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Research Report

Breaking Pillars: Towards a civil-military security approach for the European Union

Margriet Drent
Dick Zandee
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2010
Published by: Clingendael Institute
Pages: 97

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. [i]-[ii])
  2. (pp. [iii]-[iv])
  3. (pp. 1-4)

    When looking back at his three-year term as Chairman of the EU Military Committee in November 2009, the French General Henri Bentégeat regarded civil-military integration as the field which had made most significant progress.¹ Moreover, he stressed the importance of establishing an integrated civil-military headquarters for ESDP missions. Such a headquarters would, according to him, ‘correspond to a specific need that is characteristic of the European Union’. Bentégeat’s words signal a clear ambition and direction for the EU’s approach to security: a combined civilian and military one.

    Before everything else, the EU (and its predecessor the European Community) was a...

  4. (pp. 5-24)

    Nowadays, every international organisation dealing with security challenges has at least a reference to ‘comprehensiveness’ in its policy documents. However, none of them provide a clear definition of a comprehensive, holistic or integrated approach to security in general and to crisis management operations more specifically. The German ‘vernetzte Sicherheit’, the Canadian and Dutch ‘3D-approach’² and the British ‘whole of government’ are all conceptions that refer loosely to responses to security threats which are not strictly of a military nature. In general, comprehensive security means that peace and development are fundamentally intertwined. This concept appears to be common sense, but has...

  5. (pp. 25-42)

    The European Union is a ‘living’ organisation, constructed step-by step as its agendas develop over time. The Common Foreign and Security Policy or CFSP was established – as the EU’s second pillar – by the Maastricht Treaty of 1992. The European Security and Defence Policy was launched seven years later.

    From the beginning ESDP consisted of military and civilian aspects, reflecting the European Union’s capability to deploy armed forces as well as police and other civilian experts. In line with this two-legged approach, separate military and civilian structures were created and different procedures for launching and conducting military operations and...

  6. (pp. 43-56)

    The financing mechanism of ESDP missions has been recognised as an obstacle to Member States’ willingness to commit capabilities to ESDP endeavours. Moreover, different budget holders across the EU Pillars, different requirements and disbursement mechanisms as well as a fragmentation of funds that can be earmarked for crisis response hamper the coherence between the instruments to tackle crises. This Chapter will review the financial arrangements concerning the EU’s external action in general and ESDP in particular. It proposes possible ways forward. This is not to say that budgets provide the only problem to a coherent and effective ESDP, but it...

  7. (pp. 57-78)

    Successful implementation of the European Security and Defence Policy is foremost dependent on political will. Secondly, it needs institutions to plan and run operations. However, without capabilities to execute those operations ESDP would still remain an empty shell. From the start in 1999 the improvement of capabilities has been on the ESDP agenda. In fact, the St. Malo initiative was based on the recognition that Europe was lacking the military capabilities for political-diplomatic interventions in the crises in its own backyard, the Balkans.

    This Chapter focuses on European capability improvement, with the focus on military capabilities. First, the early attempts...

  8. (pp. 79-82)

    1. The EU lacks a common strategic vision for dealing with crises outside its borders. For each crisis situation (per country or per region), strategic objectives should be established to provide guidance on prioritisation and translation into specific policies. A new format should be found replacing the current ‘common strategies’ with more ‘comprehensive common strategies’ embracing Community and Council policies and tools. This should provide legitimacy, coordination and a clear focus. The new High Representative, Catherine Ashton, supported by the European External Action Service, should lead this process.

    2. The EU’s Civil-Military Coordination concept which aims at optimising coherence and coordination among...

  9. (pp. 83-88)
  10. (pp. 89-92)
  11. (pp. 93-93)