From Amsterdam to Kosovo: Lessons for the future of CFSP* Dr Simon Duke Associate Professor, EIPA
Executive Summary Although the full effects of the Kosovo imbroglio will not be evident for some time to come and the Amsterdam Treaty has only just entered into effect, there is nevertheless a need to focus upon the extent to which the treaty’s provisions might help the EU and other associated organisations address future crises appropriately. The areas in which the Amsterdam Treaty’s provisions may prove to be inadequate, and there would appear to be many, also suggest the need to move beyond the largely paper security structures in Europe. Kosovo will have one of two effects; either it will rejuvenate the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and give practical effect to a common defence policy and common defence, or it will leave the security of the region largely in the hands of the US with all of the benefits and risks that this applies. The former will involve a change in approach to CFSP and a willingness to invest in appropriate military assets to address the causes and effects of primarily intra-state conflict. The latter will continue the patterns established during the cold war whereby the (west) Europeans rely heavily upon the US for initiative, leadership, and key military hardware. Kosovo marks a watershed in the sense that its effects may well make or break the CFSP. Kosovo and the challenge to CFSP The problems facing the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) are part of a wider international challenge facing all security-oriented organisations. These changes are best reflected in the fact that in 1991 all the 30 major conflicts that were being waged were all intra-state conflicts with the exception of the Gulf War. By 1997 there were 25 major armed conflicts throughout the world.1 Again, all but one of the conflicts was internal (the exception being the dispute between India and Pakistan) and concerned the struggle for control over the government or the territory of a state and often both.2 Intra-state conflict or “wars of the third kind”3 pose a fundamental challenge to global security. In designing responses a delicate balance must be reached between the primary elements which give the international system structure, namely sovereignty and statehood, as well as the moral and legal obligation to observe and uphold human rights and fundamental dignities. Although the question of whether to intervene in a nominally sovereign state on humanitarian grounds is a theme that was not new with Kosovo, the key issues have been put into __________________ * Un bref résumé de cet article en français figure à la fin.
stark relief by events in Kosovo. As Dominique Moisi observed, Serbia and Kosovo are a “microcosm of our post-cold war world” and thus “the events taking place there reflected the changing clout of the various international actors, the rules of engagement in a global age, and offer a preview of what modern warfare might become.”4 With the lessons from Bosnia fresh in mind, the preAmsterdam summit IGC reflected the desire to enhance CFSP but divisions prevailed and the basic character of CFSP changed little from the Maastricht Treaty. But unlike Bosnia, which confronted a number of organisations (NATO, OSCE and the WEU) with a crisis while they were in the midst of making the transition from cold war organisations into effective post-cold war actors, Kosovo had been a crisis in the making for a long time. Ironically, the slide to chaos was aided and abetted by the settlement reached in Bosnia. Background to the Kosovo Crisis Kosovo is intimately connected in the Serb mind with the cradle of Serbian culture and to an immensely long history of settlement in the minds of the Albanians. The tales spun around the defeat of Prince Lazar, a legendary Serb figure, by the Turks at Kosovo Polje in 1389 and the subsequent five hundred years of Turkish repression is central to Serb legends. The Albanian claim to Kosovo is based on their descent from the Illyrians who were believed to occupy the Balkans before the Romans and 1,000 years prior to the Slavs. The vying histories and myths have not only fuelled the current crisis but will also pose a formidable challenge to any post-crisis settlement. The first close contacts were established under Ottoman domination when ethnic Albanians settled en masse in Kosovo. This coincided with the Serb exodus which increased after a failed uprising in 1689. The ethnic Albanians who settled in Kosovo were distinguished from other Balkan inhabitants due to the fact that by the 18th century most had converted to Islam. The success and prominence of the Albanian inhabitants was thus linked to the process of Islamisation, as were relations with the Slav neighbours. By the 19th century however the main distinctions between the Albanians and Serbs centred on contrasting political aspiration; the Serbs desired statehood while the Albanians identified with the Ottoman Empire. In 1878 prominent Albanian leaders established the Albanian League in Prizren (Kosovo) with the objective of unifying all Albanian peoples in an autonomous province with in
the Ottoman Empire. Kosovo, according to Serb history, was liberatedfrom Turkish rule in the First Balkan War of 1912. In 1918 Kosovo became part of Yugoslavia if only by virtue of Serbia’s reconquest of the territory in 1912. The Serb army (with its Montenegrin ally) then attempted to consolidate their hold on Kosovo by expelling Turks, Muslims and Albanians. Following Austria’s insistence, Serbia and Montenegro surrendered part of their territory to the new state of Albania. The interwar rivalries were only a symptom of the deep Serb enmity, as Aleksa Djilas points out, rooted in “centuries of discrimination against the Serbian Orthodox Church and oppression of Serb peasants by Muslim Albanian lords and their followers.”5 Greater Albania was established in 1941-44 with Axis support whereby Kosovo was annexed to rump Albania. Many Albanians gave support to the Axis forces while most Serbs joined the Chetnik groups. With the expulsion from Yugoslavia of German forces at the end of World War II, fighting immediately erupted between Albanian and Yugoslav forces for the control of Kosovo. Mass protests followed periodically with more overt demands for self-rule appearing in 1968 but it was not until 1974 that the new Yugoslav constitution granted Kosovo autonomy as a “constituent element of the federation.” Under Tito, Kosovo officially remained a province of Serbia. Albanians in Kosovo were however dissatisfied with being only a “nationality” by which they were accorded only autonomy and not the status of a republic within the Yugoslav federation (as say applied to Croats and Serbs). Tito held together the loose polity called Yugoslavia but after his death in 1980 students in Kosovo began to call for independence. Serbs however also had reason for concern since under Tito around 20 percent of Serbs in Serbia fell outside Belgrade’s jurisdiction (namely, those living in Kosovo and Vojvodina). After major Albanian riots martial law was imposed in 1981. The Albanian Communist Party branded the rioters counter revolutionaries while the Serb Communist Party preferred to portray the insurrection as an ethnic threat. With Slobodan Miloševic´’s accession to power in 1987, the deliberate dismantling of the fragile consensual political structures of the Tito years began. Misha Glenny noted that under Tito “the system could only function with two absolute political taboos: overt nationalism and the active participation of the masses in politics.6 Miloševic´ was to upset both at the 1987 Central Committee plenum held, by no coincidence, at Kosovo Polje.7 A clash of Serb demonstrators with the (largely Albanian) police outside the plenum led Miloševic´ to state that, “No one should beat you.” The Kosovo Serb leader, Miroslav Soljevic´ (who was in fact from N s) observed that “This sentence enthroned him as a Tsar.”8 In March 1989, largely at the behest of the agitated Serbs in Kosovo, Miloševic´ established direct rule over Kosovo and, in the process, stripped the province of its autonomy. The imposition of martial law resulted in
many Albanians being pushed out of the police, education and other public positions as a matter of federal policy. In reaction, Albanian MP’s in the provincial parliament declared Kosovo to be an independent entity within Yugoslavia in July 1990. Harassment and discrimination was mutual between the Kosovo Albanian and Serb communities and between 1966 and 1989 around 130,000 Serbs left the province.9 The dissolution of the Federal Republic in 1991 with Croatia and Slovenia’s declarations of independence led the Democratic League of Kosova (LDK) to elect its own parliament in May 1992 and to establish a Republic with Ibrahim Rugova as president. “Independence” however meant the creation by the LDK of a parallel Albanian government, education and health systems accompanied by calls for the restoration of Kosovo’s autonomy. Rugova stressed unprincipled non-violent resistance in the pursuit of the LDK’s goals. His stance was not however aimed at establishing a dialogue with his adversaries but in soliciting the support of NATO for the plight of the Albanian Kosovars in the hope that this would lead to military intervention and support for Kosovo’s independence. The recognition of rump Yugoslavia by a number of European countries and the notable omission of Kosovo from the Badinter Commission’s findings (which recognised self-determination of federal units but not of the communities within them), led to the impression that a double standard was being applied – one for Bosnia and another for Kosovo. Efforts to monitor concerns about human rights in Kosovo, Sanjak and Vojvodina were launched in September 1992 when the OSCE dispatched three monitoring missions. The monitoring missions, along with those of the EC, were portrayed as interference in the internal affairs of the state by Miloševic´ but accepted by the federal Presidency of Milan Panic´. However, Panic’s departure from office concluded the OSCE presence in June 1993, one month after the first armed attack against Serb police by the UÇK (Ushtria Çlirimtare e Kosoves or Kosovo Liberation Army).10 Rugova insisted that any negotiations on Kosovo’s future should be carried out on “neutral soil” and in the presence of international mediators. This had the distinct attraction from the Kosovo Albanian perspective of internationalising the dispute while the Serbs saw this as an unwelcome avenue. However, the patience of some of the more militant Albanians ran out as a result of the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords, which ended the war in Bosnia but at cost to Kosovo which was scarcely mentioned; nor was Miloševic´ required to address the deteriorating human rights situation in Kosovo. The main western actors excluded Kosovo on the grounds that they wished to “avoid conflict with the Serbian government, an important player in the signature and implementation of peace agreements in Bosnia, which could hamper political and economic reform and the current process of democratization.”11 Even seasoned observers, like David Owen, did not apparently think of Kosovo as the touchpaper of future conflict. He
commented after Dayton that “… as 1996 started at least the wars of 1991-95 were over, and there was a prospect of peace for the years ahead.”12 In post-Dayton Kosovo Rugova’s support weakened with the emergence of the anticommunist, Adem Demaçi of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights and Freedom and more ominously, the full emergence in February 1996 of the UÇK as a potentially significant actor. The UÇK’s funding base improved with a three percent levy on all earnings abroad which were diverted to the Homeland Calling Fund.13 However, the number of Kosovo Albanians working in other parts of Europe began to decrease post-Dayton as a series of repatriation agreements were signed between Belgrade and Germany, Sweden and Switzerland, amongst others. The near collapse of Albania in 1997 boosted Kosovo’s bid for independence through more violent means and moved it further away from Rugova’s nominally peaceable methods. As Chris Hedges has commented, “A huge number of disenchanted and angry youth who saw no benefits from Rugova’s rule and who, unlike their parents, did not speak Serbo-Croatian, began giving up on multiethnicity.’14 The UÇK, which had hitherto been a shadowy and not especially well organised or equipped organisation, now had the means to provide for an armed struggle with an estimated 30,000 automatic weapons finding their way into Kosovo at bargain prices. On 20 November 1997 Belgrade rejected demands from France and Germany to negotiate a special statute for Kosovo. Washington ratcheted up the pressure on 9 December 1997 to prolong the sanctions against Yugoslavia by a year. Between February 26 and 1 March 1998 attacks on Serb paramilitary targets saw, in response, destructive and indiscriminate attacks on suspected UÇK strongholds in the (central) Drenica region. By June several thousand refugees had taken to the hills in search of safety. The rapidly deteriorating situation in Kosovo continued to be subordinated to the wider US and EU objectives in the region that were focussed on ensuring Miloševic´’s support for the ouster of the Radovan Karad ic´’s hard-line leadership in Republika Srpska. In return for Miloševic´’s support a number of diplomatic concessions were made including the provision for direct charter flights to the US by Yugoslavia’s national airline, JAT, and the establishment of a consulate by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the US. During a visit to Belgrade in February 1998 the US Special Representative, Robert Gelbard, pronounced that “[The UÇK] is without any question a terrorist group. I refuse to accept any kind of excuses.”16 Having unambiguously branded the UÇK as “terrorists” (and bearing in mind the US’s own tough and uncompromising stance on the issue) the pace of Serb attacks on alleged UÇK strongholds was stepped up. Both the US and the EU showed their complete incapacity for any type of conflict prevention, preferring instead reactive conflict management as matters deteriorated. The only serious effort in this regard was the work of the Sant’Egidio 4
Order to reach an education agreement for a revived school system that would build confidence in Kosovo. Two factors eventually prompted a response by the “west,” led by Richard Holbrooke negotiating on behalf of the American Secretary of State. First, the ever prying lenses of the television cameras and photojournalists transmitted images and reports of the increasingly desperate conditions facing the Albanian Kosovo population in the face of increasing Serb strikes against anything that was allegedly a UÇK target and severe weather. By March 1998 US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, was urging action against the regime in Belgrade based on concerns about the human rights situation but also the potential for regional stability.17 Second, Kosovo was not alone in having a sizeable Albanian majority. The spread of conflict to adjacent Macedonia, which is around 23 percent Albanian, was a clear possibility – especially since UNPREDEP’s mandate was to expire in the not too distant future.18 A push for a greater Albania could also additionally pull in other surrounding countries and thus unravel the precarious peace secured by the Dayton accords. Diplomatic efforts to resolve the growing crisis were centred on the reconvened Contact Group that had addressed the Bosnian crisis. The six-nation (France, Germany, Italy, Russia, the UK and the US) group condemned both the “use of excessive force” by the Serb paramilitary forces as well as “terrorist actions by the Kosovo Liberation Army.”19 UN Security Resolution 1160 of 31 March 1998 contained much the same wording but additionally called for a ban on the sale of all arms and related matériel to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (including Kosovo) and threatened “consideration of further measures” if the resolution was met with non-compliance.20 The EU (British) Presidency expressed its “deep concern” at the violent incidents in Kosovo in early March and called as a matter of urgency for “the authorities in Belgrade and the leaders of the Kosovar Albanian community to resolve the situation peacefully through a full and constructive dialogue.”21 Security Council Resolution 1160 was reinforced in September by a further resolution, 1199, which contained a more specific list of demands. These included the cessation of all action by the security forces affecting the civilian population; the withdrawal of security units used for civilian repression; continuous and effective international monitoring by the European Community Monitoring Mission (ECMM) and, in co-operation with the UNHCR and ICRC, to facilitate the unimpeded return of refugees and displaced persons.22 Resolution 1199 was followed a day later by the issuance of a NATO ACTWARN.23 On 24 October Security Council Resolution 1203 affirmed that “the unresolved situation in Kosovo, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, constitutes a continuing threat to the peace and security of the region.” Acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, the Security Council demanded that the FRY comply fully with the resolutions 1160 and 1199.24 These
resolutions would later form part of the controversial legal basis for the NATO air strikes against Serb forces in Kosovo. In May 1998 the North Atlantic Council described the situation in Kosovo as “unacceptable.” In June the foreign ministers of the EU, along with the US, imposed a ban on new investment in Serbia and froze all Serb foreign assets. Under international pressure the first ever Miloševic´-Rugova meeting was held on 15 May to discuss the province’s future. By this time however both parties were locked into a spiral of violence. In July a Kosovo Diplomatic Observer Mission, under the Contact Group, the OSCE, and the EU, was given prime responsibility for monitoring human rights in the province. The International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia was also given full authority to investigate and prosecute violations in Kosovo. Aside from diplomatic efforts and vague consideration of “further action,” it is not clear what the US or its European partners could do at this juncture. The threat of military action was however indicated on 15 June when NATO mounted a short-notice air exercise, Determined Falcon.25 William Cohen, US Secretary of Defense, asserted that this proved that NATO was “united in its commitment to seek a ceasefire … and demonstrated its capacity to rapidly mobilise some very significant lethal capacity.” Seemingly unperturbed by the pressure, Serb forces launched a series of large offensives against UÇK strongholds and some 200,000 Albanians were dislodged from villages and towns in central and south-west Kosovo.27 Further consideration of military intervention was contentious, at best. Armed intervention, even for humanitarian goals, ran the risk of being portrayed as aiding “terrorists” engaged in an armed struggle within a sovereign state. Russia, as a member of the Contact Group, was opposed to any consideration of military intervention from the outset. Washington was however able to gain sufficient consensus amongst the NATO allies to threaten Miloševic´ with airstrikes in the event of continued noncompliance with Security Council Resolution 1199. Privately, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy and Spain all expressed reservations about whether the resolutions constituted a legal mandate for airstrikes. Unity amongst the NATO allies was therefore built around the expectation that Miloševic´ would back down and that the use of force would not be necessary. On 14 October Miloševic´, under the threat of imminent NATO air strikes, agreed to a settlement with Holbrooke. The number of Serb troops and “police” would be reduced to a specified level and the OSCE would provide 2,000 unarmed personnel to verify compliance with the terms of the agreement. The threat of air strikes was only alleviated on 27 October after the Serb forces were reduced to a broadly acceptable level (although behind schedule).28 During the eight months between the beginning of the Serb offensive and the Holbrooke-Miloševic´ agreement, some 750 Kosovo Albanians died and around 250,000 were left homeless.
As the OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission assumed its duties a NATO extraction force arrived in Macedonia with a mandate to protect the OSCE mission should it be threatened and, if need be, to provide safe armed escort for the verifiers out of Kosovo. In the interim between the October 1998 agreement and the two sets of negotiations at Rambouillet commencing in February 1999, the US Ambassador to Macedonia Christopher Hill, unsuccessfully attempted to negotiate a settlement between the Kosovo Albanians and Belgrade. Holbrooke, having threatened NATO airstrikes in October 1998, forewarned of their use again in the event of no agreement. Miloševic´ decided to resist the threat however and refused the Rambouillet terms. NATO, now forced to make good on its oftenpostponed threats, began its first air strikes on 24 March. For NATO members the humanitarian crisis in Kosovo had become a matter of the credibility of the Alliance. In an indirect manner, since most NATO members are EU members, the fate of Kosovo was also linked to the future of CFSP. A hugely successful outcome, which seems unlikely, will dampen any need for the strengthening or reform of the second pillar. An unsuccessful or ambiguous outcome (which seems most likely) might create pressure for reform of the CFSP in order to align the EU’s economic importance and influence with that in regional security and defence. It may, alternatively, condemn it to insignificance. Implications for the CFSP There are some parallels between the situation that prevailed in Bosnia from 1991 onwards and with those in Kosovo. In the first parallel, diplomacy was deemed to have been largely unsuccessful unless backed by military assets and this dramatically reduced the effectiveness of the EU member states bargaining power. Moreover, in both cases the US was the only power who had the panoply of diplomatic tools to make a real difference. In both instances those responding to the crisis were highly risk adverse which led to heavy reliance on air strikes as a means of bringing the parties to (or back to) the negotiating table. Both crises also threatened to ignite a wider regional struggle. The two crises are also linked, by default, in the failure of the 1995 Dayton Accords to make any provision for Kosovo which, in turn, opened the door for the armed struggle that followed. As in Bosnia, the role of the EU in the Kosovo crisis was rather minor. A Community Monitoring Mission was established (ECMM), which is currently under Ambassador Horst Holtoff, and Wolfgang Petritsch was appointed EU Special Envoy. Additionally, since 1996 twenty-two declarations, decisions or Joint Actions have been passed within the CFSP framework relating to Kosovo. The EU took an early lead in applying economic sanctions against Serb assets overseas as well as inbound investment. An embargo on the export of arms to the former Yugoslavia was confirmed on 19 March 1998 as was the moratorium on government-
financed export credit support for trade and investment in Serbia.29 The EU has, on a number of occasions, made clear its terms and conditions for the resumption of normal economic and political relations between Belgrade and the EU capitals.30 In October, the EU adopted a “comprehensive approach” to Kosovo in which the EU pledged its full support for the OSCE and the Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM) and offered, amongst other things, to increase the ECMM contributions to the KVM. In spite of this however it was clear that the EU’s envisaged role was conflict prevention since confidence building, civil society building, and community support for the Education Agreement were specifically mentioned.31 The EU additionally called upon the WEU’s Satellite Centre at Torrejon, Spain, to “provide relevant information.”32 In spite of the fact that the EU Heads of State and Government stressed “the necessity of an active role for the European Union in overcoming the crisis” the envisaged role appears to emphasise post-conflict settlement.33 More specifically the EU leaders agreed upon the main elements of an interim arrangement for Kosovo, to be established directly after the end of conflict. This would include: – The establishment of an international interim administration which the EU could take over; – The creation of a police force that reflects the composition of the population of Kosovo; – The holding of free and fair elections; – And deployment of international military forces that will guarantee protection for the whole population of Kosovo. In addition the EU announced EUR 250 million of additional aid for direct humanitarian support and offset support for those hosting the refugees.34 The postconflict agenda appears to build upon the EU-WEU experience in Bosnia and co-ordination between the two will be assisted by the same country holding simultaneously the Presidencies of the EU and the WEU for the first six months of every year. No matter how well equipped the EU may be to assume the tasks outlined, the fundamental questions remain of how one gets to the post-conflict stage and whether the EU is equipped to assist in this regard? It is difficult to ascertain what impact, if any, the EU had or might yet have in the Kosovo crisis. The emerging Anglo-French leadership in European defence may warrant grounds for cautious optimism as might the modest contributions to Operation Allied Force by Germany.35 It is however painfully apparent that it is completely beyond the EU’s capabilities to mount military operations of the size and nature witnessed from March onwards without substantial US assistance. Arguably, Washington’s political leadership may have enhanced the image of EU coherence (or at least the European members of NATO) when in fact a good deal less would have been realised if the European allies had been left to their own devices. Jörg Monar noted that the
difficulties associated with getting fifteen members to arrive “at substantial and timely decisions within the intergovernmental framework of the “old” Title V of the [Maastricht Treaty] have been notorious.” 36 Even relatively minor issues, such as the debate about whether to deny JAT landing rights, became immensely controversial. On 15-16 June 1998, the EU at the Cardiff Summit took an agreement in principle, to ban all flights from and to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Subsequently a common position on this was adopted at a General Affairs Council meeting on 29 June. The agreed procedures were not however enforced until 7 September due to political resistance from Greece (with its proYugoslav sympathies) and Britain (who claimed legal complications). The latter in particular came under severe fire for claiming that it was obliged to give a year’s notice under the terms and conditions of the existing bilateral agreement. The JAT dispute illustrates not only the difficulties of reaching consensus but in implementing positions once adopted. The difficulties associated with agreeing upon a course of action amongst the fifteen EU members are well known. Although the Amsterdam Treaty was not in force at the commencement of Operation Allied Force, it is worth pondering whether the modifications to the CFSP introduced by the treaty will improve the EU’s effectiveness in Kosovo-type scenarios. Enhancing decision making? In spite of the emphasis in the Amsterdam Treaty upon the security of the Union (as opposed to its Member States), the essential tools for accomplishing this remains resolutely intergovernmental. The possibility of one Member State effectively blocking the CFSP had been recognised by the 1996 IGC. Thus, the introduction of modified voting rules and the so-called “constructive abstention” practice was designed to stop such logjams.37 Under the new procedures any member of the Council may qualify its abstention with a formal declaration. They shall then be obliged to refrain from any action likely to conflict with that of the Union and to respect the Union’s position. The abstention mechanism may seem like a welcome development especially given the known differences on defence questions within the Union held by, for example, the neutral or non-aligned members (Austria, Finland, Ireland and Sweden) or the special position of Denmark on defence issues. There are however potential pitfalls. For example, the mechanism for abstention, which involves a formal declaration, poses an awkward dilemma for those who may wish to support a given initiative in the face of declared objections. Abstention also makes a mockery of the “spirit of loyalty and mutual solidarity” which is supposed to pervade CFSP.38 Abstention may also provide a conduit for avoidance of financial obligations. The question of qualified majority voting (QMV) was one of the most sensitive issues debated at the 1996
IGC since it went right to the question of how supranational or intergovernmental the CFSP should be. The existing stipulations on QMV, laid out in Article J.13 of the Maastricht Treaty, left it to the Council “when adopting a joint action and at any stage in its development” to define “those matters on which decisions are to be taken by qualified majority vote.” The Amsterdam treaty generally upholds the unanimity principle but specifies that the Council shall act by QMV when: – Adopting joint actions, common positions or taking any other decisions on the basis of a common strategy; – Adopting any decision implementing a joint action or a common position; – QMV shall not apply to decisions having military or defence implications.
Structures to cope with future crises The crisis in Kosovo emphasised the role of Javier Solana, NATO’s Secretary General, as well as that of SACEUR, General Wesley Clark, while Kofi Anan is the well-known face of the UN. Except for those who follow security events with reasonable attention, the WEU Secretary-General, José Cutileiro, may be less familiar. But who is the public face of CFSP? Kissinger’s famous rhetorical question of to whom he should call when he wanted to talk to Europe, led to President Chirac’s August 1995 advocacy of the need for a Secretary-General (soon dubbed Monsieur PESC after the French abbreviation for CFSP) with broad representational and implementing tasks. This was soon watered down, mainly by Britain. What eventually emerged in the Amsterdam Treaty was the new post of High Representative.41
However, if a member declares that “for important and stated reasons of national policy, it intends to oppose the adoption of a decision to be taken by qualified majority,” a vote shall not be taken.39 The Council may, in this event, decide (by qualified majority) that the matter be referred to the European Council who shall decide on the matter unanimously, thus negating much of the point of the modification. The reference to common strategy was a further innovation of the Amsterdam Treaty. Article 13(2) gives the European Council the power to decide on common strategies that set out the “objectives, duration and the means to be made available by the Union and the Member States.” The introduction of common strategies in the Amsterdam Treaty appears to largely replace what had hitherto been joint actions under the Maastricht proceedings. Since common strategies are apparently so comprehensive in their scope, there is apparently little left to be voted upon.40 Overall, the decision-making mechanisms introduced by the Amsterdam Treaty goes some way towards the development of majority-based decisions for the first time in the CFSP. Yet the abstention mechanism also strengthens the hand of those exercising the option and might even encourage national-interest driven foreign and security policy as opposed to the “mutual solidarity” sought by the treaty. In practice it seems unlikely that there will not be at least one EU member with a vested or particular interest at stake (as in Greece’s case with Kosovo). Aside from decision-making modifications, the Amsterdam Treaty also saw the introduction of a number of new institutional structures which could perhaps help with future crises. The suggested structures are however modest and it is unclear whether they will significantly alter the ability of the CFSP to address Kosovo-type crises (and these, it has been argued, promise to be the norm rather than the exception).
i) The High Representative: CFSP’s face? Although the identity of the appointee and the precise functions of the office have yet to emerge with clarity, it nevertheless marks a significant step forward from the prevailing system of trying to make foreign policy by monthly meetings of the national foreign policy personnel.42 However, the High Representative will clearly not be a European Minister of Foreign Affairs and it seems most unlikely, given the disparate approaches to foreign and security policy amongst the fifteen members, that any such office will be created in the near future. The relationship between the High Representative and the Presidency is also ambiguous. The High Representative, who is also the SecretaryGeneral of the Council, shall “assist” the Presidency “in particular through contributing to the formulation, preparation and implementation of policy decisions, and, when appropriate and acting on behalf of the Council at the request of the Presidency, through conducting political dialogue with third parties.”43 But, the Presidency “represents” the Union in matters concerning the CFSP, and the Presidency is responsible for the implementation of decisions taken under the CFSP. Much will therefore depend upon how the rotating Presidency interprets the extent of the High Representative’s ability to “assist.” It is difficult to imagine the High Representative having significant sway in one of the Presidencies of the major members or amongst one of the neutral or nonaligned members (or Denmark) where special considerations apply. There is the potential nevertheless for the High Representative to make a very valuable contribution by providing some continuity to the CFSP and, through the Policy Planning and Early Warning Unit (PPEWU), which shall reside under the High Representative, to make a contribution to a more proactive CFSP. In light of the Bosnian and Kosovo crises, there are two arguments in favour of the High Representative assuming a fairly broad role with appropriate powers of initiative and response delegated to the office. First, the
Presidency suffers from the inevitable problem of inconsistency based upon the office’s rotation every six months (even the Troika mechanism does not overcome this). The High Representative, if appointed for a reasonable period of time, would at least offer the advantage of permitting initiatives to be seen through and allow third party actors to identify with the key CFSP actors for longer than a six month period. Second, the current system of making foreign policy at monthly meetings inevitably makes for a reactive agenda. The constant presence of a High Representative, backed by the PPEWU, could make for a more proactive CFSP. There is the risk though that the High Representative’s attempts make a coherent position out of the fractious contributions by the Member States might make for an embarrassing lowest common denominator that says more about the EU’s lack of a single voice in CFSP issues than its strengths. It is also unclear whether Washington would prefer to address a High Representative representing the EU when their traditional approach has relied heavily upon individual contacts. ii) The Policy Planning and Early Warning Unit – from reactive to proactive CFSP? The need for greater long-term strategies was one of the few points of agreement in the 1996 IGC. Accordingly the outline for a Policy Planning and Early Warning Unit (PPEWU) was included in a declaration attached to the Final Act.44 The unit is to be comprised of personnel drawn from the General Secretariat, the Member States, the Commission and the WEU. The responsibilities of the new unit should include: – Monitoring and analysing developments in areas relevant to the CFSP; – Providing assessment of the Union’s foreign and security policy interests and identifying areas where the CFSP should focus in future; – Providing timely assessments and early warning of events or situations which may have significant repercussions for the Union’s CFSP, including potential political crises; and – Producing, at the request of either the Council or the Presidency or on its own initiative, argued policy papers to be presented under the responsibility of the Presidency as a contribution to policy formulation in the Council, and which may contain analyses, recommendations and strategies for the CFSP. The precise composition of the unit remains unclear following the rejection of the proposals forwarded by Jürgen Trumpf, Secretary General of the Council of Ministers. According to one report, “Paris wanted the unit to go considerably further than Trumpf’s paper indicated, while other countries claimed it went too far.”45 Most members would prefer that the PPEWU be a separate unit within the Directorate-General of the Council Secretariat responsible for external relations (thus separate but integrated within the DirectorateGeneral). A minority though, alongside the Commission,
would prefer the PPEWU to be autonomous within the General Secretariat, under the direct line and management of the High Representative.46 Although the respective powers of the High Representative, the PPEWU, the Council and the Presidency are all defined in the Amsterdam Treaty, the relations between the constituents remain unclear. The advent of the High Representative and PPEWU could significantly enhance the CFSP’s conflict prevention abilities. Parties are more likely to listen to an appointed representative of the EU who is in office for more than six months. The PPEWU, although it promises to be small, is similarly important since conflict prevention rests upon the ability to identify potential trouble sports before they erupt. The PPEWU could also work closely with monitoring missions which in the past have proved their value in a quiet manner. For instance, the Bosnia ECMM was highly responsive to suggestions from policy makers regarding on the ground feasibility of various options. In conjunction with other observer missions, such as those mounted by the OSCE or the UN, early warning and prevention missions, if appropriately structured, “may go a long way towards overcoming the natural inertia of the international system in responding to incipient violent conflict.” 47 An effective High Representative would hopefully exploit not only the treaty-based enhancements but also other solutions and mechanisms such a monitoring missions. The above provisions of the Amsterdam Treaty, alongside the revised budgeting rules, represent slight modifications to the Maastricht Treaty in the CFSP area. The effectiveness of these modifications depends very much upon the willingness of the Member States to use the new structures and machinery. However, with Kosovo in mind, those issues relating to the development of the CFSP’s defence aspects continue to represent the weakest area of the CFSP and one in which the EU remains largely reliant on its transatlantic partner. If anything, the Amsterdam Treaty has reinforced this tendency. Providing for Europe’s military requirements: is there a need for an autonomous capability? The crisis in Kosovo demonstrated that Miloševic´ understands the language of diplomacy backed by force. Pre-Amsterdam CFSP certainly lacked the structures and the will to combine diplomacy with the threat or use of credible force. One of the most contentious areas in the EU’s 1996 IGC was the issue of the extent to which military means (through the WEU and indirectly NATO) should be fully integrated into the second pillar. The Benelux countries, France, Germany, Italy and Spain were broadly in favour of the WEU’s full integration into the EU. Others, most notably Britain, remained staunchly opposed on the grounds that this might dilute the role of NATO while the neutral and non-aligned countries based their opposition on obvious political and constitutional objections. Although there was some progress in defining the WEU’s association with the
EU, the overarching question of whether the EU members are willing and able to provide for their own security and defence remained unanswered. The Amsterdam Treaty continues to reflect the traditional Atlanticist versus Europeanist strains dating back to the ill-fated European Defence Community of the 1950s. Article 17(1) of the treaty states that the WEU is an “integral part of the development of the Union providing the Union with access to an operational capability notably in the context of paragraph 2.” The paragraph referred to shall include “humanitarian and rescue tasks, peacekeeping tasks and tasks of combat forces in crisis management, including peacemaking” – these are often called Petersberg Tasks after the WEU Council’s 1992 meeting. The terms “peacekeeping” and “peacemaking” are however subject to many different interpretations and there is no guidance in the treaty, or associated declarations, as to their substance. This may give rise to some important issues, such as whether this includes or excludes “peace enforcement” or other more heavily armed forms of peacekeeping.48 The paragraph also formed the basis for an informal division of military tasks between the WEU, with prime responsibility for Petersberg-type tasks, and NATO handling the more muscular aspects such as peace enforcement. Since the WEU’s acquis was not fully integrated into the EU, a number of potentially divisive questions remain regarding the implementation of the Petersberg Tasks. Under the Amsterdam Treaty “all Member States of the Union shall be entitled” to participate in Petersberg Tasks. The Council, in agreement with the WEU, shall adopt “the necessary practical arrangements to allow all Member States contributing to the tasks in question to participate fully and on an equal footing in planning and decision-making in the WEU.” There are, for a start, only ten WEU members while there are fifteen EU members. The five who remain outside the WEU (Austria, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, and Sweden) would presumably not cause any significant problems as long as the operations were clearly presented under the Petersberg banner. It is however worth noting that the WEU, in spite of the Petersberg Tasks, is by treaty a collective defence organisation. More stubborn problems are likely to be encountered if “members” means not only full members but all forms of WEU membership. If for instance Associate Members are entitled to “participate fully and on an equal footing” then the Czech Republic, Hungary, Iceland, Norway, Portugal and Turkey have the right to do so. The failure of the IGC to fully integrate the WEU into the EU also opens up a number of other problems such as how the WEU will modify its internal procedures. There are also confidentiality and security issues to be considered. Furthermore, since the WEU remains an autonomous organisation and it is therefore not reliant upon the CFSP for a mandate to act, there may well be arguments for maintaining the status quo. The WEU assumed added importance in the
Amsterdam Treaty since reference was made to the WEU’s ability to provide the EU with access to an “operational capability.” It was recognised in the interim between the 1991 and 1996 IGCs that there were certain situations where the US would simply not wish to participate in military operations.50 The North Atlantic Council developed a design for a nominally Europeonly capability at meetings in Brussels and Berlin in 1994 and 1996 respectively. The provision of “separable but not separate” forces was designed to allow the EU to “avail itself” of the WEU which, under the Amsterdam Treaty, was thus endowed with access to an operational capability. The “operational capability” though rests upon the release of NATO assets to the WEU. However, there are few NATO assets per se and they include only a number of commands, communications facilities, and AWACS aircraft – accounting only for around 13,000 personnel. Paradoxically, at the heart of the “Europe only” options the WEU would be reliant upon the US for the provision of certain key assets, such as real-time intelligence, electronic jamming or heavy airlift, to mount a “Europe-only” operation.51 The WEU, by itself, remains inadequate as a serious military organisation capable of addressing all but the smallest crises. Even the relatively small crisis such as that in 1997 in Albania following the collapse of a government-backed pyramid investment scheme, which in many ways was tailor made to demonstrate the WEU’s new-found political and military capabilities, was a missed opportunity. There have been attempts to develop indigenous European crisis management capabilities, collectively termed Forces Answerable to the WEU (FAWEU), but most of these are “earmarked” military forces that have not actually trained together other than in a limited number of crisis management exercises (CRISEX). The Strasbourg-based Eurocorps is perhaps the notable exception but even here questions have to be raised about the command, intelligence and logistical resources. In spite of the advances made in the Amsterdam Treaty in defence, the EU fails to be a serious security or defence actor. It is all too apparent that responsibilities in these areas are assumed by NATO and, within the Alliance, by the US. To some, what emerged from the Maastricht and Amsterdam treaties is nothing less than a political construct that actually, through its vague provisions, merely serves the political expediency of the major players and does nothing to actually create a workable European Security and Defence Identity. Philip Gordon dubbed this the “convenient myth” of European security: France needs to claim a greater role for Europe as political cover to come back into the Alliance; Germany needs to show progress toward European political unification to reassure its elites and to convince its public to accept monetary union; Britain wants to show a strong role for the WEU to forestall calls to give the EU a defense role; and the U.S.
administration needs to be able to claim to Congress and the public that the Europeans are now prepared to shoulder more of the defence burden of transatlantic defense.52 Political expediency does not necessarily make for military solutions. Kosovo has made it all too evident that the European Emperor has very few clothes. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it? To some, the logical conclusions from Bosnia and perhaps in time to come Kosovo, might be “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” After all, if there is broad recognition of common transatlantic interests and especially those of the US in Europe’s security, continued reliance upon US diplomatic and military backing for Kosovo-type scenarios might seem to be the logical course. However, this assumes continued convergence between EU interests and those of the US. It also assumes that the goal of European integration should remain essentially incomplete without one of its (if not the) main components. Neither assumption is wholly sustainable. EU interests have diverged from those of the US on a number of different issues, ranging from specific trade issues to the efficacy of sanctions. There have also been a number of significant differences over the use of military force in Iraq and Libya (where Britain was the only notable backer), the arms embargo in Bosnia, and the use of prolonged air strikes in relation to Kosovo. It should also be noted that the EU’s reliance upon the US for initiative condemns the EU to crisis management, which it has been argued, is an area of weakness for the CFSP. In both Bosnia and Kosovo US intervention came late and, once there, it has swamped all other efforts. Moreover, it is unreasonable to expect the US to see a vital national interest wherever an EU member state happens to see one. Interests have diverged and will continue to do so in the future although there will be common ties as well. Transatlantic relations may also be compounded by the EU’s frustration at having to stand on the sidelines “allowing the United States to take priority in what is the European security space.”53 Throughout the history of European Political Cooperation and its successor, CFSP, there has been implicit and occasionally explicit recognition that European integration will remain incomplete without a security and defence angle. The “Vienna Strategy for Europe,” approved by the Council in December 1998, recognised that there is a need to restore the equilibrium to the development of the EU as an economic entity and the Union as a political entity.54 Germany, currently holding the EU Presidency, has promised a report to be presented at the Cologne summit on 3-4 June on paths towards a common defence policy. An increased emphasis on the international dimensions of the EU’s activities, including CFSP, will not only give much needed balance to its persona but also benefit the Union more generally since the economic aspects of its activities often cannot be separated from the political or security ramifications.
There is an additional reason to question the desirability of the status quo. The undoubted military superiority of the US, which serves to emphasise the inadequate nature of most of the EU members” military establishments, has distracted attention from the questionable results of US leadership. Military prowess and the willingness to use it is only useful if it makes a positive contribution to regional or international stability. In this regard the US record is mixed: Haiti remains in a terrible state, Somalia is still crippled by factions and Iraq as belligerent and resistant as ever. Other trouble spots, such as the Great Lakes Region of Africa, Liberia or Sierra Leone, did not merit decisive US attention. Perhaps the uneasy peace in Bosnia is an exception. Kosovo remains in the balance. The issue of leadership is not merely one that applies to the US administration but also to the American public and whether they are willing to enable their leaders to defend principles and its self-proclaimed status as “greatest nation on earth.”55 Although there are other hesitant allies in NATO, the preponderance of US force in operations in Kosovo and Yugoslavia means that the American perspective is more important than the rest. This may well prove to be an inadequate way of securing Europe’s future stability for two related reasons. First, reliance upon the US and NATO may well condemn the EU to further crisis management and not move the emphasis to crisis prevention, for which the EU is better suited. Crisis management will continue to play to US diplomacy and military strength while crisis prevention would capitalise on the EU’s greatest asset, which is the promise of future membership or association. Diplomacy and mediation by the EU member states is further hampered by the fact that the US is, as obvious as it sounds, the US, complete with all of its historical baggage, national pride and even superiority. The US, in some cases, may not be the best country to head delicate mediatory efforts. Second, the US is not a good team player. It is a leader. Substantial differences in approach to fundamental issues in European security between the US and the EU (more often than not with Britain siding with the US) cast into doubt the extent to which Alliance aims are really shared. US leadership and forceful diplomacy does have the benefit of engaging at least the key European players but often at the cost of alienating some smaller and potentially important partners. NATO should not be a vehicle for US diplomacy and national interests but should reflect the interests of the nineteen members. However, not all NATO members are EU members and, since NATO’s recent expansion, the discrepancy of six members between NATO and the EU have become more noticeable and problematic, as indeed has the difference of five members between the EU and WEU. The damaged credibility of NATO and in particular the lack of resolve and will amongst its members to match aims with risks, should at least dispel the impression that NATO is a panacea for the EU’s security.
Although not all challenges will demand a military response, some will. Kosovo has also illustrated that effective diplomacy will sometimes rely on the backing of a visible and effective deterrent. The need for an autonomous European common defence policy and capability has become apparent, first with the crisis in Bosnia, next in Albania and now in Kosovo. Even arch Atlanticists, like Britain, would appear to be shifting towards this realisation. A Sea Change in Europe’s defence and security? There have been suggestions in the press that the beginning of a fundamental shift in European defence is underway and the Kosovo crisis may well increase the momentum for change.56 The key evidence for this is that Britain, a staunch supporter of NATO and the transatlantic component of CFSP, has modified its position on European defence in what could amount to a sea change. The public unveiling of Britain’s initiative on European defence was made at the EU Pörtschach summit on 24-25 October 1998, held under the auspices of the Austrian Presidency. In an interview prior to the summit Blair made it clear that Britain was willing to drop its longstanding objection to the EU having a defence capability but that he was not talking of a European army. He also noted that, “Nothing must happen that in any way impinges on the effectiveness of NATO.”57 The Pörtschach summit, ostensibly called to discuss “real problems,” included Blair’s outline of a number of defence “options” for the EU:58 – The strengthening of the European security and defence identity within NATO; – The dissolution of the WEU and its integration into the EU; and – The establishment of modern and flexible European forces. Although Blair’s outline lacked details it marked a significant reversal from Britain’s traditional resistance to EU responsibility in security and defence affairs. Not long after, the Austrian Defence Minister, Werner Fasslabend, called an informal summit of the fifteen EU defence ministers on 4 November 1998 in Vienna to discuss prospects for European defence after the entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty. At the summit George Robertson, the British Defence Secretary, noted that Europe had reached a “defining moment” for defence policy and that Bosnia and Kosovo had raised the question of “when we press the button for action, is it connected to a system and a capability that can deliver?59 He emphasised the need for “armed forces that are deployable and sustainable, that are modern, powerful and flexible, that are mobile, survivable and are highly capable.” The institutional options were not “about removing defence from the control of national governments,” or about creating a “standing European army,” nor should they undermine or duplicate NATO.60 However, the question of the merger of the WEU into the EU raised, according to Robertson, “a number of
difficulties.” His preferred solution was to explore other options such as “merging some elements of the WEU into the EU and associating other elements more closely with NATO, or perhaps creating a more distinct European dimension within NATO.”61 As a result of a subsequent meeting between President Chirac and Prime Minister Blair in St.Malo, a joint Franco-British declaration was issued on European defence.62 The declaration called for the Amsterdam Treaty to be made “a reality” which, amongst other factors, would involve endowing the Union with “the capacity for autonomous action, backed by credible military forces, the means to decide to use them and a readiness to do so.”63 The declaration’s main impact was to call for a far more autonomous European military capability than had hitherto been enunciated: In order for the European Union to take decisions and approve military action where the Alliance as a whole is not engaged, the Union must be given appropriate structures and a capacity for analysis of situations, sources of intelligence and a capability for relevant strategic planning, without unnecessary duplication, taking account of the existing assets of the WEU and the evolution of its relations with the EU. In this regard, the European Union will also need to have recourse to suitable military means (European capabilities pre-designated within NATO’s European pillar or multinational European means outside the NATO framework).64 The St.Malo declaration received much positive comment but there remains a compelling need to absorb the lessons of Kosovo in order to give substance to the declaration. Indeed, the self-congratulatory mood of the EU as it ushered in Monetary Union on 1 January 1999 stood in marked contrast to its weakness to decisively influence events in Kosovo. It is though possible that the EU’s relative impotence in Kosovo may lead to action to create a meaningful and operative CFSP. Indeed, several calls along these lines have already been made such as Emma Bonino’s suggestion that the European Council could provide a mandate to the newly appointed Monsieur (or Madame) PESC and to the president of the European Commission to oversee a replay of the Delors committee on Emu. A similar idea was expressed by Romano Prodi, the incoming President of the Commission, in a speech to the European Parliament on 4 May when he spoke of the new design for the institutions which will be needed to “exploit to the full concerted efforts in the field of defence, possibly based on the gradual and progressive model which has already been used for monetary union. A common defence of the European Union will be a basic condition for maintaining peace and stability … Europe must be able to do is share.”65 Prodi saw it as a “logical next step” in creating a common defence policy for the EU after the merging of national defence industries. Failure to do so, he argued, would leave the
Union “marginalised in the new world history.”66 The degree of autonomy that is desirable from existing structures for any enhancement of the CFSP, including the defence dimensions, has to be addressed on two levels. The first is the political level where fundamental national differences of outlook should be addressed, as should transatlantic differences (France bears special responsibility in this regard). The best designs in the world will not work unless there is a European identity in security and defence matters where challenges and responses are seen as a matter of common concern and not of selective interest. Perhaps the inability of the EU, or even the European Security and Defence Identity within NATO, to decisively influence the passage of events in Kosovo will shame the EU into such common purpose. The second level is the more practical. The St.Malo declaration is clear about the dangers of duplication and any modifications should ensure that the organisations have guaranteed access to assets as may be required. The question of how significant or hypothetical the US’s “physical veto” (through denial of access to key assets that the EU members do not possess) is must therefore be faced head on. It is difficult to believe that the US would assume the expense of research and development of weapons systems only to guarantee its European allies automatic access. If there is the possibility of veto or at least political rancour from Congress, the development or acquisition of the requisite systems for European usage makes increasing sense. In this regard the British proposals for a new fourth pillar, dedicated to defence, have some attraction since it is defence, as opposed to the more general foreign or security aspects of the CFSP, that has generated most disagreement within the Community and now Union. Much will depend on how “defence” and “security” are defined since defence, of the cold war variant, is of questionable relevance in a Union where none are seriously challenged by external aggression. Perhaps a constructive was of thinking about a restructured pillar design is for the second pillar to be accorded prime responsibility for the less controversial conflict prevention and traditional peacekeeping aspects. The new fourth pillar, incorporating the WEU with Article V of the Modified Brussels Treaty, would be dedicated to conflict management including peace-enforcement (with NATO’s active involvement). Prodi’s observation that a merger of European defence industries is an essential underpinning for an effective CFSP is valid but one that carries dangers. The failure of the Horizon frigate project after three years of negotiations provides a pessimistic portent of things to come, especially since this follows hot on the heels of the controversial acquisition by BAe of GEC’s Marconi defence interests which allegedly set back the prospects for a European Aerospace Industry. The EU is therefore faced with two choices: either seek economies of scale through co-development within Europe or through transatlantic fora or; second, rely increasingly on the US
for the next generation of hi-tech weapons.67 Both courses have their dangers. The development of a European armaments industry may further decrease the US’s willingness to involve itself in European security interests that are difficult to defend at home. The antagonistic atmosphere that exists in certain areas of US-EU trade would be carried directly into security and defence relations if the impression is given that America’s European allies are only willing to buy home-developed armaments and thus exclude the highly efficient and competitive US manufacturers. Second, reliance upon the US’s current technological lead in advanced weaponry tends to exaggerate the utility and effectiveness of high-tech weapons as well as underestimate the technological sophistication of the European defence industries. Technology is only useful when applied to a specific application. Much of the vaunted technological lead of the US stems from the development of last-generation cold war systems. How necessary or relevant are B-2 bombers or the F-117 “Stealth” fighters for intra-state conflicts and conflict prevention? A good starting point would be the loosening and ideally severing of government control over defence industries in the EU countries. The prospect of a merger between the guided missile divisions of BAe, Lagardère and Finmeccanica, would do much to restore optimism that a European defence industry might one day emerge. The importance attached to the potential for a European defence industry should not be underestimated since, as EMU showed us, commitment tends to follow the purse. NATO’s failure in Kosovo? The historical debates about whether or not to create a European security and defence entity were framed in the knowledge that, whatever their outcome, NATO (especially the US) would provide for their essential security. The cold war debates on European security and defences were therefore somewhat academic. They also supposed that NATO was the superior Alliance and, at the end of the cold war, the victorious alliance. It was also untested. With the launch of Operation Allied Force Kosovo became a symbol for the struggle between realism and morality.68 NATO’s intervention in Kosovo has the potential to redefine many aspects of our current understanding of sovereignty, statehood, war (the word though is studiously avoided in connection with Kosovo) and peacekeeping in all of its manifestations. But, as Daniel Goldhagen observed, all of these principles come secondary to a fundamental one, “the right not to be murdered.”69 Somewhere along the line the airstrikes lost sight of this fundamental point. Instead NATO concentrated on showing a united face but this did not disguise the lack of strategy. In one of the frequent NATO press briefings, Air Commodore Wilby stated that “There never has been a timeline to this operation, and I think that it has been one of those campaigns that has been a very dynamic campaign.”70
If assessed on the political goals established by NATO itself – which were firstly, to stop the killing in Kosovo and the brutal destruction of human lives and properties; second, to put an end to the appalling humanitarian situation unfolding in Kosovo and to create conditions for the refugees to be able to return; and third, to create the conditions for a political solution to the crisis based on the Rambouillet agreement – the performance of the Alliance has thus far been sorely lacking.71 NATO did not stop the killing in Kosvo (a report by Médecins Sans Frontières estimated that 13 percent of the 15-55 year old Albanian Kosovars are missing based on a detailed study of the refugees from Roseje)72 nor did it stop the destruction of properties. The lack of ground intervention meant that NATO could not address the appalling humanitarian situation in Kosovo until the refugees fled to surrounding countries and, even then, this proved problematic for the international agencies involved. Whether anyone or anything can create the conditions for the return of around one million refugees remains to be seen. On the occasion of his retirement as Chairman of NATO’s Military Committee on 5 May 1999, General Klaus Naumann looked back on over forty days of air strikes and concluded that, “Quite frankly and honestly we did not succeed in our initial attempt to coerce Miloševic´ through airstrikes to accept our demands, nor did we succeed in preventing the FRY pursuing a campaign of ethnic separation and expression.”73 The excessive faith in what air strikes can achieve and open disagreements on the wisdom of deploying forces on the ground in Kosovo may provoke a critical look at NATO and the security and defence requirements of its member states. It would though be premature to label NATO as a failure. It is nevertheless a bruised and battered organisation whose member’s ability and will to address the intricacies of intra-state conflict management has to be challenged. Kosovo should also prompt a long hard look within the EU at the wisdom of continued reliance upon the US. The lessons arising from Kosovo for NATO may well emphasise those areas where CFSP could perhaps offer a more coherent and constructive role. For instance, the effects of Kosovo may illustrate the need for greater attention to conflict prevention and to the need construct a common defence and security policy upon a sound common foreign policy. Such a common foreign policy should recognise that in most instances the EU and the US will share common interests but this should not imply an obligation for the US to lead or for the European allies to follow. Conclusions The results of the crisis in Kosvo will mark a turning point for CFSP. It cannot stay static since this would condemn it to virtual irrelevance. The crisis could therefore prompt the EU member states to build an effective and autonomous security and defence capability based on the humiliation of Kosovo and the enormous
costs associated with the resettlement or absorption of refugees and reconstruction in Yugoslavia, not to mention a multi-year post-conflict military presence. Or, an admittedly more fashionable view is that the convenient myth of European security, built around ineffective European paper structures and a reduced but still hegemonic US role, will prevail. Muddling through, of the type that prevailed in the Gulf War of 1990-91, Albania, Bosnia and Kosovo, is unacceptable for a number of reasons. First, the uncoordinated and ad hoc responses to successive postcold war crises in Europe demonstrate the limits of reliance upon coalitions of the willing. It is clear as a result of Kosovo that not only must the regional organisations be given a clear mandate backed by the political will of the organisations” members, but that regional consensus must be backed by clear mandates under public international law. Second, reliance upon ad hoc arrangements inevitably puts the emphasis upon conflict management whereby addressing the crisis often only happens at a very late stage and normally only after armed conflict is well established. Conflict prevention, linked a range of economic, political and military options, is a far more purposive and humane way to address intra-state crises. Third, reliance upon American military muscle and superiority also implies reliance upon US diplomacy and goals when the longterm effects of US-baked intervention have yet to prove any tangible benefits to European or international security (with the sole possible exception of Bosnia). It is equally presumptive on the part of the European allies to assume that the US will be there to indefinitely bale out its allies. If there is a positive outcome from the Kosovo catastrophe it will be that, out of humiliation and perhaps even some guilt, the EU is forced to make a real commitment to the security and defence of the member states and their neighbours. Romano Prodi would appear to be pushing the EU firmly in this direction. Although it will be an uphill struggle that will involve genuine political commitment and considerable resources, the emphasis should be upon the construction of a credible EU conflict prevention capability. This not only plays to the strengths of the EU but allows the full range of preventative measures to be employed, of which the use of force is the last. NATO tends to be more useful for crisis management. It is all too easy to see Kosovo as the latest in a line of dismal attempts to co-ordinate EU positions on questions of security and defence. It is also tempting to conclude that the CFSP cannot overcome the contradictory stances of its fifteen members. The same was thought at one time of progress towards monetary union. The tragedy of Kosovo is that the common denominator that should have appealed to all EU members alike was the need to immediately alleviate humanitarian suffering at the expense of national positions. The utility of the CFSP has therefore to be measured against the extent to which it provides the EU
with a tool to uphold the values and objectives contained in the Amsterdam Treaty’s provisions on a CFSP. No amount of institutional modification or any number of intergovernmental conferences will help if these underlying values and objectives are not shared. Kosovo will serve as a reminder of what they are. As the EU faces the costs of assimilating or repatriating refugees, those of reconstruction in Yugoslavia, and policing any eventual settlement, the economic and political costs of creating a genuine CFSP may seem rather affordable.
Bien qu’il semble qu’il faille attendre encore longtemps pour ressentir les pleins effets de l’imbroglio qui se déroule au Kosovo et même si le Traité d’Admsterdam vient à peine d’entrer en vigueur, il est cependant nécessaire de se concentrer sur la contribution que les dispositions du traité pourraient apporter à l’UE et à d’autres organisations associées pour faire face de manière appropriée à de futures crises. Les domaines dans lesquels les dispositions du Traité d’Amsterdam risquent de s’avérer inadéquates – et il semble qu’ils soient nombreux – suggèrent aussi le besoin d’aller plus loin que les structures de sécurité en Europe qui sont pour le moment largement confinées à de simples documents. Le Kosovo produira l’un des deux effets suivants: soit il va rajeunir la Politique étrangère et de sécurité commune (PESC) et conférer un effet pratique à une politique de défense commune et à une défense commune, soit il laissera la sécurité de la région largement entre les mains des USA, avec tous les avantages et les risques que cela comporte. La première option impliquera un changement de l’approche de la PESC et une volonté d’investir dans un dispositif militaire approprié, qui permette de s’attaquer aux causes et aux effets de conflits de nature essentiellement interétatique. La deuxième option, quant à elle, poursuivra les modèles établis durant la guerre froide, dans lesquels les Européens (occidentaux) dépendent largement des USA pour l’initiative, le leadership et l’armement. Le Kosovo marque un tournant, dans la mesure où ses effets peuvent contribuer à faire de la PESC une réalité ou risquent de la faire capoter définitivement.
14 15 16
SIPRI Yearbook 1992: Armaments, Disarmament and International Security, p.417 and SIPRI Yearbook 1998: Armaments, Disarmament and International Security, (Oxford: Oxford University Press), p.17. The conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia would now have to be added to the list of exceptions, but the general trend remains unchanged. See Kalevi J. Holsti, The State, War, and the State of War, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997). Dominique Moisi, “Personal View,” Financial Times, 29 March 1999. Aleska Djilas, “Imagining Kosovo,” Foreign Affairs, Vol.77 (5), Sept/Oct. 1998, p.127. Misha Glenny, The Fall of Yugoslavia: The Third Balkan War, (New York: Penguin Books, 1994), p.32. Laura Silber and Allan Little, The Death of Yugoslavia, (London: Penguin/BBC Books, 1995), p.36. Tim Judah, The Serbs: History, Myth and the Destruction of Yugoslavia, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997), p.2. Chris Hedges, “Kosovo’s Next Masters,” Foreign Affairs, May/June 1999, Vol. 78(3), p.38. There is disagreement about exactly when the UÇK first appeared and it is evident that for some time before their “public” emergence into the media spotlight, violence had been perceived as the only alternative to Rugova’s nonviolent stance. Dutch Ambassador visits Pristina, explains EU policy, SWB EE/2942, 11 June 1997, quoted in Sophia Clément, “Conflict Prevention in the Balkans: Case Studies of Kosovo and the FYR of Macedonia,” Chaillot Papers (30), December 1997, (Paris: WEU ISS) p.43. David Owen, p.373. Although most Kosovo Albanian ex-pats hold lower income jobs the diaspora of some 600,000 ethnic Albanians in Europe and about half that number in North America, represents a sizeable amount of money. Chris Hedges, Foreign Affairs, May/June 1999, p.31 Ibid. p.37. Press Conference, Special Representative Richard S. Glebard, Belgrade, 23 February 1998 at http:// www.state.gov/www/policy_remarks/1998/980223_ gelbard_belgrade.html. S.Erlanger, “Albright Tours Europe to Whip Up Resolve to Punish Yugoslavians,” New York Times, 9 march 1998. UNPREDEP was established in November 1992 following an appeal from the President of the Republic of Macedonia to the UN Secretary General based on his “concern for the possible impact to the country from hostilities all over the former Yugoslavia.” Statement on Kosovo, London Contact Group Meeting, 9 March 1998, at http://secretary.state.gov/www/travels/ 980309_kosovo.html. S/RES/1160, 31 March 1998. Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union concerning the upsurge of violence in Kosovo, 3 March 1998. S/RES/1199, 23 September 1998. An ACTWARD increases the level of readiness and allows for the identification of assets to be used for any ensuing operations. S/RES/1203, 24 October 1998. Determined Falcon was assembled at four-days notice and involved 85 aircraft from 13 air forces. Alexander Nicoll, “NATO Breaks its chains,” Financial Times, 18 June 1998, p.14.
37 38 39 40
Figures from Le Monde, 31 March 1999. For details see James Gow, The International Spectator, Vol. XXXIII (4), October-December 1998, p.21. Common Position defined by the Council on the basis of Article J.2 of the Treaty on European Union on restrictive measures against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, 19 March 1998. The earlier common position referred to is 96/ 184/CFSP. The most recent being the Chairman’s Summary of the Deliberations on Kosovo at the Informal Meeting of the Heads of State and Government of the European Union, Brussels, 14 April 1999, in which Heads of State and Government supported the initiative of the UN SecretaryGeneral of 9 April 1999 which summarises the demands of the international community. CFSP 128/98, Declaration by the European Union on a comprehensive approach to Kosovo, 27 October 1998. Council Decision adopted on the basis of Article J.4(2) of the Treaty on European Union, on the monitoring of the situation in Kosovo, 13 November 1998. Ibid. Para. 6. Statement by the EU Presidency following the meeting between the EU Foreign Ministers, the EU Commission, ECHO and the Foreign Ministers of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Hungary, Slovenia and Turkey and the UNHCR, the CSCE CiO, NATO, the Council of Europe, the WEU, the IBRD, the EBRD and the EIB, Luxembourg, 8 April 1999. Germany contributes 10 Tornado ECR/RECCE aircraft to Operation Allied Force which is about a third of the contributions made by France and the UK (30 and 27 repsectively) and less than that made by the Netherlands (16). The US dominated the contributions with 142 aircraft, prior to the discussion of reinforcements which may see an additional 300 aircraft of all types deployed. See http:// www.isn.ethz.ch/iiss/info/htm and http://www.bundeswehr .de/kosovo/9903_004.htm. Jörg Monar, “The European Union’s Foreign Affairs System after the Treaty of Amsterdam: A “Strengthened Capacity for External Action’?, European Foreign Affairs Review, 2 (1997), p.413. CTEU, Article 23. Ibid. Article 11(2). Ibid. Loc cit. A similar point is made in relation to the decision-making mechanisms for Petersberg operations in Fabrizio Pagani, “A New Gear in the CFSP Machinery: Integration of the Patersberg Tasks in the Treaty on European Union,” European Journal of International Law, Vol.9, No.4, pp.737-750. CTEU, Article 18. Para. 2. The identity is meant to unveiled in June 1999 at the Koln Summit. Hubert Vedrine, the current French Foreign Minister, is tipped to be the first High Representative. CTEU, Article 26. Treaty of Amsterdam, Declarations adopted by the Conference, Declaration 6 on the establishment of a policy planning and early warning unit, 2 October 1997. Mark Turner, “CFSP Gets New Marching Orders,” European Voice, 5-11 February 1998, p.6. Details in Agence Europe, No. 7257, 6/7 July 1998, p.4.
57 58 59 60 61 62
63 64 65
Major D.M. Last, “Early Warning and Prevention of Violent Conflict: The Role of Multi-Functional Observer Missions.” Paper presented at the ISA Convention, Washington DC, February 1999, p.20. These issues are explored in greater detail in Fabrizio Pagani, “A New Gear in the CFSP Machinery: Integration of the Petersberg Tasks in the Treaty on European Union,” European Journal of International Law, Vol. 9 (4), pp.737750. CTEU, Article 17. Para.3. This was codified most explicitly in Presidential Decision Directive 25 of May 1994 which stipulated a long checklist of condition for US involvement in multilateral military operations. Kori Schake, Amaya Bloch-Lainé and Charles Grant, “Building a European Defence Capability,” Survival, Vol. 41(1), Spring 1999, p.31. Philip H. Gordon, “Does the WEU Have a Role?,” The Washington Quarterly, Vol. 20 (1), Winter 1997, p.131. Sophia Clément, “Conflict Prevention in the Balkans: Case Studies of Kosovo and the FYR of Macedonia,” Chaillot Papers (30), December 1997, (Paris: WEU ISS) p.58. Vienna European Council Summit, Presidency Conclusions, 11 December 1998, at http://ue.eu.int/newsroom/ main. Stephen Fidler, “Reluctant Warrior has his own conflicts to resolve,” Financial Times, 5 may 1999, p.1. Pascal Boniface for instance attributes the Europeans easy absorption into Operation Allied Force to the St. Malo meeting while Armand de Decker, President of the WEU’s Defence Committee, argued that “what has happened in Kosovo will permit us to speed up the construction of a European defence policy.” See Thomas Sancton, “A New Line of Defense,” Time, 12 April 1999, pp.42-45. The Times, 21 October 1998, p.1. Agence Europe, 26-27 October 1998, p.5. Agence Europe, 5 November 1998, p.3. Ibid. loc cit. Ibid. loc cit. Franco-British summit – Joint Declaration on European Defence, 4 December 1998, at http://www.ambafrance. org.uk. Ibid, Para.2. Ibid, Para.3. Speech by Mr. Romano Prodi to the European Parliament, Strasbourg 4 May 1999, at http://europa.eu.int/comm/ commissioners/prodi/speeches/0450599. Peter Norman and Andrew Parker, “Common EU army the “logical next step,” Financial Times, 10 May 1999, p.2. Alexander Nicoll, “National Differences Scupper Frigate Project,” Financial Times, 28 April 1999, p.1. See Pascal Boniface, “Le réalisme et la morale,” Le Monde, 3 Avril 1999. Daniel Goldhagen, “German Lessons,” The Guardian G2, 29 April 1999, p.2. Press Conference, 5 April 1999. Full text available from [email protected]
Goals outlined by the Secretary General and SACEUR, Press Conference, 1 April 1999. Text as above. Transcript of a Press Conference given by Jamie Shea and General Guiseppe Marani, 30 April 1999. Text as note 65. Transcript of a Press Conference given by General Klaus Naumann, Brussels, 4 May 1999. ❑