CHAPTER 3: the scope of the eu's civilian
22. There is disagreement between the Member
States concerning the appropriate objectives for the ESDP, including
its civilian aspects. Should the EU be able to intervene globally
or merely in its own region? Should the EU be able to do a full
range of conflict prevention and crisis management tasks, or should
there be burden sharing with other organisations? In this section
we look at the objectives and evaluate the danger in the current
lack of clarity on civilian ESDP.
Where Should The EU Intervene?
23. The EU has named no specific geographical
limits to civilian ESDP. According to the British Government 'In
principle, the EU could agree to run a civilian crisis management
operation anywhere in the world'.
The Council decides every six months on crisis management priorities
in the so called 'global overview'which defines some 25-30
areas of incipient crisis which the various Council bodies monitor,
in particular the Joint Situation Centre.
24. For the moment, the EU appears likely only
to intervene in its own region. Mr Feith, Deputy Director General
at the Council, said quite unequivocally 'for us the Balkans is
the priority as far as ESDP is concerned'.
More specifically, Mr Feith mentioned ESDP engagements in 'Bosnia
and in Macedonia'
although he predicted a military mission 'elsewhere in the vicinity
25. The fact that the EU speaks of global ambition
but only acts locally is a cause of regret for some of the witnesses
who gave evidence to the Committee. The International Crisis Group
maintains that it is important that the EU is perceived to have
genuinely a global agenda.
Other witnesses explained that it is more helpful for other actors
that the EU is frank about its intentions to continue focusing
on the Balkans.
Co-operation With Other Organisations
And Third Countries
26. There are a number of organisations, both
intergovernmental and non-governmental, who are currently active
in civilian crisis management. In Europe, the OSCE is the most
established actor, while the UN is globally recognised for its
conflict prevention and crisis work. In establishing another civilian
crisis management capacity the EU needs to be mindful of several
Double-hatting: The Committee
was informed that there are insufficient numbers of experts for
all crisis management missions.
The UN, OSCE and EU draw on the same pool of trained personnel.
This fact led one witness to recommend UN/EU common training modules,
to maximise interoperability.
Duplication: Given the
limited number of experts and the limited financing which has
been committed to crisis management, any duplication of crisis
management services is worrying. One clear example is the ESDP
Civil Protection mechanism. The mechanism mirrors the dispatch
of assessment and co-ordination teams by the UN through the United
Nations Disaster Assessment Co-ordination (UNDAC) system (managed
by the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs;
Shifting Institutional Responsibility:
The third danger in the EU's development of civilian crisis management
capacity is that this will blur the lines of authority between
the organisations. To prevent this relevant international organisations
should create a plan which determines organisational responsibility
under set foreseeable circumstances. It would be a mistake to
leave this task until the next crisis; under those circumstances
institutional rivalries concerning responsibilities would be embarrassing
and dangerous, particularly when the same countries are members
of the same organisations.
While some flexibility should be retained, knowing which agency
is suitable for acting in certain crises would save valuable time
in deploying the most appropriate crisis managers.
27. The dangers of duplication and shifting organisational
responsibility are well recognised. Witnesses stressed the need
to co-ordinate with other organisations.
'HMG consistently stresses that the EU should ensure that its
civilian crisis management activity is developed in a mutually
reinforcing way with that of other organisations'.
The OSCE was singled out as a particularly important partner.
The EU and OSCE share geographical territory, membership and operate
extensively within common areas, for example election and human
rights monitoring. Saferworld emphasised that 'the OSCE is to
the EU civilian crisis management what NATO is to EU military
28. The Committee was told that relations with
NATO were good.
Nevertheless, it is still the case that EU civilians cannot operate
directly under NATO command. At present NATO and the EU are working
closely together, for example in Bosnia under SFOR (Stabilisation
Force) and EUPM.
29. Macedonia was cited by witnesses as an example
of effective co-operation where the EU led in creating a diplomatic
and political climate which allowed the deployment of NATO peacekeepers.
These peacekeepers then worked very well with the OSCE's broader
mandate for security sector reform. One example was the provision
of maps identifying the location of minefields supplied by NATO
30. The Committee took evidence from several
non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
It would appear that some NGOs have good relations with the Conflict
Prevention and Crisis Management Unit in the Commission and the
Policy Planning and Early Warning Unit in the Council. It was
suggested to the Committee that there is good co-operation at
senior levels. Commissioner Patten appears to take NGOs very seriously,
as do Lord Robertson and High Representative Javier Solana.
31. At an operational level, however, sufficient
co-ordination appears to be lacking.
'There is still insufficient understanding of the role of NGOs
and civil society in general and the impact they can have in a
Saferworld recommend that an effective system of policy dialogue
between NGOs, the Council and the Commission should be established.
'It is important that the EU's civilian crisis management policy
and operation is informed by policy dialogue involving NGOs and
other civil society groups working on the ground'.
The Committee agrees.
32. The EU needs to re-visit its relations with
other 'third countries' when considering action under civilian
suggested that the EU should not attempt civilian crisis management
without the United States, Russia, Canada, Switzerland and Norway.
The Committee notes that the US is the only one of those countries
listed by BASIC which did not offer personnel to help staff the
33. The Committee recommends that the EU give
a clearer definition of the type of operation that it might consider
undertaking to allow for more effective co-operation with several
key organisations; in particular NATO, UN, OSCE, as well as relevant
34. The Committee notes that clear objectives
are vital for defining the function of civilian ESDP and for co-ordination
with other crisis management organisations. The Committee recommends
that the geographical scope of civilian ESDP is related to the
resources and structures available.
35. It is crucial that relevant agencies co-ordinate
on the ground to avoid unnecessary and potentially competitive
duplication and to ensure that appropriate information is shared.
We recommend that relevant international organisations create
a plan which determines organisational responsibility under set
37 p39. Back
Q18, Q20. Back
BASIC, EPLO, European Centre for Common Ground, ICG, Saferworld. Back
BASIC-British American Security Information Council. Back