their European allies to be capable of operating on their own,
with the Americans taking a back seat." (Q81).
The implications of the CESDP
13. The proposed development of the CESDP is consistent
with the commitment contained in the Treaty on European Union
(the Maastricht treaty) which referred to 'the eventual framing
of a common defence policy, which might in time lead to a common
The development of a CESDP represents a major
opportunity for Europe to address crises in its own neighbourhood,
such as Bosnia and Kosovo, and to contribute to smaller operations
further afield such as East Timor and Sierra Leone at the request
of the United Nations. However, the initiative raises many issues,
which this report attempts to address. The initiative will greatly
affect the relationship between the EU and NATO, whose memberships
overlap but are not identical. It will also affect many other
states that are members of neither the EU nor NATO. At the moment,
European defence is marked by an exceptionally complicated matrix
of institutions, which will be described in greater detail later
in the report, but whose overlaps can be illustrated by the diagram
we have included as Figure 1. The CESDP adds yet another dimension.
1 Declaration of the Helsinki European Council, paragraph
Also occasionally known as the European Security and Defence Policy
For a definition of the "Petersberg tasks", see paragraph
Helsinki declaration, paragraph 28. Back
There are grave doubts whether it can be considered a 'rapid'
reaction force. This issue will be further explored in Part 4.
However, the term is commonly used to describe the EU's planned
reaction force, and the report therefore utilises this term throughout. Back
We take power projection to mean the ability to deploy military
force to meet a variety of missions ranging from humanitarian
to peace enforcement tasks. Back
Other figures quoted were that 75 per cent of all aircraft, 80
per cent of the ordinance and most of the intelligence were provided
by the US. See Christopher Patten, "The EU's Evolving Foreign
Policy Dimension-the CESDP after Helsinki", 22 February 2000. Back
Article J.4(1) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU). Back