Reply from Dr Den MacShane Minister for
Europe to Lord Jopling
Thank you for sending the Secretary of State
and me a copy of your Committee's report, "EUEffective
in a crisis". I am grateful to you and your Committee colleagues
for undertaking such a comprehensive inquiry into the EU's civilian
crisis management capability and I was pleased to be able to give
evidence to the Committee in December.
I have read with interest the useful recommendations
that you make in the report and I am pleased to attach the Government's
response to these.
6 May 2003
HMG Response to recommendations made by
the House of Lords European Union Select Committee in its Report
"EUEffective in a Crisis?"
1. That civilian ESDP be more transparent
and clear to allow scrutiny by Member States.
HMG notes the Committee's surprise that figures
for Member State pledges to the civilian crisis management targets
were classified, particularly when military pledges were made
public following the military ESDP conference in November 2000.
The civilian pledges were classified at the request of certain
Member States (not including the UK) for domestic political reasons.
HMG agrees that it is important that pledges relating to civilian
ESDP are as transparent as possible and has advised the Committee
of all UK pledges to the targets. However, it accepts that other
Member States might be reluctant to pledge such high numbers of
personnel if they were to be required to publicise them. As the
Committee is aware, it has the right to apply to the Council Secretariat
for release of the pledges and other classified documents if it
wishes to do so.
2. The scope and headline goals of civilian
ESDP be clarified.
As noted in its written memorandum to the Committee,
HMG supported the establishment of the capabilities targets in
the four priority areas for civilian crisis management and thinks
that they provide the basis of a realistic EU crisis management
capability. HMG considers that these priority areas and targets
gave sufficient clarity for the initial phase of civilian crisis
management. But now these targets have been met, HMG agrees with
the Committee that the time is right to look at the further development
of those capabilities. The Civilian Crisis Management Committee
is already taking forward this work.
3. A clearer definition of the type of operation
that the EU might consider undertaking to allow for more effective
co-operation with several key organisations and to avoid duplication.
HMG agrees that close co-ordination and co-operation
between the EU and other international organisations is vital
to avoid unnecessary duplication. Since the inception of civilian
ESDP, the EU has committed itself to co-operating closely with,
and avoiding duplication of, other international organisations.
The European Council at Gothenburg made a specific commitment
to this effect. This has been followed up by seminars in which
other international organisations have participated. There are
of course differences between the various international organisations
and their capabilities: unlike the OSCE or NATO, the EU has the
capability to deploy crisis management operations with both military
and civilian components. Such crisis management operations are
backed up by the considerable political will of the EU acting
at fifteen. HMG considers that the differences between the international
organisations will be sufficient to avoid the possible inter-organisational
tensions highlighted by the Committee. But this is clearly an
area we will continue to monitor closely.
4. The geographical scope of civilian ESDP
is related to the resources and structures available.
Although in theory there are no geographical
limitations to EU civilian crisis management, HMG agrees with
the Committee that its geographical scope should be related to
the resources and structures available. At this early stage in
its development, this perhaps means that its geographical scope
will be limited to the Balkans. However, as civilian ESDP develops,
it is likely that the resources and structures will be sufficient
to support EU civilian crisis management interventions further
5. A clearer definition of the four areas
of civilian ESDP to cover the need to fill gaps in international
crisis management capacity.
As noted above, HMG considers the four priority
areas of civilian crisis management to provide a realistic basis
for a civilian crisis management capability and the meeting of
the targets in those four areas to mark the successful end of
the first phase of development of civilian ESDP. HMG is confident
that the ongoing discussions on the further development of civilian
ESDP will provide much of the greater definition that the Committee
highlights as a requirement.
HMG notes with interest the Committee's suggestion
that civil protection is not an appropriate priority area for
civilian crisis management as the Commission is best placed to
carry out this activity. The Commission can carry out civil protection
both inside and outside the EU. We expect that civil protection
interventions carried out under Title V civilian crisis management
will usally form part of a wider civilian crisis management operation.
In order to ensure that unnecessary duplication is kept to a minimum,
Member States are currently negotiating the modalities for use
of the Community Civil Protection Mechanism in Title V crisis
management interventions, thereby avoiding setting up a duplicatory
second pillar mechanism.
6. The creation of an international training
team of Member State experts.
HMG notes with interest the Committee's suggestion
of the creation of an international training team of Member State
experts following an examination of its functions and responsibilities.
As well as participating in the pilot phase of the EC Training
Project for civilian crisis management personnel, HMG hopes to
commission a study looking at broader recruitment, retention and
training issues. We will ensure that the Committee's suggestion
is fed into that study should it go ahead.
7. That the Convention for the Future of
Europe consider the limitations of the current pillar structure.
HMG agrees with the Committee that the Convention
on the Future of Europe should consider the limitations of the
current pillar structure. From the discussions to date in the
Convention on this issue, it seems that the collapse of the pillar
structure is a likely outcome. HMG recognises the advantages of
this for simplicity, but we would need to ensure that the special
intergovernmental nature of CFSP (including civilian ESDP) and
some aspects of JHA is preserved.
8. A more streamlined and responsive chain
of command and control including other relevant organisations.
As the Committee notes, a revision of the crisis
management procedures (which define the decision-making processes
for both military and civilian crisis management) was undertaken
after the EU Crisis Management Exercise in 2002 (CME02). This
produced a streamlined version of the Crisis Management Procedures
which simplified some of the decision-making processes. However,
the EU recognises that the Crisis Management Procedures will need
to be revised again in due course and on a regular basis, in light
of experience during the EU Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina
and Operation Concordia, the first military ESDP operation, in
9. Enhanced co-ordination on civil-military
HMG agrees with the Committee that there is
a need for enhanced civil-military co-ordination in ESDP. The
UK is a leading proponent of this in the EU forum, for example
in our current collaboration with partners on a draft Civil-Military
Co-ordination Framework document. The UK draft has been discussed
initially in the Politico-Military Group and will in due course
be discussed in CivCom too. Civil-military co-ordination is also
tested by the EU exercise programme. HMG attaches considerable
importance to ensuring that the development of civil-military
co-ordination in EU crisis management takes account of lessons
learned during live operations (eg co-ordination between the EUPM
and SFOR in Bosnia and Herzegovina). As the EU expressed its willingness
at the Copenhagen European Council to take over the NATO operation
in Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is possible that the first live
example of an EU crisis management operation with both military
and civilian components will be in Bosnia (the EU Police Mission
already being on the ground there).
10. Member States should engage more directly
with the European Parliament on civilian crisis management issues.
The European Parliament is consulted and informed
on the main aspects, basic choices and developments in CFSP. As
this includes both the military and civilian aspects of ESDP we
consider that there is good regular contact. Article 21 of the
Treaty on European Union provides the basis for this involvement
of the European Parliament in CFSP. The Inter-institutional Agreement
of May 1999, between the European Parliament, Council and Commission
on budgetary discipline and improvement of the budgetary procedure,
outlines the involvement of the European Parliament in CFSP budgetary
matters. HMG is content with this level of engagement with the
European Parliament on CFSP, including civilian ESDP. Any change
in this level of engagement may arise in the current discussions
in the Convention on the Future of Europe.
11. A long-term system of financing.
While HMG agrees with the Committee that a long-term
financing solution for civilian ESDP needs to be found, it considers
that the financing model for the EU Police Mission has worked
well. The Italians have announced their intention to tackle civilian
ESDP financing during their upcoming Presidency. We have already
started to discuss specific proposals with them on the basis of
a first draft of an Italian paper.
The Committee refers in its report to two recently
agreed financing options for common costsit is worth noting
that these models in fact apply only to the financing of military
ESDP. Whereas common costs for civilian crisis management operations
can be met from the CFSP budget, under Article 28 of the Treaty
on European Union, expenditure arising from operations having
military or defence implications cannot.