General Foreign and Security Policy

It belongs to the field of interstate cooperation and is not regulated by the Community law system, although formally it is written in the Maastricht Treaty that “the Union defines and implements a common foreign and security policy that covers all areas of foreign and security policy”.

The first foreign policy goals of the Community were enshrined in the Rome Treaty of 1957. They were declarative in nature and boiled down to two provisions: a statement of solidarity with the former colonial countries and a desire to ensure their prosperity in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter; call for other European peoples to participate in European integration.
In the 1970s, the theme of the development of cooperation in the military-political field re-acquired relevance. At the Luxembourg session of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member States (October 27, 1970), a system of European political cooperation (ENP) was established. It was an interstate mechanism for the mutual exchange of information and political consultations at the level of foreign ministers. But for a long time this system existed informally, not being included in the Community treaty law due to disagreements on the issue of differentiation of powers between national governments and Community governing bodies.

A compromise solution was found only in the late 1980s. The Unified European Act adopted in 1987 included a section of the Regulation on European Cooperation in the Field of Foreign Policy, which meant the inclusion of the foreign policy sphere in the treaty law of the Community. EEA has obliged the presidency of the Council of the EU and the Commission to take into account the decisions made within the framework of the ENP when developing the foreign policy of the European Communities. The ENP mechanism at this stage has been strengthened. The EU Commission became its full participant, and the number of annual meetings of foreign ministers was increased from two to four.

The topic of military-political cooperation was continued in the form of the EU Common Foreign Policy and Common Security Policy (CFSP), enshrined in the 1992 Maastricht Treaty. It included “the possible formulation of a further common defense policy, which could eventually lead to the creation of common forces defense ”(Article V.).

Among the main objectives of the CFSP were:

  • protection of common values, fundamental interests, independence and integrity of the Union in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter;
  • comprehensive strengthening of the security of the Union;
  • maintaining peace and strengthening international security in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter, as well as the principles of the Helsinki Final Act and the objectives of the Charter of Paris (Council of Europe);
  • development of international cooperation;
  • the development of democracy and the rule of law, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Unlike the ENP, the CFSP proposed not only information exchange and mutual consultations, but also the development on an intergovernmental basis of a common EU position on major issues and the implementation of joint actions binding on member states.

The Amsterdam Treaty of 1997 expanded and specified the mechanisms for the implementation of the CFSP, according to which it covers all areas of foreign and security policy by:

  • determination of the principles and main guidelines of the CFSP;
  • making decisions on the overall strategy;
  • Strengthening systematic cooperation between Member States in the conduct of their policies. The general defense policy provided for the gradual incorporation into the framework of the European Union of the operational structures of the Western European Union (WEU).

The mechanism of the CFSP system has been significantly strengthened. The EU has begun to develop “common strategies” adopted by the European Council, among which the common EU strategies have been adopted for Russia (1999), Ukraine (1999), and the Mediterranean countries (2000).

To make decisions on joint actions and common positions of the EU, as well as other decisions based on a common strategy, the principle of a qualified majority was introduced, not unanimity. This increased the effectiveness of this body, primarily due to giving it the ability to overcome the veto of certain dissatisfied participants that impeded decision-making.

To ensure the successful functioning and coordination of the CFSP system, the post of Secretary General of the European Council, High Representative for CFSP, has been introduced. Its functions include negotiating with third parties on behalf of the European Council. The European Council is vested with the right to conclude international treaties within the competence of the CFSP on the basis of unanimity of member states. Moreover, he is guided by the recommendations of the presiding state. To increase the effectiveness of the CFSP, it is envisaged to establish within its framework a special Early Warning and Political Planning Authority (OROPP) under the leadership of the High Representative for CFSP.

The refusal of Great Britain in the fall of 1998 of its opposition course towards European military-political cooperation opened the way for the integration of the WEU into the EU and the development of the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP).

As part of the ESDP, the French-British plan to create the European Rapid Response Force (EBRD) and the Danish-Dutch program to form the European Police Corps have begun. According to the first plan, the creation of the European Rapid Reaction Forces (ESBR) is planned, capable of deploying a military contingent of 50-60 thousand people in two months for humanitarian and peacekeeping operations. This project was supported by the NATO NATO Summit in April 1999. The Danish-Dutch initiative envisages the formation by 2003 of the European Police Corps (YPC) to carry out functions uncharacteristic of the armed forces to protect civil order and law in crisis zones, in the amount of up to 5 thousand people. YPC should be able to deploy up to 1000 police officers in a 30-day period. It is these forces that are entrusted with the implementation of the decision of the EU Council on sending a police mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2003, which will replace the UN peacekeeping contingent there.

The possibility of providing NATO forces and equipment for EU European operations was discussed during difficult negotiations between the two organizations, which ended on December 16, 2002 with the signing of a joint NATO and EU Declaration on European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP). Recognizing NATO’s leading role in maintaining security in Europe, the EU has received, under the ESDP, recognition and access to NATO planning tools, including access to the headquarters of the NATO Commander-in-Chief in Europe in Mons (Belgium). As for the EU’s access to NATO’s military resources, the problem here is still very far from being resolved.

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