Address by Javier Solana, High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) given on the occasion of his visit to Eurosatory, the international defence exhibition, on 17 June 2008.
Snapshots of the ESDP are regularly criticized by Eurosceptics. But they tend to overlook the film as a whole, which reveals a rapid and continuous development. Of course there are institutional, functional and material difficulties, but despite that ESDP engagements are increasingly important. We are arriving at the end of a first phase. The next one will shortly begin with the implementation of the Lisbon treaty. Thanks to its excellent foundations and the backing of the people of Europe, ESDP has a very promising future.
The Capability Development Plan drawn up jointly by the European Defence Agency and the EU’s military bodies, with strong member state involvement, is to be issued in its first complete version in July 2008. This is a very powerful process which should not only give birth to collaborative projects addressing European capability shortfalls, but also in the longer term help restructure member states’ defence investment planning—provided they seize this opportunity.
The European Union is already playing an important role in Kosovo. The EULEX Kosovo mission, about to be declared fully operational, will strengthen rule of law in the new political process and will be a key factor for stability in Kosovo, and in the Balkans more widely. EULEX Kosovo is the EU’s biggest civilian mission and the first with executive powers. The mandate consists in monitoring, mentoring and advising the authorities and institutions in Kosovo in the field of rule of law, especially in the police, justice and customs. Judges, prosecutors, police officers and other experts will be collocated with their local counterparts and will assist the institutions, judicial authorities and law en-forcement agencies in their progress towards sustainability and accountability.
Ten years after St-Malo, what are the prospects for European policy on defence issues? That is the theme of a presentation by General Vincenzo Camporini, Chief of the Italian Defence Staff, at a meeting at the Farnese Palace (French Embassy), Rome, on 28 April 2008.
On the eve of the French presidency of the European Council, it is worrying to see that the overall military capability of EU member states is still weak given their economic weight. Without a change in armaments policies, the durability of the European defence industry is un-certain, particularly owing to rising global competition. Four years after the establishment of the European Defence Agency, which is an undeniable success but cannot progress without determination on the part of the member states who steer it, the tools for a European armaments policy are seemingly in place. And the European commission makes a decisive contribution to the establishment of a European defence equipment market with the ‘defence package’. So it is time to make decisions and to launch concrete projects.
The Reform Treaty, signed in Lisbon on 13 December 2007 and ratified by France on 14 February 2008, entails institutional innovations, which could be a turning-point for European defence in its trend towards closer cooperation between member states. The MOD’s involvement in European defence matters could as a result be considerably revised. More generally, the internal modifications of the main European institutions and the likely development of their links should lead the MOD to adapt its relationship with those institutions.
Ten years after the St-Malo agreement, which launched European Security and Defence Policy, an examination of the conditions for relaunching that policy seems called for. One has first to analyse the progress planned for in the Lisbon treaty and then look at the financial, technological and strategic challenges facing Europe. Lastly, this article asks in what ways the French EU presidency might give a boost to Europe’s defence dimension, one of its priorities.
The publication of the French White Paper, the French presidency of the European Union and the plans to return France to NATO’s integrated military structure offer a positive framework for the development of a European security strategy. Such a strategy is essential if the EU is to engage positively with the new American administration. Franco-British cooperation will be a crucial ingredient.
Extract of an April 2008 report by the IHEDN (Institute for Higher National Defence Studies) alumni association’s committee for the study of current affairs (CARA).
The European Union and NATO have many points in common, yet neither can fully play the role of the other, and so both are necessary. Progress made in one organisation is to the advantage of the other. In this article NATO’s Secretary General argues that since their agendas increasingly overlap, a strong ESDP and closer relations between them are essential. In his view, the time has come to move on from ‘détente’ to working in common. Why don’t we, for instance, embark on a ‘NATO-EU Combined Capabilities Initiative’, or a ‘Combined NATO-EU Strategic Airlift Project’?
Extracts from a speech by President George W. Bush to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris, 13 June 2008; www.ocde.org
Extracts from the White Paper on defence and national security (Key findings); available at www.premier-ministre.gouv.fr