The necessity of an EU “Grand Strategy” for a Euro-Atlantic Security Alliance of the twenty-first century and its implications on EU Member States

 

Günter Eisl


The Perspectives of this Paper

 

This paper does not reflect national political positions on the subject of European Strategy, nor is there any intent to close current “strategy gaps” in the European Union, and it does not describe what is institutionally or politically possible to achieve.   

The EUs defence budgets were since 1990 on a permanent decline, and even when now some states begin to spend more money on the military the defence posture is inadequate and the military of a number of EU Member States is more or less defunct. Rather this paper suggests what would be worthwhile on a longer term perspective, and is foreseen to challenge traditional or negative mindsets on the subject.

After the End of the Cold War the European Community and the new European Union, NATO, the US administration, and American think tanks, permanently published essays on defence, confidence building, the Partnership for Peace, NATO extension, and terrorism. There was a changing terminology dealing with the future of the EU, the OSCE and of NATO. Any draft of a strategy paper needed permanent updating and required frequent “official” clarification and definitions, also on juridical and political binding.

 

The new terminology also included arms control, arms reduction, confidence building, force reduction, response forces, stability forces, reaction forces, implementation forces, joint and combined forces, collective and common defence, collective action, collective self-defence, comprehensive defence and security, cooperative defence, a new European (Security…) Defence Initiative, NATO reform and transformation and so on.

 

Even NATO had problems to define its purpose and future tasks, may be because of the deliberate avoidance of such a basic discussion after the disappearance of its main opponent. In a climate of a Post Cold War Europe some analysts even saw any military as obsolete and its presence as a rather disturbing element of the past.     

 

And then war came back to Europe in the Balkan. The European embarrassment of not being able to deal with this crisis on its own, especially during the anti-Serbia (Kosovo) air campaign, resulted in a new momentum for a European approach on defence through the European Security and Defence Policy in 1999 and the preparation for a European strategy paper.

 

A working group began in 2000 to propose a number of core issues, tailored after the US National Security Strategy and the final European Security Strategy (ESS) was presented in December 2003. Some analysts considered it still as a draft in search of a more detailed strategy document. Others had argued that the ESS of 2003 includes everything that was then possible (for the EU members), everything beyond this text would be out of scope and capabilities. The more detailed text of 2008 is seen as a step in the right direction but is still missing or avoiding any issues beyond the 2003 limits of internal and political instabilities, drug trafficking, human rights, organized crime and environmental issues.

 

The ESS was accepted as proposed, because it did not include any burden to the EU Member States, and it was neither a strategy nor a guidance paper. The promise, there would be more detailed, updated, or “final” strategy remained a promise. Anything more specific was simply not possible. But now, there is – again - a new ESS under consideration, the question is, if it will be only a gap-filling text for the papers of 2003 and 2008, or will it be able to serve as a Grand Strategy for the EU for the future?

 

Options for a Look into the Future: The Military Perspective

 

The paper is written mainly from the military perspective and offers the following key findings:

  • The Westphalian system of independent European Nation States has reached its limits for each EU Member State in all policy areas, including defence and security. No single EU Member State has or will ever have again sufficient financial resources to counter established or emerging global actors and to protect its vital interests independently.
  • The safeguard of the social security models of the EU Member States will require growing financial resources in the decades to come, and will decline available resources for other government expenditures, including defence.
  • The EU Member States spend in total the second biggest amount on defence in the world but are dwarfed in their capabilities when compared to the USA because of their fragmented defence structures and budgets. The only possible solution for the EU to be at the same level as other (emerging) global actors in the domain of defence capabilities lies in the mutualisation of their national defence systems.  
  • A strong common European defence system would strengthen the alliance with the USA and other non EU-NATO members. However, NATO should not have an institutional function for the EU, as it does not have one in a national capacity for the USA or other non EU-NATO members.
  • A new Euro Atlantic security alliance should be established and based on the core functions of NATO and include crises management functions of forums like the OSCE and the Council of Europe.*  Those EU Member States participating in a common EU defence system should be represented by a respective EU institution.

 

Background on European Security and Defence Policy

 

The Security and Defence Policy of EU Member States still reflects more or less the cold war situation. The core organisation dealing with security and defence for most of the EU Members is NATO, in which 22 of the 28 EU Member States are full members and 5 EU Member States who are not NATO members are members of NATO’s Partnership for Peace.

 

The core functions of NATO are twofold. Firstly, the collective defence, which binds the USA to Europe’s security and vice versa, and secondly, the interoperability function, through which NATO is developing standards for the Member States’ Armed Forces to operate together. The EU NATO-PfP Member States are also granted access to these standards and are thus enabled not only to contribute to NATO peace support mission but also to interact with other EU Member States Armed Forces in solely EU missions.

 

The legal basis for an intense cooperation of the two organisations is in place, even allowing the EU the use of NATO capabilities during autonomous EU operations. However, due to political reasons, the day to day cooperation is very restricted and has not evolved much since 2004.

 

Ever since EU Member States agreed on the ambition for the EU to be recognized as an actor in the domain of global security policy, several initiatives and institutional steps have been taken to achieve this goal:

 

European Security Strategy

 

The ESS from 2003 states that the EU is inevitably a global player with a population of (now) more than 500 million people and with it’s single market as the biggest economy in the world. It identifies five threats to the EU or it’s Member States – terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, regional conflicts, state failure and organised crime - and describes the principles of how these threats should be dealt with - preventive, holistically, via multilateralism. However, (see above) the ESS falls short of being a grand strategy, because it is very vague about the means and how to achieve its goals.

 

Treaty of Lisbon and the Common Foreign and Security Policy

 

The Treaty of Lisbon (ToL) came into effect on 1st December 2009 and consists of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) which both have the same legal value. It seeks to strengthen the role of the EU at international level. The reforms introduced by the Treaty aim to make the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) of the EU more coherent and to increase its visibility.

 

Two major innovations have been introduced, the installation of a High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the EU Commission (HR/VP),  with a new European External Action Service at his or her disposal and the development of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).

 

The European Council remains the institution responsible for defining the general guidelines and strategies of the EU and on their basis the Council of Europe is then responsible for developing and putting in place implementing measures. Unanimity remains the general rule for CFSP and CSDP decisions.

 

The CSDP replaced the former European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) established in 1999, and aims a common European defence with Member States being henceforth bound by a solidarity clause on matters of European defences. The CSDP remains a fundamentally intergovernmental issue; however, the financial and operational means for civilian and military CSDP missions continue to be provided by Member States.

 

The ambition for CSDP is to conduct, if necessary, joint disarmament operations, humanitarian and rescue tasks, military advice and assistance tasks, conflict prevention and peace-keeping tasks, tasks of combat forces in crisis management, including peace-making and post-conflict stabilization. All these tasks may contribute to the fight against terrorism, including by supporting third countries in combating terrorism in their territories.

 

European External Action Service

 

The European External Action Service (EEAS) has to implement the external policy of the EU. It is a service supporting the HR/VP with a central administration, including thematic and geographic directorates and crisis management and planning directorates, plus a global network of EU delegations to third countries and international organisations.

 

Political and Security Committee

 

The Political and Security Committee (PSC) is a permanent element of the Council of the EU and monitors the international situation in the areas covered by the CFSP. It delivers opinions to the Council and coordinates, supervises and monitors the work led by different Council Working groups in the area of the CFSP and sends guidelines to the Military Committee and receives the latter’s opinions and recommendations.

 

European Union Military Committee

 

The European Union Military Committee (EUMC) is the highest military body within the Council of the EU. It is the forum for the military consultation between the EU Member States in the areas of conflict prevention and crisis management.

 

Military advice to the PSC is taken on the basis of consent. The EUMC issues, at the PSC’s request, an initiating directive for strategic military options and operational concepts to be developed by the EU Military staff (EUMS) of the EEAS and evaluates the products and provides military advice on them to the PSC.

 

European Defence Agency

 

The European Defence Agency (EDA) supports the Council and the Member States in their efforts to improve the EU defence capabilities in the field of crisis management and to sustain the CSDP. The EDA aims to stimulate and coordinate already established and new capability initiatives of the EU Member States. Other areas of cooperation are armament, defence industry and research and technology.

 

When EDA was created, the original idea was a possible merger with the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR). EDA was in fact the planning caucus for the Eurofighter production and implementation, and it did then not have many other large programs going, whereas OCCAR was the coordinator of a number of rather large defence projects, including the combat helicopter “Tiger” and the A400M.

 

The EDA has currently only a limited budget and supervises smaller programs; each budgeted by various EU governments, but some of the original OCCAR projects are now in the manufacturing phase as well. Most weapon programs inside the EU are national, bi- or multinational, and are subject of political decision making and therefore frequently outside of the EU (NATO or bilaterally with US).

 

European Union Satellite Centre

 

The European Union Satellite Centre (EUSC) is tasked with the production and use of information resulting from the analysis of satellite and aerial imagery. The information provided is used to support EU decision-making in the field of CFSP/CSDP and deployed EU operational forces. It is particularly active in facilitating early warning of risks of armed conflict or humanitarian crises, and also monitors crisis situations.

 

European Security and Defence College

 

The European Security and Defence College (ESDC) comprises a network of national institutes, colleges, academies and institutions across the EU, dealing with security and defence policy issues, including  the EU Institute for Security Studies (EU ISS). The ESDC provides training in the EU’s CFSP/CSDP, and develops a common understanding of CSDP and its best practice in this area.

 

Analysis of the EU CFSP/CSDP after the Treaty of Lisbon

 

The majority of the above mentioned institutions and structures were designed for the EU ESDP to be recognized as a global actor in the domain of foreign and security policy and came into existence through and after the European Councils of Cologne and Helsinki in 1999; CFSP/CSDP, the EEAS and the function of the HR/VP were created through the ToL.

 

The ToL came into being after the failure of the ratification of the EU constitution in 2005. It comprises 100 % of the envisaged regulations concerning CSFP/CSDP of the EU constitution.

 

Strengths

 

When establishing the CSDP, EU Member States recognised the fact that their vital interests were mainly identical with the vital interests of other Member States, and that they would depend on others to secure these interests. Many EU members, especially smaller ones, had to acknowledge the fact that the EU is internationally more and more accepted, even more than they would be, especially in the security domain.

 

Since 1999, the EU conducted and concluded 5 military operations and 10 civilian missions with 5 military operations and 11 civilian missions still going on. These figures particularly reflect the strength of the EU in crisis management. The EU is strong in nation-building and is a stabilisation instrument with a mixture of civilian and military capabilities which are complementing each other in the pursuit of an agreed EU strategy for a particular crisis region.  

 

The EU is able to draw on all national capabilities available in EU Member States, and also on the capabilities of EU institutions. The authorities of the HR/VP as Chairperson of both, the Councils for Foreign Affairs and in the Defence Minister format, and as Chairperson of the Development Council, together with the function as Vice President of the EU Commission, represent an ideal combination of responsibilities in the areas of crisis management.

 

The structure of the EEAS is globally unique, as it is the only service to include functions of a traditional foreign ministry, military personnel in a defence staff, civilian and defence intelligence in a single capacity, a crisis management planning element and the equivalent of a military operational headquarters for civilian CSDP missions. This unique combination of expertise of different policy areas in one institution has proven to be enormously valuable and enhances the efficiency of the service in the field of crisis management significantly.

 

Weaknesses

 

The agreed CSDP has a wide spectrum of possible engagements, from the current established crisis management function to run civilian missions or military operations towards deepened defence cooperation through a Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) with binding commitments of a group of Member States, up to a common defence, and to the establishment of a common EU Defence.

 

However, EU Member States have not yet reached consent on the next necessary steps, especially regarding the establishment of supranational European military structures to support autonomous planning and decision making of the EU, which has been under constant discussion for the last 15 years, there is no progress visible. The fact that Headquarters leading any EU operation need to be activated before they can produce any operation plans, prolongs the decision-making process, and constitutes a challenge for a timely response of CFSP.  

 

Critics of CFSP emphasize that, as a matter of principle foreign policy, the EU cannot be efficient and powerful if it depends on unanimity in decision making because of the time which is required to reach consent. Therefore, a lot of efforts have been invested to shorten the multinational decision-making process, but so far without a real success.

 

Another challenge for the efficiency of the military dimension of CFSP/CSDP is the lack of common defence planning in the EU. This led to an uncoordinated reduction of defence budgets in the past, particularly since the global financial crisis, which worsened the situation of strategic shortfalls in EU defence capabilities.

 

Many EU Member States are not committing the necessary funds to close identified shortfalls, especially not at the higher end of the CSDP ambition, either because they are mostly out of reach of their national budgets or because they would not support their national defence industry with such an investment. Numerous multinational capability projects and always new armament initiatives could only partially mitigate these deficiencies and were not able so far to generate any missing strategic capability. Any new system in one state often means a reduced interoperability capability for other states.

 

Intelligence is another problem. Member States could not agree yet to establish a supranational intelligence agency and therefore the EU continues to be dependant on finished intelligence reports voluntarily provided by various intelligence services of Member States. In cases of crises when the need of intelligence is most urgent, the national services are mainly occupied in supporting their national governments and the EU (and also NATO) only gets reports when there is time left to do so.

 

With no common EU defence budget in place, 28 independent Defence Administrations of the EU Member States mean 28 independent procurement processes and 28 national parliaments will continue to decide on defence expenditures from their national perspective. There is only a limited mechanism for common cost funding in CSDP crisis management operations in place, which, under the current policy and regulations 90 % of the costs lie where they fall – meaning on national budgets. The consequence of the absence of common funding for CSDP operations usually become very obvious during the force generation process, where costly capabilities are only reluctantly and sometimes not at all provided by Member States. The necessity for numerous force generation conferences sometimes delays substantially the launch of an operation.  

 

Opportunities

 

The total defence expenditures of EU Member States dropped by € 22 billion during the period from 2006 to 2012 (= 13 %) or by 40% since 1991. They represent now 1.5 % of the EU GDP and 3 % of overall Government expenditures, also the lowest since the creation of NATO in 1949. The EU Member States’ defence expenditures are still significantly higher than those of China and Russia together. However, the personnel-expenditures grew over the years to an amount of over 50 % of the total defence expenditures and that at a historic low of manpower for combat units. Independent national defence administrations, national general staffs, joint and service commands, intelligence services and training institutions, agencies and so on, require in total significantly more employees in all EU Member States than for the entire EU administration of the EU Commission and its agencies.

 

The defence investment today is still at the same level as it was in 2006 (€ 39 billion or 20.6 %), however, within this figures the R&D expenditures experienced the sharpest decrease compared to 2006 (minus 38 %). Also, inflation and cost-rises in military hardware doubles each decade. A one to one replacement of systems is therefore out of sight, and explains the lower number of systems. Even modernizations can be so expensive that governments might eliminate the systems altogether, instead of modernization steps, followed by tremendous investments costs for new weapons.

 

This trend in Europe is contrary to the trend in the USA, whose defence expenditures have almost doubled in the first decade of the twenty first century and even after some recent reductions due to the termination of major overseas operations are still about 4 % of the US GDP. The comparably limited defence expenditures of the EU created a significant capability gap not only between the US Armed Forces and the forces of the EU Member States, but also between the EU states.

 

Constantly shrinking defence budgets in the EU and the fact that available funds are mainly spent for national programs have led to significant shortfalls in many strategic areas. The EU does have a capability mechanism in place with the aim of reducing identified shortfalls, and the defence programs continue to be highly fragmented, because EU Member States want to protect their national defence industries.

 

The EU Member States work on nearly 90 different, but often similar, defence programs for land forces, compared to 27 programs of the US, but the US is achieving the equivalent capabilities, higher standardization and for much lower unit-costs. The personnel expenditures of the US and the EU Member States are almost equal, but the US spends five times more on operations and maintenance, four times more on investments and seven times more on R&D.

 

The main reason for the reduction of EU defence budgets can be found in the ever growing costs for maintaining social living standards. Europe with less than 7% of the global population and 23% of global economy spends nearly 50% of global social costs. The Member States will see a growing life expectancy and a shrinking population in the next decades. This development will make an increase of the Member States’ defence budgets not feasible in the years to come. International competition and public demand will continue to add pressure on all areas of public spending to further reduce costs.

 

National defence budgets have been squeezed in most of the Member States without a central steering and coordination at NATO or at the EU level, which has led to an unbalanced distribution and shortage of capabilities among the Member States’ Armed Forces. The past decade has shown that expensive strategic capabilities are far beyond national capacities, preventing the required qualities and quantities.

 

The prospect of a continuous pressure for cost reduction leaves only two options for the EU Member States to free resources for investment: Drastic reductions of military manpower, or to relinquish some costly capabilities completely. Both of these options would require central coordination to avoid further capability downturns. The efforts by the military to mitigate these deficiencies through multinational cooperation have only been marginally successful because of diverging national interests and cuts of programme costs. New ways to overcome the strategic capability shortfalls have to be applied, must be shifted from national levels to a supranational approach.

 

To avoid the continuation of national protectionism in defence procurements, an obvious first necessary step would be the creation of a “single European defence market” that follows current and future threats. A new European defence industry structure should be based on capability requirements derived from a new centralized defence planning process for agreed common EU defence capabilities. This would bring an end to the currently scattered defence investments in small numbers in key capability-areas and would allow synergies that could boost the EU defence industry. Examples from major federal defence procurement programs in the US, where industries in all 50 States are benefiting from defence spending, show the way to a required centralized EU defence procurement process.

 

Threats from Internal Political Shifts

 

There is a danger of a re-nationalisation of policies of Member States if the pressure of “Eurosceptic” parties continues to grow in national parliaments. In most of the Member States, more and more political parties are using the EU as a scapegoat for deficiencies in national politics, and are gaining substantial popularity with their anti-EU strategy.

 

It is therefore important for each national government to launch an information campaign which emphasizes the merits of the EU. If peace among the Member States would be the only achievement of the EU, it already would justify her existence, but there is of course much more. Any campaign for raising popularity of the EU should offer an objective estimate on the functions and policy areas where the EU has been capable in handling problems more efficiently than at any national level, but also in which areas the EU needs to improve her performance.  

 

Different strategic cultures of Member States led to the ambiguity of establishing a ESDP/CSDP, but at the same time restraining it from the necessary means and instruments to be efficient and powerful. The development of CSDP has been left too long in the hands of national experts, who tried to bring it forward by introducing ever more cooperation schemes. However, they were not able to tackle the root causes of this ambiguity, because they are entirely political of nature.

 

The further development of CFSP/CSDP is a major political project, with high prospects to be the next lead project for the continuation of European Integration. Therefore it needs to be dealt with at the heads of government’s level at the European Council, because all necessary further steps will involve transfer of power and means from the Member States to the EU.

 

EU Grand Strategy for a Euro-Atlantic Security Alliance of the twenty-first century

 

NATO is the most powerful military alliance of the world and has, since the disintegration of the Warsaw Pact, no opponent which could threaten the territorial integrity of its members. However, new phenomena such as non-state actors and different political objectives have revealed limits to its powers and challenged the solidarity among its members in the past 15 years. NATO’s success depends on the consent of its members, but NATO operations in Afghanistan, Iraq or Libya brought forward deep political rifts among the allies, because of different views on military strategies for political objectives. However, these rifts were mainly rifts between European NATO members, and they exist also inside the EU along the same lines of disagreement.

 

The accession of Cyprus as a new member in the EU in 2004 before the island was unified brought the cooperation between NATO and the EU literally to a halt – to this day. This stalemate clearly supports those, who call for an autonomous EU capabilities, because the EU cannot allow herself to be dependent on the good or bad will of a non-EU NATO member to allow the alliance to support the EU or not. Even if the particular reason for that dispute faded away, the rise of other dissents cannot be excluded for the future.

 

Logically, the EU’s development of independent capabilities – like for planning and conducting operations - would over the long run also strengthen NATO. NATO is actually in the same way victim of certain political considerations of members who might try to stall decision-making and campaigns (through denying the use of airports, harbours, airspaces, Host Nation Support etc.). Therefore, even NATO had to develop a number of mechanisms to remain a fully working alliance even when one or some of its members would deny cooperation, as in 2011 during the Libyan air campaign. More independent EU capabilities would widen NATO’s political options when engaged in a particular crisis. However, NATO cannot and should not have any binding institutional function for the EU, as it does not do so for the USA or other non EU-NATO members because they all maintain corresponding national structures.  

 

EU Member States have not yet found a proper consent for these questions, and attempts to strengthen defence cooperation within the EU by establishing common military capabilities have not so far been successful. Despite the fact that the majority of EU members are in favour of creating autonomous EU capabilities, they are not proceeding to implement them as a group. The main argument for this delay lies in the risk of further fragmentation of the European integration, as was seen with the establishment of the EURO-zone or the SCHENGEN-Treaty. It speaks for itself, that a defence cooperation project has better prospects to be successful with all members participating, but the approach to start with some willing Member States which keep the doors open for others to join later, might be the more feasible way for the foreseeable future.  

 

All EU Member States have individual and common vital interests, beginning from territorial integrity, economic prosperity till their social and political security. No Member State should therefore act independently in a way that could jeopardize one of these interests. Because of the existing economic and political integration within the EU, each national decision in the foreign and defence-policy-domain could also have an impact on other members and the EU per se. This level of interconnectivity requires a strong commitment of each Member State to coordinate foreign and security policy; it calls for one policy mechanism which is able to respond swiftly, when other global actors raise their voice in a crisis.

 

Furthermore, the traditional logic for maintaining independent national armed forces needs to be reviewed critically. All (NATO- and EU-)Member States (besides the USA) have over the years always underlined in their national strategies that they cannot defend their countries alone, envisaged a certain standardization for multinational joint or combined campaigns. It is inconceivable that a Member State would engage its Armed Forces for a full fledged armed conflict without the involvement of the NATO or the EU, because membership of both organisations requires multinational consultation with Allies and Partners before a nation would engage, and in most cases any EU member would depend on the capabilities of partners or allies to run the operation. Only two EU Member States have designed parts of their armed forces as an expeditionary force, primarily to support their role as Permanent Members in the UN Security Council, but they too had to acknowledge their dependence on certain cooperation because of insufficient national capabilities which led to bilateral defence cooperation, known as the St. Malo-Agreement.  

 

With the earlier mentioned budgetary constraints in the years to come, a further fragmentation and reduction of defence capabilities would be an unavoidable consequence, especially if EU Member States continue to focus on the independence of their national armed forces. But, if the CFSP/CSDP would be entitled to deal with the security concerns of Europe and of its members, there would be no requirements for maintaining autonomous national forces. A supranational EU force should have sufficient autonomous capabilities to guarantee the territorial integrity of its Member States, including a nuclear deterrence capability. The nuclear shield should not only protect the entire European continent, but also overseas territories of Member States and overseas deployments. Such a force should be funded by the EU based on tax revenues directly collected by the EU, and should not depend on national financial contributions.

 

The possibility of establishing a common defence system which would include supranational European Armed Forces is already included in the TEU. The European Council has to decide by unanimity (and in most cases national parliaments would have to ratify such far-reaching decision) whether the national security and defence should be turned over to the EU and whether they would abandon or keep their national armed forces (entirely or partially) under national control. Any remaining “independent” national forces, which would be funded nationally, should have a complementary function towards the overall EU force, comparable to the National Guard system in the US.

 

In a more and more globalized world with ever more actors entering the scene of global players, the relative influence of the EU is therefore in decline, and will continue so in the next decades. This underlines the statement of a former Belgian Prime Minister back in the 1950s, that there are only two kinds of countries in Europe: Small countries, and small countries that have not yet realized that they are small. No EU Member State is capable to act as global player in the long run, or has sufficient means to fund such an ambition. Not one will ever have again the sufficient means. EU Member States therefore need to bundle their resources to be recognized as parts of a global player, are visible actors and have their voice heard and respected.

 

 

Conclusions

 

The dynamics of European integration are still alive and well, and more former national policy areas are now coordinated at EU levels, because the Member States recognized their own limitations. It was expected that after the failure to ratify the European Defence Community in 1952, defence policy would be one of the last policy areas the Community would be willing to deal with. Even the ESDP has evolved since 1999 significantly, dozens of successful civilian and military crisis management operations prove it, but the current approach still remains a patchwork of what is on hand and what is still needed.

 

The EU Member States have reached their limits of being able to equip their national forces with modern and expensive systems and capabilities. A new approach is needed to optimise the scattered defence efforts of the EU Member States and to create defence capabilities which are again respected by friends and potential foes of the EU, and this can only be achieved through a powerful common EU defence system.

 

The establishment of a common EU defence does not make any existing security alliance or organisation necessarily obsolete, but calls for their review and streamlining. The relations between the EU and the US should be newly defined and even be reinforced and should include an integrative approach towards the Russian Federation to overcome divisions and rivalries of the past. This new strategic framework in the northern hemisphere should be based on a new security alliance which incorporates all positive experiences of multinational organisations or fora dealing with security in the Euro-Atlantic area, and should avoid their known deficiencies. It should be built on the core functions of NATO as an intergovernmental military alliance but also include responsibilities of fora like the OSCE and the Council of Europe.

 

Membership of this new security alliance should be open to all likeminded states, preferably groups of states represented by a multinational or supranational organisation, around the world. EU Member States who join a supranational defence system (of the EU) should be represented in this security alliance via a respective EU defence organisation, which should be affiliated as permanent member in the UN Security Council. Such a new security alliance would not only bring more stability to our planet, but could also act as a role model for other regional alliances in the security domain.

 

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