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Vol. 3, No. 1 (2008)



hamburg review of social sciences


Edited by Clara Portela and Kolja Raube

hrss , Volume 3 (2008)

Special Issue on Coherence in EU Foreign Policy www.hamburg-review.de

Revisiting Coherence in the EU Foreign Policy

Clara Portela and Kolja Raube

Six Authors in Search of a Notion: (In)Coherence in EU Foreign Policy and its Causes 1

Marise Cremona

10 Coherence through Law: What difference will the Treaty of Lisbon make?

Olaf Poeschke

Maastrichts langer Schatten:

36 Das auswärtige Handeln der EU – Verschiebungen im institutionellen Gefüge?

Bernhard Stahl

Incoherent securitisation: The EU in the Iraq crisis

Elsa Tulmets

The European Neighbourhood Policy: A Flavour of Coherence in the EU’s External




Javier Alcalde and Caroline Bouchard

Human Security and Coherence within the EU: The Case of the 2006 UN Small Arms

Conference 141

hrss , Volume 3 (2008)

Special Issue on Coherence in EU Foreign Policy www.hamburg-review.de

hrss , Volume 3 (2008)

Special Issue on Coherence in EU Foreign Policy www.hamburg-review.de

Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008


hamburg review of social sciences

Six Authors in Search of a Notion:

(In)Coherence in EU Foreign Policy and its Causes

Clara Portela and Kolja Raube


The foreign policies of the European Union (EU) has long been identified as a field of special concern in the study of coherence due to the difficulty of overcoming the problems posed by its duality (M.E. Smith 2001:171). Fifteen years have elapsed since the Treaty on

European Union (TEU) signed at Maastricht formally linked the external relations of the

European Community (EC) and the intergovernmental Common Foreign and Security

Policy (CFSP). Improving the coherence of EU (European Union) external action formulated in these two distinct foreign policy frameworks, or “pillars”, was a key motivation behind the establishment of a single institutional framework. The recent Commission’s

Communication “Europe in the World – Some Practical Proposals for Greater Coherence,

Clara Portela is Researcher at the European University Institute, Florence, and Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg. [email protected] Kolja Raube is post-doc research assistant at the Institute of Political Science, University of Hamburg. [email protected]

1 hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 1-9

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008

Effectiveness and Visibility” shows that EU actors are concerned with coherence in daily foreign policy-making (Commission 2006).

The present issue of the

Hamburg Review of Social Sciences

contributes to the exploration of (in)coherence in the foreign policies of the EU. The following lines provide a brief overview of the question of the definition of coherence before succinctly presenting the articles selected from those received in response to our open call. In doing so, we highlight some of the themes most relevant to the latest institutional developments, as well as the innovations they bring to the debate on coherence.

Coherence: An Elusive Notion

Few notions in European foreign policy are characterised by such a high degree of complexity as the concept of “coherence”. The definition of this notion has been subject to different interpretations by the various scholars who have tackled the question. Indeed, the term “coherence” is regarded as having several meanings. The diversity of interpretations makes it necessary to open these introductory pages with a conceptual clarification.

In the following lines, we summarise the various distinctions established around the definition of the term “coherence” and the classification of its subtypes. a/ One distinction pertains to the difference between coherence in terms of “institutional process” and “systemic output”. Christiansen defines coherence “in terms of systemic outputs” as “the way in which the substance of different policies generated by the

EU forms part of a coherent whole”, while “coherence in terms of the institutional process by which policies are made” refers to “the degree to which institution(s) operate a coherent and well-coordinated process of deliberation and decision-making” (Christiansen

2001:747). This distinction seems to coincide with the differentiation between “internal” and “external” coherence put forward by other authors (K. Smith 2003). b/ Within “internal” or “institutional” coherence, further distinctions are made depending on where in the EU governance structure the tensions are located. When difficulties exist between the member states and the EU level scholars speak of “vertical” (Tietje 1997:211) or “inter-level” consistency (Christiansen 2001:748). By contrast, difficulties in co-ordination between EU institutions are “horizontal” and can be further subdivided into “intra-pillar” or “inter-pillar” coherence, depending on whether they occur in hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 1-9

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 the relationship between the Community and the intergovernmental pillars or within the same pillar. This category, which gives expression to a challenge specific to the EU’s institutional set up, can also be labelled “inter-institutional” coherence. Problems of coherence have been identified at all levels mentioned (Christiansen 2001). To the detriment of conceptual clarity, some authors have referred to the maintenance of coherence between the Community and the CFSP pillars as “institutional coherence” (Nuttall 2005), which overlaps with Christiansen’s label for the internal coherence of the EU policy formulation process. c/ Perhaps the most central conceptual problem in the definition of coherence is the delimitation of “coherence” versus “consistency”, a distinction which is respected by certain scholars and dismissed by others. The absence of uniform terminology is compounded by diverging translations of the TEU: While the English translation favours the term

“consistency”, most continental languages employ the term “coherence”. This conceptual distinction has been elaborated by legal and political science scholars alike, who tend to see consistency as the mere “absence of contradiction”, while the notion of coherence appears to go beyond sheer compatibility to convey the idea of mutual reinforcement of policies, defined as “synergy” (Gauttier 2004:26) or the establishment of “positive connections” (Tietje 1997:212). Obviously, this notion sets a higher standard for EU policies

(M.E. Smith 2001:173) and is far more difficult to grasp conceptually than the mere “absence of contradiction”.

In sum, this fragmentation confronts the student of coherence with a scenario of

quod capita, tot sensus

. In view of the lack of a unitary definition, the contributors to this special issue have each defined their individual understanding of coherence, choosing the definition that best suits the analytical purposes of their respective articles.

Ensuring Coherence through Legal-institutional Design

The need to ensure coherence in EU policies was identified as early as the mid-seventies, at an initial stage in the development of foreign policy co-ordination outside the Community framework (Nuttall 2005:94). Yet, the solution proposed at the time consisted of exhortations calling on EU actors to maintain coherence, which was introduced in the treahrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 1-9

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 ties for the first time in 1986. The Single European Act stipulates that “the external policies of the European Community and the policies adopted by the European Cooperation

Policy shall be consistent” (§30(5)). The TEU was the first treaty revision to put in place a number of institutional arrangements to address shortcomings in coherence. At Maastricht, and later Amsterdam, an attempt was made to tackle coherence problems at three levels:

1/ One level concerned bureaucratic-institutional reforms. These ranged from the creation of the single institutional framework, which provided for the use of common institutions in all pillars, to the reorganisation of the Commission’s administrative apparatus.

2/ The second level included the double-hatting of senior posts in the EU institutional set up, notably through the appointment of a High Representative of the CFSP who is simultaneously Secretary-General of the Council Secretariat and of the Western European Union.

3/ A third level concerned the establishment of legal instruments within the second pillar meant to co-ordinate external action by EU actors, namely the Common Positions and

Joint Actions, which would be complemented by Common Strategies in the Amsterdam revision.

Subsequent treaty reforms have endeavoured to perfect such arrangements. In fact, the continued preoccupation with improving the system was not only driven by its perceived insufficiency but also by the progressive growth and increasing specialisation of its bureaucratic units (Christiansen 2001). Yet, despite some improvements the institutional formulae have proved of limited use in averting incoherence in the EU’s steadily increasing foreign policy activity (M.E. Smith 2001:171). In the face of the insufficiency of arrangements developed at or in the follow-up to Maastricht, what solutions have EU actors developed in order to ensure coherence?

The two initial contributions of this issue illuminate this question. In her opening article, Marisa Cremona provides an account of the fundamental role the EU legal order plays in ensuring coherence in EU foreign policy. Probably because legal scholars and political scientists tend to approach the study of coherence separately, non-jurists often analyse coherence from the perspective of bureaucratic politics and institutional design without hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 1-9

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 considering the EU legal system’s fundamental role in ensuring coherence. Marise Cremona’s central contribution consists in highlighting how both jurisprudence by the European Court of Justice and treaty reform – most recently the Treaty of Lisbon – have accentuated the separation of powers between the national and EU level on the one hand and the Community and CFSP pillar on the other by delineating their tasks even more clearly than before.

Olaf Poeschke, a practitioner, shows in a subsequent contribution how the trend towards a stricter separation of powers is evident in the day-to-day management of areas where Council and Commission competencies intersect. Here, codification has followed the establishment of practices, a phenomenon often witnessed in the institutional development of the EU. In his analysis of inter-pillar coherence in selected foreign policy tools, he finds that the predominant trend is to strengthen the delimitation of competences between Council and Commission, rather than to formulate solutions in which co-operation overcomes legal distinctions. Even the appointment of a Special Representative to Macedonia, who is simultaneously the Head of the Commission Delegation, is founded on a clearly dual mandate, an expression of the aforementioned separation of competences.

The increased reliance on the double-hatting of personnel is one of the main innovations brought about by the Treaty to ensure coherence. This not only concerns the high-level posts of the High Representative and Special Representatives, but also the prospective

External Action Service. It is remarkable that from the catalogue of instruments explored by Poeschke, the operation of the mechanism for the imposition of economic sanctions – a time-honoured arrangement which predates the Maastricht reforms – emerges as a unique instance of smooth, if not totally friction-free, inter-pillar collaboration.

Beyond the strengthening of the separation of competences, a further trend with a major bearing on coherence is singled out by our authors. The moribund “CFSP Common

Strategies”, an instrument whose clear purpose was to orchestrate policies by the EU and member states, has been finally replaced by a more flexible solution. In the future, the

European Council rather than the Council of Ministers will decide on “strategies”, and they will be only politically binding. The European Security Strategy and the EU Strategy against the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction of 2003 can be seen as a “forerunners”. On the one hand, the disappearance of the Common Strategies can be viewed hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 1-9

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 as an indication that CFSP arrangements need to be “piloted” in practice before being codified in order to ensure their practicability.

But in terms of institutional coherence, this development denotes a reversal from the path towards the progressive integration of EU foreign policies with those of the member states. The highest intergovernmental instance, the European Council, strengthens its position not only as “final arbiter” but as a co-ordinating entity. The reinforcement of the separation of powers described by Cremona and Poeschke can be interpreted as a failure of the idea of “coherence” as originally foreseen by the Treaty of Maastricht. At the time, the hope was that institutions could co-operate in “grey areas” where competences were not clearly delineated. By sharpening the delimitation of competences, the EU implicitly acknowledges that synergy in areas of overlap is unworkable. As Christiansen suggested in the aftermath of the Nice Treaty, a “clearer separation of powers” contradicts “institutional coherence” (Christiansen 2001:749).

Yet, a glance at a lower level of policy formulation shows that the Commission sometimes does gain the upper hand. CFSP Common Strategies have been replaced by European Council “strategies” deprived of legal character, but at a messo- and micro level it is the ENP Action Plans that are fulfilling this function. Elsa Tulmets explains in her contribution how the Council has relinquished responsibility for the European Neighbourhood

Policy (ENP) into the hands of the Commission. In its turn, Tulmets’ analysis of the ENP also reveals a coherent management of policy instruments which appears to have emerged by means which diverge from those foreseen by the institutional designs described above.

Rather, ENP practices have been perfected in the course of the Commission’s experience with Eastern enlargement and subsequently adjusted to the ENP framework through policy transfer.

Coherence as “Explanandum”

The contributions by Tulmets, Stahl and Alcalde and Bouchard reflect a departure from the emphasis on bureaucratic politics that has so far dominated political science accounts of incoherence. The notion of “coherence” appears to have transcended the boundaries of bureaucratic theory to become a category of general currency in the study of foreign policy. Despite the heterogeneity that the three contributions display in terms of focus and hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 1-9

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 approaches, they all treat coherence as an independent rather than a dependent variable.

The contributions by Tulmets, Stahl and Alcalde and Bouchard try to explain incoherence by analysing different fields of EU foreign policy. Moreover, the three articles reveal the usefulness of investigating the concepts of agency and structure in European foreign policy. The significance of agency, which points to key actors capable of bring about coherence, is highlighted in the articles by Tulmets and Alcalde and Bouchard. By contrast, structure refers to underlying differences of structural nature among EU actors, typically member states, as discussed by Stahl.

The central innovation in Bernhard Stahl’s contribution is that it illuminates the sources of incoherence. It is unique in that it highlights an often overlooked root of incoherence. The intra-European debacle over the US-inspired invasion of Iraq, the most prominent example of member states’ lack of co-ordination in the past decades (Risse

2003; Peterson 2004) and arguably also the main setback to the CFSP since its inception, serves as the case-study. By elucidating the causes that led to this high-profile CFSP failure, Stahl exposes an aspect of incoherence which institutional devices can address only partially, if at all. The institutional arrangements devised to ensure vertical coherence are meant to help overcome differences among its constituent units, the member states. However, the process of “inconsistent securitisation” that took place across EU member states on the eve of the Iraq invasion illustrates that the likelihood of (in)coherent outputs is strongly influenced by domestic factors. Hence, uneven securitisation in the member states remains a structural “deficit”.

Tulmet’s article features an analysis of the newly-branded Neighbourhood Policy, a domain of EU external activity which has attracted a considerable amount of attention since its launching in 2003. Thanks to her differentiation between internal and external dimensions, Tulmets analyses the coherence both of the decision-making process and its output. She identifies what one might call a twofold “learning-process”: The European

Council understood that ENP would benefit from the delegation of policy-making powers to the Commission. In turn, the Commission could usefully apply the institutional expertise acquired in the course of the successful Eastern enlargement. While internal coherence in the ENP is widely acknowledged, external coherence – understood as consistency in the treatment of third-countries – still raises questions. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 1-9

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In a final article, Javier Alcalde and Caroline Bouchard touch upon the question of external representation of the EU in multilateral settings. The external representation of the

EU has been a matter of concern to the architects of the single institutional framework since its inception. Alcalde and Bouchard also point to agency and its influence on coherence. In their investigation of multi-level-negotiations at the Review Conference on Small

Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) of 2006, they distinguish a dimension of coherence distinct from the classical categories: “content/representation”. At the conference, a number of member states lobbied for different priorities. Although these objectives were part of a pre-agreed “strategy”, the fact that different member states did not pursue identical goals undermined the collective lobbying efforts. This formula might have been workable as a lobbying-strategy, and it might even have been deliberate. Yet, it was perceived as confusing by other parties, which can only conceive of the EU as a unitary actor as long as it speaks with “a single voice”. “Being coherent” does not suffice, member states also need to “appear coherent”.

Beyond the Search of a Notion

With the exception of Marise Cremona’s article, the contributions to this Special Issue resulted from an open call. They reflect a growing interest in the (unresolved) question of coherence. Despite the heterogeneity of the featured articles, on the whole they provide a stimulating mosaic of diverse aspects of (in)coherence in EU foreign policy. The articles by Stahl, Tulmets, Alcalde and Bouchard depart from the classical bureaucratic/institutional approach traditionally applied to the study of coherence, pursuing an innovative strand recently inaugurated by a handful of scholars (Lerch/Schwellnus 2006;

Szymannski/M.E. Smith 2006; Stetter 2007). This comes as a welcome complement to the works which, like Cremona and Poeschke, identify the implications for the coherence of legal-institutional dynamics in the EU. Our understanding of coherence can be considerably aided by the innovative trajectories pursued by our authors.

This brief overview by no means fully explicates the contributions made by the authors to the study of coherence, and to field of European foreign policy in general. We are certain that readers of this issue will appreciate the wealth of insights in the featured articles without further introduction. Finally, we wish to conclude this introductory note by exhrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 1-9

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 pressing our gratitude to the six authors who have made possible this special issue, and to the anonymous reviewers for their invaluable help. We remain indebted to all of them for their dedication and patience.


Christiansen, T. (2001) “Intra-institutional politics and inter-institutional relations in the

EU: towards coherent governance?”,

Journal of European Public Policy

, 8(5)

European Commission (2006)

Europe in the World – Some Practical Proposals for Greater

Coherence, Effectiveness and Visibility (Communication from the Commission to the

European Council of June 2006)

. COM (2006) 278 final

Gauttier, P. (2004) “Horizontal Coherence and the External Competencies of the European Union”

European Law Journal

, 10(1)

Lerch, M. and Schwellnus, G. (2006) “Normative by Nature? The Role of Coherence in

Justifying the EU’s External Human Rights Policy” in H. Sjursen (ed.)

Civilian or

Military Power? European Foreign Policy in Perspective


London: Routledge, 136-153

Nuttall, S. (2005) “Coherence and Consistency” in Ch. Hill and M. Smith (eds)


European Union and International Relations

, Oxford University Press: Oxford

Smith, K. (2003)

European Foreign Policy in a Changing World

, Polity: London

Smith, M.E. (2004) „The Quest for Coherence“ in A. Stone Sweet, W. Sandholz and N.

Fligstein (eds)

The Institutionalisation of Europe

, Oxford University Press: Oxford

Stetter, S. (2007)

EU Foreign and Interior Policies

, Routledge: London

Szymanski, M. and Smith, ME. (2006) “Coherence and Conditionality in European Foreign Policy: Negotiating the EU-Mexico Global Agreement”, in

Journal of Common

Market Studies

, Vol. 43, 171-192.

Tietje, Ch. (1997) „The Concept of Coherence in the Treaty on European Union and the

Common Foreign and Security Policy”,

European Foreign Affairs Review

2(1). hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 1-9

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hamburg review of social sciences

Coherence through Law: What difference will the Treaty of Lisbon make?

Marise Cremona


I. Introduction

In the process of treaty reform that started with the Laeken Declaration in December

2001 and ended with the Treaty of Lisbon, signed in October 2007 (although the process of constitutional development of the Union did not start with Laeken and will certainly not halt with Lisbon), the coherence of the Union’s foreign policy has been one of the recurrent themes. The Laeken Declaration asks, “how should a more coherent common foreign policy and defence policy be developed?”


and raises the issue of foreign policy coherence expressly twice, first in the context of the organisation of Union competence and its relation to that of the Member States and second in the context of institutional and decision-making efficiency. In June 2006, when the future of the Constitutional Treaty was in doubt, the Commission published a Communication to the European Council ti-

Marise Cremona is Professor of European Law, European University Institute, Florence (Italy).


Laeken Declaration on the Future of the European Union, European Council, 14 and 15 December 2001, Annex I to Presidency Conclusions.

10 hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 10-35

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 tled “Europe in the World – Some Practical Proposals for Greater Coherence, Effectiveness and Visibility”.


Again these two aspects of coherence are brought out. The Commission argues that coherent and effective external policies require political agreement among Member States on the goals to be achieved, appropriate policy instruments and an effective legal and institutional framework. Political will is not enough:

“even when there is sufficient political will, the EU’s impact falls short when there are unresolved tensions or a lack of coherence between different policies. There is a need for strong and permanent efforts to enhance the complementary interaction of various policy actions and to reconcile different objectives (for example in trade, agriculture, development, environment or migration). For the EU, there is the additional challenge in ensuring coherence between EU and national actions.”

In its Communication the Commission, while arguing that the Constitutional Treaty would make a number of changes that would enhance coherence, puts forward some practical proposals designed to improve coherence under the existing Treaty framework.

These range from strengthening the role of the External Relations Group of Commissioners in identifying strategic priorities, to joint (Council, High Representative and Commission) policy papers, better coordination in Council to promote consensus in multilateral organizations and other international fora, and increased use of “double-hatting” between

Heads of Delegation and EU Special Representatives. No doubt many of these initiatives will help in improving coherent policy-making and delivery but the IGC Mandate agreed in June 2007 still saw foreign policy coherence as a key objective of revived treaty reform: the IGC was asked to draw up a Reform Treaty amending the existing Treaties “with a view to enhancing the efficiency and democratic legitimacy of the enlarged Union as well as the coherence of its external action”.


What then does the outcome of this process, the

Treaty of Lisbon, offer by way of an improved legal and institutional framework for coherence in EU foreign policy?


EC Commission, Communication to the European Council, “Europe in the World – Some Practical Proposals for Greater Coherence, Effectiveness and Visibility”, 8 June 2006,



IGC Mandate, adopted by the European Council June 2007, para 1. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 10-35

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II. The concept of coherence

Coherence and law

Before making some assessment of the Lisbon Treaty in this respect, we need to look briefly at coherence as a concept. First, although the dangers of incoherence in terms of policy outcomes and unfulfilled potential are evident, the nature and different dimensions of coherence as a principle are still difficult to pin down. Coherence in fact has an ambiguous character: it appears to have a primarily institutional / political character, Gauttier for example arguing that at least in the context of EU foreign policy it does not designate a specific legal concept.


However according to Tietje it is “one of the main constitutional values of the EU”.


Certainly it is more than a somewhat vaguely defined objective of good institutional and policy practice, and finds its expression in a number of legal provisions and principles.


It provides a context and rationale for the operation of fundamental legal principles governing the relations between Member States and the EU institutions and between the institutions themselves, including the principle of primacy, the duty of cooperation and the principle by which the Community acquis is protected from being affected by the exercise of CFSP powers.

What does coherence mean as a principle, or value, of EU constitutional law? An initial problem arises when considering coherence in the context of EU foreign policy. The different language versions of the Treaties do not use the same term; more specifically, where the French, Italian, German and other language version use “cohérence”, “coerenza”, “Kohärenz” – that is, “coherence”, the English versions use “consistency”. So, for example, Article 3 of the TEU enjoins “consistency of [the Union’s] external activities as a whole” in English; “la coerenza globale della sua azione esterna” in Italian, and “la cohérence de l’ensemble de son action extérieure” in French. This difference can be traced back at least as far as the Single European Act of 1987 in its provisions on European Po-


Gauttier, P., “ Horizontal Coherence and the External Competences of the European Union”

(2004) 10 European Law Journal 23, at 24.


Tietje, C., ‘The Concept of Coherence in the TEU and the CFSP’ (1997)2 European Foreign

Affairs Rev ., 211. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 10-35

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 litical Cooperation


and unfortunately has not been remedied in the Treaty of Lisbon. In reading of consistency in the English language version, therefore, we should be at least aware of the concept of coherence which informs the other language versions.


Coherence is a broader and more flexible concept than consistency. As a number of writers have pointed out while coherence is a matter of degree, consistency is a static concept (legal provisions are either consistent or they are not).


A theoretical approach would define coherence in terms of the justificatory structures of the law and its conceptual framework;


Gauttier refers to coherence as a “principle of action and organisation”.


All point to its dynamic nature, involving balance and an incremental approach. Indeed, coherence may be said to include (but not be limited to) consistency.

The multi-layered nature of coherence

Coherence then appears to be a multi-layered concept. I propose here a three level analysis of coherence, each supported by its own legal rules or principles. A first level requirement of coherence would be consistency, encompassing rules for conflict avoidance between potentially conflicting norms and for resolving conflicts when they arise:

rules of hierarchy

. Thus we have the rule of primacy of Community law, ensuring that Community law will, if necessary, prevail over conflicting norms of national law;


similarly, the primary law of the EU including the founding Treaties but also including general principles


Hillion, C., “

Tous pour un, un pour tous!

Coherence in the external relations of the European

Union” in Cremona, M., ed., Developments in EU External Relations Law , Oxford University

Press, forthcoming.


Under Article 30(5) SEA “the external policies of the European Community and the policies adopted by the European Political Cooperation must be consistent. The Presidency and the

Commission, each within its own sphere of competence, shall have special responsibility for ensuring that such consistency is sought and maintained.”


Hillion, C., op. cit. note 6.


See for example Tietje, C., ‘The Concept of Coherence in the TEU and the CFSP’ (1997)2

European Foreign Affairs Rev ., 211, at 212; Koutrakos, P., Trade, Foreign Policy and Defence in

EU Constitutional Law , Hart Publishing 2001, 39; Wessel, R.A., “The Inside Looking Out: Consistency And Delimitation In EU External Relations” (2000) 37 Common Market Law Review

1135, at 1150.


For example Tietje, C., op. cit. note 5, 214-7.


Gauttier, P., op. cit. note 4, 40-1.


Case 106/77 Simmenthal [1978] ECR 629 in which the Court held that national courts are under a Community law obligation not to apply national law which conflicts with directly applicable Community law. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 10-35

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 of law (including fundamental human rights) will take precedence over secondary law enacted by the institutions.


A second level of coherence is the effective allocation of tasks between actors (and instruments), avoiding both duplication and gaps:

rules of delimitation

. So, for example, not only must the EC act within the limits of the powers conferred upon it by the Treaties

(Article 5 EC), each institution must also act within the limits of its powers (Article 7(1)

EC), and the allocation of functions to the different institutions within the decisionmaking process is an expression of the ‘institutional balance’ established by the Treaty.

The often difficult issue of identifying the correct legal basis for an act is important precisely because of these principles of conferral and institutional balance. As the Court of

Justice put it, these principles are an expression of the rule of law: ‘The European Economic Community is a community based on the rule of law, inasmuch as neither its

Member States nor its institutions can avoid a review of the question whether the measures adopted by them are in conformity with the basic constitutional charter, the




The doctrine of pre-emption, under which the Member States are precluded from acting externally to the extent that the Community has enacted common rules in the field and insofar as those rules would be affected by national action, is also an example of a delimitation rule designed to ensure coherence: recent case law has emphasised a rationale for exclusivity based on the need ‘to ensure a uniform and consistent application of the Community rules and the proper functioning of the system which they establish in order to preserve the full effectiveness of Community law.’



So for example, as far as the Community is concerned, in Joined cases T-364/95 and T-365/95

T. Port GmbH & Co.

v Hauptzollamt Hamburg-Jonas [1998] ECR page I-1023, aspects of a

Council Regulation establishing an import regime for bananas were annulled on the grounds that they were in breach of the fundamental principle of non-discrimination. Although the

Court does not have direct jurisdiction over the CFSP, it does have jurisdiction to ensure compliance with Article 47 TEU, which provides that the exercise of CFSP powers must not ‘affect’ the Community acquis; see Case 91/05 Commission v Council , judgment of 20 May 2008, discussed further below, in which a Council CFSP Decision was annulled for infringement of Article 47 TEU.


Case 294/83 Parti Ecologiste (‘Les Verts’) v. European Parliament [1986] ECR 1339, at para 23, holding that acts of the European Parliament that have legal effect must be subject to judicial review. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 10-35

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A third level of coherence implies synergy between norms, actors and instruments:

principles of cooperation and complementarity

. We see these expressed in Article 3 TEU, which requires consistency / coherence across all aspects of Union external action and in the duty of cooperation, based on Article 10 EC, which applies both to the Member States and to the institutions. As we shall see, although the duty of cooperation imposes clear obligations on the Member States coherence in the sense of synergy is promoted primarily through efforts towards complementarity, the formulation of strategy documents and other institutional mechanisms. We will also see evidence of a tension between the different levels of coherence, and in particular between coherence as expressed through rules of delimitation and coherence as expressed through the principle of complementarity.

III. Vertical and horizontal coherence

Bearing in mind these different “levels” or elements of coherence, a distinction has also been made between vertical and horizontal coherence.


Each of these dimensions to coherence finds expression in legal principles referable to the levels of coherence already outlined.

Vertical coherence

Vertical coherence refers to the relationship between Member State and Union action, in particular in contexts where the Member States and the EU (or EC) may act simultaneously in relation to the same policy or subject matter. This is the case with respect to the common foreign and security policy (CFSP), governed by the Treaty of European Union

(TEU), where the exercise of Union competence does not pre-empt or prevent Member

State action, as well as shared competence under the EC Treaty, which may be pre-


Opinion 1/2003 of 7 February 2006, para. 128; in this case the Court held that the Community had exclusive competence to conclude the revised Lugano Convention on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters.


See Tietje, op.cit. note 5; Nuttall S., “Coherence and Consistency” in Hill, C. and Smith, M., eds., International Relations and the EU , OUP 2005, chap 5. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 10-35

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 emptive or non-pre-emptive.


We can trace the three levels of coherence here in rules relating to conflict-avoidance, in particular the principle of the primacy of Community law with respect to Member State domestic law; in rules relating to delimitation, in particular the principle of conferral; and in the principles of cooperation. The exercise of shared competence is governed by the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality (Article 5 EC) which may be said to embody elements of coherence, in the sense that the decision as to whether the EC should act should be based on logical principle and should be consistent with other such decisions in the same policy field. If the EC acts in a field of non-pre-emptive shared competence, such as development cooperation, the need for coherence clearly emerges and is recognised in the Treaty; Community policy on development cooperation, for example, is to be


to Member States’ policies (Article

177(1) EC), and the Community and Member States are to


their policies on development cooperation (Article 180(1) EC). More generally, the loyalty obligation found in both EC and EU Treaties requires the Member States, when exercising their own competence, to actively support the Union’s external policy and to refrain from action

“which is contrary to the interests of the Union or likely to impair its effectiveness as a cohesive force in international relations” (Article 11(2) TEU) or which “could jeopardise the attainment of the objectives of [the EC] Treaty” (Article 10 EC). Advocate General

Tizzano has recognised this “duty of cooperation” as a necessary foundation for the unity of Union external action, while emphasising its importance as a legal principle which may be applied by courts:

“The Community legal system is characterised by the simultaneous application of provisions of various origins, international, Community and national; but it nevertheless seeks to function and to represent itself to the outside world as a unified system. That is, one might say, the inherent nature of the system which, while guaranteeing the maintenance of the realities of States and of individual interests of all kinds, also seeks to achieve a unified modus operandi. Its steadfast adherence to that aim, which the Court itself has described as an obligation of solidarity, is cer-


EC competence may also be exclusive a priori , meaning that it is exclusive independently of whether the EC has itself yet acted; the most important field of a priori exclusivity is the common commercial policy: see further Schütze, R., “Supremacy Without Pre-Emption? The Very

Slowly Emergent Doctrine of Community Pre-Emption”, (2006) 43 Common Market Law Rev.

1023. As the Member States are precluded from acting, vertical coherence is not a formal issue. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 10-35

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 tainly lent considerable weight by the judicial review mechanism which is defined in the Treaty and relies on the simultaneous support of the Community court and the national courts.”


These are obligations which not only concern the Member States’ implementation of

EU policy but which also constrain the ways in which they may exercise their own competence, ensuring that they do not thereby obstruct EU objectives. So, for example, Germany and Luxembourg were found to be in breach of their obligations under Article 10

EC by concluding bilateral agreements with third countries on the transport of goods and passengers by inland waterway.


The bilateral agreements were concluded after a decision by the Council to authorise the Commission to negotiate a multilateral agreement with a number of third countries. Although EC competence in the field was not exclusive, the

Court held that the Member States were in breach of Article 10 EC (“that duty of genuine cooperation”


) by continuing bilateral negotiations after the mandate had been agreed in the Council, without cooperating with or consulting the Commission:

“The adoption of a decision authorising the Commission to negotiate a multilateral agreement on behalf of the Community marks the start of a concerted Community action at international level and requires, for that purpose, if not a duty of abstention on the part of the Member States, at the very least a duty of close cooperation between the latter and the Community institutions in order to facilitate the achievement of the Community tasks and to ensure the coherence and consistency of the action and its international representation.”


Here we see the Court of Justice expressly framing the Member States’ duty of cooperation in terms of coherence and consistency of EU external action.


AG Tizzano in Case C-53/96 Hermes International v. FHT Marketing [1998] ECR I-3603, para



Case C-266/03 Commission v Luxembourg [2005] ECR I-04805; Case C-433/03 Commission v

Germany [2005] ECR I-6985.


C-266/03 Commission v Luxembourg [2005] ECR I-04805, para 58.


Ibid, para 60. See further on the duty of cooperation in the EC context, Hillion,C., op.cit. note

6; Cremona, M., “Defending the Community Interest: the Duties of Cooperation and Compliance”, and on the extent of the Member States’ loyalty obligation within the framework of the

CFSP, Hillion C. & Wessel, R.A., “Restraining External Competences of EU Member States under CFSP”, both in M. Cremona and B. de Witte, EU Foreign Relations Law – Constitutional

Fundamentals , Hart Publishing, forthcoming. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 10-35

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Horizontal coherence

Horizontal coherence is the term used to refer to inter-policy and inter-pillar coherence.


Again, the concept implies rules concerning consistency and conflict-avoidance, delimitation of powers and cooperation and complementarity. International agreements concluded by the Community are by virtue of Article 300(7) EC, binding upon the institutions as well as the Member States. Thus, they will take priority over secondary law enacted by the institutions.


The hierarchy between international agreements (and indeed international legal obligations in general) and primary Community law, is not so clear.


Significantly however, the Council and Commission are required to ensure that international agreements negotiated under the common commercial policy are “compatible with internal Community policies and rules” (Article 133(3) EC).

Between EC policy fields the emphasis is on policy coordination, complementarity and even integration, rather than hierarchy. Thus, certain policy priorities such as environmental protection (Article 6 EC), the promotion of equality between men and women

(Article 3(2) EC) are to be integrated into all policies and activities (including external policy) and the EC is to “take account of” development cooperation objectives in the implementation of policies likely to affect development countries (Article 178 EC). Allocation and delimitation, as well as institutional balance, are reflected in the principles developed by the Court of Justice governing choice of legal base. In considering the proper legal base (environmental protection, common commercial policy, or both) for the conclusion of the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides in international trade, the Court of Justice held:


Nuttall designates inter-pillar coherence as “institutional” coherence or consistency, thereby emphasising the different institutional structures of the pillars rather than their different legal nature; see Nuttall S. “Coherence and Consistency” in Hill, C. and Smith, M., eds., International Relations and the EU , OUP 2005, chap 5. See also Schmalz, U., ‘The Amsterdam Provisions on External Coherence: Bridging the Union’s Foreign Policy Dualism?’ (1998)3 European

Foreign Affairs Rev ., 421.


See for example Case C-344/04 R v Department of Transport ex parte IATA , [2006] ECR I-403, at para 35. We will not here enter into a detailed discussion of coherence as it applies between international legal norms and the exercise of internal competence by the EU. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 10-35

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[T]he choice of the legal basis for a Community measure, including one adopted with a view to conclusion of an international agreement, must be based on objective factors which are amenable to judicial review and include in particular the aim and content of the measure …”


It is in fact in the inter-pillar context that the Treaties are most explicit about the need for coherence and as we have seen this goes back to the formalisation of European Political Cooperation in the Single European Act.


The Union’s task, in Article 1 TEU, is “to organise, in a manner demonstrating consistency and solidarity, relations between the

Member States and between their peoples”.


More specifically, Article 3 TEU requires consistency / coherence between the Union’s activities, including its external policies:

“The Union shall be served by a single institutional framework which shall ensure the consistency and the continuity of the activities carried out in order to attain its objectives while respecting and building upon the acquis communautaire.

The Union shall in particular ensure the consistency of its external activities as a whole in the context of its external relations, security, economic and development policies. The Council and the Commission shall be responsible for ensuring such consistency and shall cooperate to this end.

They shall ensure the implementation of these policies, each in accordance with its respective powers.”

The references to the

acquis communautaire

and to external economic and development policies make it clear that coherence is required across all pillars. In addition to the single institutional framework and the role of the institutions in ensuring this coherence, a set of broadly drawn objectives for the Union is established in Article 2 TEU. Most important, however, are the provisions determining priority and competence delimitation between the pillars. The Union is “founded on” the European Communities, “supplemented by” the second and third pillar policies (Article 1 TEU); one of its objectives is to “maintain


See for example Case T-315/01 Kadi v Council and Commission [2005] ECR II-3649, in which the Court of First Instance held that UN Security Council Resolutions are not only binding on the EC but also take precedence over Community primary law.


Case C-94/03 Commission v Council , [2006] ECR I-1, para 34.


See note 7. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 10-35

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 in full” and to “build on” the

acquis communautaire

(Article 2 TEU); third pillar powers are to be exercised “without prejudice to the powers of the European Community” (Article 29 TEU); and nothing in the TEU is to “affect” the Community Treaties (Article 47

TEU). These provisions, and in particular Article 47 TEU, have been interpreted to mean that second and third pillar powers should not “encroach upon” Community powers.


As the Court of First Instance put it in


, despite the single institutional framework and shared overall objectives, the CFSP and the EC are two “integrated but separate legal orders”.


How Article 47 TEU should be applied in practice, especially where there are overlapping objectives, is still somewhat problematic. It could be seen as primarily a conflict-resolution rule, or rule of primacy, such that (for example) if conflict were to emerge between a CFSP act and a Community measure, the Community norm would prevail.

However, both as regards the third pillar / first pillar relationship,


and now recently also as regards the CFSP / first pillar relationship,


the Court of Justice has applied the provision as a delimitation rule, a rule governing the allocation of legal base. AG Mengozzi expressed the view accepted by the Court:

“The function of Article 47 EU is to protect the competences which the provisions of the EC

Treaty confer on the Community against any encroachment by acts which are claimed by the

Council to fall within the scope of Titles V and VI of the EU Treaty. … Article 47 EU aims to keep watertight, so to speak, the primacy of Community action under the EC Treaty over actions undertaken on the basis of Title V and/or Title VI of the EU Treaty, so that if an action could be undertaken on the basis of the EC Treaty, it must be undertaken by virtue of that Treaty.”



As elsewhere in this Treaty, consistency in the English text appears as coherence in other language versions: see discussion above.


See further Hillion, C., op.cit. note 6.


Case T-315/01 Kadi v Council and Commission [2005] ECR II-3649, para 120. One of the issues in this case concerned the absence in the current EC Treaty of an explicit legal basis for economic sanctions against individuals (as opposed to States or persons connected with the governments of States). The Court refused to imply into the EC Treaty objectives which are specific to the TEU and the CFSP, i.e. the maintenance of international peace and security.


For example Case C-176/03 Commission v Council [2005] ECR I-7879 in which the Court annulled a third pillar framework decision on the ground that the measure requiring Member

States to introduce criminal penalties for certain environmental offences could have been adopted as a directive under Community powers.


Case 91/05 Commission v Council , judgment of 20 May 2008.


Case C-91/05 Commission v Council , judgement of 20 May 2008, opinion of AG Mengozzi 19

September 2007, paras 92 and 116. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 10-35

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008

Primacy applies, it is argued by the Advocate General here, not only in case of a conflict of norms, but also to the allocation of competence. This particular case illustrates well the tension that can exist between the different aspects of coherence, on the one hand clarity of rules which allocate tasks, delimit competences and establish priority between rules in order to avoid inconsistency, and on the other coherence through synergy and complementarity. The Commission challenged the Council’s use of a CFSP measure to give financial assistance to the Economic Community of West African States

(ECOWAS) in the field of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW).


The control of

SALW has been the subject of action both within the CFSP


and development policy.


In an “EU Strategy to combat illicit accumulation and trafficking of SALW and their ammunition” adopted in December 2005 the European Council links SALW to both the

European Security Strategy and to development policy, highlighting the need for a comprehensive response and referring to the possibility of inserting clauses on SALW in future

EC agreements, but without any concrete statement as to how to achieve coordination between the pillars. The Commission, which has included conflict prevention and support for the ECOWAS moratorium on SALW in its Regional Indicative Programme for West

Africa, argued that the Council’s action infringed Article 47 TEU as it affects Community powers in the field of development aid. The Council saw the decision as an implementation (one among several) of its 2002 Joint Action on SALW.


Clearly the Council is concerned that the Commission might use the potential breadth of development policy to ring-fence (via Article 47 TEU) an increasingly large slice of security policy; the Commission is concerned that the Council will increasingly encroach on development policy objectives by claiming a security dimension. Within the field of development cooperation,


Decision 2004/833/CFSP OJ 2004 L 359/65.


Council Joint Action 2002/589/CFSP on SALW, OJ 2002 L 191/1; see also Council Common

Position 2005/304/CFSP on conflict prevention, management and resolution in Africa, OJ

2005 L 97/57, Art 7.


Support has been given to SALW projects in a number of ACP States under the EDF; see also the Cotonou Convention, Article 11(3).


See note 34. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 10-35

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 the Member States may choose to act themselves either unilaterally or collectively;

37 should Article 47 TEU prevent them from choosing to act through a CFSP instrument?

According to both the Advocate General and the Court of Justice it does prevent them doing so if it is possible to adopt the measure under Community powers. However the

Advocate General and the Court then disagreed as to whether the Decision fell properly within Community powers. The Advocate General concluded that there was no breach of

Article 47 since security was the primary aim of the SALW decision and therefore it could not have been adopted under Community powers. Significantly, in his analysis the Community priority rule established by Article 47 TEU is balanced by the principle of conferral established by Article 5 EC: the Community can only act within the limits of the powers granted by the Treaty and its development cooperation powers cannot be used to pursue objectives which are essentially security-oriented. The Court of Justice, while not disagreeing with this as a matter of principle, came to a different conclusion, finding that the substantial objectives of the Decision could be characterised as concerned both with

CFSP (preservation of peace and strengthening of international security) and with development. Where two possible legal bases are both legally relevant (neither is merely incidental) within the Community system, it is possible to adopt the measure on a joint legal basis.


However in the Court’s view, a joint legal base solution is not possible across the pillars as this would conflict with (its reading of) Article 47 TEU, and in such a case,

Community powers only should be used:

‘… under Article 47 EU, such a solution [joint legal bases] is impossible with regard to a measure which pursues a number of objectives or which has several components falling, respectively, within development cooperation policy, as conferred by the EC Treaty on the Community, and within the CFSP, and where neither one of those components is incidental to the other.

Since Article 47 EU precludes the Union from adopting, on the basis of the EU Treaty, a measure which could properly be adopted on the basis of the EC Treaty, the Union cannot have


Case C-316/91 European Parliament v Council [1994] ECR I-0625. In the case of SALW the

Member States have indeed taken individual action: see Fourth Annual Report on the implementation of the EU Joint Action on SALW, OJ 2005 C 109/1.


See for example Case C-94/03 Commission v Council , [2006] ECR I-1, note 25. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 10-35

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 recourse to a legal basis falling within the CFSP in order to adopt provisions which also fall within a competence conferred by the EC Treaty on the Community.’


Article 47 TEU is, on this view, such a strong delimitation rule that it precludes the simultaneous use of first and second pillar legal bases for the adoption of a measure which has both CFSP and Community objectives. This is an a priori prohibition: the Court does not discuss whether the two decision-making procedures are incompatible, as may be the case where a joint legal base is proposed within the Community legal order.


The Court’s interpretation of Article 47 thus underlines the separation of the two legal orders (CFSP and Community) referred by the CFI in




On the basis of this case law we can identify a tension between (on the one hand) the creation of a European Union which is “founded on the European Communities,” which is intended to operate under a single institutional framework and to “assert its identity on the international scene” through consistent and coherent external action, and (on the other hand) a system of very different institutional bases for action and legal instruments

(the CFSP, PJC, the EC Treaty). Increasingly the relationship between these legal bases and legal instruments, and the proper use of one rather than another, will come to the fore. The type of legal “bridge” created for economic sanctions is an isolated example – and even this procedure requires two separate legal instruments, one CFSP and one EC, not a single jointly-based instrument. More prevalent is the use of a non-binding policy framework to provide coherence to policies which straddle the pillars, such as that used for the European Neighbourhood Policy,


and the increasing use of “Strategies” adopted at European Council level.


However, as the SALW case illustrates, the concrete implementation of such Strategies through legal instruments immediately raises the legal base question. The position is made more difficult by the fact that the Court of Justice has no jurisdiction under the CFSP and only a limited jurisdiction under the PJC, although as we


Case C-91/05 Commission v Council , judgement of 20 May 2008, paras 76-77.


It may not be possible to use a joint legal base where the two procedures are incompatible: see

Case C-300/89 Commission v Council (the ‘ Titanium dioxide case’) [1991] ECR I-2867, paras 18-



See note 29.


See further Cremona, M., “The European Neighbourhood Policy: More than a Partnership?” in

Cremona, M., ed., Developments in EU External Relations Law , Oxford University Press, forthcoming. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 10-35

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 have seen Article 47 TEU does allow the Court to assess the legality of CFSP measures for compliance with that provision. The Advocate General in the SALW case proposed a balance between two principles, both of which are, as argued here, inherent in the concept of coherence. The Court emphasised the delimitation rule (Article 47 TEU) and the priority of Community legislative and decision-making procedures. A different balance might give more emphasis to complementarity and primacy of the acquis in case of conflicts of norms. The judgment of the Court in this case is thus important in the evolutionary direction of inter-pillar coherence and the balance between its different elements.

Institutional coherence

Finally we should note the institutional dimension of coherence, relevant primarily in the context of horizontal coherence but with some relevance also to vertical coherence. As we have seen, the institutions – and in particular the Council and Commission – are enjoined to promote (horizontal) coherence between all Union external policies (Articles 3 and 13(3) TEU


). The Council is also to ensure that the loyalty principle underpinning vertical coherence is applied in the operation of the CFSP (Article 11(2) TEU), an important role given the absence of jurisdiction of the Court of Justice to enforce this provision.

The Commission, apart from its general enforcement powers within the EC legal order under Article 226 EC, is given a role in promoting (vertical) coherence through coordination of Member States’ and Community development policies (it may “take any useful initiative”, Article 180(2) EC), and the Council and Commission are to ensure the compatibility of trade agreements with internal Community policies and rules (Article 133(3)

EC). More generally, the Court of Justice has taken the view that the “duty of cooperation” expressed in relation to the Member States in Article 10 EC applies also to the institutions in their relations

inter se

and with the Member States. For example the Court has held that the Council was entitled to adopt a Regulation renewing and amending the

Generalised System of Preferences for developing countries without first obtaining the


For example, the European Security Strategy adopted in December 2003.


Article 3 TEU is cited above; under Article 13(2) TEU, “The Council shall ensure the unity, consistency and effectiveness of action by the Union.” hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 10-35

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 opinion of the European Parliament;


since the Parliament failed to deliver an opinion in due time, and there was an urgent need to adopt the renewal regulation in order to avoid an interruption of the preferences system, ‘the essential procedural requirement of Parliamentary consultation was not complied with because of the Parliament's failure to discharge its obligation to cooperate sincerely with the Council’.


The institutions are also specifically concerned with allocation and delimitation of competence; many legal base disputes are actually inter-institutional disputes precisely because of the different institutional rules applicable to different legal bases (most obvious between the pillars but significant also within the EC Treaty itself). The Court, in annulling legal acts on the grounds of an incorrect legal base or failure to follow proper procedures will refer to the need to preserve the “institutional balance” established by the



To take one example, although the Commission has implementation powers with respect to competition law, the Court annulled a Commission decision concluding a cooperation agreement with the United States on the grounds that Article 300 EC, which sets out the procedure for concluding international agreements “confers specific powers on the Community institutions” and, “with a view to establishing a balance between those institutions,” provides for negotiation by the Commission and conclusion by the Council.


Here, coherence at the institutional level ensures that it is the Council that concludes legally binding international agreements whether the Community’s treaty-making powers in the field are express or implied.

These two aspects of the institutional dimension to coherence are, not surprisingly, linked. As Stetter has argued, “the functional context of EU foreign politics has given rise to a complex, institutionally fragmented, yet functionally unified policy framework.”


On the one hand, what Stetter refers to as institutional fragmentation persists, as a consequence of the pillar structure, with a different institutional balance operating in each pil-


The consultation of the Parliament is an essential procedural requirement under Article 37 EC

(at that time Article 43 EC) which was one of the legal bases of the Regulation.


Case C–65/93 European Parliament v Council [1995] ECR I–643, para 28.


See further Jacqué, J-P., “The Principle of Institutional Balance” (2004) 41 Common Market Law




C-327/91 France v Commission [1994] ECR I-3641, para 28. For a counter-example, in which it was held that the Commission had the power to conclude a non-binding arrangement with the

US on regulatory cooperation, see case C-233/02 France v Commission [2004] ECR I-2759. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 10-35

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 lar. On the other hand, the inevitable cross-pillar aspect of foreign policy, which is encouraged by the provisions on coherence such as Article 3 TEU, results in a more complex differentiation between institutions which is not solely “pillar-based” but which, for example, gives more weight to the executive (Commission, Council and European Council) as opposed to the non-executive institutions (European Parliament).


The increasing use of “soft” non-legislative policy frameworks to bind together cross-pillar policies, referred to earlier, is an example of this tendency.

IV. The Treaty of Lisbon and coherence

What impact will the Treaty of Lisbon have on the legal and institutional framework designed to further the coherence of EU foreign policy? Instead of the replacement of the existing Treaties by the Constitutional Treaty, we will see a substantial amendment of the

Treaty on European Union and the EC Treaty, the latter being renamed the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The amendments to both the EC Treaty and TEU result in a much more integrated framework; the Treaties are referred to as “the

Treaties” throughout and they are of equal legal value. The CFSP provisions remain in the TEU but alongside provisions establishing the institutional framework for the Union as a whole and a set of general provisions which govern all external policy. There will be one legal personality for the Union and one legal order,


albeit with differing decisionmaking provisions. The presumption is that all Treaty provisions apply to the CFSP unless there is a specific exclusion.

Vertical coherence

With respect to vertical coherence, three points are notable. First, the Lisbon Treaty while reflecting very many of the changes introduced by the Constitutional Treaty, will remove the explicit provision on the primacy of Union law. This was decided in the Man-


Stetter, S. “Cross-pillar politics: functional unity and institutional fragmentation of EU foreign policies” (2004) 11 Journal of European Public Policy 720, at 733.


Stetter, op.cit. note 40, at 734.


The concept of an acquis communautaire to be maintained and protected has been removed from the TEU by the Treaty of Lisbon. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 10-35

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 date for the IGC, agreed in June 2007 as part of the “de-constitutionalising” of the Treaty reform process. A Declaration (No.17) asserts that “in accordance with well settled case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the Treaties and the law adopted by the Union on the basis of the Treaties have primacy over the law of Member States, under the conditions laid down by the said case law.” This case law of course has not referred to the primacy of second pillar law (CFSP) and this Declaration thus leaves open the extent to which CFSP measures take priority over national law. The loyalty clause (now Article 4

(3) TEU


) will apply to the CFSP as well as all other Union law and, to the extent that the Court has jurisdiction, may be used to resolve conflicts in favour of Union law. As far as consistency and the avoidance of conflict goes the Treaty of Lisbon will not alter the current position significantly.

Second, there is a clear emphasis on defining the Union’s competence with a concurrent prominence given to the principle of conferral, i.e. that the Union may act only within the limits of the powers granted to it by the Member States in the Treaties.


This principle appears in Articles 1, 4(1) and 5 TEU, as amended by the Treaty of Lisbon, as well as in Article 7 TFEU, where it is linked to the principle of consistency (in the English text). It is repeated in Declaration 18, and Declaration 24 confirms that “the fact that the

European Union has a legal personality will not in any way authorise the Union to legislate or to act beyond the competences conferred upon it by the Member States in the

Treaties”. This belt-and-braces approach is accompanied by an attempt to codify at least some of the Court of Justice’s case law on external competence, such as the power to conclude international agreements in Article 216 TFEU and the conditions under which such competence may become exclusive in Article 3 TFEU.


Some further express external powers are added, for example, concerning humanitarian aid (Article 214 TFEU), re-


Subsequent Treaty references in this section will refer to the Treaties as amended and renumbered by the Treaty of Lisbon unless otherwise specified.


Under the Treaty of Lisbon, “the Treaties” will refer to the Treaty on European Union (as amended) and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (the amended and renamed EC Treaty). The Union is founded upon these Treaties and they will have the same legal value (Article 1 TEU and Article 1 TFEU).


For an analysis and critique of these provisions, see Cremona, M., “Defining competence in EU external relations: lessons from the Treaty reform process” forthcoming in Dashwood, A. and

Maresceau M., eds., Recent Trends in the External Relations of the Union , Cambridge University

Press 2008; Cremona, M., ‘The Union’s External Action: Constitutional Perspectives’, in hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 10-35

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 strictive measures against individuals (Article 215 TFEU), accession to the European

Convention of Human Rights (Article 6 TEU), the neighbourhood policy (Article 8

TEU) and a more extended definition of the scope of the common security and defence policy (Article 42(1) TEU). Overall, then, and following the original mandate of the

Laeken Declaration, an attempt has been made to define more precisely the extent of the

Union’s external powers and to emphasise the limits of those powers, in a way which is consonant with the legal principles underlying coherence (delimitation rules).

Third, we find an emphasis on the retention of foreign policy powers by the Member

States. Not only do we see general statements that powers not conferred on the Union remain with the Member States and that conferred powers may be returned to the Member States (Article 4 TEU and Declaration 18); there are


Declarations affirming that the exercise of CFSP competence “will not affect the existing legal basis, responsibilities, and powers of each Member State in relation to the formulation and conduct of its foreign policy” (Declarations 13 and 14). Indeed, the Treaties go further in that the CFSP is to be

“put into effect” by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

and by

Member States

(Article 24(1) TEU, as amended). This not only stresses the Member

States’ implementing role as regards the CFSP, but suggests that they will remain actively involved in its development, an important aspect of vertical coherence. Elsewhere too, the retention of Member State powers is emphasized; for example in Declaration 36 the

IGC “confirms” the continuing right of Member States to conclude international agreements in the fields of judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters, and police cooperation “insofar as such agreements comply with Union law”.


In sum, then we may conclude that the Treaty of Lisbon responds to the challenge of vertical coherence, not by giving more power to the Union but by emphasizing the boundaries to Union power, the concurrent powers of the Member States and their role in furthering Union policy. Although the Union’s system of foreign policy will be somewhat simplified (we will no longer have the Union and the EC as separate external actors), it will still very definitely comprise both Union and Member States.

Amato, G., Bribosia, H., and de Witte, B., eds., Genèse et Destinée de la Constitution Européenne

(Bruxelles, Bruylant, 2007) 1173.


Union law of course includes not only the “AETR doctrine” on the conditions under which of external competence may become exclusive but will also include Article 3(2) TFEU which partially codifies this case law. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 10-35

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Horizontal coherence

Horizontal coherence in general, and in relation to foreign policy in particular, may be said to be almost a theme of the Treaty of Lisbon. The TFEU proclaims the principle clearly in Article 7:

“The Union shall ensure consistency between its policies and activities, taking all of its objectives into account and in accordance with the principle of conferral of powers”.

This provision, at the start of the TFEU, heads a series of provisions which are designed to incorporate a set of horizontal objectives into all Union policy (external policy included) and operating alongside the more general Union objectives in Article 3 TEU.


These include eliminating inequality between men and women, employment, social protection, a high level of education and health protection, combating discrimination, environmental protection, consumer protection and services of general economic interest. Thus external policy is not only to be governed by its own specific objectives but also to have regard to the overall policy priorities of the Union. In the foreign policy field a very specific attempt has been made to enhance coherence by establishing a set of common principles and objectives for all Union foreign policy, including the CFSP, and by providing (in Article

21(3) TEU) that these objectives must also be pursued in the external aspects of the Union’s other policies (such as agricultural policy, transport, environmental or migration policy). The Union is to

“define and pursue common policies and actions, and shall work for a high degree of cooperation in all fields of international relations, in order to:

(a) safeguard its values, fundamental interests, security, independence and integrity;

(b) consolidate and support democracy, the rule of law, human rights and the principles of international law;


Article 3(5) TEU establishes the general objectives for Union foreign policy: “In its relations with the wider world, the Union shall uphold and promote its values and interests and contribute to the protection of its citizens. It shall contribute to peace, security, the sustainable development of the Earth, solidarity and mutual respect among peoples, free and fair trade, eradication of poverty and the protection of human rights, in particular the rights of the child, as well as to the strict observance and the development of international law, including respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter.” hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 10-35

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(c) preserve peace, prevent conflicts and strengthen international security, in accordance with the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, with the principles of the Helsinki Final Act and with the aims of the Charter of Paris, including those relating to external borders;

(d) foster the sustainable economic, social and environmental development of developing countries, with the primary aim of eradicating poverty;

(e) encourage the integration of all countries into the world economy, including through the progressive abolition of restrictions on international trade;

(f) help develop international measures to preserve and improve the quality of the environment and the sustainable management of global natural resources, in order to ensure sustainable development;

(g) assist populations, countries and regions confronting natural or man-made disasters; and

(h) promote an international system based on stronger multilateral cooperation and good global governance.”

It is worth listing these overall objectives in order to demonstrate their potential in terms of horizontal coherence. Trade policy, for example, is not only take into the principle of liberalisation (Article 206 TFEU) but also sustainable development and support for democracy and human rights. Article 21(3) TEU concludes by repeating again the principle of consistency (cohérence):

“The Union shall ensure consistency between the different areas of its external action and between these and its other policies….”

These provisions, and especially the common objectives for external action, are designed to underpin the “de-pillarisation” effected by the Treaty of Lisbon. However, this depillarisation is only partial. The CFSP is still to be subject to “specific rules and procedures” with its own institutional balance, including the prohibition on the adoption of legislative acts (i.e. acts adopted under the co-decision procedure) and the exclusion, with exceptions, of the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice (Article 24(1) TEU). Most significantly, there is an attempt to prevent “cross-contamination” between the CFSP and other policy fields in Article 40 TEU, which provides not only that the implementation of the

CFSP “shall not affect” the procedures and institutional powers for the exercise of other

Union competences (reflecting the current version in Article 47 TEU), but also that the hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 10-35

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 exercise of those other competences is not to affect CFSP procedures and institutional powers. This double-sided clause, taken together with the provision establishing “equal legal value” for both Treaties, will remove the current priority accorded to the Community


; the CFSP will have an equal priority.

Thus despite the series of common objectives and the institutional mechanisms mentioned below, the current separation of the CFSP from other policies is maintained and even strengthened. Coherence does not necessarily imply removal of differences between policies and institutional structures; rather it is about recognising the differences and ensuring that they can live together harmoniously. A strict separation is not necessarily inimical to coherence, at least in its narrower sense of consistency, as long as the boundary is clear; hence the need for delimitation rules. However in this case the boundary is not clear in the sense of providing a clear rule determining choice of legal base for disputed cases such as the SALW case referred to above. Legal base, as we have seen, is determined by reference to a proposed measure’s aims and content. As far as aims are concerned, the new provisions establish a single set of objectives for external action and policy-specific aims have largely disappeared. There are no specific limits set to the content of CFSP action: it may cover “all areas of foreign policy and all questions relating to the

Union’s security” (Article 24(1) TEU). Given this, the Court may take the view that the

CFSP is the more general competence, to be resorted to only where no other external competence may apply. However some of the other external competences are also broadly drafted, e.g. economic, technical and financial cooperation with third countries, or the conclusion of association agreements. Further, to treat the CFSP as a kind of residual competence does not do justice to the evident desire of the Member States to maintain a distinctive sphere of activity for the CFSP with its own institutional balance (and its own approach to vertical coherence) and to grant it equal priority. The solution proposed by the Court in the SALW case to the problem of overlapping objectives – that of giving priority to Community processes – will have to be reconsidered under the Treaty of Lisbon as the legal basis for Community priority disappears. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 10-35

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Institutional coherence

It is significant that the revised version of Article 40 TEU is concerned to protect “the application of the procedures and the extent of the powers of the institutions laid down by the Treaties”. We no longer have separate pillars, or legal orders, but differentiated institutional dynamics are maintained. In spite of this, the Treaty of Lisbon contains three innovations clearly designed to enhance institutional coherence in external policy-making and delivery. First is to give to the European Council the mandate to develop overall foreign policy strategy, through its Conclusions, through non-binding strategy documents and also through binding Decisions which may cover CFSP and other external policy areas (Article 22(1) TEU, replacing the “common strategies” adopted under Article 13(2) of the current TEU). This to a large extent constitutionalises (if we should use that term of the Lisbon Treaty) existing practice. Second, the Treaties create the new role of High

Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR), who will act in a double role as President of the Foreign Affairs Council and as a Vice-President of the Commission.

He or she is given the task of “conducting” the CFSP and CSDP, both making proposals and implementing them. Within the Commission he or she will not only have overall responsibility for the Commission’s external relations functions but will also coordinate and

“ensure the consistency of” the Union’s external action” (Article 18(4) TEU). Where conflicts of interest arise, the HR’s role within the Council prevails: he or she will be subject to Commission procedures only to the extent compatible with his conduct of the

CFSP and his Council role. Third, the Treaty of Lisbon introduces the External Action

Service to assist the HR (in both his functions); the EAS will be composed of officials of the Council Secretariat and the Commission as well as staff seconded from national diplomatic services. It is thus intended to bridge the gap between the two increasingly competitive policy services within the Commission and the Council Secretariat but also, through the involvement of the national diplomatic services, to encourage vertical cohesion.



The details of the functioning of the EAS are to be the subject of a Council Decision (Article

27(3) TEU); see further Editorial comment, “Mind the Gap”, (2008) 45 Common Market Law


317, at 321. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 10-35

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These innovations no doubt have the potential to enhance coherence if they work as intended. However the institutional picture is of course more complex and we can identify a tendency in the Treaties to give a coordinating role not just to one but to several actors. In addition to the HR (who will chair the Foreign Affairs Council), we find that the

President of the European Council

“shall, at his or her level and in that capacity” ensure the external representation of the Union on CFSP matters, without prejudice to the powers of the HR (Article 15(6) TEU). The


is to ensure the Union’s external representation, outside the CFSP (Article 17(1) TEU). The


(primarily the Foreign Affairs

Council) is also, together with the HR, responsible for ensuring compliance with the principles of loyalty and solidarity within the CFSP. The

General Affairs Council

(presided over by a Member State representative) has charge over ensuring consistency in the work of the different Council configurations, including the Foreign Affairs Council (Article

16(6) TEU). Apart from the HR, individual Commissioners will have responsibility for specific aspects of external policy, including trade, development and humanitarian aid.


Not only will there be a number of different actors to coordinate, a number of different actors will have responsibility for that coordination.

V. Conclusion

Despite the simplification offered by the Lisbon Treaty in establishing a single European

Union with a single legal personality and a single set of principles and objectives for the

EU’s external action, the structural complexity inherent in the Union system will largely survive. In particular, emphasis on the principle of conferral and the limits to the Union’s powers, as well as the continuing foreign policy activity of the Member States will highlight the importance of vertical coherence and the role of the European Council in its support. Horizontal and institutional coherence have been a major theme of the Treaty reforms. The continued special treatment of the CFSP will not necessarily pose greater problems for coherence than the differences of approach between other policy fields.


Although it has rightly been suggested that the framing of the HR’s tasks within the Commission in Article 18(4) TEU leaves open the possibility that he/she might take over all these responsibilities; the decision as to allocation would ultimately lie with the Commission

President: Editorial comment, “Mind the Gap”, (2008) 45 Common Market Law Rev.

317, at


33 hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 10-35

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However boundary disputes will not disappear and the institutional mechanisms designed to ensure coherence may prove over-complex: much will depend on evolving institutional practice and a willingness to avoid turf wars.

As we have seen, the legal principles underlying the different aspects of coherence are sometimes in tension. The Treaty of Lisbon preserves all these principles: rules of hierarchy and conflict-avoidance, rules of delimitation and allocation, principles of cooperation and complementarity. It could be argued from the analysis undertaken here that the innovations it introduces, both structural and institutional, give prominence to rules of delimitation and to the principle of complementarity in both vertical and horizontal dimensions of coherence. Despite the prominence given to the new institutional mechanisms, it could be that the most important element of the Treaty of Lisbon from the perspective of foreign policy coherence is the clear external mandate given to the Union as a whole in both substantive and instrumental terms. The substantive mandate as expressed in Article

3(5) TEU


is to be achieved by developing relations and building partnerships with third countries and international organisations which share the Union’s principles and values, and promoting multilateral solutions to common problems (Article 21(1) TEU). There is a basis here for meeting the challenge of the Laeken Declaration, in finding a role for the

Union as “a power wanting to change the course of world affairs in such a way as to benefit not just the rich countries but also the poorest. A power seeking … to anchor [globalisation] in solidarity and sustainable development.”


Ambitious – some would say grandiose – words, but worth remembering as the ultimate objective of a coherent foreign policy.


See note 56.


Laeken Declaration on the Future of the European Union, European Council, 14 and 15 December 2001, Annex I to Presidency Conclusions.

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Cremona, M., “The European Neighbourhood Policy: More than a Partnership?” in Cremona, M., ed.,

Developments in EU External Relations Law

, Oxford University Press, forthcoming.

Cremona, M., “Defending the Community Interest: the Duties of Cooperation and Compliance” in Cremona, M., and de Witte, B.,

EU Foreign Relations Law – Constitutional Fundamentals

, Hart Publishing, forthcoming.

Editorial comment, “Mind the Gap”, (2008) 45

Common Market Law Rev

. 317.

Gauttier, P.,

Horizontal Coherence and the External Competences of the European Union” (2004) 10

European Law Journal



Hillion, C., “

Tous pour un, un pour tous!

Coherence in the external relations of the European Union” in Cremona, M., ed.,

Developments in EU External Relations Law

, Oxford University Press, forthcoming.

Hillion, C. & Wessel, R.A., “Restraining External Competences of EU Member States under CFSP” in Cremona, M. and de Witte, B.,

EU Foreign Relations Law – Constitutional Fundamentals

, Hart Publishing, forthcoming.

Jacqué, J-P., “The Principle of Institutional Balance” (2004) 41

Common Market Law Rev.


Koutrakos, P.,

Trade, Foreign Policy and Defence in EU Constitutional Law

, Hart Publishing


Nuttall S., “Coherence and Consistency” in Hill, C. and Smith, M., eds.,

International Relations and the EU

, OUP 2005, chap 5.

Schmalz, U., ‘The Amsterdam Provisions on External Coherence: Bridging the Union’s

Foreign Policy Dualism?’ (1998)3

European Foreign Affairs Rev

., 421.

Schütze, R., “Supremacy Without Pre-Emption? The Very Slowly Emergent Doctrine of

Community Pre-Emption” (2006) 43

Common Market Law Rev.


Stetter, S., “Cross-pillar politics: functional unity and institutional fragmentation of EU foreign policies” (2004) 11

Journal of European Public Policy


Tietje, C., ‘The Concept of Coherence in the TEU and the CFSP’ (1997)2

European Foreign Affairs Rev

., 211.

Wessel, R.A., “The Inside Looking Out: Consistency And Delimitation In EU External

Relations” (2000) 37

Common Market Law Rev.


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hamburg review of social sciences

Maastrichts langer Schatten:

Das auswärtige Handeln der EU – Verschiebungen im institutionellen Gefüge?


Olaf Poeschke



'Mit einer Stimme sprechen' – das ist seit Gründung der Europäischen Politischen Zusammenarbeit (EPZ) die besondere Herausforderung, vor die sich die Europäer gestellt sehen. Dabei ging es in erster Linie stets um die intergouvernementale Abstimmung – um die Herstellung gemeinsamer Positionen im Kreise der Mitgliedstaaten. Die Geburt der

Gemeinsamen Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik (GASP) mit dem Vertrag von Maastricht, die Entwicklung einer Europäischen Sicherheits- und Verteidigungspolitik seit Amsterdam und die Einrichtung des Amtes des Hohen Repräsentanten für die Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik markieren wichtige Etappen im Bestreben der Mitgliedstaaten, ihr außen-

Olaf Poeschke, Diplomat, Permanent Representation of the Federal Republic of Germany to the European Union (Brussels).


Bruno Scholl und Christoph Hallier bin ich für viele wichtige Hinweise und Verbesserungs vorschläge dankbar. Die Verantwortung für verbleibende Unausgegorenheiten trage ich selbstverständlich allein. Der Artikel gibt eine persönliche Meinung wieder. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 politischen Gewicht zu bündeln. Seit 1999 verkörpert Javier Solana in dieser Hinsicht

Wunsch und Wirklichkeit



Weniger präsent als die intergouvernementalen Schwierigkeiten, einheitlich auf der internationalen Bühne in Erscheinung zu treten, sind die interinstitutionellen Spannungen, die sich aus der Säulenarchitektur der EU ergeben. Gerade hier aber haben sich mit der rasanten Fortentwicklung der GASP (der sogenannten 'zweiten Säule') die Reibungsflächen mit den vergemeinschafteten Politikbereichen (der 'ersten Säule') vergrößert. Denn die Gemeinsame Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik hat in den vergangenen Jahren wie kaum ein anderes Politikfeld an Bedeutung gewonnen. Zunahme und Ausbau ziviler ESVP-

Missionen, stetiges Wachsen der GASP-Mittel


, institutionelle Verfestigung der Strukturen der zweiten Säule – all dies illustriert das hohe Entwicklungstempo der europäischen

Außenpolitik. Das auswärtige Handeln im vergemeinschafteten Bereich hingegen hat zwar stetig, aber weit weniger spektakulär an Bedeutung gewonnen. Dabei verfügt die

Gemeinschaft seit langem über externe Kompetenzen – sei es, dass diese ihr in den Verträgen zugewiesen wurden, sei es, dass sie sich aus einer vorhandenen Binnenkompetenz ableiten lassen. Dass die EU nunmehr immer häufiger im Rahmen der zweiten Säule in

Erscheinung tritt, hat der Forderung, mit einer Stimme zu sprechen, eine zusätzliche Bedeutung verliehen. Die Herausforderung des kohärenten Auftritts hat neben der intergouvernementalen also auch eine interinstitutionelle Dimension.


Diese interinstitutionelle Dimension soll im Mittelpunkt der Untersuchung liegen. In allgemeinster Form kann das dem Artikel zugrunde liegende Erkenntnisinteresse wie folgt formuliert werden: Wie steht es um die säulenübergreifende Kohärenz im Außenhandeln der Europäischen Union? Dabei geht es nicht um eine systematische Inventur aller Politikbereiche auf der Suche nach Harmonie und Dissonanzen. Das Augenmerk gilt vielmehr etwaigen tektonischen Verschiebungen im institutionellen Gefüge der EU. In wel-


Zum Auseinanderklaffen von Wunsch und Wirklichkeit siehe Hill, 'Closing the Capabilities-

Expectation Gap?', in: Petersen/Sjursen (Hrsg.): A Common Foreign Policy for Europe?, London 1998.


Die GASP-Haushaltslinie war 2005 mit 62.6. Mio Euro, 2006 mit 102.6 Mio Euro und 2007 mit 159 Mio Euro ausgestattet. Gemäß der Finanziellen Vorausschau wird sie bis zum Jahr 2013 auf 340 Mio. Euro anwachsen.


Einen umfassenden Überblick über die Facetten der Kohärenzproblematik mit zahlreichen praktischen Empfehlungen liefern Lieb/Maurer, 'Europas Rolle in der Welt stärken. Optionen hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 che Richtung hat sich das Verhältnis zwischen der ersten und der zweiten Säule entwickelt? Vor allem interessieren hier die verborgenen Prozesse jenseits des medial präsenten, zwischenzeitlich blockierten, dann neuangestoßenen Verfassungs- bzw. Reformprozesses.



Folgende Leitfragen sollen die Empirie ordnen helfen:

1. Geht die Entwicklung in Richtung pillar purity oder pillar synergy ?

Die Abgrenzung zwischen dem Außenhandeln im Gemeinschaftsbereich und der Gemeinsamen Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik ist der Natur der Sache nach unscharf. Diesem Umstand kann auf unterschiedliche Weise begegnet werden: (a) durch den Versuch, die interinstitutionellen Grauzonen zu durchleuchten und die jeweiligen Kompetenzen abzustecken ( pillar purity ), oder (b) durch das Bestreben, unscharfe oder überlappende Zuständigkeiten zu tolerieren und gegebenenfalls kreativ zu nutzen ( pillar synergy ).

Pillar purity und pillar synergy beschreiben gegensätzliche Vektoren im alltäglichen

Kräftespiel interessierter Akteure – also insb. der Mitgliedstaaten und Institutionen.

Während pillar purity die Kohärenzproblematik vernachlässigt, ist pillar synergy dem Kohärenzgedanken geradezu verpflichtet. Beide Stoßrichtungen sind potentiell gleichzeitig wirksam. Uns interessiert, welche von ihnen in einem gegebenen Interaktionsbereich die

Oberhand gewinnt.

2. Wie lässt sich der interinstitutionelle modus operandi beschreiben?

Die oben beschriebenen Prozesse können von gütlichem Einvernehmen seitens der beteiligten Akteure geprägt sein oder eher spannungsreich ablaufen. Die Skala ist fließend. Als

5 für ein kohärentes Außenhandeln der Europäischen Union', Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik,

Berlin 2007.

Um an eine von Simon Nuttall entworfene Unterscheidung anzuknüpfen, interessiert hier also nicht die Frage der vertikalen (hier ’intergouvernemental’ bezeichneten) oder horizontalen (sytematisch-politikfeldübergreifenden) Kohärenz, sondern vielmehr die Problematik institutioneller Kohärenz (vgl. Nuttall, Coherence and Consistency, in: Hill/Smith (Hg.): International Relations and the European Union, Oxford 2005, S. 91-112). hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Indikatoren für die Konflikthaftigkeit der Prozesse können beispielsweise verschleppte

Entscheidungen oder Blockadesituationen, Rechtsstreite oder öffentlich wahrnehmbare

Dissonanzen herangezogen werden.

Empirie und Gang der Untersuchung

Angesichts einer zeitlich wie thematisch breiten Empirie muss hier eine relevante Auswahl vorgenommen werden. Herangezogen werden Entwicklungen und Ereignisse aus der jüngsten Vergangenheit , die Aussagen zu beiden der oben genannten Kriterien erlauben.

Dabei interessieren Instrumente und Politikfelder gleichermaßen, zumal diese – alltagssprachlich unmittelbar einleuchtende – Unterscheidung analytisch an Trennschärfe vermissen lässt.


Den Einstieg in die Untersuchung wird eine knappe und fokussierte Analyse der mit dem Vertrag von Maastricht verfestigten Säulenarchitektur der EU liefern. Anschließend werden vier Bereiche präsentiert, in denen eine Entwicklungstendenz und ein interinstitutioneller modus operandi identifizierbar sind: die Rolle der EU-

Sonderbeauftragten im institutionellen Gefüge der EU (Fallbeispiel I), die Vertragspraxis der EG/EU gegenüber Drittstaaten (Fallbeispiel II), jüngere Entwicklungen in der Sanktionspolitik der EU – ein klassischer kompetenzrechtlich umstrittener Bereich (Fallbeispiel

III) – sowie jüngere Spannungen in einem Politikfeld, das mit dem Begriff 'Stabilitätspolitik' umrissen werden könnte (Fallbeispiel IV). Die aus diesen Bereichen gewonnenen

Aussagen werden abschließend in den Kontext der mit dem Reformvertrag zu erwartenden institutionellen Weiterentwicklung gesetzt.

Die EU vor Maastricht und seither – Außenhandeln und institutionelles Gefüge

Bekanntermaßen hat der 1993 in Kraft getretene Vertrag von Maastricht die Europäische

Union begründet und deren Säulenstruktur Gestalt verliehen. Seitdem ruht das auswärtige Handeln der EU auf der sogenannten ersten Säule, soweit vergemeinschaftete Politiken erfasst sind – also etwa im Bereich der Handelspolitik, der Humanitären Hilfe oder hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit. Als zweite Säule wird hingegen die Gemeinsamen Au-

ßen- und Sicherheitspolitik (GASP) und deren sich besonders dynamisch fortentwickelnde Europäische Sicherheits- und Verteidigungspolitik (ESVP) bezeichnet.

Maastricht mag die Geburtsstunde der EU sein. Die Säulenstruktur existierte im embryonalen Zustand lange zuvor. Denn bereits mit Einführung der Europäischen Politischen Zusammenarbeit (EPZ) im Jahre 1970 wurde ein Interaktionsmodus eingeführt, der sich von der 'Gemeinschaftsmethode' deutlich unterscheidet. In der – intergouvernemental geprägten – Handelslogik der EPZ wird das Konsensprinzip hochgehalten, während die Mitgliedstaaten im supranationalen Gefüge der Gemeinschaftspolitiken langsam aber stetig zu Mehrheitsentscheidungen übergehen. Die Kommission wurde an der EPZ zwar im Laufe der Zeit 'in vollem Umfang' beteiligt, kann aber bei weitem nicht die herausragende Funktion erfüllen, die ihr durch ihr Initiativmonopol im Gefüge der Europäischen

Gemeinschaften zukommt.


Der gestaltende Einfluss des Europäischen Parlaments war in der EPZ noch geringer als in der GASP, wo er sich auf haushaltsrechtliche Fragen beschränkt.


Und die Zuständigkeit des Europäischen Gerichtshofes wird in außenpolitischen Fragen seit jeher verneint, auch wenn die Judikatur des EuGH die GASP mittlerweile zumindest an deren Rändern berührt.


Kurz: Supranational und intergouvernemental geprägte Entscheidungspraktiken

überlagern sich bereits in der pränatalen Phase der EU. Mit dem Vertrag von Maastricht und der Verklammerung von Gemeinschaftspolitiken und GASP wurde diese Überlagerung nur besonders augenscheinlich und das latente Spannungsverhältnis im „einheitlichen institutionellen Rahmen“ der EU sichtbar.

Ein solches Nebeneinander von spezifischen Entscheidungspraktiken ist unproblematisch, wo der jeweiligen Methode klar umrissene Politikfelder zugewiesen werden. Im

Großen und Ganzen gilt dies für das Verhältnis der ersten zur dritten Säule, der polizeili-


So ließe sich die Entwicklungzusammenarbeit der EU als Politikfeld oder Instrumentarium beschreiben. Ähnliches gilt für die im folgenden näher untersuchten Bereiche ’Sanktionspolitik’ und ’Stabilisierungspolitik’.


Vgl. Duke, 'The Commission and the CFSP', European Institute of Public Administration,

Working Paper 2006/W/01.


Vgl. Dietrichs, 'The European Parliament in CFSP: More than a Marginal Player?', The Inter-

9 national Spectator 2/2004, erhältlich unter http://www.iai.it/pdf/articles/dietrichs.pdf

Vgl. Ketvel, 'The Jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in Respect of the Common Foreign and Security Policy', ICLQ Bd. 55, 2007, S. 77-120. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 chen und justiziellen Zusammenarbeit in Strafsachen. Reibungen können jedoch entstehen, wo diese materielle Abgrenzung der Politikfelder Probleme bereitet. Das ist mitunter im Bereich des auswärtigen Handelns der Fall.


Die Gemeinschaft , also die EU im Bereich der ersten Säule, verfügt seit langem über externe Kompetenzen. Entweder werden ihr diese in den Verträgen explizit zugewiesen oder sie lassen sich aus einer vorhandenen Binnenkompetenz ableiten, eine Praxis, die seit der sogenannten AETR-Rechtsprechnung der Europäischen Gerichtshofes


anerkannt ist. In jedem Fall beruht die Kompetenz der Gemeinschaft auf einer hinreichend spezifischen Verankerung im EG-Vertrag – dieser Anspruch wird das Prinzip der begrenzten Einzelmächtigung genannt. Demgegenüber wurde das Feld der GASP, die sich gemäß

Art. 1, Abs. des Vertrags über die Europäische Union (EUV) „auf alle Bereiche der Au-

ßen- und Sicherheitspolitik erstreckt“ und nach Art. 17, Abs. 1 „sämtliche Fragen, welche die Sicherheit der Union betreffen“ umfasst, sehr weit und in denkbar allgemeiner Form abgesteckt. All das legt nahe, dass im Falle eines Handlungskonfliktes zwischen der ersten und zweiten Säule die kompetenzrechtliche 'Beweislast' bei der Gemeinschaft liegt. Sie muss ihre Zuständigkeit auf Grundlage des EG-Vertrages begründen. Die GASP hingegen wurde extensiv definiert, was dafür sprechen mag, auch Überlappungen gegebenenfalls in

Kauf zu nehmen.

Allerdings gibt es im EUV Hinweise – und rechtlich wohl die überzeugenderen – auf eine Nachrangigkeit der zweiten und dritten Säule gegenüber dem Gemeinschaftsrecht. So heißt es in Art. 1 des EUV, die „Grundlage der Union sind die Europäischen

Gemeinschaften, ergänzt durch die mit diesem Vertrag eingeführten Politiken und Formen der Zusammenarbeit“ (eigene Hervorhebung). Auch die im vierten Anstrich des Art. 2

EUV hervorgehobene „volle Wahrung des gemeinschaftlichen Besitzstandes“ als Ziel der

Union, vor allem aber die in Art. 47 EUV festgehaltene 'Unantastbarkeit' des Acquis weisen in diese Richtung.

Der Vertrag von Maastricht hat also keine klare Linie zwischen der Außenpolitik der Union und dem Außenhandeln der Gemeinschaft gezogen. Die Notwendigkeit eines


Vgl. Duke, 'Areas of Grey: Tensions in EU External Relations Competences', EIPASCOPE Bulletin 2006/1, S. 21-27.


Rs. 22/70, 'AETR', Slg. 1971. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 kohärenten Auftretens war den Europäern freilich bereits zu EPZ-Seiten bewusst.



Forderung, „mit einer Stimme zu sprechen“, gehört seit langem zum Standardrepertoire politischer und publizistischer Rhetorik – auch wenn sich diese Forderung in erster Linie gegen die Vielstimmigkeit der Mitgliedstaaten, und nur sekundär gegen Reibungen zwischen den Säulen richtete.

Unklar war und ist bis heute, welche Institution für die Herstellung von säulen-

übergreifender Kohärenz die Hauptverantwortung trägt. Die Antwort bei Lektüre der

Grundlagentexte der EG/EU müsste lauten: Alle – und zwar gemeinsam. Was dies in der

Praxis bedeutet, ist unklar, da weder personelle noch materielle Vorrangregeln formuliert werden. In der Einheitlichen Europäischen Akte (EEA) von 1987 wird der Präsidentschaft und der Kommission gleichermaßen eine „besondere Verantwortung“ für die Kohärenz der EU in ihrem Außenhandeln zugeschrieben. Art. 3 des EU-Vertrages verpflichtet „die Union“ zur Achtung der Kohärenz aller von ihr ergriffenen außenpolitischen

Maßnahmen – die Verantwortung hierfür obliege dem Rat und der Kommission. Die Tatsache, dass in Art. 3 des EU-Vertrages das Gebot formuliert wird, zu diesem Zwecke zusammenzuarbeiten, belegt, dass interinstitutionelle Reibungen und unklare Kompetenzabgrenzungen bereits vor der Geburt der Union als Problem erkannt worden waren und eingedämmt werden sollte. Allerdings steht dem appellartig an alle Seiten adressierten Gebot der Zusammenarbeit die Bekräftigung der jeweiligen Zuständigkeiten gegenüber.


All dies mag man aus Gründen der Rechtsklarheit bedauern. Man kann es aber auch als vergleichsweise niedrigen Preis für einen im Kreise der Mitgliedstaaten erzielten Konsens zur institutionellen Weiterentwicklung der EU verbuchen, die nach dem Zusammenbruch der bipolaren Weltordnung und mit der Perspektive einer sich nach Osten erweiternden EU unbedingt notwendig war.


Siehe etwa die Berichte von Luxemburg (1970), Kopenhagen (1973), London (1981) sowie die

Feierliche Erklärung zur Europäischen Union von 1983.


Diese Ambivalenz zieht sich wie ein roter Faden durch die Grundlagentexte der EG/EU. Bereits in der Einheitlichen Europäischen Akte (EEA) heißt es in Artikel 30 Abs. 5: „[...] Es fällt unter die besondere Verantwortung der Präsidentschaft und der Kommission, in ihrem jeweiligen Zuständigkeitsbereich dafür Sorge zu tragen, daß die Kohärenz angestrebt und aufrechterhalten wird.“ Auch in der Präambel wurde einerseits die Notwendigkeit herausgestrichen, „immer mehr mit einer Stimme zu sprechen und geschlossen und solidarisch zu handeln“; andererseits finden auch die eigenen Beiträge der Mitgliedstaaten zur Wahrung des Weltfriedens und der internationalen Sicherheit Erwähnung. Ähnliche Überlagerungen von auf den ersten Blick widerhrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Im folgenden wird an vier Fallbeispielen untersucht, ob und wie sich das institutionelle Gefüge der EU, genauer: das Verhältnis zwischen der ersten und zweiten Säule, in den vergangenen Jahren in die ein oder andere Richtung verschoben hat. Diese tektonischen Bewegungen werden es anschließend erlauben, Prognosen über die mit dem Reformvertrag zu erwartende institutionelle Entwicklung zu untermauern.

Fallbeispiel I – Die Sonderbeauftragten der EU im Bereich der GASP

Seit dem Vertrag von Amsterdam steht der EU ein Instrument zur Verfügung, das in der konkreten Ausgestaltung der Außenbeziehungen zunehmend an Bedeutung gewinnt: das

Instrument der EU-Sonderbeauftragten. Diese Repräsentanten der EU mit (meist regional definierten) Sonderzuständigkeiten fungieren als Krisenmanager und Vermittler, Berichterstatter und 'Gesicht' der EU in mittlerweile neun unterschiedlichen Regionen: Afghanistan, Zentralasien, dem Südlichen Kaukasus, Moldau, Bosnien und Herzogowina, Mazedonien, Nahost, dem Sudan und den Großen Seen. Faktisch gelten sie als Vertreter des

Hohen Repräsentanten der GASP, unter dessen politischer Führung sie stehen und der in der Praxis bei ihrer Ernennung eine entscheidende Rolle spielt. Sie berichten in regelmä-

ßigen Abständen dem Politischen und Sicherheitspolitischen Komitee (PSK), dem wichtigsten Ratsgremium für Angelegenheiten der zweiten Säule unterhalb der Ministerebene


. Zu ihren Aufgaben zählen typischerweise die Vermittlung in Krisen und Konflikten, die Förderung von Demokratie, Rechtsstaatlichkeit und Menschenrechten sowie die Koordinierung mit Aktivitäten der verschiedenen europäischen Akteure.

Der letzte Punkt weist bereits auf eine institutionelle Gegebenheit hin, die für die

EU mittlerweile nicht nur im Innen-, sondern auch im Außenverhältnis charakteristisch ist: ihre Akteursvielfalt. Illustrativ kann das Beispiel der Ukraine herangezogen werden.

Hier ist die EU – neben fast allen Mitgliedstaaten – mit einer Kommissionsdelegation, einer zivilen ESVP-Mission (mit Sitz in Odessa) und einem Büro des EU-

14 sprüchlicher Aussagen finden sich im Maastricht-Vertrag in seiner Ursprungsversion sowie den

Versionen von Amsterdam und Nizza.

Das PSK steht formell in einem Unterordnungsverhältnis zum Ausschuss der Ständigen Vertreter

(AStV), demjenigen Gremiun, das als 'filtre unique' des Rates alle den Ministern vorgelegten

Entscheidungen passieren (vgl. Art. 207 EG-Vertrag). Faktisch steht das PSK vor allem in eihrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Sonderbeauftragten für Moldau vertreten. Und auch in den anderen oben genannten Regionen entstehen mit den – an Personalstärke stetig wachsenden – EUSB-Büros gewissermaßen Zweitniederlassungen der EU, deren Aufgabenzuschnitt sich von den Aktivitäten der Kommissionsdelegationen gleichwohl deutlich unterscheidet. Diese institutionelle

Entwicklung reflektiert das zunehmende Gewicht der Gemeinsamen Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik innerhalb der EU-Politiken. Sie veranschaulicht gleichzeitig die gewachsene

Herausforderung säulenübergreifender Koordinierung und eines kohärenten äußeren Auftritts.

EU-Sonderbeauftragte sind sowohl von der Kommission als auch seitens des Europäischen Parlaments kritisiert worden. Letzteres moniert eine „mangelnde parlamentarische

Kontrolle“ der durch die Mitgliedstaaten ernannten Sonderbeauftragten, kritisiert steigende Ausgaben und stellt ihren Mehrwert gegenüber den Kommissionsdelegationen in

Frage. Tatsächlich schlagen die EUSBs nur mit einem geringen Anteil des ohnehin vergleichsweise niedrigen GASP-Haushaltes zu Buche


, und das Europäische Parlament hat seine Beteiligung an Angelegenheiten der Gemeinsamen Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik im Laufe der Jahre stetig ausweiten können.


Anders als das Europäische Parlament wurde die Kommission durch die institutionelle

Entwicklung sich vergrößernder EUSB-Büros vor handfeste Herausforderungen gestellt.

Zum einen wird die bis dato faktisch existierende Monopolstellung der Kommission in der

Außenvertretung der EG/EU in Frage gestellt. Vorbehalte der Kommission können insofern als natürlicher Abwehrreflex einer unter Konkurrenzdruck geratenen Institution gewertet werden. Zum anderen entstehen ein für alle beteiligten Akteure spürbares Darstellungsproblem. Denn mit der doppelten Außenvertretung wird die 'cuisine interne' der EU, nem Spezialverhältnis zum AStV und ist für die GASP regelmäßig das letztentscheidende Gremium unterhalb der Ministerebene.


Gemäß Finanzieller Vorausschau liegt das Volumen des GASP-Haushaltes für die Zeit 2007-

2013 bei 1,74 Mrd. Euro. Für dieselbe Periode wurde das für das Außenhandeln der EU zur

Verfügung stehende Haushaltsvolumen mit 49 Mrd. Euro veranschlagt. Der Anteil der Ausgaben für EU-Sonderbeauftragte am GASP-Haushalt 2006 liegt bei 7,3 %.


Zur Rolle der Europäischen Parlaments in der GASP siehe Dietrichs, 'The European Parliament in CFSP: More than a Marginal Player?', The International Spectator 2/2004, online verfügbar unter http://www.iai.it/pdf/articles/dietrichs.pdf

hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 ihre für den Außenstehenden kaum nachvollziehbare Säulenstruktur, in aller Deutlichkeit sichtbar und der EU-interne Abstimmungsbedarf im Umgang mit Dritten offenbar.


Diese Abstimmungen müssen jedoch vorgenommen werden, ohne die feinen Grenzen der jeweiligen Zuständigkeit zu überschreiten. Während die Mitgliedstaaten „ihre“ EU-

Sonderbeauftragten gerne in den Rang eines säulenübergreifenden Koordinators erheben würden, akzeptiert die Kommission eine solche die Gemeinschaftsmethode in Frage stellende Überordnung nicht. Die nuancierten Formulierungen der jeweiligen, in den EUSB-

Mandaten enthaltenen Artikel zu den Koordinierungsaufgaben der Sonderbeauftragten illustrieren, auf welch sensiblem Terrain sich Rat und Kommission hier bewegen.


Der EU-Sonderbeauftragte in Mazedonien – ein Doppelhut en miniature?

Der 'Doppelhut' kann als eines der kreativsten Elemente des ursprünglichen Verfassungsvertrages angesehen werden, der auch in den Reformvertrag übernommen, wurde. Zukünftig soll der Hohe Vertreter für Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik (der freilich nicht mehr, wie im Verfassungsvertrag vorgesehen, Außenminister heißen wird) einen 'zweiten

Hut', nämlich jenen des Kommissars für Außenbeziehungen, tragen. Diese Personalunion soll helfen, die gegenwärtige, nicht zuletzt personell zum Ausdruck kommende Teilung der Außenbeziehungen entlang der Säulen zu überwinden.

Während der Verfassungsprozess nach den negativ ausgefallenen Referenden in

Frankreich und den Niederlanden ins Stocken geraten war, vollzog sich – weniger sichtbar – im Zusammenhang mit den EU-Sonderbeauftragten eine institutionelle Entwicklung, die man als Doppelhut en miniature bezeichnen könnte. Im Herbst 2005 wurde mit

Erwan Fouéré ein Kommissionbeamter zum EU-Sonderbeauftragten für Mazedonien

(FYROM) ernannt, der gleichzeitig das Amt des Leiters der Kommissionsdelegation ausfüllt. Seitdem tritt die EU in Skopje für beide Säulen mit einem Gesicht in Erscheinung.



Vgl. in diesem Zshg. die Mitteilung 10325/2006 der Kommission and der Rat 'Europe in the

World – Some Practical Proposals for Greater Coherence, Effectiveness and Visibility'.

So enthalten die Mandate der EUSBs eine passive Standardformulierung (eigene Hervorhebung): „Zur Gewährleistung der Kohärenz des außenpolitischen Handelns der Europäischen

Union wird die Tätigkeit des EUSR mit der des Generalsekretärs/Hohen Vertreters, des Vorsitzes und der Kommission abgestimmt.“ Vgl. den den Wortlaut in der Gemeinsamen Aktion

(GA) 2007/87/GASP (EUSB Bosnien), GA 2007/110/GASP (Nahost), GA 2007/108/GASP

(Sudan), GA 2007/113/GASP (Zentralasien), GA 2007/111/GASP (Südlicher Kaukasus), GA hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Interessanterweise werden die Grenzen zwischen den Säulen mit dieser Personalunion weder administrativ noch funktional aufgehoben: Seine Funktion als EU-

Sonderbeauftragter – und nur diese – übt Fouéré auf Grundlage einer im Rahmen der zweiten Säule beschlossenen Gemeinsamen Aktion aus. Seine Funktion als Leiter der Delegation nimmt er als Beamter der Kommission unter deren Personalstatut wahr. Auch für

Fouérés Mitarbeiter gilt, dass sie entweder dem EUSB-Büro oder der Delegation oder im

Doppelhut beiden Teams angehören. Beide Einheiten werden jedoch weiterhin institutionell, administrativ und finanziell unterschieden.

Auch kompetenzrechtlich besteht die Säulenstruktur trotz Personalunion an der Spitze fort. Der Wortlaut des Artikels zur Koordinierung der Aktivitäten unterschiedlicher EU-

Akteure im EUSB-Mandat Fouérés mag dies illustrieren. Er ist mit den Mandaten anderer

EU-Sonderbeauftragter ohne Doppelhut im wesentlichen identisch:

„To ensure the consistency of the external action of the European Union, the activities of the

EUSR shall be coordinated with those of the Secretary General/High Representative, the Presidency and the Commission. The EUSR shall provide Member States' missions and Commissions delegations with regular briefings. In the field, close liaison shall be maintained with the Presidency, the Commission and Heads of Mission, who shall make best efforts to assist the EUSR in the implementation of the mandate. The EUSR shall also liaise with other international and regional actors in the field.“

Ungeachtet dieser subkutan fortlebenden Unterschiede erzielt die Personalunion die gewünschte politische Außenwirkung von Einheitlichkeit und Kohärenz. So kann Fouéré sein politisches Gewicht als 'Gesandter Solanas' in die Waagschale werfen, selbst wenn es in seiner Funktion als Beamter der Kommission in Erscheinung tritt. Die durch die Aus-

übung beider Funktionen erzeugten Synergieeffekte, so Fouéré, seien deutlich spürbar.


Neben dem vergrößerten Gewicht verschaffe der Doppelhut der EU zudem eine erhöhte


2007/109/GASP (Mazedonien), GA 2007/106/GASP (Afghanistan), GA 2007/107/GASP

(Moldau) sowie GA 2007/112/GASP (Große Seen).

Siehe hierzu die parlamentarische Berichte des House of Lords, European Union Committee,

48 th

Report of Session 2005-2006: 'Europe in the World. Report with Evidence', S. 20-24, Rz.

93ff., und des House of Commons, Committee on European Scrutiny, 19 th

Report, item 12:

'European Union Special Representative in Macedonia', online verfügbar. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Visibilität. Auch habe der Doppelhut zur Verbesserung der Zusammenarbeit der Institutionen in Brüssel beigetragen. Abstimmungsprobleme oder Loyalitätskonflikte aufgrund paralleler Weisungsketten gebe es in der Praxis nicht.

Angesichts der positiven Erfahrungen mit dem 'Doppelhut-Experiment' in Mazedonien wird das Modell von Fouéré und den Mitgliedstaaten positiv bewertet.


Gleichwohl bleibt die Frage einer etwaiger Aufweichung der Säulenstruktur oder einer Verschiebung der kompetenzrechtlichen Grenze politisch sensibel. Dies kommt nicht zuletzt in der Protokollerklärung des Rates und der Kommission zum Ausdruck, die zur Verabschiedung des

EUSB-Mandates im Oktober 2005 abgegeben und bei jeder Mandatsverlängerung erneuert wurde:

„The Council and the Commission welcome the appointment of Mr. Erwan Fouéré as the

EUSR for FYROM as provided for in Council Joint Action 2005/724/CFSP. They note that as regards his institutional responsibilities, the appointment is an exceptional measure and is not to be regarded as setting a precedent for the appointment of future EU Special Representatives. The

Council and the Commision agree that in his capacity as EUSR, Mr. Fouéré shall carry out the instructions of the Council and Secretary General / High Representative on CFSP matters.“


Präzedenzwirkung des Doppelhuts en miniature

Seit Dezember 2007 gibt es mit der EU-Präsenz bei der Afrikanischen Union (AU) in

Addis Abeba einen weiteren Anwendungsfall für einen Doppelhut en miniature.


Mit dieser Präsenz unterstreicht die EU, dass sie der AU für die Friedenssicherung in Afrika und die politische Integration des Kontinents eine zunehmend wichtige Bedeutung beimisst.

Der Leiter dieser Präsenz wird – dem Modell in Mazedonien vergleichbar – eine Doppelfunktion als Chef der Kommissionsdelegation und als EU-Sonderbeauftragter im Bereich der GASP erfüllen.



Dies gilt mittlerweile auch für den hinsichtlich der Doppelhut-Struktur grundsätzlich kritischen

EU-Mitgliedstaat Großbritannien (siehe die oben genannten parlamentarischen Berichte).


Protokollerklärung des Rates und der Kommission zur Ernennung Fouérés zum EUSB beim

Umweltrat am 17.10.2005, die zuletzt am 8.2.2007 zur Verlängerung des EUSB-Mandates bekräftigt wurde.


Siehe zur EUSB-Komponente des Doppelhutes Gemeinsamen Aktion 2007/805/GASP.


Vgl. die Ausschreibung im Amtsblatt C der Europäischen Union vom 17.8.2007: Council of the European Union/European Commission, 'Creation of a Delegation of the European Union to the African Union in Addis Ababa'. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Das dem Doppelhut-Ansatz zugrunde liegende Ziel, die Kohärenz der EU in ihrem auswärtigen Handeln zu vergrößern, scheint dem Anwendungsfall Afrika besonders angemessen. Denn die Politik der EU gegenüber den Ländern der AU enthält neben genuin außenpolitischen Aspekten eine starke entwicklungspolitische Komponente. Die unterschiedlichen Stoßrichtungen der europäischen Afrikapolitik kommen besonders anschaulich in der Vielzahl der in Afrika zur Anwendung gebrachten Finanzierungsinstrumente zum Ausdruck. So speist sich die Politik der EU gegenüber dem Kontinent aus dem für

Aufgaben innerhalb der zweiten Säule zur Verfügung stehenden GASP-Haushalt, dem außerhalb des Gemeinschaftshaushaltes stehenden Europäischen Entwicklungsfonds

(EEF), der (größtenteils aus EEF-Mitteln gespeisten) African Peace Facility sowie weiteren Gemeinschaftsinstrumenten wie dem sogenannten Stabilitätsinstrument und dem Instrument für Demokratie und Menschenrechte. Eine säulenübergreifende Präsenz bei der

AU könnte die afrikapolitischen Aktivitäten der EU bündeln helfen.

Allerdings gilt auch hier: Erste und zweite Säule werden nur personell zusammengeführt; institutionell und administrativ besteht die Säulenstruktur fort. Ein Blick in die

Stellenausschreibung verdeutlicht, wo die Grenzen des Doppelhutes liegen. So enthält die

Stellenausschreibung separat einen Aufgabenkatalog für den Leiter der Kommissionsdelegation und ein Mandat für den EU-Sonderbeauftragten – mit teilweise analogen Aufgaben! Die 'Koordinierung mit mitgliedstaatlichen Politiken' beispielsweise oder die 'Erhöhung der Sichtbarkeit der EU' (im jeweiligen Bereich) sind Bestandteil des Aufgabenzuschnitts beider Funktionen. Wie nötigenfalls Kohärenz zwischen den Gemeinschaftspolitiken einerseits und der Gemeinsamen Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik andererseits hergestellt werden soll und welche Rolle der EUSB/Leiter der Kommissionsdelegation hier genau spielen soll, wird nicht deutlich. Zwar ist das Ziel, die Kohärenz der EU-Politik (umfassend) zu verbessern, einer der in der Ausschreibung genannten Gründe für die Einrichtung der Doppelfunktion. Doch operiert der oder die Kandidat/in in seiner/ihrer Funktion als Delegationschef/in „under the authority and operational direction of the Commission“, während er/sie in seiner/ihrer zweiten Rolle als EUSB unter der „authority of the SG/HR for the CFSP“ aktiv wird.



Die fortbestehende funktionale Trennung von EUSB und dem Leiter der Kommissionsdelegation kommt etwa in Art. 3 d des EUSB-Mandates zum Ausdruck, demzufolge der EUSB „ helps achieve better coherence, consistency and coordination of EU policies and actions towards the hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Was also für den EU-Sonderbeauftragten in Mazedonien gilt, wird auch beim zukünftigen Doppelhut bei der AU deutlich. Unterhalb der symbolisch wichtigen und politisch wirksamen Personalunion bleibt die funktionale Ausdifferenzierung entlang der Säulen erhalten. Dies bringt uns zur eingangs aufgeworfene Leitfrage zurück, ob die allgemeine

Entwicklungstendenz in Richtung pillar purity oder pillar synergy verläuft. Die Antwort muss differenziert ausfallen: Im Außenverhältnis erzielt der Doppelhut sichtbare Synergieeffekte. Unter der Oberfläche jedoch besteht die Säulenstruktur in deutlichen Zügen fort, und erst die institutionelle Praxis der kommenden Jahre wird erkennen lassen, ob und in welchem Maße eine Personalunion an der Spitze auf die institutionelle und administrative Trennung von GASP und Gemeinschaftspolitiken zurückwirkt. Was die in der

Einleitung aufgeworfene zweite Leitfrage nach dem interinstitutionellen modus operandi betrifft, lässt sich feststellen, dass es sich bei diesem ersten Fallbeispiel um eine konfliktfreie Form der institutionellen Fortentwicklung handelt.

Fallbeispiel II – Vertragspraxis der EU im Umgang mit Drittstaaten

Die EG-Verträge und ihre Auslegung im Sinne der AETR-Rechtsprechung ermächtigen die Gemeinschaft in zahlreichen Politikbereichen, extern in Erscheinung zu treten. Am sichtbarsten – und verbindlichsten – nimmt sie diese Rolle als Vertragspartei von Abkommen mit Drittstaaten wahr. Hunderte von Abkommen wurden seit Abschluss der

Römischen Verträge mit Drittstaaten oder anderen Vertragspartnern abgeschlossen.


Wissenschaft und Praxis unterscheiden regelmäßig ’reine Gemeinschaftsabkommen von sogenannten ’gemischten Abkommen’.


Die EG schließt reine Gemeinschaftsabkommen ab, wenn die Vertragsinhalte ausschließlich in den Bereich der Gemeinschaftskompetenz fallen. In der Vertragspraxis gegenüber Drittstaaten dominieren

European Union“ (eigene Hervorhebung) und somit Ko-Handelnder bleibt. Immerhin wurde die passive Standardformulierung zur Gewährleistung von Kohärenz (s. Fn 18) im Mandat des

EUSB bei der AU um eine aktive Formulierung ergänzt, die dessen koordinierende Rolle heraushebt: „The EUSR shall promote overall political coordination. He shall ensure that all EU instruments in the field are engaged coherently to attain the EU’s policy objectives“ (Art.12).


Siehe die online verfügbare ’Treaties Office Database’ der Generaldirektion Außenbeziehungen.


Vgl. Leal-Arcac, 'The European Community and Mixed Agreements', European Foreign Affairs

Review, Vol. 6, No 4, S. 483-513, sowie die einschlägigen Kapitel bei Eeckhout, 'External Relations of the European Union. Legal and constitutional Foundations', Oxford 2004. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 jedoch sogenannte gemischte Abkommen, die sich dadurch auszeichnen, dass sowohl die

Gemeinschaft als auch die einzelnen Mitgliedstaaten Vertragspartei auf europäischer Seite sind. Die Rechtsform des gemischten Abkommens wird gewählt, wenn die Vertragsinhalte sowohl Gemeinschaftskompetenz als auch mitgliedstaatliche Kompetenz berühren.

Gemischte Abkommen werfen eine Reihe von praktischen Fragen auf, die sich insbesondere im Zusammenhang mit Verhandlungsführung und Vertragsabschluss stellen.

Während diese Aspekte für reine Gemeinschaftsabkommen recht detailliert in Art. 300 geregelt sind, musste sich für gemischte Abkommen erst eine Praxis etablieren. Auch sie werden, was den Gemeinschaftsteil betrifft, in Art. 300 des EG-Vertrages verankert. Die

Verhandlungsführung wird – wie bei reinen Gemeinschaftsabkommen – traditionell von der Kommission wahrgenommen. Allerdings ist deren Verhandlungsmandat, das bei gemischten Abkommen der Zustimmung aller Mitgliedstaaten bedarf, zumindest dort, wo es sich auf Bereiche nationaler Kompetenz bezieht, enger gefasst. Das Verhandlungsergebnis wiederum muss von allen Mitgliedstaaten gebilligt werden, und alle Mitgliedstaaten müssen das unterzeichnete Abkommen ratifizieren, bevor es in Kraft treten kann.


Grundsätzlich erfordern gemischte Kompetenzen eine enge – und in der Regel langwierige – Abstimmung bei der Vorbereitung, Aushandlung, dem Abschluss und der Implementierung eines Drittstaatenabkommen.

Angesichts dieser Schwierigkeiten drängt sich die Frage auf, wieso das Instrument des gemischten Abkommens so häufig herausgezogen wird, wenn die EU in Vertragsbeziehungen mit Drittstaaten tritt. Immerhin hat es der Rat jederzeit in der Hand, die

Vertragsinhalte auf Bereiche exklusiver Gemeinschaftskompetenz zu beschränken, und es den Mitgliedstaaten zu überlassen, alle weiteren Aspekte in jeweils bilateral abgeschlossenen Abkommen zu regeln. Eine solche 'hygienische' Lösung hat sich jedoch nicht durchsetzen können, trotz mehrfach erhobener Forderungen vor allem seitens der Kommission.

Drei Motive dürften die gegenwärtige Praxis maßgeblich beeinflusst haben. Zum einen wird das Bemühen der Europäer deutlich, als einheitlicher Akteur in Erscheinung zu treten. Zwar offenbart spätestens die Unterzeichnung des Abkommens durch alle Mitglied-


Diesem Manko wird in der Praxis auf zwei Arten begegnet: durch den Abschluss von vorläufigen Abkommen, die sich nur auf die Gemeinschaftsinhalte der gemischten Abkommen erstrecken, oder durch eine – verfassungsrechtlich oft nicht unproblematische – vorläufige Anwendung des Gemeinschaftsabkommens. Seit dem Vertrag vom Amsterdam ist diese Variante explizit in Art. 300 (2) des EG-Vertrages erwähnt. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 staaten und die Gemeinschaft dem Drittstaat, dass hier multiple separate rechtliche Bindungswirkungen entstehen.


Doch liegt die Verhandlungsführung, dessen Ergebnis in einem Dokument zusammengefasst wird, in der Regel in einer Hand, nämlich der der

Kommission. Zweitens kommt die Absicht zum Ausdruck, durch die Verklammerung unterschiedlicher Politikbereiche in ein und denselbem Abkommen gegenüber Drittstaaten eine Politik „aus einem Guss“ zu verfolgen. Dies mag insbesondere dann eine Rolle spielen, wenn die EU gegenüber dem Drittstaat eine – politische oder rechtliche – Konditionalität zwischen den Vertragsinhalten erzeugen möchte. Drittens mag die vorherrschende

Praxis als Reflex zu interpretieren sein, der konfliktträchtigen Frage der Kompetenzabgrenzung aus dem Weg zu gehen. Dieser letzte Punkt kann gar nicht hoch genug veranschlagt werden: Anders als reine Gemeinschaftsabkommen, deren Inhalte in toto der Gemeinschaftskompetenz zuzuordnen sind, erlauben es gemischte Abkommen allen Beteiligten, einer genauen Abgrenzung der Kompetenzen aus dem Weg zu gehen. Weder im Verhandlungsmandat noch im Verhandlungsergebnis müssen die Trennlinien zwischen Gemeinschaftsbereichen und mitgliedstaatlichen Zuständigkeiten sichtbar gemacht werden.

Gemischte Abkommen enthalten kompetenzrechtliche Grauzonen und absorbieren auf diese Weise interinstitutionelle Spannungen. Diese Spannungen beziehen sich wohlgemerkt nicht auf die Abgrenzung zwischen der ersten und der zweiten Säule – die vorrangiges Thema dieses Artikels bleibt –, sondern das Verhältnis von Gemeinschafts- und mitgliedstaatlicher Kompetenz. Gleichwohl wirft der Befund die Frage auf, ob sich mit dem

Erstarken der Gemeinsamen Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik eine analoge Praxis entwickelt hat. Werden kompetenzrechtliche Grauzonen zwischen den Säulen in der Vertragspraxis der EU billigend in Kauf genommen, oder geht die Tendenz hier – im Sinne von pillar purity – eher in Richtung einer Kompetenzabgrenzung?

Vertragspraxis der EU seit Erstarken der GASP

Neben – gemischten oder reinen – Gemeinschaftsabkommen verfügen die Europäer über ein Vertragsinstrument, dessen zunehmender Gebrauch die institutionelle Tektonik der


Hierbei sind der vorherrschenden Rechtsmeinung nach Gemeinschaft und Mitgliedstaaten gemeinsam an alle Teile der gemischten Abkommens gebunden, sofern nicht im Abkommenstext selber je nach Materie zwischen einer mitgliedstaatlichen und einer gemeinschaftlichen Bindungswirkung unterschieden wird. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008

EU mittelfristig verschieben könnte: Abkommen nach Art. 24 des EUV. Anders als Gemeinschaftsabkommen werden EU-Abkommen im Namen der EU abgeschlossen


und von der Präsidentschaft unterzeichnet. Weder die Gemeinschaft noch die Mitgliedstaaten sind Vertragspartei.


Ein praktischer Vorteil von EU-Abkommen gegenüber gemischten Abkommen oder anderen Abkommen, deren Vertragspartei die Mitgliedstaaten sind, liegt auf der Hand: abgesenkte Ratifikationserfordernisse und – damit einhergehend – ein zügigeres Inkrafttreten. Art. 24 Abs. 5 des EU-Vertrages ermöglicht den Mitgliedstaaten zwar, verfassungsrechtliche Bedenken geltend zu machen. Von dieser Regelung, die im übrigen eine Reihe kniffliger Rechtsfragen aufwirft, wird in der Praxis jedoch äußerst selten Gebrauch gemacht.


Damit sind EU-Abkommen ein flexibel einsetzbares Instrument der Gemeinsamen Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik, das es der EU ermöglicht, kurzfristig rechtsverbindliche Beziehungen zu Dritten einzugehen. Praktische Beispielsfälle für EU-Abkommen der zweiten Säule sind sogenannte Statusabkommen mit Drittstaaten, in denen ESVP-

Missionen stattfinden, oder Vereinbarungen mit Drittstaaten zur Zusammenarbeit mit dem Internationalen Strafgerichtshof.

EU-Abkommen können als Pendant zum klassischen reinen Gemeinschaftsabkommen gesehen werden. Während sich letztere auf Politikfelder der ersten Säule beschränken und von der Gemeinschaft abgeschlossen werden, beziehen sich EU-Abkommen auf

GASP- oder JI-Materie und werden von der Union abgeschlossen. Die Frage ist, ob sich


Die EU, die nach orthodoxer Lehre keine Rechtspersönlichkeit besitzt, tritt in mittlerweile mehr als 60 nach Art. 24 EUV abgeschlossenen Abkommen als Vertragspartei in Erscheinung. Art.

24 spricht freilich lediglich davor, dass der Rat Abkommen abschließt (vgl. Abs. 1), die die Organe der Union binden (vgl. Abs. 6).


Gleichwohl dürfte eine rechtliche Bindungswirkung – zumindest im Innenverhältnis der EU – auch für die Mitgliedstaaten entstehen.


Mit dem zwischen der EU und den USA abgeschlossenen Abkommen über den Umgang mit

Fluggastdaten hat der Bundestag erstmalig ein EU-Abkommen innerstaatlich implementiert.

Das betreffende Gesetz nennt sich freilich nicht 'Umsetzungsgesetz' o.ä. Dies lässt darauf schließen, dass Art. 59 Abs. 2 GG, der sich u.a. auf die innerstaatliche Umsetzung von Verträgen des Bundes bezieht, als nicht einschlägig erachtet wird, zumal Deutschland nicht Vertragspartei des EU-Abkommens ist. Da das Abkommen über den Umgang mit Fluggastdaten jedoch sensible grundrechtsrelevante Fragen berührt, soll wohl Art. 2 des Grundgesetzes Rechnung getragen werden, demzufolge ein Eingriff in Grundrechte nur auf Grundlage eines Gesetzes zulässig ist. Ein solches Vorgehen würde den Anforderungen des Grundgesetzes Rechnung tragen, ohne den Vorteil abgesenkter Ratifizierungserfordernisse von EU-Abkommen auszuhöhlen. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 hier eine – den klassischen gemischten Abkommen vergleichbare – hybride Vertragspraxis etabliert oder nicht.

Auf den ersten Blick scheint dies unwahrscheinlich. Eine dem gemischten Abkommen analoge Vertragsform mit der EU (vertreten durch die Präsidentschaft oder den Hohen

Repräsentanten) und den Mitgliedstaaten als Vertragsparteien wäre abwegig – wenn auch nicht ausgeschlossen. In der Gemeinsamen Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik sind die Mitgliedstaaten ohnehin die maßgeblichen Akteure. Der Abschluss eines Abkommens nach

Art. 24 EUV zeugt vom gemeinsamen Willen der Mitgliedstaaten, ihr außenpolitisches

Gewicht zu bündeln und als EU in Erscheinung zu treten. Ein Spannungsverhältnis zwischen 'GASP-Materie' und mitgliedstaatlicher Kompetenz, das eine solche Mischform begründen würde, existiert zudem nicht – auch wenn im Rahmen der GASP gefasste Beschlüsse die Mitgliedstaaten binden. Vor allem aber existiert (noch) keine – der Kommission und dem Europäischen Gerichtshof vergleichbare – Institution, die den 'Acquis' der

Gemeinsamen Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik hüten und gegebenenfalls auch gegen die außenpolitischen Aktivitäten einzelner Mitgliedstaaten verteidigen könnte.

Denkbar wäre allerdings eine neue Mischform, in der das reine Gemeinschaftsabkommen mit dem EU-Abkommen kombiniert werden. Für solche – innerhalb der Institutionen 'integriert' genannte – Abkommen, die rechtlich sowohl in Art. 24 des EUV und

Art. 300 des EGV verankert wären und von der EU und der EG abgeschlossen würden, gibt es bislang keine Anwendungsfälle. Zwar war eine solche Abkommensform bereits mehrfach im Gespräch. Die Erprobung dieses neuen Instruments scheiterte bislang jedoch am gemeinsamen Widerstand einzelner Mitgliedstaaten und der Kommission, die einen

Kompetenztransfer zwischen den Säulen befürchten – auch wenn die Befürchtungen in diametral entgegengesetzte Richtungen gehen. Als Alternativmodell befürworten um pillar purity bemühte Akteure den Abschluss zweier separater Abkommen. Wolle man Konditionalität zwischen den jeweiligen Vertragsmaterien erzeugen, könne dies ohnehin wirksamer durch eine politische Verklammerung, etwa in Form einer gemeinsamen Erklärung, geschehen. Wie immer man Vor- und Nachteile der unterschiedlichen Modelle bewerten mag – auch dieses klar in Richtung pillar purity weisende Modell hat sich bislang nicht durchsetzen können. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008

Inhaltlich böten zunehmend mehr Drittstaatenabkommen die Möglichkeit, die alte

Form des gemischten Abkommens durch eine neue Mischform des integrierten Abkommens oder aber durch zwei getrennte Abkommen zu ersetzen. Denn zahlreiche Abkommen enthalten genuin außen- und sicherheitspolitische Aspekte, insbesondere politische

Klauseln zu unterschiedlichen Bereichen wie dem Schutz der Menschenrechte und der

Förderung von Demokratie


, der Nichtverbreitung von Massenvernichtungswaffen


oder der Terrorismusbekämpfung


sowie der Zusammenarbeit mit dem Internationalen Strafgerichtshof


. Diese Abkommen werden zur Zeit in der Rechtsform klassischer gemischter

Abkommen abgeschlossen.

Die Frage, welche Rechtsform die EU bei inhaltlich hybriden Verträgen mit Drittstaaten wählt, wird akut bleiben. Das gilt beispielsweise für das „Neue Erweiterte Abkommen“, das die EU derzeit mit der Ukraine aushandelt, oder das Nachfolgemodell des Partnerschafts- und Kooperationsabkommen mit Russland, deren Verhandlungen irgendwann im Jahr 2008 beginnen sollten. Ebenfalls ungeklärt ist, ob die derzeit mit einer Reihe von asiatischen Staaten verhandelten Freihandelsabkommen in umfassende Partnerschafts- und Kooperationsabkommen integriert werden und, wenn ja, in welcher Form dies geschehen wird.

Zusammenfassend lässt sich festhalten, dass es hinsichtlich der Vertragspraxis innerhalb der EU Bestrebungen sowohl in Richtung pillar purity als auch in Richtung pillar synergy gibt. Zu welche Seite das Pendel ausschlagen wird, ist bislang nicht abzusehen. Ausgehend von der Tradition gemischter Abkommen mag der Vorschlag, hybride Vertragsinhalte in getrennten Abkommen zu verhandeln, bereits als Indikator für zunehmende Säulenhygiene gelten. Andererseits weist die mehrheitliche Präferenz unter den Mitgliedstaaten in Richtung des klassischen gemischten Abkommens mit einer großen Offenheit gegenüber der neuen Rechtsform des integrierten Abkommens. Der interinstitutionelle mo-


Vgl. hierzu die Ratsentscheidungen 7255/1995 und 9119/1998. Menschenrechtsschutz und

Demokratieförderung sind freilich auch im EG-Vertrag als politische Ziele festgehalten (vgl.

Art. 177, Abs. 2 EGV).


Siehe hierzu die beim Europäischen Rat im Dezember 2003 verabschiedete Strategie zur Bekämpfung von Massenvernichtungswaffen.


Vgl. Schlussfolgerungen des Außerordentlichen Rates vom September 2001 sowie den Be-

35 schluss des Ausschusses der Ständigen Vertreter, Ratsdokument 6898/2002.

Vgl. Beschluss des Ausschusses der Ständigen Vertreter, Ratsdokument 5742/2004. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 dus operandi kann als konfliktfrei bewertet werden. Allerdings verhindern Meinungsverschiedenheiten zwischen den maßgeblichen Akteuren die Erprobung neuer Instrumente.

Fallbeispiel III – Die Sanktionspraxis der EU

Doppelcharakter klassischer Sanktionen

Wirtschaftssanktionen sind für die EU in kompetenzrechtlicher und institutioneller Hinsicht einzigartig. Denn hier und nirgendwo sonst in den Verträgen werden Instrumente der ersten und der zweiten Säule absichtsvoll miteinander verschränkt. Die gegenwärtige

– in den Artikeln 60 und 301 des EG-Vertrages verankerte – Praxis sieht vor, dass die

Mitgliedstaaten im Rahmen der Gemeinsamen Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik den politischen Beschluss zur Verhängung von restriktiven Maßnahmen fassen, auf deren Grundlage die Gemeinschaft dann eine Verordnung zur Implementierung der Maßnahmen erlässt, sofern diese Maßnahmen Gemeinschaftskompetenz berühren. Diese säulenübergreifende

Beschlusspraxis reflektiert den Doppelcharakter klassischer (Wirtschafts-)Sanktionen, die als handelspolitisches Instrument genuin außenpolitischen Zwecken dienen. Das geschilderte

Verfahren hat sich bereits in den 80er Jahren, also noch im Rahmen der Europäischen Politischen Zusammenarbeit, herausgebildet, wurde im Vertrag von Maastricht rechtlich fixiert und besteht bis heute fort.

Die Palette an Maßnahmen, die hierbei zur Anwendung kommen, hat sich freilich seit

1993 erweitert. Nachdem umfassende Wirtschaftssanktionen in der 1990er Jahren angesichts empfindlicher Konsequenzen für die Bevölkerung in die Kritik geraten sind, ging die EU – ebenso wie die Vereinten Nationen – dazu über, maßgeschneiderte Sanktionen zu entwickeln


. Diese sollten sich gegen die regierende Elite richten und abträgliche Effekte auf weitere Bevölkerungsschichten minimieren. Zu den mittlerweile erprobten

Maßnahmen zählen 'sektorale' Handelsrestriktionen, wie ein Waffen-, Diamanten-, oder

– im Fall der gegen Nordkorea verhängten Maßnahmen – Luxuswarenembargo ebenso wie personenspezifische Sanktionen wie Visarestriktionen oder Finanzsanktionen. Nicht


Zur Thematik der 'smart sanctions' siehe insb. die Ergebnisse der Expertenseminare im sogenannten Interlaken-Prozess, Bonn-Berlin-Prozess und Stockholm-Prozess. Online-Ressourcen verfügbar unter http://www.smart.sanctions.se

(Stockholm-Prozess) und http://www.sec.admin.ch/themen/00513/00620/00639/00641/index.html?lang=de (Interlaken). hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 alle dieser Maßnahmen – insbesondere sofern sie sich nicht vorrangig gegen Staaten, sondern Einzelpersonen richten – scheinen vom Wortlaut der oben zitierten Artikel gedeckt.

Gleichwohl haben diese in der Praxis eine – vom Europäischen Gerichtshof sanktionierte

– weite Auslegung erfahren, die der sich fortentwickelnden Sanktionspraxis Rechnung trägt.


Kompetenzrechtliche und institutionelle Aspekte der EU-Sanktionspraxis

Eine synoptische Betrachtung der für ein Sanktionsregime zum Einsatz gebrachten Instrumente der zweiten und der ersten Säule bietet aufschlussreich Einblick in kompetenzrechtliche Abgrenzungen zwischen GASP und Gemeinschaftskompetenz.


Beispielsweise sind die in Gemeinsamen Standpunkten (Instrumente der zweiten Säule) enthaltenen Visarestriktionen kein Bestandteil der entsprechenden Verordnungen (Instrument der erste



Unumstrittenerweise wird hier keine Gemeinschaftskompetenz berührt.


Andere Abgrenzungsfragen sind durchaus kontrovers. So finden auch die in Gemeinsamen

Standpunkten enthaltenen Bestimmungen zur Verhängung von Waffenembargos keine

Entsprechung in den betreffenden Verordnungen


– eine Auslegung der Verträge, die in


Siehe die Urteile in den Fällen 'Kadi' (T-301/01) und 'Yusuf' (T-315/01) vom 21.9.2005.


Eine vollständige Übersicht der Sanktionsrechtsakte – einschließlich der hier nicht aufgeführten

– Änderungsrechtsakte ist online unter http://ec.europa.eu/external_relations/cfsp/sanctions/ measures.htm



Vgl. den Gemeinsamen Standpunkt (GS) 2005/440/GASP und die Verordnungen (VO)

889/2005 und 1183/2005 zur Demokratischen Republik Kongo, GS 2007/140/GASP und VO

423/2007 zu Iran, GS 2006/795/GASP und VO 324/2007 zu Nordkorea, GS 2005/888/GASP und VO 305/2006 zu Libanon, GS 2007/93/GASP und VO 324/2004 zu Liberia, GS

2006/318/GASP und VO 817/2006 zu Myanmar, GS 2005/411/GASP und VO 1184/2005 zu


Sudan, GS 2005/888/GASP und VO 305/2006 zu Syrien, GS 2007/792/GASP und VO

1859/2005 zu Usbekistan, GS 2000/696/GASP und VO 2488/2000 zu Jugoslawien, GS

2004/161/GASP und VO 314/2004 zu Simbabwe, GS 2004/852/GASP und VO 174/2005 zu

Côte d’Ivoire sowie die durch keine VO begleiteten GSe 2004/133/GASP (Mazedonien),

2004/179/GASP (Moldau), 2004/293/GASP (Jugoslawien) 2006/276/GASP (Belarus),

2004/293/GASP (Kroatien) 2004/293/GASP (Bosnien und Herzogovina) und GS

1998/409/GASP (Sierra Leone).

Das gleiche gilt bspw. für die – einer Vorgabe der Sicherheitratsresolution 1736/2006 folgenden – Bestimmung des Gemeinsamen Standpunktes 2007/14/GASP, hinsichtlich der Reisetätigkeit bestimmter Personen „Wachsamkeit zu üben“ oder iranischen Staatsangehörigen den

Zugang zu nuklearsensitiven Studiengängen zu verweigern oder für die im Sanktionsregime gegen Myanmar (GS 2006/318/GASP) enthaltene Beschränkung des diplomatischen Verkehrs.


Vgl. GS 2007/246/GASP und VO 618/2007 zu Iran, GS 2006/625 und VO 1412/2006 zu Libanon sowie die in Fn 39 genannten Rechtsakte zu Demokratische Republik Kongo, Nordkorea,

Liberia, Myanmar, Sudan, Sierra Leone und Usbekistan. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 der Literatur zumindest umstritten ist.


Bestimmungen zu diesbezüglichen Dienstleistungen oder zu Dual-use Gütern sind hingegen in allen Verordnungen enthalten.

Ein solcher Abgleich von Maßnahmen gibt in erster Linie Auskunft zur Trennlinie zwischen Gemeinschaftskompetenz und nationalstaatlicher Kompetenz. Alle Bestimmungen der Gemeinsamen Standpunkte müssen entweder der Gemeinschaftskompetenz zugeordnet werden und Eingang in die Verordnung finden oder aber der nationalen Umsetzung vorbehalten bleiben. Anders als bei gemischten Abkommen besteht hier keine Möglichkeit, der nicht immer leichten Abgrenzung aus dem Weg zu gehen. Dass es hierzu bislang keine Judikatur des Europäischen Gerichtshof gibt


, kann als Indikator dafür gelten, dass diese Abgrenzung bislang weitgehend einvernehmlich, zumindest geschäftsmäßig vorgenommen wurde.

Synergie oder dédoublement fonctionnel?

Der Vergleich von Gemeinsamen Standpunkten und Verordnungen gibt darüber hinaus indirekt Auskunft über das Verhältnis zwischen der ersten und zweiten Säule. Grundsätzlich gilt: Sanktionen lassen sich aufgrund ihres oben geschilderten Doppelcharakters nicht exklusiv der einen oder der anderen Säule zurechnen. Gleichwohl kann angenommen werden, dass im Rechtsinstrument der zweiten Säule vor allem die genuin außenpolitischen Aspekte der verhängten Maßnahmen zum Ausdruck gebracht werden, während die

Verordnungen technischer gefasst sind und die praktischen Modalitäten der beschlossenen Maßnahmen festlegen.

Ein Blick in die in den vergangenen Jahren beschlossenen Gemeinsamen Standpunkte offenbart hingegen einen bemerkenswerten Detailliertheitsgrad.


So werden die Verbotstatbestände ausbuchstabiert und die Ausnahmebestimmungen in großer Ausführlichkeit festgeschrieben. Verglichen mit Gemeinsamen Standpunkten der frühen Jahre ist die

Tendenz zu zunehmend längeren Gemeinsamen Standpunkten unübersehbar, so dass sich


Vgl. den Kommentar zu Art. 296 EGV bei Von der Groeben/Schwarze (Hg.): Vertrag über die

Europäische Union und Vertrag zur Gründung der Europäischen Gemeinschaft (Hg.), Kommentar, 6. Auflage 2004, S. 1537ff.


Anders als die Gemeinsamen Standpunkte könnten die Sanktions verordnungen durchaus zum

Gegenstand eines interinstitutionellen Rechtsstreites werden.


Vgl. als jüngste Beispiele für umfassende Sanktionsregime die Gemeinsamen Standpunkte

2007/140/GASP (Iran), 2006/795/GASP (Nordkorea) sowie 2007/750/GASP und

2006/318/GASP (Myanmar). hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 der Charakter beider Instrumente im Laufe der Jahre immer weiter angenähert hat. Über die Gründe für diese Entwicklung kann nur spekuliert werden. Im Falle von Sanktionsbeschlüssen, die nach Vorgaben des Sicherheitsrates der Vereinten Nationen gefasst werden, reflektieren die Gemeinsamen Standpunkte häufig einen ohnehin bereits hohen Detailliertheitsgrad in den betreffenden Resolutionen. Ausschlaggebend für die allgemeine

Entwicklung dürfte jedoch sein, dass Gemeinsame Standpunkte mit Einstimmigkeit gefasst werden, während der Annahmebeschluss zur Verordnung mit qualifizierter Mehrheit ergeht. Dies dürfte einer Neigung im Kreise der Mitgliedstaaten Vorschub leisten, potentiell umstrittene Fragen im Rahmen des Gemeinsamen Standpunktes, und nicht erst der

Verordnung zu klären, wo ein Überstimmtwerden nicht ausgeschlossen werden kann und von der Kommission abweichende Vorstellungen nur mit Einstimmigkeit durchgesetzt werden können.

Was auch immer die maßgeblichen Gründe für diese Entwicklung sein mögen, sie hat dreierlei Konsequenzen. Einerseits verliert der Gemeinsame Standpunkt zunehmend seinen politischen Duktus. Die Sprache gleicht immer stärker der eines Gemeinschaftsrechtsaktes und entfernt sich vom Stil einer politischen Entschließung. Zweitens erfordern ausführlichere Texte zwangsläufig längere Verhandlungszeiten. Dies erschwert der

EU, auf politische Ereignisse zeitnah zu reagieren. Als Extremfall dürfte hier die Verordnung zur Umsetzung der VN-mandatierten Sanktionen gegen Nordkorea gelten, der erst am 27. März 2007, also fünf Monate nach der Annahme der entsprechenden Sicherheitsratsresolution, beschlossen wurde.


Drittens schließlich drängt sich die Frage auf, ob der

Erlass zweier bemerkenswert ins Detail gehender Rechtsakte einen politischen oder technischen Mehrwert erzeugt oder zumindest säulenübergreifenden Synergiewirkungen zeitigt. Faktisch machen die Mitgliedstaaten im Rahmen der ersten Beschlussfassung zum

Gemeinsamen Standpunkt sich selbst und der Kommission zunehmend enge Vorgaben für die zweite Beschlussfassung zur Verordnung. Die Sequenz zweier Verfahren zu ein und demselben Sanktionsregime erscheint so als eine recht umständliche Übung und als dédoublement fonctionnel .


Verordnung 329/2007 zum Gemeinsamen Standpunkt 2006/795/GASP, mit denen die Sicherheitsratsresolution 1718 (2006) vom 14.10.2006 umgesetzt wird. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008

Wie sind diese Entwicklungen vor dem Hintergrund der eingangs gestellten Leitfrage zu bewerten? Sanktionen wurden bereits vor vielen Jahren als ein Politikbereich identifiziert, der sich einer klaren kompetenzrechtlichen Zuordnung entzieht. Was die Beschlussfassung betrifft, wurde hier eine originelle, wenngleich umständliche Lösung gefunden, die den Verfahren sowohl der ersten Säule als auch der zweiten Säule Rechnung trägt. In der institutionellen Praxis wird diese säulenhygienische Trennung der Verfahren mit einer für den Außenstehenden kurios anmutenden Konsequenz bekräftigt – pillar purity wird aufrecht erhalten. Dabei nähern sich die Instrumente ihrem Inhalt nach immer stärker einander an – wobei der Gemeinsame Standpunkt der Verordnung zunehmend detaillierte

Vorgaben macht. Bislang gibt es keine sichtbaren Anzeichen, dass dieser Prozess konfliktträchtig sein könnte. Allerdings weisen die oft langen Fristen zwischen der Verabschiedung aufeinander bezogener Dokumente (Sicherheitsratsresolutionen oder Ratsschlussfolgerungen als Ausgangstexte, Gemeinsame Standpunkte und Verordnungen als Rechtsakte) darauf hin, dass die Abstimmungen mühsam sind.

Fallbeispiel IV: 'Stabilisierungspolitik' – eine interinstitutionelle Grauzone?

Im November 2006 verabschiedete der Rat nach mehrjähriger Verhandlung das sogenannte 'Stabilitätsinstrument'


, eine Verordnung zur Finanzierung bestimmter auswärtiger Maßnahmen. Die Verordnung enthält Maßnahmenkataloge zur Stabilisierung von

Gesellschaften im Falle einer Krise und bei der Krisennachbearbeitung und fußt rechtlich auf den Titeln XX und XXI des EG-Vertrages, der der Gemeinschaft eine Kompetenz für

Entwicklungszusammenarbeit und der wirtschaftlichen, finanziellen und technischen Zusammenarbeit mit Drittländern zuweist. Die Verhandlungen zum Stabilitätsinstrument, bemerken Beobachter der Verhandlungen, gestalteten sich langwierig und zäh


, kein Beispiel für ein effizientes Zusammenwirken von Mitgliedstaaten und Institutionen, sondern eher Ausdruck gegenseitigen Misstrauens. Wo liegen die Gründe?



Verordnung 1717/2006.

Deaele/Gourlay, 'The Stability Instrument: defining the Commission's role in crisis response',

ISIS Europe, 27 June 2005. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008

'Stabilisierungspolitik' – der bewusst unscharf gewählte Begriff illustriert das Dilemma

– lässt sich nicht reinlich in einen genuin außenpolitischem Bereich und einen flankierend- entwicklungspolitischen Bereich aufteilen.


Insbesondere gegenüber dem zivilen

Krisenmanagement, dem Boomsektor der Europäischen Sicherheits- und Verteidigungspolitik, ist eine analytisch scharfe Abgrenzung einer gemeinschaftsrechtlichen 'Stabilisierungspolitik' kaum möglich. Während Sicherheitssektorreformen beispielsweise grundsätzlich als Beiträge der ESVP zur Stabilisierung eines Landes anzusehen sind, werden in den

Teilbereichen Justiz und Polizeiausbildung auch Projekte im Rahmen der ersten Säule durchgeführt. Eine gemeinschaftsrechtliche 'Stabilisierungspolitik' muss, soviel ist klar, an die Ziele der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit und der wirtschaftlichen, finanziellen und technischen Zusammenarbeit anknüpfen. Doch ein Blick in die Verträge hilft kaum, hier eine genauere Abgrenzung vorzunehmen. Denn nicht nur die Zielsetzung der gemeinschaftlichen Entwicklungszusammenarbeit ist allgemein gehalten; auch die Ziele der Gemeinsamen Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik sind offen formuliert. Und anders als in vielen

Bereichen des Gemeinschaftsrecht hat der Europäische Gerichtshof bislang wenig Licht in diese materiell-rechtliche Grauzone zwischen den Säulen bringen können, ist er doch grundsätzlich in GASP-Angelegenheiten unzuständig.


Genau dies aber mag sich demnächst ändern – und hier liegt ein Grund für die schleppenden Verhandlungen zum Stabilitätsinstrumentes: Seit 2005 ist ein von der Kommission gegen den Rat angestrengtes Verfahren vor dem Europäischen Gerichtshof anhängig, dass die materiellen Grenzen zwischen den Säulen in Zukunft ausloten helfen könnte.

Streitgegenstand ist eine im Rahmen der GASP beschlossene Maßnahme zur Eindämmung der Verbreitung von Kleinwaffen ( small arms and lights weapons – SALW), ein Bereich, der sich der einvernehmlichen Zuordnung zu den Säulen entzogen hat und zum

Kulminationspunkt interinstitutioneller Kompetenzstreitigkeiten geworden ist.


Eine et-


Vgl. Duke 'Areas of Grey: Tensions in EU External Relations Competences', EIPASCOPE Bulletin 2006/1, S. 21-27, der folgende weitere Handlungsfelder in der Grauzone zwischen der ersten und zweiten Säule verortet: Wahlbeobachtungsmissionen, Handelsrestriktionen im Bereich

Waffen und Dual-Use Güter, Maßnahmen zur Konfliktprävention sowie die Frage der EU-



Vgl. Ketvel, 'The Jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in Respect of the Common Foreign and Security Policy', ICLQ Bd. 55, 2007, S. 77-120.


Rs. C-91/05, Schlussantrag vom 19.9.2007. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 was ausführlichere Analyse dieses – zurecht als wegweisend eingestuften


– Verfahrens wird die zukünftige institutionelle Praxis in dieser kompetenzrechtlichen Grauzone abschätzen helfen.

Kulminationspunkt kompetenzrechtlicher Spannungen – der ECOWAS-Fall

Bemerkenswerterweise berufen sich sowohl die Kommission als auch das als Streithelfer des Rates auftretende Großbritannien in ihren Stellungnahmen auf ein Prinzip der 'Säulenhygiene' – auf pillar purity , wie wir es plakativ genannt haben. Dies wird, was die Argumente der Kommission betrifft, vor allem in der Interpretation des Art. 47 EUV deutlich. So dürfe die Union im Rahmen der GASP keine Maßnahmen ergreifen, die in die

Zuständigkeit der Gemeinschaft fallen, ungeachtet der Tatsache, ob es sich um ausschließliche, geteilte oder konkurrierende Kompetenzen handelt. Mit anderen Worten:

Selbst wenn die Kommission in einem gegebene Bereich bislang nicht aktiv geworden ist, es aber kompetenzrechtlich werden könnte, verbiete sich ein Handeln im Rahmen der

GASP. Dieser Ansatz würde sich substantiell von der Abgrenzung zwischen Gemeinschaftsrecht und mitgliedstaatlicher Kompetenz unterscheiden.

Demgegenüber vertreten der Rat und seine Streithelfer (einschließlich Großbritanniens) in Bezug auf Art. 47 EUV eine weniger säulenstrenge Position. Dieser verhindere im Rahmen der GASP keinesfalls den Einsatz von Instrumenten, die auch durch die Gemeinschaft im Rahmen der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit verwendet werden können, da die Maßnahmen jeweils unterschiedlichen Zielen dienten. Großbritannien sieht Art. 47 im übrigen nur dann verletzt, wenn eine GASP-Maßnahme einer bereits ergriffenen Gemeinschaftsmaßnahme effektiv zuwiderlaufe. In Bezug auf den Streitgegenstand SALW – und hier orientieren sich der Rat und seine Streithelfer Großbritannien wieder in Richtung pillar purity – bestreiten die Antragsgegner grundsätzlich eine Zuständigkeit der Gemeinschaft. An dieser Stelle wiederum gibt sich die Kommission weniger kategorisch:

Zwar sei die Bekämpfung der Verbreitung von SALW anerkanntermaßen integraler Bestandteil der gemeinschaftlichen Entwicklungspolitik, doch möge es Aspekte der SALW-

Bekämpfung geben, die je nach Inhalt und Zielsetzung in den Bereich der GASP fallen.

Diese erst im Laufe des Verfahrens konzedierte Nuancierung mag dem Umstand geschul-


So Duke, a.a.O. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 det sein, dass ein Standpunkt, demzufolge jedwede Maßnahme zur Bekämpfung der

Verbreitung von SALW außerhalb der GASP liegt, intuitiv schwer nachvollziehbar ist und im Verfahren kaum haltbar gewesen wäre.

Angesichts dieser Argumente von offenkundig grundsätzlicher Bedeutung für das interinstitutionelle Gleichgewicht ist kaum verwunderlich, dass sich die parallel stattfindenden Verhandlungen zum Stabilitätsinstrument zäh gestaltet haben.


Immerhin enthält das Stabilitätsinstrument zwei Positivlisten von Handlungsfeldern, die der Gemeinschaftskompetenz im Bereich Entwicklungszusammenarbeit insbesondere gegenüber der zweiten Säule Konturen verleiht. Ein Urteil im Verfahren ist für Ende des Jahres 2007 zu erwarten, doch auf Grundlage des mittlerweile vorliegenden Schlussplädoyers des Generalanwaltes kann bereits über die Entwicklung der Spruchpraxis spekuliert werden.


Anknüpfend an die – spärliche – Judikatur des EuGH zu Fragen der Abgrenzung der

GASP folgt der Generalanwalt einer der Säulenhygiene verpflichteten Linie. Hinsichtlich des Art. 47 teilt er im wesentlichen die Argumente des Kommission. Die entscheidenden

Passagen lauten: „Während es den Mitgliedstaaten grundsätzlich freisteht, tätig zu werden, ist [...] ein Tätigwerden der Europäischen Union nach Titel V oder VI des EU-

Vertrags grundsätzlich durch die Existenz entsprechender EG-vertraglicher Zuständigkeiten ausgeschlossen, gleich welcher Natur (ausschließlich, geteilt oder parallel) diese der


In diesem Zusammenhang sind die Rückversicherungen aufschlussreich, die an mehreren Stellen der Verordnung zum Ausdruck gebracht werden, siehe etwa den dritten Erwägungsgrund

(eigene Hervorhebungen): „Measures taken under this Regulation in pursuit of the objectives of Article 177 and 181a of the [...] EC Treaty may be complementary to and should be consistent with measures adopted by the EU in pursuit of Common Foreign and Security Policy objectives within the framework of Title VI of the [...] EU treaty. The Council and the Commission should cooperate to that effect .“ In der Praxis kommt die Kommission der Kooperationspflicht dadurch nach, dass sie das Politische und Sicherheitspolitische Komitee monatlich über die im Rahmen des Stabilitätsinstruments zu finanzierenden Projekte unterrichtet.

Ebenfalls aufschlussreich sind die in Art. 1 aufgezeigten roten Linien (eigene Hervorhebungen):

„1. The Community shall undertake development cooperation measures, as well as financial, economic and technical cooperation measures with third countries under the conditions set out in this Regulation. 2. In accordance with the objectives of such cooperation and within its limits as laid down in the EC treaty , the specific aims of this Regulation shall be: [...].

Measures taken under this Regulation may be complementary to, and shall be consistent with, and without prejudice to , measures adopted under Title V and Title VI of the EU Treaty.“


In den überwiegenden Fällen liegt das Urteil auf Linie des Schlussplädoyers, was freilich nicht ausschließt, dass der EuGH gelegentlich zu gänzlich anderen Schlüssen als der Generalanwalt gelangt. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008

Gemeinschaft zugewiesenen Zuständigkeiten sind.“


Und weiter heißt es: „Art. 47 [soll] den Vorrang des Gemeinschaftshandelns nach dem EG-Vertrag gegenüber einem Handeln auf der Grundlage von Titel V oder Titel VI des EU-Vertrags gleichsam hermetisch schützen, so dass, wenn eine Handlung nach dem EG-Vertrag vorgenommen werden könnte , sie nach diesem Vertrag vorgenommen werden muss .“


Im folgenden prüft der Generalanwalt konsequenterweise, ob die von der Kommission angefochtene Maßnahme im Rahmen der Gemeinschaftskompetenz für Entwicklungszusammenarbeit hätte ergriffen werden können . Hierbei – und das ist für das Ergebnis entscheidend – werden sowohl der Inhalt der Maßnahme als auch deren in den angefochtenen Rechtsakten dargelegte Zielsetzung untersucht. Letztere wird zum fallentscheidenden

Kriterium. Während eine SALW-Maßnahme durchaus in den Bereich der Gemeinschaftskompetenz fallen könne (sofern sie nämlich „ausschließlich oder hauptsächlich die

Entwicklungszusammenarbeit bezweckt und zur Erreichung der sozio-ökonomischen Entwicklungsziele dieser Zusammenarbeit beiträgt“), wird die Gemeinschaftskompetenz im vorliegenden Fall verneint, da die Maßnahme genuin außen- und sicherheitspolitischen

Zwecken diene.

Zwei Dinge sind für das Verhältnis zwischen den Institutionen bemerkenswert: Zum einen konsolidiert der Generalanwalt mit seinem Schlussantrag die Zuständigkeit des

EuGH im Bereich der zweiten Säule, indem er nämlich die angefochtenen Rechtsakte auf

Grundlage der im EUV formulierten Ziele der GASP prüft. Damit folgt er einer wahrscheinlich unvermeidbaren Tendenz starker, unabhängiger Gerichtshöfe, die eigene Jurisdiktion großzügig wahrzunehmen. Zweitens – und das ist für die hier fokussierte Fragestellung interessant – gibt der Schlussantrag Aufschluss zum Verhältnis der ersten und zweiten Säule, und zwar im Sinne von pillar purity . Dogmatisch wird an der Abstraktion einer reinlichen Trennung zwischen der ersten und zweiten Säulen festgehalten. Dies gelingt freilich vernünftig nur dadurch, dass eine Maßnahme nach Inhalt und Ziel beurteilt – und zugeordnet – wird. Objektiv identische Maßnahmen mögen, folgt man dem Generalanwalt, also im Rahmen der ersten und der zweiten Säulen ergriffen werden. Die Zielsetzung


Siehe unter Ziffer 111.


Siehe unter Ziffer 116. Die englische Textfassung liest sich vielleicht klarer: „[...] so that if an action could be undertaken on the basis of the EC Treaty, it must be undertaken by virtue of that Treaty.“ hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 jedoch spätestens erlaubt eine eindeutige Verortung. Voraussetzung hierzu ist die Prüfung der deklarierten Ziele einer Maßnahme durch den EuGH.

Was sind die praktischen Auswirkungen einer solchen Rechtsauslegung? Materiell trägt sie wenig zur Abgrenzung der GASP vom vergemeinschafteten Außenhandeln bei.

Die Rückbindung an ohnehin oft allgemein formulierte politische Ziele wird kaum Klarheit stiften, wenn eine umstrittene Maßnahme der ersten oder der zweiten Säule zugeordnet werden soll. Wohl aber werden alle beteiligten Seiten Anstrengungen darauf verwenden, eine beschlossene Maßnahme plausibel in den Zielen des EU-Vertrag bzw. des EG-

Vertrages zu verankern, ihre Zweckdienlichkeit für den jeweils anderen Zielkatalog hingegen in Frage stellen. Die oben dargestellte, pillar purity verpflichtete Rechtsauslegung erschwert eine großzügigere Haltung im Umgang mit kompetenzrechtlichen Fragen, die vermutlich notwendig wäre, um säulenübergreifende Synergien freizusetzen.

Zusammenfassung und Ausblick im Lichte des Reformvertrages

Die vier Fallbeispiele geben insgesamt wenig Hinweise auf die von uns plakativ als 'pillar synergy' bezeichnete Entwicklungstendenz. Im Gegenteil, die Säulenstruktur der EU hält wacker den unterschiedlichen Versuchen stand, die Grenzen zwischen gemeinschaftlichem Außenhandeln und der Gemeinsamen Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik durchlässiger zu gestalten. Sowohl der Rat und die Mitgliedstaaten auf der einen Seite als auch die Kommission auf der anderen Seite unternehmen Versuche, die Grenzen zwischen der ersten und zweiten Säulen zum jeweils eigenen Vorteil abzustecken. Dies gilt besonders deutlich im Innenverhältnis der Europäischen Union: Aufgabenprofil und Weisungskette der EU-Sonderbeauftragten, die Behandlung von Sanktionsrechtsakten in den Gremien der EU und auch eine sich andeutende Judikatur des EuGH lassen sich als Belege für Säulenhygiene – pillar purity – heranziehen. Im Außenverhältnis entfalten immerhin die EU-

Sonderbeauftragten mit Doppelhut politische Synergien


– möglicherweise mit Präzedenzwirkung für den zukünftigen Europäischen Auswärtigen Dienst. Dies kann den grundsätzlichen Befund jedoch allenfalls nuancieren. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008


Fallbeispiel I:



Außenwirkung: pillar synergy

Innenverhältnis: pillar purity modus operandi einvernehmliche


Fallbeispiel II:

Abkommen mit Drittstaaten

Fallbeispiel III:


Tendenz offen

Tendenz pillar purity

Stagnation statt

Weiterentwicklung geschäftsmäßige


Fallbeispiel IV:


Tendenz pillar purity spannungsreiche


Die Gründe für diesen Befund sind in den Beharrungskräften der interessierten Akteure (Fallbeispiele I und III), in klaren Präferenzen einzelner Mitgliedstaaten und der Kommission (Fallbeispiel II) oder in der Judikatur des Europäischen Gerichtshofes (Fallbeispiel

IV) zu suchen. Letzterer konsolidiert freilich nur die seit Gründung der Europäischen Politischen Zusammenarbeit bestehende und mit Maastricht in Vertragsform gegossene

Ordnung. Pillar purity scheint in gewisser Weise den kleinsten gemeinsamen Nenner, eine für alle Seiten akzeptable Rückfallposition darzustellen.

Bemerkenswerterweise gibt es neben dem im letzten Teil untersuchten Rechtsstreit keine Anzeichen für einen konfliktiven modus operandi . Reibungen, Meinungsverschiedenheiten existieren, können aber letzten Endes im Einvernehmen der Akteure gelöst werden, ohne dass die Spannungen sichtbar zu Tage treten oder den Brüsseler Entscheidungsprozess lähmen würden. Wohl aber können diese Reibungen die politischen

Abstimmungen erschweren (Fallbeispiele III und IV) und institutionelle Weiterentwicklungen unterbinden (Fallbeispiel II).


Mit der Annahme des Reformvertrages durch den Europäischen Rat muss die Frage nach

Ableben oder Fortbestehen der Säulenarchitektur der EU neu gestellt werden.


Auf den


Eine Differenzierung nach Innenverhältnis und Außenwirkung liefert in den Fallbeispielen II-

IV keinen Erkenntnisgewinn.


Das interinstitutionelle Spannungsverhältnis hat bei den Verhandlungen zum Verfassungs- bzw. Reformvertrag kaum öffentliche Aufmerksamkeit erfahren. Fragen der Kompetenzverteilung wurden vielmehr im Verhältnis der EU zu den Mitgliedstaaten ('Beteiligung der nationalen Parlamente') oder im Verhältnis der Mitgliedstaaten untereinander ('Stimmengewichtung') hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 ersten Blick scheint die Antwort leicht: Das Fundament der Säulenstruktur, die Unterscheidung zwischen der Gemeinschaft und den im Rahmen der zweiten und dritten Säule handelnden EU-Institutionen, wird niedergerissen. „Die Union tritt an die Stelle der Gemeinschaft, deren Rechtsnachfolgerin sie ist“ wird es gemäß Reformvertrag im konsolidierten Vertrag über die Europäische Union heißen. Und mit der Personalunion des Hohen Beauftragten für die Gemeinsame Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik und des Kommissars für Außenbeziehung bekommt die Union endlich an höchstrangiger Stelle den Doppelhut, der interinstitutionelle Kohärenz nach innen und einheitliches Auftreten nach außen gewährleisten soll.


Gleichwohl: Bereits auf den zweiten Blick tauchen Fragen auf. So werden die Bestimmungen zur Gemeinsamen Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik im EU-Vertrag belassen, während alle anderen Politikfelder im zukünftigen Vertrag über die Arbeitsweise der Europäischen Union (ehemals EG-Vertrag) behandelt werden. Allein dies mag als Beleg für die fortbestehende Sonderstellung der Gemeinsamen Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik dienen.

Ein näherer Blick in den Reformvertrag bestätigt dies. Abstimmungsmodalitäten und Instrumente der GASP, die der Kommission und dem Europäischen Parlament zugewiesenen Rollen


und nicht zuletzt die (rudimentäre) Zuständigkeit des Europäischen Gerichtshofs in Fragen der Außenpolitik


bleiben auch mit dem Reformvertrag im wesentli-

60 thematisiert. Die besondere Sensibilität der nationalen Öffentlichkeiten für die Frage der

Stimmgewichtung illustriert, dass die Brüsseler Entscheidungsfindung weithin als ein Ringen um nationale Interessen, als Nullsummenspiel wahrgenommen wird. Dass in der Brüsseler Verhandlungspraxis eine Kultur des Einvernehmens selbst dort vorherrscht, wo nach qualifizierter

Mehrheit entschieden wird, ist kaum bekannt. Im Bereich der GASP gilt dies verstärkt, da hier nicht nur in der Praxis eine Konsenstradition vorherrscht, sondern dies auch rechtlich der Regelfall bleibt. Auch in anderen Bereichen wird die institutionelle Praxis der Bedeutung, die die

öffentliche oder wissenschaftliche Debatte einer Frage beimisst, nicht gerecht. So ist die sogenannte 'konstruktive Enthaltung' gemäß Art. 23, Abs. 1 EUV in der Entscheidungspraxis der

EU bislang bedeutungslos geblieben ist. Auch für den Mechanismus der 'verstärkten Zusammenarbeit' gibt es bis heute keinen Anwendungsfall. Zu den zwei großen EU-

Integrationsfeldern mit unvollständiger Mitgliedschaft (dem Schengen-Raum und der Euro-

Zone) enthalten die Verträge Sonderregelungen. Die Verträge von Prüm wurden außerhalb der

EU geschlossen.


Gleichzeitig wird mit dem Europäischen Präsidenten ein Amt geschaffen, dessen Verhältnis zum Amt des Kommissionspräsidenten nicht gänzlich reibungsfrei bleiben wird.


Dies wird in der in Fußnote 22 der Schlussfolgerungen des Vorsitzes zum Europäischen Rat am

21./22.6.2007 vorgesehenen Erklärung unterstrichen: „Die Konferenz stellt ferner fest, dass die

Bestimmungen zur GASP der Kommission keine neuen Befugnisse zur Einleitung von Beschlüssen übertragen oder die Rolle des Europäischen Parlaments erweitern.“

Vgl. hierzu den neuen Art. 11, Abs. 1, EUV. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 chen unverändert. Damit wird sich auch die der GASP eigene Handlungslogik weiterhin von der alten 'Gemeinschaftsmethode' unterscheiden, welche nunmehr ohne 'Gemeinschaft' in der Union fortlebt.

Der Reformvertrag, hierin dem Vertrag von Maastricht ähnlich, unternimmt keine

Versuche der materiellen Abgrenzung der Gemeinsame Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik.

Sie bleibt bis auf weiteres ein großzügig abgestecktes Politikfeld: „Die Zuständigkeit der

Union in der Gemeinsamen Außen und Sicherheitspolitik erstreckt sich auf alle Bereiche der Außenpolitik sowie auf sämtliche Fragen im Zusammenhang mit der Sicherheit der

Union, einschließlich der schrittweisen Festlegung einer gemeinsamen Verteidigungspolitik, die zu einer gemeinsamen Verteidigung führen kann“, heißt es im neuformulierten

Art. 11 Abs. 1. Andererseits, und hierin mag man eine gewisse Widersprüchlichkeit erkennen, wird bereits im neuen Art. 4 Abs. 2 EUV herausgestrichen, dass „[i]nsb. die nationale Sicherheit [...] weiterhin in die alleinige Zuständigkeit der einzelnen Mitgliedstaaten“ fällt (eigene Hervorhebung).

Diese Unklarheit berührt freilich die klassische Trennlinie zwischen mitgliedstaatlichen und EU-Kompetenzen, und überhaupt, so scheint es, atmet der Reformvertrag die

Furcht vor weiteren Integrationsschritten.


Was den Grenzverlauf zwischen der spezifischen Materie der Gemeinsamen Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik und allen weiteren Politikfeldern der EU angeht, so lässt sich gegenüber dem Vertrag von Maastricht eine gewisse Akzentverschiebung feststellen. Der bisherige Artikel 47, demzufolge der EU-Vertrag

(und mithin die Gemeinsame Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik) den gemeinschafts-


So sticht die deutliche und mehrfache Betonung des Prinzips der begrenzten Einzelermächtigung in den neugefassten Artikeln 4 und 5 EUV (konsolidierte Nummerierung) hervor. Hinsichtlich der Außenpolitik ist insbesondere der beim Europäischen Rat konsentierte Wortlaut einer Erklärung der kommenden Regierungskonferenz (vgl. Schlussfolgerungen S. 19, supra Fn.

6) aufschlussreich: „Die Konferenz unterstreicht, dass die Bestimmungen des Vertrages über die

Europäischen Union betreffend die Gemeinsame Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik, einschließlich der Schaffung des Amt des Hohen Vertreters der Union für die Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik und der Errichtung eines Auswärtigen Dienste, weder die derzeit bestehenden Zuständigkeiten der Mitgliedstaaten für die Formulierung und Umsetzung ihrer Außenpolitik noch ihre nationale Vertretung in Drittländern und internationalen Organisationen berühren. Die Konferenz weist auch darauf hin, dass die Bestimmungen über die Gemeinsame Außen- und Verteidigungspolitik den besonderen Charakter der Sicherheits- und Verteidigungspolitik der Mitgliedstaaten unberührt lassen. Sie hebt hervor, dass die EU und ihre Mitgliedstaaten nach wie vor durch die Bestimmungen der Charta der Vereinten Nationen und insbesondere durch die übergeordnete Verantwortung des Sicherheitsrats und seiner Mitglieder für die Wahrung von Frieden und Sicherheit in der Welt gebunden sind.“ hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 rechtlichen Besitzstand „unberührt lässt“, hat – nunmehr als Art. 25 – eine interessante

Neuformulierung gefunden, die in Gänze zu zitieren sich lohnt:

„Die Durchführung der Gemeinsamen Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik lässt die Anwendung der

Verfahren und den jeweiligen Umfang der Befugnisse der Organe, die in den Verträgen für die

Ausübung der in den Artikeln 3 bis 6 des Vertrags über die Arbeitsweise der Union aufgeführten

Zuständigkeiten der Union vorgesehen sind, unberührt. Ebenso lässt die Durchführung der Politik nach den genannten Artikeln die Anwendung der Verfahren und den jeweiligen Umfang der Befugnisse der Organe, die in den Verträgen für die Ausübung der Zuständigkeiten der Union nach diesem Kapitel vorgesehen wird, unberührt.“

Mit anderen Worten: Hier wird die materielle und prozedurale Gleichrangigkeit von

GASP auf der einen und anderen EU-Politiken auf der anderen Seite unterstrichen. Damit wird auch das latente Spannungsverhältnis fortgeschrieben, das seit Einführung der

Europäischen Politischen Zusammenarbeit im Bereich des Außenhandelns der EU existiert. Und so ist es zumindest sachgerecht, dass im neuen Art. 10a, Abs. 3, EUV weiterhin an die Notwendigkeit von Kohärenz im auswärtigen Handeln erinnert wird. Wie bislang obliegt es dem Rat und der Kommission in geteilter Verantwortung, diese Kohärenz sicherzustellen. Hierbei wird dem Hohen Repräsentanten, der gleichzeitig Mitglied der

Kommission ist, eine Schlüsselrolle zukommen. Die – institutionstheoretisch überaus spannende – Frage wird sein, ob eine Personalunion an der Spitze schwerer wiegt als eine historisch gewachsene funktionelle Ausdifferenzierung von Organen, Verfahren und Politiken. Die in den Fallbeispielen deutlich hervorgetretenen Beharrungskräfte gegenüber den unterschiedlichen Versuchen, die Säulenstruktur zu überwinden, legen jedenfalls nahe: Die Schatten von Maastricht werden lang.

hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 36-68

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008


hamburg review of social sciences

Incoherent securitisation: The EU in the Iraq crisis


Bernhard Stahl


1. Introduction

The EU’s ‘great split’ in the Iraq crisis 2002/2003 constituted a serious setback to the common endeavour to become a recognised security actor. While some member states promoted or entirely supported the attack on Iraq, others objected to any UN Security

Council Resolution legitimising war. The EU’s evident incoherence raised serious doubts as to whether the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) was anything more than

‘sunshine policy’. Presumably, the EU is still suffering from a deficient common security

PD Dr. Bernhard Stahl is currently Professor of European Integration on behalf of the German

Ministry of Economic Cooperation in Serbia, Prota Mateja Nenadovic College, Valjevo, Serbia.


I am indebted to all colleagues and friends who commented on previous versions of the text which have been presented at the UACES conference in Zagreb (5-7 September 2005) and the

ECPR conference in Turino (12-15 September 2007). In particular, my thanks go to Julia

Daufenbach, Kristin M. Haugevik, Karen E. Smith, Stefanie Vogel, the hrss reviewers, and the editors of this journal. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 69-105

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 identity – i.e. a common understanding of ‘how the world is’ and ‘what should be done about it’ – which is held to be a necessary pre-requisite for EU actorness. Yet for many analysts, the crisis bears the fruit of future coherence. Two arguments support this view.

Firstly, the Iraq drama may appear as a one-shot gaffe – “ an accident waiting to happen “

(Cameron 2003, 1). The CFSP has always been pushed forward by crises – a “ ratchet effect

” as Hill and Wallace (1996, 13) have coined it. The adoption of a ‘

European Security

Strategy ’ (ESS) still in 2003 served as proof for such a ratchet effect. But, in this respect, the paper calls for prudence. It will be argued here that the inconsistent securitisation of the member states over Iraq reveals structural deficits within the CFSP which are not likely to be healed by the ESS when the next crisis erupts.

The second argument relies on the wide-spread perception that the Europeans have fallen into two camps which can largely be identified as Atlanticists and Europeanists, known from the literature on CFSP (Stahl et al 2004). In this view, the Atlanticists were identical with the subscribers of a famous article published in numerous newspapers on

30/1/2003 – “ Europe and America must stand united ”. The ‘Europeanist camp’ was represented by France and Germany which formed a coalition with Russia by drafting competing UN Security Council Declarations and calling for an autonomous ESDP headquarter in early 2003. Implicitly, the ‘camp thesis’ denotes that there was a considerable degree of coherence inside the two camps. With regard to the literature on policy convergence and

Europeanisation, this could be interpreted as a case of ‘clustered coherence ’ (cf. Börzel and Risse 2003, 73). Yet this study is challenging the ‘two-camps thesis’ by claiming that the countries’ behaviour can rather be called idiosyncratic and that concerted action was merely incidental. In a qualitative assessment of eight member states’ foreign policy behaviour throughout the crisis, I will try to demonstrate that the countries diverged regarding threat perception, the urgency and need for common action and the attributed role of the CFSP. By concentrating on the ‘old’ member states which at the latest acceded the

EC in the 1980s the socialisation hypothesis can be challenged as a side-effect. The term

‘socialisation’ is usually applied to individuals which learn the values, norms and culture of their particular society. In EU-foreign policy, socialisation means that the decisionmakers’ perceptions and interests are transformed by common working habits (Manners and Whitman 2000, 8). In a wider sense, the socialisation hypothesis implies that hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 69-105

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“ prolonged participation in the CFSP feeds back into EU member states and reorients their foreign policy cultures along similar lines ” (Smith 2000, 614).

This study will rather suggest that in times of crisis, the member states remained unaffected by previous promises and rather acted like monads. In this respect, the study will support Hill’s (1998, 36) notion of the “ renationalisation of foreign policy ”.

In order to qualify EU actorness, ‘consistency’ serves as a key term. Vertical inconsistency applies “ when one or more member states pursues national policies which are out of kilter with policies agreed in the EU

.” (Nuttall 2005, 98).


By contrast, ‘horizontal inconsistency’ refers to EU policies pursued by different EU actors – like the Commission and the Council – which are not complementary to each other (Nuttall 2005, 97). Finally, ‘institutional inconsistency’ is characterised by mismatches in the bureaucratic apparatus – the EU’s politics and polity (ibid.). Considering that ‘consistency’ is the current term in English whereas ‘coherence’ is mostly used in German and French, I am following Nuttall (2005,

93) in using ‘ consistency’ and ‘coherence’ interchangeably here. The basic idea of vertical consistency does not serve analytical purposes only but is explicitly enshrined in EU law:

“The Member States shall support the Union’s external and security policy actively and unreservedly in a spirit of loyalty and mutual solidarity. (...) They shall refrain from any action which is contrary to the interests of the Union or likely to impair its effectiveness as a cohesive force in international relations.”


I assume that vertical consistency is a necessary (but, of course, not a sufficient) precondition for EU actorness. If the Union lacks consistency she is hardly capable of projecting any sensible foreign policy action. A case in point was the Yugoslav imbroglio when the member states’ inconsistence prevented the EC from intervening effectively in the crisis.

With regard to Iraq, Everts and Keohane (2003, 176) put it well: “ the war in Iraq (...) showed that the EU has zero influence if its member-states do not pull together .”

When dealing with vertical consistency, ‘Brussels actors’ as well as member states should be included in the analysis. An obvious ‘Brussels actor’ is the Council which repre-


Similar definitions provide Duke (1999, 4) and Krenzler and Schneider (1997, 133). hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 69-105

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 sents the collective will of the member states in the CFSP – usually the foreign ministers meet in form of the ‘General Affairs and External Relations Council’ (GAERC). The

European Commission has also a say in EU-foreign policy, the Commissioner for External

Relations at the time (C. Patten) and the President of the Commission (R. Prodi) in particular. Since the innovations of the Amsterdam treaty, the EU-foreign policy is coordinated by the ‘High Representative for Foreign Affairs’ (J. Solana). Those ‘Brussels actors’ notwithstanding, the member states still have the national foreign policies at their disposal. Regarding country selection, it seems logical to choose member states which had an institutional say in the case (Security Council member, EU presidency). Secondly, in order to enable generalisation, the case study should focus on more than half of the then

EU-15, thus including smaller countries. Thirdly, in order to nullify any socialisation bias all countries selected have been EU-members since the inauguration of the CFSP (Treaty of the European Union, 1993). Thus, the member states chosen here are Denmark

(Danmark - DK), France (F), Germany (Deutschland - D), Greece (GR), Italy (I), the

Netherlands (NL), Spain (España - E), and the United Kingdom (UK). Admittedly, the inclusion of some of the candidate countries in the study would have been tempting, but legally, their foreign policy was not part of CFSP, at the time, and so hardly could have been shaped by its institutional effects.


The neutral and non-aligned member states are also ignored here because their status provides them eo ipso with opt-outs in security policy.

What are the reasons for vertical inconsistency? The manifest answer refers to different national foreign policies which reflect different historical traditions, political cultures and geo-political structures. Theoretically, these factors can be subsumed under national identity approaches: Member states follow different foreign policies due to different national identities (Marcussen et al 1999 Hansen and Waever 2002 Joerißen and Stahl

2003). A centrepiece of every national identity is the construction of ‘us’ and ‘them’ and threats touching upon ‘us’ (Campbell 1992). The creation and politicisation of such threats is exactly the central theme of securitisation theory (Larsen 2004, 73). Inconsis-


Consolidated Treaty on European Union, Title V, Provisions on a Common Foreign and Security

Policy, Article 11 (2).


See Mouritzen (2006) for an overall assessment. Kavalski and Zolkos (2007) provide insights in

Poland’s and Bulgaria’s Iraq policy. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 69-105

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 tencies in threat perceptions can be made visible by applying the securitisation approach which was developed by the Copenhagen School in the 1990s (Buzan, Waever and de

Wilde 1998). Securitisation seems well-equipped to deal with the Iraq crisis since it focuses on the politicisation of threats regardless of their materialist foundation. In a nutshell, the assumption is that the more similar the member states’ threat perceptions, the more complementary their respective securitisation strategies would be and the more consistent the EU’s foreign policy would become. By analysing who, when, and how European governments politicised Iraq, I will try to show that the reaction to the crisis was largely internally driven and thus the CFSP has a structural deficit since threat perception and the attributed role of the EU remain country-specific.

The rich and extensive literature on the Iraq crisis can be grouped into three strands.

First, some contributions deal with the crisis as such mainly stressing transatlantic relations (e.g. Gordon and Shapiro 2004; Petersen and Pollack 2003; Shawcross 2004). A second group focuses on single-country explanations (e.g. Heywood 2003; Kampfner

2004; Dalgaard-Nielsen 2003; Aliboni 2003; Gaffney 2004; Styan 2004; Szabo 2004). Finally, an increasing number of articles link the Iraq crisis to theoretical questions (e.g.

Chan and Safran 2006; Dyson 2006, Mazarr 2007; Puetter and Wiener 2007; Shannon and Keller 2007). To date, only a few contributions aim at explaining the overall phenomenon, the ‘European split’ (Mouritzen 2006; Schuster and Maier 2006) and the same applies to comparative assessments (Kritzinger 2003; Menon and Lipkin 2003; Stahl

2005a; Stuchlik 2005; Wood 2003). A comparative securitisation approach could provide some added-value by exploring when and how the member states securitised ‘Iraq’ in the run-up to the war.

After having introduced securitisation theory, some extracted indicators (securitisation timing, threat perception, emergency action taken) will shape the subsequent empirical analysis. In the concluding remarks, possible explanations will be discussed and some implications regarding coherence and future EU actorness will be presented.

2. On Securitisation

The securitisation approach developed by Buzan, Waever and de Wilde (1998) has changed the traditional understanding of ‘security’ in two respects. First, it has broadened hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 69-105

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 the security agenda by including threats eminating from non-military sectors (e.g. environment, culture, economy). Second, it refrains from taking the meaning of ‘security’ as given. Rather, it treats ‘security’ as a contested concept putting it in a social-constructivist context.

“(..) security is about survival. It is when an issue is presented as posing an existential threat to a designated referent object (..). The special nature of security threats justifies the use of extraordinary measures to handle them.

” (Buzan, Waever and de Wilde 1998, 21).

With the help of a securitising move something is presented as an existential threat to a “ referent object

” (Buzan et al 1998, 25). Typical referent objects are the society, the state, or the nation (p. 36). In this study – for analytical purposes – I take the referent object as given assuming that the governments are usually trying to securitise a threat to the country’s population.

What remains central is the notion of ‘threat’. But different to the neorealist understanding of ‘threat’ as something quasi material and objective (Walt 1987, 23ff.), threats are defined by governments, politicians or members of the élite: “(T)he senses of threat, vulnerability, and (in)security are socially constructed rather than objecitively present or absent.”

(Buzan et al 1998, 57). The US-driven insistence of Iraq as a security concern, in the aftermath of 9/11, may serve as a prime example for the usefulness and applicability of the

(social-constructivist) securitisation approach. The more so, as all material foundations of the attack (WMD, link to Al-Qaida) have dissolved.

Securitisation can be understood “ as a more extreme version of politicisation “ (p. 23).

Some societal actors or groups of actors (“ enunciators ”/” securitisers ”) are raising their voices to make a specific issue a pre-eminent topic in the public debate – they are ‘securitising’ an issue. In this analysis – for convenience – I concentrate on the theory’s performative aspect. The enunciators are the member states’ governments and those politicians in the EU-foreign policy system in charge of the CFSP (Solana, Patten, Prodi). The

CFSP is – in theoretical terms –

“[a] security complex , a set of states whose major security perceptions and concerns are so interlinked that their national security problems cannot reasonably be analyzed or resolved apart from one another ” (Buzan et al 1998, 12).

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As Sheehan (2005, 55) adds, “ securitizing is never an innocent act .” Politicians may have arbitrary motives when they are attempting to define a threat and make it a political toppriority. Yet, as Wæver (2002, 27) has claimed for any kind of discourse analysis: The politicians’ “thoughts or motives (..), their hidden intuitions or secret plans“ shall be ignored.

However, the political authority or societal position grants those “ managers of Angst ”

(Huysmans 1998, 243) a first mover advantage in the securitisation process. But this advantage alone does not guarantee the desired outcome. In his endeavour to comprehend

‘securitisation’ as a strategic practice, Balzacq (2005, 184) notes that

“ the success of the securitisation is highly contingent upon the securitizing actor’s ability to identify with the audience’s feelings, needs and interests ”.

At this point, the securitisation approach meets identity theory, which would claim that a securitising move is likely to be successful if its contents resonate well with the respective national identity (Risse 2003, 115). So the success of the politicisation efforts depends on the public’s acceptance (Buzan et al 1998, 31). Acceptance makes the difference between the effort (“ the securitisation move ”) and the success (“ securitisation ”).

Figure: The process of securitisation

Sec. Actor:

Threat perception, urgency

Sec. Move:


Sec. Act:

Emergency measures

Successful sec.:


Yet, little help is provided by securitisation theory when it comes down to practical methodological questions i.e. which audience is the most relevant, and when an audience is really persuaded (Stritzel 2007, 363). In sum, a (sucessful) securitisation consists of three components (Buzan et al 1998, 26): existential threats, emergency action, and effects on hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 69-105

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 inter-unit relations by breaking free of rules. ‘Breaking free of rules’ could mean in the

Iraq case to break the norm of sovereignty without the United Nation’s consent.

One more definition seems useful when assessing the member states’ foreign policy behaviour. An analytical term is needed for governments/politicians who are refraining from securitising: “ Desecuritisation – by contrast – means the attempt to remove an issue from the realm of the politics of existential survival”

(Sheehan 2005, 54). ‘To remove an issue’ does not necessarily mean to remain silent which could be termed “ asecurity ” (Diez and Joenniemi 1999, 5). Rather, desecuritisation applies to strategies which down-play an issue, or re-frames it in a different context.

Remarkably, little is said in Buzan et al (1998) about comparative securitisation. When comparing securitisations, it seems plausible to start with the urgency of a threat. As

Buzan et al (1998, 30) assume, different actors hold “ different thresholds for defining a threat ”. How could such ‘thresholds’ be operationalised methodologically? Firstly, a threshold can be interpreted in a dynamic way meaning differences in the perception of urgency.


An indicator for differences concerning urgency is the timing of securitisation moves. This simply reveals which actor reckons a threat as being very urgent and which actor prefers to remain in an ‘asecurity’ stage. An ‘early bird enunciator’ not only sets the stage but also pre-directs the debate by naming and framing the issue. In the Iraq case, this role was deliberately taken by the Bush-Administration which increasingly ‘talked

Iraq’ in 2002. The EU felt compelled to react and to enter the debate, though inconsistently – as we will see.

A second element of a “ threshold in defining a threat ” refers to the threat itself – its contents and meaning. Recalling the identity perspective from above, the analytical question goes: What and who is threatening ‘us’? Different threat perceptions – the plausibility argument runs here – would lead to inconsistencies regarding common emergency measures. ‘Emergency actions’ are a key element of securitisation theory which easily translates into the comparative approach employed here: In how far did the member states contribute to the attack on Iraq and the occupation forces? By contrasting the way governments speak about Iraq (‘securitisation moves’) with what they do about Iraq (‘securitisation hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 69-105

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 acts’) possible inconsistencies of the respective securitisations can be detected. In other words, to what degree are the respective timings, threat perceptions and emergency actions inter-related?

So the following analysis will be divided in the three parts ‘timing’, ‘threat perception’ and ‘emergency actions taken’. It will be descriptive-analytical in either a chronological or country-specific manner. I mainly stick to primary sources (government statements, speeches, newspaper articles) which are complemented by secondary literature for the purpose of substantiating judgements.

3. The EU’s securitisation in the Iraq crisis (2002-2003)

The European policies in the crisis can reasonably be assessed only when taking the historical context into account. In 2002, the Bush government increasingly focused on

Iraq as its primary security concern (Gordon and Shapiro 2004, 66ff.). The administration provided three reasons for this: Firstly, the Iraqi regime was supposed to possess and further develop WMD. By so doing, Iraq had violated several United Nations Security

Council (UNSC) Resolutions and thus international law. Secondly, there were - allegedly

- links to the Al-Qaida network which would mean a serious proliferation risk. Thirdly, the autocratic character of Saddam’s regime would contribute to destabilising the Middle

East and would inhibit any Western efforts to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In the following months, the US-administration attempted to convince its allies of the urgency of the threat and called for regime change, being the only adequate response. The quest for legitimacy for such a regime change by military means mainly took place in the UNSC between October 2002 and March 2003. In the discussions, the most critical point referred to the interpretation of the UN inspectors’ work and the degree of Saddam’s cooperation. In November 2002, the UNSC unanimously called for immediate Iraqi cooperation with the UN weapon inspectors, yet not specifying the consequences for

Iraq’s possible non-compliance. In January 2003, the divergent views on how to proceed


Van Ham (2004, 216), for instance, has pointed out that although European leaders agreed on the nature of the Iraqi regime they disagreed on the “ urgency ” and strategy for action. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 69-105

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 with Iraq became obvious: Whereas the US and some European allies like the UK and

Spain considered Iraq’s compliance to the UN’s demand as inadequate and further inspections to be pointless, France, Germany and Russia insisted on an extension of the weapons inspectors’ mission. After vain efforts to gain a majority in the UNSC and

France’s and Russia’s veto threat, the US decided to remove the Iraqi regime by force, renouncing a clear-cut UNSC mandate. After having crushed the Iraqi defence in a few weeks, the US and their allies occupied the country in order to stabilise it and to support its transition to democracy. Until today, the intervention remains disputed – the more so since the first two reasons given by the US administration were proven wrong. Moreover, with regard to the third reason given, most analysts conclude that the overall situation in the Middle East and in Iraq in particular has deteriorated. In the following, the focus will be on the European reactions to the US endeavour to securitise ‘Iraq’ between January

2002 and March 2003. a. The immediate threat – when to move?

After the successful intervention in Afghanistan, Iraq increasingly became the primary target of Washington's think tanks. In Bush's State of the Union Address in January 2002, he named Iraq as part of the „ axis of evil “. The reaction to this speech was rather negative; it “ caused a storm of protest and ridicule .” (Shawcross 2004, 66). The former German Minister of Foreign Affairs, Joschka Fischer (22 February 2002), stated in his speech to the

Bundestag as early as in February 2002 that he doubted any connection between Al-

Qaida and Baghdad. By contrast, the British Prime Minister Blair agreed in principle to an intervention after having met the US President in Crawford, Texas in April 2002

(Kampfner 2004, 168): “ The threat is real .”


Yet Blair publicly insisted all through the year that „ war was not inevitable “, and attempted to gain more domestic support as well as to secure legitimacy for military action. When the EU-leaders gathered in Barcelona in

March, the Commission’s head Prodi challenged Blair over Iraq – the latter still being isolated on the issue (Independent, 17 March 2002). In general though, Iraq remained a taboo in Barcelona: The Spanish Prime Minister Aznar – Spain held the EU-Presidency at


See “ President Bush, Prime Minister Blair Hold Press Conference ” the White House (6/4/2002), http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/04/20020406-3.html [15/8/2007]. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 69-105

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 the time – prevented any attempt to place the topic on the agenda (CNN.com, 16 March

2002). The Spanish government stuck to their policy of ‘asecurity’ during its entire presidency term. The issue was neither mentioned in the EU-declarations in the UN nor in

Aznar’s speech to the Arab League on 27 March 2002.


The only exception was the

CFSP-declaration of 20 May 2002 when Baghdad was encouraged to let the UNinspectors return. But the text’s central element was the relaxation of export restrictions for civilian goods due to humanitarian considerations. In the coming months, the EU commented on nearly every world trouble spot – Kosovo, Bosnia, Sudan, Zimbabwe,

Myanmar etc. – except one: Iraq. Neither the Spanish nor the Danish successor presidency launched any security move and no EU statement reveals anything about threat perceptions.


For instance, the presidency conclusions of the Copenhagen summit on 12-

13 December 2002 only entailed a brief “ declaration on Iraq ” in the annex IV which underlined the central role of the UN Security Council (UNSC) including the inspection operations and a succinct call for Iraq’s compliance. It was only after the release of the ‘Letter of the Eight’ that the foreign ministers convened for an informal meeting on Iraq on 17

February 2003.

Bush's West Point speech in June and New York Times and Washington Post reports in

July 2002 on the military build-up against Iraq both indicated that Iraq was at the core of the US fight against terrorism. In July, the Blair government persuaded the Bush administration to go to the UN in order to secure legitimacy (Kampfner 2004, 191). By autumn, it was clear that Bush had sided with the 'hawks' in his administration and strived for a regime change in Iraq (Petersen and Pollack 2003, 135). On 5 August, the German

Chancellor Schröder on the occasion of the Social Democrats’ national election campaign warned the US „ not to play around with war or military action “ (Economist, 10 August

2002). Much earlier, governmental statements on a possible inclusion of Iraq in the antiterror war had been negative (Harnisch 2004a, 177). Triggered by a tense domestic elec-


See the [email protected] website: www.europe-eu-un.org/articles/en/article_1258_en.htm.


See the Joint position on Iraq adopted by the 15 (17/2/2003), the 13 th

Joint Council and Ministerial Meeting (EU-GCC, 3/3/2003), the Demarche by the Greek Presidency to the Iraqi government on behalf of the EU (4/2/2003), and the GAERC-Sessions on External Relations (27-

28/1/2003 and 19/11/2002). hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 69-105

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 tion campaign (‘ Lagerwahlkampf ’), the German government opted for a ‘loud’ desecuritisation strategy which isolated the country in the EU until the French turn in January 2003.

Despite the British and German positioning, most EU countries still avoided clear statements on the Iraq issue. The Danish EU Presidency tended to dissipate any split and formulated a prudent declaration on the problems in the Middle East in the run-up of the

Gymnich meeting in Helsingør (Financial Times Deutschland (FTD), 29 August 2002).

On this occasion, the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stig Møller, called the discussion of military action still „ hypothetical “ (FTD, 2 September 2002).

By so doing, he followed Prime Minister Rasmussen’s line of argumentation who had previously insisted on the inspectors’ free access to Iraq (Iraq Watch Bulletin, 25 March 2002).

In Helsing r,

French foreign minister De Villepin and his Spanish colleague Ana Palacio added that the

Security Council should keep all options on the table. Italy’s Prime Minister and acting

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Berlusconi, avoided any clear commitment at the informal meeting, but in Washington two weeks later he agreed to an UN-approved military invasion should Iraq not comply (AFP, 15 September). In his speech in Parliament in Rome

(25 September 2002), he made it very clear that in times of crisis, Italy had always sided with the US. In spite of this obvious positioning, the Italian government carried on with its low-profile stance on Iraq (Dassú 2002, 5).

Bush's speech before the UN General Assembly on 12 September hardly changed the other member states' reluctance to take a stance. The Netherlands and Denmark in particular avoided any early positioning and stuck to their desecuritisation approach. The first Balkenende government had supported the US but fell in October 2002. In fact, the welcomed UNSC Resolution in November created some breathing space. The country was mainly absorbed by domestic problems still suffering from the rise and (tragic) fall of the right-wing populist, Pim Fortuyn. With an acting government for most of the time under study, the Dutch government was pre-occupied with coalition talks with the waraverse Labour party (PvdA). Since the negotiating parties could not agree on a consistent

Iraq policy, the Balkenende government refrained from taking a prominent stance on the issue. Prime Minister Balkenende opted for a low-key position concerning Iraq and even turned down the Anglo-Spanish offer to sign the ‘Letter of the Eight’ (Gordon and

Shapiro 2004, 129). This ‘asecurity policy’ was not contested – 'Iraq' was a rather marginal issue in the election campaign in January 2003 (Van Holsteyn and Irwin 2004). hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 69-105

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Due to its responsibility as EU President, Greece was also hesitant about any early and explicit positioning on the Iraq issue. Notably, Greece was partly in charge of the EU Presidency in the second half of 2002 – due to the Danish opt-out in security and defence issues, it chaired the respective Council meetings in 2002. Early statements by the Minister of Defence Papantoniou and Premier Simitis nevertheless suggested that the government vehemently opposed any invasion of Iraq (AthensNews (AN), 27 September 2002). Any urges to make this more explicit were countered by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Papandreou, claiming that there was no reason „ why Greece should rush to take a stance “ (cf.

AN, 4 October 2002).

France's resistance against US plans became ultimately clear on 20 January when the

Minister of Foreign Affairs explicitly attacked the US policy in a press conference following a UNSC meeting (Gordon and Shapiro 2004, 121-125). This event marked the

French turn from asecurity to active desecuritisation. On the occasion of the 40 th

anniversary of the Elysee friendship treaty on 22 January, President Chirac and Chancellor

Schröder stated that they have the “ same judgement on the crisis ”. In a joint declaration with Russia (10/2/2003) the two countries objected again to going to war and pleaded for more weapons inspections instead. By the end of January, France has joined Germany’s

‘loud’ desecuritisation approach. Spain had shared France’s desecuritisation diplomacy all through the year 2002 but opted for the opposite strategy of pronounced securitisation in early 2003. As a member of the UNSC at the time, Aznar and Ana Palacio stood side by side with its Anglo-Saxon partners as became highly visible with the ‘Letter of the Eight’ and the media event on the Azores with Blair and Bush just before the war began. b. The immediate threat - what to securitise?

As mentioned above, the British government had been a staunch promoter of military action against Iraq right from the start. On 23 September, the government published a dossier on “ Iraq’s Weapons on Mass Destruction ” which was presented by Blair in the House of

Commons the next day. In his speech in parliament, Blair insisted that Saddam would mean a real threat to Britain which demands action: hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 69-105

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“ Why now? People ask. I agree I cannot say that this month or next, even this year or next, that he will use his weapons. But I can say that if the international community having made the call for his disarmament, now, at this moment, at the point of decision, shrugs its shoulders and walks away, he will draw the conclusion dictators faced with a weakening will, always draw. That the international community will talk but not act; will use diplomacy but not force; and we know, again from our history, that diplomacy, not backed by the threat of force, has never worked with dictators and never will work. If we take this course, he will carry on, his efforts will intensify, his confidence will grow and at some point, in a future not too distant, the threat will turn into reality.

The threat therefore is not imagined. The history of Saddam and WMD is not American or British propaganda. The history and the present threat are real.


In December, the government issued a second report focussing on the “ Crimes and Human

Rights Abuses ” of Saddams regime. Blair explained to the members of the House of Commons in January 2003 his unequivocal support for the Bush Administration. A complementing dossier on “ Iraq: Its infrastructure of concealment, deception and intimidation ” which was published on 31 January became a PR-disaster (‘ the dodgy dossier ’) since some unreferenced and out-dated information had been included. The promulgated dossiers demonstrated Blair’s belief in the threat emanating from Iraqi’s WMD which demanded – in his view – immediate emergency action. Remarkably, Blair argued that even if the US had taken a less tough stance, it would have been him who had urged to act (Daily Telegraph,

14 January 2003).


When Aznar came up with the idea of an open letter claiming that

„ Europe and America must stand united “(30/1/2003) it was Blair who edited it (Die ZEIT, 6

February 2003, 3). Moreover, Blair objected to informing Solana and the Greek presidency about the open letter in advance (Kampfner 2004, 253). As Hughes (2003, 2) has noted, it was not the letter’s contents which was the problem but the evident lack of trust:

Two days before, all ministers had agreed on a Council statement on Iraq but had refrained from informing each other of the letter. The intra-EU relations became increasingly frosty: When France objected to any new resolution, British government members openly denounced the French representatives for creating a ‘new Yalta’ and fostering anti-

Americanism (Guardian, 14 March 2003). In spite of France’s veto threat, the UK, Spain, and the US continued to lobby in favour of a second UNSC resolution in order to achieve


“ Prime Minister's Iraq statement to Parliament ” (24/9/2002), http://www.number-



Yet as Hill (2005, 396) notes, this claim is not consistent with Blair's argumentation before 2002 when he had objected to any war on Iraq. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 69-105

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 nine votes – the necessary quorum for a resolution. Eventually, the British Foreign Office conceded that this 'moral majority' was beyond reach.

In September, Aznar informed Bush that he could rely on Spain’s support, in the event of a military attack on Iraq (El Mundo, 11 September 2002). Moreover, he stated that the

UN should not become an obstacle to a necessary military intervention – so Spain’s closeness to the US position was obvious (Le Monde, 14 September 2002). The Aznar government launched the 'Letter of the Eight' initiative on 30 January 2003 as well as codrafted the vain second UNSC Resolution on 24 February. In addition to the British argumentation, the historic role of the US, helping out the Europeans in times of crisis, was stressed, and Aznar pointed out that, given the alternative Bush v. Saddam, the choice should be an easy one (El Mundo, 13 September 2002). Furthermore, when the difficulties in the UNSC became obvious, Aznar made it crystal clear that the war neither meant a legal nor a moral problem since Saddam's regime resembled Hitler's, Stalin's, Pol-

Pot's, and Milosevic's (El Mundo, 15 March 2003).

Spain’s and Italy’s approach in the crisis were overall similar. Berlusconi’s early support for the Bush administration – though – meant a profound policy change. In February

2002, the Iraqi Minister of Culture had been highly welcomed in Rome (Croci 2002, 93), and the Under-Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Senator Mantica, had stated in August still that

“(..) there is no doubt that the allies, which includes Italy, take a different approach to the

Americans’ (..). And all the allies have made it clear to the Americans that they are worried about the prospects of a war with Iraq.”


By contrast, Berlusconi (25 September 2002) - in his speech to the Parliament in Rome - emphasised the “ dictatorial political regime ” in Baghdad which “ is a regional and global threat ” and so has to be disarmed with all means – as “ the lessons of history ” would remind us of. Thus, Italy also signed the pro-US letter, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Frattini confirmed Italy's support of a possible US intervention (cf. Aliboni 2003, 86). He later


“ Dictatorial Regimes Collapse Unaided ”, Interview by Andrea di Robilant (La Stampa) with Senator Alfredo Mantica, Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs with responsibility for the Middle East,

Source: Italian Foreign Ministry, August 9, 2002, http://www.iraqwatch.org/government/Italy/italy-mfa-080902.htm [11/11/2004]. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 69-105

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 admitted that Italy's participation was partly due to the outspoken Franco-German positioning in January (FAZ, 28 April 2003).

Denmark, as noted above, followed a desecuritisation approach in its moderator role as

EU President in the second half of 2002. But when Anders Fogh Rasmussen, on behalf of the EU, stated that the UN-Resolutions to date sufficed to legitimise a military intervention, this statement was met with bewilderment by most colleagues (Le Monde, 14 September 2002). Yet the pro-US positioning could easily be perceived when examining the government’s – and particularly Rasmussen’s statements. As Rasmussen’s opening address to the Folketing revealed, he entirely supported the US-argumentation:

“Europe and the USA must join forces in the endeavour to prevent tyrannical and rogue regimes from gaining command of weapons of mass destruction. (..) Iraq is ruled by such a regime. For years, Saddam Hussein has turned a deaf ear to the binding resolutions from the UN to dispose of these terrible weapons. The endeavours of the international community to enforce these resolutions through the Security Council have the full support of Denmark and the EU. After more than ten years' efforts vis-à-vis Iraq, the UN ought to live up to its obligations and put an end to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It will be too late once the poison gas has spread over one of our large cities.”


Despite the threat’s alleged urgency, the government desecuritised Iraq in the following months by pointing to the UN’s responsibility and avoiding any serious securitisation moves.


For instance, Rasmussen did not even mention ‘Iraq’ in his address to the Nation on New Years Eve – in the face of Denmark’s first declaration of war since 140 years this represents a remarkable default. In the weeks before the war begun, the government’s main line of argumentation increasingly focused on Iraq’s non-compliance behaviour which had violated international law.

The US threat perception was also shared in principle in The Hague: “ the very real threat posed by the possession by Iraq of WMD and its lack of active co-operation with the


Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen's Address at the Opening of the Folketing Session on

Tuesday 1 October 2002, http://www.stm.dk/Index/dokumenter.asp?o=6&n=0&h=6&t=14&d=1185&s=2,



Neither in his account of the Copenhagen European Council delivered to the European

Parliament (18 December 2002), nor in his speech at the at the NATO Summit in Prague

(November 21-22 2002), nor in his 'Danish EU Policy after the Presidency ' Speech at ‘The

Institute for International Studies’ (15/1/2003), Rasmussen found ‘Iraq’ worth mentioning. See http://www.stm.dk/Index/dokumenter.asp?o=6&n=0&h=6&t=14&d [20/1/2008]. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 69-105

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 weapons inspectors ” (Letter to the Greek Presidency, 14 February 2003). On 2 February, the Dutch government declared that it appreciated military pressure in order to demonstrate the UN's willingness to act. Moreover, a second resolution was held to be desirable

– but not necessary. If Iraq did not fully comply with the UNSC Resolutions – thus the government wrote in its letter to the Dutch Second Chamber and to the Greek Presidency – any extension of inspections would be pointless (Government.nl, 12 February

2003). On the EU's infamous 'war summit' on 17 February, The Hague ended its asecurity period and finally sided with the Atlanticist camp – Portugal, the UK, Denmark, Italy, and Spain (Economist, 22 February 2003).

As early as August 2002, Chancellor Schröder had reacted to Cheney's speech in

Nashville and cautioned the US because of its policy turn from Iraq's disarmament to regime change. Regardless of any UNSC Resolution, Germany would refrain from participating in military actions against Iraq (‘double No’). Schröder reckoned that Germany as a „ self-confident country “ should no longer persue „ easy ways “ in foreign policy. In addition, its military capabilities were already over-stretched.


At the informal EU-meeting in

Helsingør, Foreign Minister Fischer warned the US not to go it alone and argued that the region would be further destabilised in the event of war – an argument which was also used by the Greek government (AN, 27 September 2002). Furthermore, Fischer did not share the US-Administration’s threat analysis and „ was not convinced “ (cf. Szabo 2004,

40). As a member of the UNSC at that time, Germany had to experience that this early and extreme positioning left very little space for manoeuvre. It even subscribed to the ultimate use of force in the EU's common position on 17 February. But in fact, as Harnisch

(2004a, 185) notes, Germany never declared its 'No' to a UNSC Resolution legitimising military means and had probably considered an abstention in case of such a decision.

Whereas Germany made up its mind rather early in 2002, France remained noncommittal. Neither Chirac at the Franco-German summit in Hannover in September nor de Villepin evinced a determined position (NZZ, 8 September 2002 Economist, 10 August 2002). France finally gave in when the US re-drafted SCR 1441. After having insisted that the text should not legitimise any violence, Paris is said to have convinced

14 See Schröder’s speech in Hannover on 5/8/2002, www.spd-bebelhof.de/div/such.htm

[24/6/2005] and his Interview in the ARD-Report from Berlin on 9/8/2002, www.bundesregierung.de/interview-428321/Interview-mit-Bundeskanzler-Sc.htm [16/4/2005]. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 69-105

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008

Syria not to vote against it and this way helped to achieve a unanimous decision (Handelsblatt, 8/9 November 2002). Chirac even assured Bush that France would participate in military action if Iraq did not comply (FAZ, 19 March 2003). In December, a French liaison officer talked with US Commander Tommy Franks about the possibility of including 15,000 troops in the Allied forces (Gordon and Shapiro 2004, 142). Furthermore,

Chirac told the French military to be aware of all situations. This was widely interpreted as a sign that France had not yet made up his mind (FTD, 8 January 2003). But after an

UNSC meeting on 20 January, de Villepin announced that France would oppose any

Resolution leading to war (cf. Petersen 2004, 15). Yet completely taken by surprise by the

Letter of the Eight, the French President lost his contenance when the 'Vilnius 10' sided with the Eight one week later: „ They should have better remained silent “, he moaned and warned the „ badly brought-ups “ that their behaviour might diminish their chances for EU accession (Nouvel Observateur, 19 February 2003). Together with Germany and Russia,

France presented some proposals for overcoming the deadlock in the UNSC in February and March. On 7 March, France could somewhat reap the harvest of its anti-war stance.

In a UNSC debate, de Villepin succeeded in rhetorically out-performing his US counterpart and yielded an unprecedented applause from the audience. When the UK, Spain and the US attempted to gain a majority in the UNSC in favour of a second resolution, France actively lobbied against it. The assertive desecuritisation finally peaked out when Chirac publicly announced France's veto against any resolution legitimising war (Le Monde, 11

March 2003). Not only would a war destabilize the entire Middle East it would also weaken the West’s fight against terrorism, Chirac warned. In addition, the role of the UN, international law and the inspectors’ successful work were also part of his argumentation.


The Greek position is not easy to discern as Greece had acted on behalf of the EU since 1 January 2003 and partly already since 1 July 2002. However, Papandreou made it crystal clear that Greece would not support any unilateral action against Iraq, leaving the question whether it would comply after a respective SC decision unanswered (AN, 4 Oc-


Interview télévisée de M. Jacques Chirac, Président de la République par M. Patrick Poivre d’Arvor (TV1) et David Pujadas (France 2), (10/3/2003), and de Villepin (Le Figaro 26/2/2003) as well as practically all speakers in the National Assembly debate on 26/2/2003. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 69-105

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 tober 2002). Already in September, Premier Simitis had opposed an Iraq invasion (AN, 9

September 2002), yet he took a cautious stance before the European Parliament on 14

January, urging for a more vigorous geopolitical presence of the EU in general (cf. AN, 17

January 2003). The implications of war for the Middle East remained one of Greece’s main concerns (Simitis' letter to EU, 13 February 2003). Greece succeeded in organising and formulating common EU positions – examples were the conclusions of 27 January and

17 February and the tough Démarche to Iraq on 4 February (even exceeding the Greek and German position). Athens considered the informal meeting on 17 February – the infamous ‘war summit’ – to have been successful, as it would not otherwise have suggested to turn it into an official one afterwards (EU Joint position, 17 February 2003). The 'Letter of the Eight' took Greece by surprise, but as an initial reaction, the foreign ministry claimed that it did not contradict prior EU decisions. Thereafter, Simitis strongly criticised the Eight, arguing that the declaration was at odds with the EU's endeavour to reach a common position (AN, 31 January 2003). Papandreou (12 March 2003) admitted that the EU had experienced a serious crisis and stated that big member states did not really pay attention to the small ones. Greece sided with the Franco-German-Russian initiative of early March (AN, 7 March 2003). Eventually, on the eve of war, Simitis expressed in parliament his government's strict opposition to war emphasising the lack of legitimacy and US unilateralism and noting that a war “(...) means catastrophes, denial of human values, the establishment of blind violence and arbitrary behaviour” (cf. AN, 28 March 2003).

The External Relations Commissioner at the time, Christopher Patten, followed a middle-of-the-road approach. On the one hand, he stressed “ the evil nature of the regime led by Saddam Hussein ” as well as the fact that “ Iraq never complied with this [1284] Security

Council Resolution ”. On the other hand, he cautiously stated that

“ there are legitimate suspicions that the Iraqi regime is developing WMD. At his point of time, no clear evidence has emerged ” and pointed out that “ we must all respect the authority of the

United Nations and of international law .”



Quoted from: Speech by The Rt. Hon Chris Patten, Plenary Session of the European Parliament,

Strasbourg (4/9/2002), similar: Interview with Chris Patten in: NPQ, Global viewpoint

(9/9/2002). hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 69-105

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008

After having made these statements in September, he withdrew from the debate. This indecisiveness was underlined by the European Parliament’s failure to reach any kind of agreement on the Iraq crisis (on 27 March 2003). The Commission’s rather desecuritising approach was shared by Javier Solana, the EU’s High Representative, who took a low-key profile in the crisis, too. Usually, he followed SC statements and refrained from giving his personal point of view. Implicitly, it was apparent that he did not share Bush’s threat perception concerning Iraq. On the “ nature of the new terrorism ”, Solana précised:

“We face an enemy that is unpredictable, multinational, suicidally fanatical, an enemy that operates at sub-state level but which is ready and capable of unleashing massive destructive power.”

(Javier Solana: “ The view from Europe ”, IHT 10/9/2002)

Evidently, Iraq did not fit the definition. As early as in May 2002, he had identified the state of the transatlantic relations as a matter of concern due to divergent threat perceptions and diverging methods dealing with the world’s problems (FT, 21 May 2002). In a

Financial Times interview (7 January 2003), he envisaged different worldviews and attributed them to an Atlantic cultural and religious gap. After having been bypassed by events he impressingly regained his momentum in the following summer: In order to heal the wounds of the great split and the transatlantic frictions he tabled a common strategy paper to become the ESS on the European Council meeting in Thessaloniki: “ A secure

Europe in a better world ”. c. Emergency action - how to react?

The United Kingdom mobilised reservists in early January, the final figure added up to

30.000 troops. They actively took part in combat and took charge of the Southern sector in Iraq. The significant contribution to the occupation forces and the emergency measures taken were largely consistent with the government’s early securitisation moves and threat perceptions. By the end of 2004, the UK still held 8,700 troops in Iraq (IHT, 4 February

2005). Even when Bush decided for a temporary build-up of US-troops in early 2007, hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 69-105

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Britain continued to gradually reduce its occupation forces - handing over Basra to the

Iraqi army in late 2007.

Whether Denmark was going to actively support a military intervention even without a clear UN mandate was left open until 18 March (Copenhagen Post, 17 March 2003).

On the same day, the government decided to go to war and deployed a submarine, a destroyer and 160 troops to join the 'coalition of the willing'. Backed by the Danish Parliament, the Folketing, the Danish government officially declared war on Iraq – an unprecedented move since the war against Prussia in 1864. Denmark submitted its troops to US command, and its liaison officer Tidemand later admitted that even before the ‘Letter of the Eight’, Denmark had been prepared to actively support the USA (FAZ, 8 April 2003).

Considering the Danish desecuritisation strategy when EU president, the assertive emergency actions taken – declaration of war and military engagement – came as a surprise and contrasted with the rest of the ‘coalition of the willing’ under study. Denmark contributed 510 troops to the occupation forces. The Danish government objected to any US suggestions to extend the mission but remained determined even when one Danish soldier was killed in Iraq (Reuters, 1 October 2005). When Britain announced a gradual troop withdrawal in early 2007, Rasmussen proclaimed that the Danish forces would leave the country by August 2007.

Unlike Denmark, the Dutch government decided to refrain from active participation in the war (RNW, 18 March 2003). As the Minister of Foreign Affairs, de Hoop Scheffer

(4 April 2003), emphasised, this was not seen as a problematic stance since the

Netherlands would thereby join Spain and Italy. Given this position, it turned out to be an embarrassing moment for the government when on the first day of the attack, a Dutch

Lieutenant-Colonel appeared on TV next to the Commander of the coalition forces,

Tommy Franks (FAZ, 28 March 2003). The clear self-portrait as part of the Atlanticist camp also became visible when the Netherlands actively compensated for the German denial to deliver Patriot missiles to Turkey. In June 2003, The Hague took part in the stabilisation force with 1,300 troops. The overall pro-US stance of the acting government was mitigated by domestic constellations. Therefore, the Dutch desecuritisation approach was largely consistent: Due to a war-sceptical population and a split coalition the government gradually moved from asecurity to desecuritisation. Non-participation in the war and the employment of occupation forces were consistent follow-up policies. When hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 69-105

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 one soldier died in combat, Balkenende announced a re-consideration of the Dutch mission and decided to withdraw the troops after the mandate’s expiration in March



Berlusconi’s decision to support the US increasingly met domestic resistance which was fuelled by the Vatican’s anti-war attitude (FAZ, 13 March 2003). After the Highest

Defence Council, including President Ciampi, had stated that a direct participation in the war had to be excluded due to constitutional constraints, the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Frattini (29 March 2003) made it clear that Italy was not a nation at war. He summarised

Italy’s policy as follows:

“ Italy decided on its own not to participate in military operations, and has chosen to stand beside a democratic United States and against a blood-thirsty dictator .”


Italy refrained from actively taking part in the war either with material or with troops but granted fly-over rights and allowed the US to use bases – yet not for direct attacks. Considering that the main threat did not stem from Saddam’s WMD but from the possible deterioration of the transatlantic partnership, the mere rhetorical support for the Bush administration seems comprehensible. Yet the affirmative participation in the occupation forces was remarkable: Italy sent around 3,000 troops to Iraq. Several hostage affairs put the Italian engagement under constant domestic pressure. When the security agent

Calipari was shot by US friendly fire after having managed to release the journalist Guilia

Sgreba from an Iraqi terrorist group, Berlusconi surprisingly floated the idea of an Italian troop withdrawal (EUobserver.co, 16 March 2005) but re-considered the decision the next day. In December 2005, Italy’s Minister of Defence announced the gradual withdrawal of 300 troops (Guardian, 15 December 2005). The newly elected Prodi government terminated the Italian engagement in Iraq by December 2006 (Le Monde, 1 December 2006). In sum, the securitisation behaviour suggests that Italy zigzagged through


See the website of the Dutch government: http://www.government.nl/Subjects/Dutch_military_mission_to_Iraq [10/10/2007].


Statement by Franco Frattini, Italian Foreign Minister. Reply to the Government’s Report to the

Senate on developments in the Iraq crisis, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 19 March 2003, http://www.iraqwatch.org/government/Italy/italy-mfa-frattini-031903. htm [11/11/2004]. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 69-105

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 the Iraq crisis: After having swapped sides from the ‘European’ to the ‘Atlantic’ position in September it still followed a desecuritisation strategy. As a ‘nation not at war’, the government refrained from participating in any military action but then contributed significantly to the occupation forces.

After having hesitated until mid-March, Aznar finally opted for a similar path. He announced that Spain would not actively take part in the war but send three ships and 900 troops for medical support and anti-mine capabilities. The role of the engagement was characterised in Aznar's words by their „ humanitarian mission “ (El Mundo, 19 March

2003). Spain contributed these 900 troops to the occupation forces. On 24 June 2003, the

Aznar government announced it would send 1.100 additional troops to be deployed in the

Polish sector (Lee 2003). The Spanish securitisation behaviour seems rather inconsistent.

The Aznar government moved from asecurity as EU presidency 2002 to ‘loud’ securitisation moves in early 2003 but then degraded the emergency action to a ‘ humanitarian mission ’. This inconsistency might be explained by the huge élite-mass split and the massive contestation in Spain.


Due to the terrorist attacks in Madrid on 11 March, the Spanish election of 14 March 2004 received an historic flavour. After the Partido Popular had surprisingly lost the general elections, the newly elected Socialist government decided an immediate withdrawal from Iraq (FAZ, 16 March 2004).

Greece had tried hard to bring everybody together in the EU and to develop a common stance. When all its endeavours turned out to be fruitless, Simitis declared that

Greece would not participate even if there was an approval by the UN-SC. In that case,

Greece would support indirectly, logistically, as it had in Afghanistan (FAZ, 19 January

2003). The Greek desecuritisation moves were largely consistent with the nonparticipation in the war. The government had done its very best to conceal its proper attitude in order to act as an 'honest broker' as EU President (Zervakis 2002/03, 356). This ambition was owed to the partly dark chapters of Greek Presidencies and its intransigent policy regarding the Macedonian question in the 1990s. In its moderator role, the government had to depart from its own position and received vivid criticism both from the


In a poll at that time, 60 per cent of the Spaniards objected to attack Iraq – the Spanish were the most critical on the issue in Europe (Noya 2003, 65). On 15 March, hundred thousands of Spaniards showed their discontent with the war in the streets (El Mundo, 15 March 2003). hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 69-105

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 left (Communist Party and Leftist Coalition) and from the right (New Democracy) (AN,

28 March 2003). Simitis and Papandreou were “ walking tightrope ” (AN, 4 October 2002) but were nevertheless by-passed by events – the Letter of the Eight in particular.

Simitis’ approach was similar to that of the Schröder government since Greece also objected to any active participation but allowed the US to use its bases on Greek territory due to bilateral treaties.

In February 2003, Germany, together with Belgium and France, for some time, even blocked a decision in the NATO Council regarding defensive missiles for Turkey which led to a severe crisis in the Alliance (FTD, 11 February 2003). France joined Germany and Greece in opposing any participation in the war. Moreover, they rejected any direct participation in the occupation of Iraq. Instead, they preferred to contribute to the EU's, NATO's and the UN's assistance to the reconstruction of the country.

While Germany trained Iraqi personnel outside Iraqi territory, France urged for a UN

Resolution providing the UN with a central role in the country's reconstruction (Handelsblatt, 21 July 2003). In sum, both desecuritisations look consistent in each case – yet two differences stand out: Timing and forums of the desecuritisation moves. Whereas

France followed a desecuritisation approach all through the year 2002, Germany broached the issue of Iraq in August already. In so doing, the Schröder government preferred domestic forums to politicise Iraq while the French government capitalised on traditional diplomacy and made use of the international arena, the UNSC in particular. d. Understanding inconsistent securitisations

The empirical findings of this study can be condensed as shown in table 1. The table reveals the great split in the Iraq crisis with regard to securitisation. On the whole, no easy pattern emerges when looking at the European actors’ (de)securitisations. Inconsistencies not only applied across countries but the respective securitisations hardly follow the securitisation ideal. In an ideal case, credible threat perceptions signal urgency which leads to

‘loud’ securitisation moves translating into determined emergency actions which are accepted by the public. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 69-105

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Table 1: Comparative securitisation in the Iraq crisis



Securitisation move: timing

Securitisation: the threat

Overall assessment







5 August 2002

20 Jan. 2003

9 September 2002

No immediate threat, risk of regional destabilisation

No immediate threat, risk of regional destabilisation

No immediate threat, risk of regional destabilisation


Emergency action taken

‘Double No’: No participation in military actions whatever SC decides

Active lobbying,

Veto-threat in SC

No participation in military actions

Early desecuritisation

Late desecuritisation












12 February 2003

15 Sept. 2002

11 September


30 Jan 2003

6 April 2002

4 September 2002

Breach of UNresolutions, WMD

Damage to transatl. relations,

Iraq’s regime character

Damage to transatl. relations,

Iraq’s regime character

Breach of UNresolutions, Damage to transatl. relations


Iraq’s regime character

Damage to UN and international law

Only rhetorical support, participation in occupation forces

Only rhetorical support, participation in occupation forces

‘Humanitarian mission’, participation in occupation forces

Declaration of war, participation in attack and occupation forces

Participation in attack and occupation forces

None, delegation to




Late securitisation

Late securitisation

Early securitisation






10 September


12-13 December


Damage to transatl. relations

Not specified

None but launch of


Delegation to SC, call for Iraqi compliance



By contrast, the timings by no means pre-determined the content of the securitisation move nor the following behaviour! Moreover, theoretically speaking, the securitisations were incomplete since the governments’ securitisation moves did not meet the publics’ acceptance – Denmark being a debatable exception. At least, the emergency measures taken corresponded to the threat perceptions. The belief in the existence of WMD led to hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 69-105

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 military engagement (UK), the alleged breach of UNSC resolutions to a declaration of war (DK), the possible deterioration of the transatlantic partnership to supporting rhetoric and participation in the occupation forces (I, E, NL), while the fear of a destabilising

Middle East resulted in non-participation (D, F, GR). In this respect, the member states behaved in a consistent way.

The analysis of the European Union’s securitisation timing has shown that the ‘early birds’ (UK, D) reacted to US securitisation moves in April and August 2002 respectively.

Cheney and Bush’s speeches in late summer seem to have triggered some European reactions in September (‘September group’: E, GR, I, Commission, HR). Finally, there were some late-comers who objected to any explicit securitisation move before January 2003

(NL, F, DK, Council). To eventually take a stance at that time – considering the discursive battles in the UNSC and the massive military build-up in the Gulf – could hardly be avoided. The securitisation timings indicate rather idiosyncratic foreign policies which were partly event-driven, notably by the behaviour of the Bush administration. Remarkably, hardly any ‘strategic interaction’ occurred with the notable exceptions of the ‘Gang of

8’ and the Franco-German understanding (but only after 20 January 2003). This impression is supported by the threat perceptions and the emergency actions taken. When comparing the contents of the respective securitisation moves it becomes obvious that the threat perceptions were different – even inside the ‘coalition of the willing’. Unlike Blair,

Aznar, Berlusconi and Rasmussen made it clear that their primary concern was not Iraq’s possible WMD but the relationship to the US. The Danish Premier was outspoken on this:

“Who else could guarantee our security? Could France – could Germany? There is only one power on this earth that can: the USA “ (cf. CP, 25 March 2003).

Also with regard to emergency action, the camp-thesis can harldy be up-held. The spectrum among the ‘willing’ ranged from rhetorical support (NL), ‘nation not at war’ (I),

‘humanitarian mission’ (E) to ‘declaration of war’ (DK) and to finally massive military engagement (UK). Even among the anti-war fraction, France, Germany and Greece, three different policy behaviours applied: active lobbying and veto threat (F), ‘double no’ (D), decent moderator/no participation (GR). hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 69-105

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Why did the countries’ securitisations diverge? As Waltz (1959) has postulated, causes for war can be attributed to three different levels of analysis (‘ images ’): to the individual

(1 st

), the society/the state (2 nd

), and the international system (3 rd

). Schuster and Maier

(2006, 232) have argued that third image explanations do not look plausible for the behaviour of Western European countries. In spite of significant US pressure, a common external threat and institutional restraints from CFSP the member states’ foreign policy did not converge. With this in mind, neither neorealist theory, nor institutional liberalism, nor socialisation theory provide the explanation. More plausible is first image factors.

When leaders took action against public opinion – like Blair did – the personal factor was obvious (Dyson 2006; Hill 2005). Yet the personal factor becomes less persuasive when leaders’ decisions were not contested domestically (F, D, DK). Consequently, the most promising explanations stem from second image factors.


All kinds of securitisation strategies depended on domestic political configurations. Empirically, this was most evident in the Dutch case when Balkenende explicitly justified the government’s desecuritisation behaviour with domestic constraints i.e. coalition-talks and public opinion.

My thesis here is that identity theory provides some insights. As noted above, the starting point is that external threats resonate differently within the national discourse.

Resonance depends on which ‘part’ of the national identity currently is ‘in power’ i.e. holds the ‘discursive hegemony’. For instance, in cases when Atlanticist-minded élites were dominant (E, I, DK, NL) we could expect pro-US behaviour: Regardless of the immediate threat all those governments ranked the transatlantic relationship high in their rhetoric (the ‘ solidarity argument ’) and uttered, at least, political support for the Bush administration.


The degree of material support in terms of emergency action depends on the level of contestation – in other words on the power of those domestic actors who represent competing interpretations of the national identity. In the Netherlands, explicit emergency action was hindered by coalition-talks and an élite-mass split, in Italy by constitutional constraints and in Spain by massive public protest. In Denmark, hardly any


Schuster and Maier (2006, 235) make the claim that the “ ideological background of governments ” could be the most promising factor. Applying New Geopolitical Theory, Hans Mouritzen (2006,

138) relies on “ Atlantic predispositions ” which reside in the political élite or even in the political culture.


In some way, the argument here fits to Mouritzen’s (2006) “ Atlantic predispositions ”. Menon and

Lipkin (2003, 19f.) discuss different forms of ‘Atlanticism’. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 69-105

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 contestation took place since the Atlanticist-minded government played the UN resolutions breach card which softened the (internationalist) opposition.


No wonder that

Denmark made use of the most extreme emergency action – declaring war on Iraq.

Let us now turn to those countries where either hardly any Atlanticist-minded élite exists (GR, F), or the Atlanticists did not hold the discursive hegemony at the time (UK,

D). In the UK, the majority of the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats subscribe to an internationalist-ethical understanding of foreign policy which supports military engagement in case of ‘humanitarian catastrophes’ only. But Blair stuck to a ‘realist’ argumentation stressing the immediate threat posed by WMD and the partnership to the US.

This securitisation move did not resonate well within the ‘humanitarian responsibility discourse’


and thus caused fierce domestic contestation including the resignation of two ministers. In the decisive vote in the House of Commons in January, Blair was only saved by the (Atlanticist) Conservative Party and never recovered from his loss of credibility. In

Greece as well as in France, realist-minded élites held the discursive hegemony which largely explains their governments’ insistence on the argument of regional instability in the Middle East. In both countries, this argumentation was fed by odd multi-polar and partly anti-American worldviews. The most striking case is Germany since the government opted for a ‘loud’ desecuritisation strategy which was neither in line with its traditional transatlantic security policy nor its behaviour in the Kosovo war. Yet, when voting on Germany’s engagement in Afghanistan one year before Iraq, Schröder had to undergo a vote of confidence in order to get party dissenters on the track. Schröder's decision to object to any participation in the war was, therefore, largely motivated by the need to reunite the government on foreign policy facing a strenuous election campaign (Dalgaard-

Nielsen 2003, 101; Harnisch 2004b, 29ff.). But besides those tactical motivations it was


Following Nikolaj Petersen (cf. Copenhagen Post, 6 March 2003), the desire to avoid any clear positioning in 2002 reflects that Danish loyalty has been divided between the UN (Møller) and the US (Rasmussen) – Europe not at stake. Not only that the government followed a desecuritisation policy, the literature on the Danish presidency in this respect is revealing:

Neither synopses on „ Wonderful Copenhagen “ (Laursen/Laursen 2003, Friis 2003) nor a Danish analysts' roundtable (Wehmueller 2003) found 'Iraq' worth even mentioning. This impressively demonstrates that the separation of 'Europe' and 'security' is widely accepted in the Danish élite.


Lene Hansen (2007, 128) has extensively elaborated on the elements and stability of this discourse during the Bosnian war. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 69-105

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Admittedly, my country-specific argumentation here needs further elaboration


but in sum it can be stated that identity theory provides a good starting point for comprehending the member states’ uneven securitisation – in particular when actual government constellations and domestic discursive hegemonies are taken into account.

4. Conclusions: A structural securitisation problem?

The findings support the assumption that the EU’s foreign policy consistency largely depends on the member states’ threat perceptions and subsequent securitisation strategies.

Different views on the urgency, definition and management of the threat ‘Iraq’ superseded the commonly desired “spirit of loyalty and mutual solidarity” and indeed “impaired the EU’s effectiveness as a cohesive force in international relations” - as the CFSP provisions have warned . When the focus shifts from the member states level to the EU as a whole, the empirical result can be sketched like this: Until summer 2002, the EU remained in an asecurity stage with the notable exception of the UK. In late 2002, the EU moved from asecurity to desecuritisation delegating threat definition, securitisation moves and emergency actions to the UNSC. In this period, Germany stood out by following a ‘loud’ and pronounced desecuritisation strategy. Even in the run-up of the war, the EU stuck largely to its desecuritisation approach. The intra-EU rift peaked in January and February 2003 when Spain joined the UK’s pronounced securitisation while France sided with Germany’s determined desecuritisation. But the seemingly emerging two camps detracted from another insight: With the exception of the British government, the EU neither believed in the urgency nor in the definition of the threat ‘Iraq’. This is why even the members of the

‘coalition of the willing’ (E, DK, I, NL) did not securitise Iraq before January 2003. To them, the major threat was not Saddam’s regime but a possible damage to transatlantic relations, i.e. the governments took the US-side because of friendship, not because they have been convinced. For that reason, the famous newspaper article on 30/1/2003 did not read “ Saddam’s WMD are threatening Europe ” but “ Europe and America must stand united ”.


For a more country-specific argumentation based on identity theory, see Stahl (2005b), 19-35.

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So ironically, in view of securitisation theory, the newspaper article could serve as a proof for transatlantic estrangement regarding threat perception.

How can these findings be interpreted in light of future policy coherence so urgently needed for enhanced EU actorness? I resume the observation that some governments

(NL, I, DK) which – in principle – accepted the threat and its urgency opted for a desecuritisation strategy for most of the time under study. The Danish case is striking: How does a declaration of war fit with desecuritisation behaviour all through the year 2002? Intuitively, most explanations would touch upon the country’s EU-Presidency in the second half of 2002. Due to the Danish opt-out in security and defence the government showed no interest in securitising the issue. Yet the similar Spanish behaviour in the first half of

2002 raises doubts whether the opt-out is a sufficient explanation. Here the expectations of the EU-Presidency as a moderator come in. The Presidency’s role rather demands to identify ‘doable’ policy initiatives which are then streamlined into concrete projects. Its external functions are mainly representative and the respective national apparatus is usually stretched with the operative work-load (Cameron 2007, 47). From this observation stems the first structural deficit of the CFSP: The Presidency has no incentive to touch upon ‘hot potatos’. What applies to the Presidency can be generalised to the other Brussels actors. A lack of vertical consistency practically means a lack of mandate to speak up:

When the divergence between the member states grew Solana, Prodi and Patten left the stage. This is a clear indicator that in terms of actorness, the EU remains a ‘collective actor’. To put it bluntly, the innovations of the Amsterdam and Nice treaties gave the CFSP a face but no voice.

Particular constellations of governments notwithstanding, the national differences in securitisation tend to be a structural phenomenon resisting to socialisation processes, considering that all of the countries under study have been members of CFSP right from its inauguration. This is not to say – of course – that there is no convergence at all in CFSP.

As even one sceptic noted ten years ago: “ European states’ foreign interests (..) have been converging for the past forty years ” (Gordon 1997/98, 97). Moreover, in comparison to other regional powers the big member states’ threat perceptions look very similar indeed (Sperling 2007, 265). Rather – the argument would run here – the overall convergence does not apply to foreign policy crisis yet. What has been analysed for the war against terror – that already existing differences between the member states tended to sharpen (Hill 2004, hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 69-105

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161; Duke 2002, 16) – has found its culmination point in the Iraq crisis. Yet when dealing with Iran in the aftermath of the Iraq rift, the European ‘ratchet effect’ was highly visible:

Coherent threat perceptions of the ‘big three’ (UK, F, D) could be streamlined into coordinated and consistent action vis-à-vis Teheran – with Washington’s consent.

The directoire approach regarding Iran seems even more remarkable when considering two worrying observations from the Iraq experience. Firstly, the big member states’ most radical positions were complemented by a considerable degree of introversion and lack of co-operation. The outspoken non-interest of the Blair, Chirac, and Schröder governments in their smaller partners, the EU-Presidency, Solana, and the European Commission sheds some gloomy light on the perspectives of future foreign policy coherence. Secondly, not only that European norms like coherence were contested separately in the domestic realm

– as Puetter and Wiener (2007, 1085) have pervasively argued – but European institutions are not accepted as suitable forums for security policy. As the Iraq affair has demonstrated, the securitisation forums for member states' foreign policies were press conferences in Washington, newspapers and domestic election campaigns – not the European institutions. The fact that securitisation moves are still disconnected hinders a European discursive space from emerging and limits the ‘power of persuasion’. This is deplorable since the mass demonstrations across Europe on 15/2/2003 had shown that there is a common ground for debate among the peoples of Europe.

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hamburg review of social sciences

The European Neighbourhood Policy:

A Flavour of Coherence in the EU’s External Relations?


Elsa Tulmets



The question of coherence has become one of the main issues of the foreign relations of the European Union (EU) since the creation of the pillar division and the launching of a

Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) at Maastricht in 1992. The academic literature on the European Communities (EC) and the EU external relations has always been rather critical of the EC/EU’s capacity to become an international actor. Already in the

Elsa Tulmets, Ph.D., is a Research Fellow, Institute of International Relations, Lecturer,

Charles University, Prague. [email protected]


I would like to thank the two editors of this issue, an anonymous reviewer of HRSS and my colleagues of the IIR in Prague for their useful comments.

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1970s, François Duchêne advocated for an EC with civilian power, while Hedley Bull pointed at the impossibility of the EC being a power without a coherent foreign and security policy (Duchêne, 1973; Bull, 1982). The creation of the CFSP in 1992 and of the

European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) in 1999 revived the debate, in the 1990s, on EC/EU international actorness, i.e. on its capability to lead a coherent external action.

It is still debated whether the EU is a “normative power” (Manners, 2002; Sjursen, 2006) or a “neo-medieval empire” (Zielonka, 2007) with a policy discourse on “soft power” (Johansson-Nogués, 2007; Tulmets, 2007) or, on the contrary, is becoming a foreign policy actor “with teeth” (Smith, 2000). These various qualifications in fact reflect the difficulty of evaluating the real share and weight of the EU community and its intergovernmental policies abroad. New security challenges (terrorism, environmental threats, transnational crime, etc.) have added to the growing difficulty of keeping separated policies which are increasingly interconnected. For all these reasons, the Treaty of Lisbon of 2007 envisages to abolish the pillar structure and to enhance coherence in the making of external policies within and outside the EU. I will thus take into consideration the whole spectrum of EU external relations – the activities of the first, second and third pillars abroad as well as the foreign policies of the member states – in order to discuss the notion of coherence.

It is crucial to investigate the notion of coherence in the light of the recent changes which occurred since the beginning of the 1990s, especially in the context of the launching of the CFSP / ESDP and of the Eastern enlargement of the EU. In the report of the High Representative for the CFSP Javier Solana of 2000 on the enhancement of coherence and effectiveness in EU external action, the experience of enlargement is quoted as a way to extend the benefits of European integration to a wider circle of

European states, but “preserving peace, promoting stability and strengthening international security worldwide” is also considered as “a fundamental objective for the

Union, and preventing violent conflict constitutes one of its most important external policy challenges” (Solana, 2000: 3). After the rejection of the Constitutional Treaty by referendum in France and the Netherlands in 2005, the European Council asked the

Commission to work further on possibilities to save some of the important innovations of the rejected treaty in the field of foreign relations and thus to reach greater coherence and effectiveness. There is now a need to understand what the notion of coherence refers to hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 106-140

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 in EU external relations and also in view of a possible ratification of the Lisbon Treaty of


Empirically, the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) represents one of the best case studies for analysing the notion of coherence. This policy was launched in 2003-2004 in the context of enlargement so that the enlarged EU would be able to cope with instability and insecurity in its new neighbourhood. It is one of the main policies quoted in the European Security Strategy of 2003 dealing with CFSP issues (Solana, 2003), and members of the Commission often call it the “newest foreign policy” of the European

Union to insist on the fact that it represents a new way of conceiving and implementing foreign policy. As the ENP was born in the context of the EU’s Eastern enlargement, it is thus not surprising that enlargement served as a strong point of reference in the launching of the ENP in order to reach “stability, prosperity and security” in the EU’s neighbourhood. As this policy was evaluated as the “EU’s most successful foreign policy”

(European Commission, 2003), methods for reaching institutional coherence in enlargement served as a reference for the ENP. However, the logics of enlargement and the ENP differ in the sense that the ENP does not offer the incentive of accession.

Furthermore, the ENP deals with security issues (frozen conflicts) which the EU did not have to deal with in enlargement and which rather concern second pillar issues.

This article explains the extent to which a new method, born in the context of EU enlargement, is currently being tested in the European Neighbourhood Policy to remedy the lack of coherence in EU external relations. It argues that this new method (from here referred to as the ENP method) was created in an incremental way in the larger field of the EU’s external relations in the 1990s and the 2000s in order to improve the coherence of the EU’s external relations. However, after testing the analytical frame presented below to evaluate the impact of this method on coherence in the ENP, it concludes that the

ENP method aimed, thus far, at enhancing the internal coherence of the EU’s external action rather than its external coherence.

1. Coherence in the EU’s external relations: an analytical framework

In the fields of European Studies and International Relations, the words “coherence” and

“consistency” are generally used as synonyms to indicate the quest for better coordination, hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 106-140

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 and thus for avoidance of overlaps and mismanagement, in the field of foreign policy



However, the literature was not very fruitful so far in defining these two notions of coherence and consistency in the EU’s external relations and in finding criteria to clarify the issue. Very often, scholars focused on the existence of gaps and failures in the external relations of the EU, but only few of them tried to define precise criteria in order to investigate the lack of coherence and consistency. After the failure of the CFSP in the Western

Balkans in the early 1990s, Christopher Hill pointed at the EU’s capability-expectations gap, i.e. at the difficulties the EU encounters in matching strategies with expectations and in making resources available to allow implementation (Hill, 1993). Among the various attempts to define coherence or consistency, the works of Simon Duke (1999, 2006) and especially of Simon Nuttall (2005) are particularly helpful. For Nuttall, consistency refers to three main issues (Nuttall, 2005: 97):

- institutional consistency between community and intergovernmental processes;

- horizontal consistency between the three EU pillars and EU policies;

- vertical consistency between the EU and the member states’ policies.

Within each issue, Nuttall identifies three various ways for the EU to foster consistency: a) legal instruments and practices (provision in the treaty for interaction, combined recourse to separate instruments); b) structures (organisational arrangements); c) obligations (exhortations to practise consistency) (Nuttall, 2005: 98).

These elements of the definition represent ideal-types: This is what the EU should ideally reach in order to have a consistent foreign policy – at least internally. As Nuttall notices (2005: 92), one has to be aware of three mistaken assumptions when looking at consistency: it is not a simple but a complex phenomenon; it does not always have to be normatively seen as positive in the European context; it does not have to highlight only foreign policy issues but can also concern domestic ones. The external relations of the EU are often criticised for their lack of consistency and efforts made towards coherence should avoid the following three gaps: institutional competition, thematic overlaps and


For a review of the literature in the field of development studies, and possible differences on the way to define coherence in external relations, see

Ashoff (2005), see Horký (2008). hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 106-140

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 duplication between the EU and the member states’ activities. Thus, a dissection of the term “coherence” allows for a better understanding of the complexity of the phenomenon.

However, Nuttall’s analytical frame needs to be complemented with further points regarding the geographical consistency of the policy, in particular if the policy analysed deals with a specific region or with a specific group of countries: Is the policy oriented towards one or several countries or regions? How does it coordinate with further EU and member states initiatives in this region? It is also not clear how one should differentiate internal from external coherence, which I propose to assimilate with the (internal) conception of the policy and its (external) implementation. This distinction is essential, as it will gain importance over the logic of pillars if the Lisbon Treaty of 2007 is to be ratified. This article therefore suggests to complement the above-mentioned analytical frame with these additional elements (see chart below), which allow for a more detailed understanding of coherence in the field of external relations, especially in the case of complex situations.

Table 1: Analytical framework of coherence in foreign policy

Institutional consistency

Horizontal consistency

Internal coherence

- legal instruments and practices

- structures

- obligations

- legal instruments and practices

- structures

- obligations

Vertical consistency - legal instruments and practices

- structures

- obligations

Geographical consistency - legal instruments and practices

- structures

- obligations

External coherence

-> check three criteria against implementation

-> check three criteria against implementation

-> check three criteria against implementation

-> check three criteria against implementation

Source: Own compilation, based on Nuttall’s (2005) analytical framework.

In this understanding, there is a slight difference between consistency and coherence: while consistency is checked against criteria defined in advance, coherence reflects the overall result of the policy. I will now turn to the empirical part of this article and verify, with the help of first hand and second hand documents (political speeches, official reports, treaties, semi-direct interviews, academic literature) and the academic approach of triangulation (check-crossing material), how far the method used in the ENP aims to remedy the four cases of a lack of consistency in EU external relations. I will start with an analysis of the overall internal coherence of the policy (parts 2, 3, 4 and 5) and then hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 106-140

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 check whether implementation is consistent with what is decided and expected within the

EU to draw some conclusion on the external coherence of the ENP (part 6).

2. Internal coherence in the ENP (1): a new method to reach institutional consistency

For Nuttall, institutional consistency “denotes the problems which arise because the EU has chosen to handle a single policy sector, that of external relations, by two sets of actors applying two sets of procedures”, the intergovernmental set and the community set (Nuttall, 2005: 92). The ENP highlights perfectly this reality and the attempt to introduce a new method in the EU’s foreign policy able to deal with various policy procedures and modes of decision under a single foreign policy frame. When sticking to Nuttall’s analytical points, this method should aim at a better coordination of the structure of European institutions, include classical and more innovative legal instruments and practices, and manage the whole policy through monitoring and controlling obligations.

2.1. A better coordination between European institutions

In 1992, the Maastricht Treaty incorporated the European Political Cooperation (EPC) into the Union as the CFSP (2nd pillar) and gave the responsibility to ensure the coherence of its external activities as a whole in the context of its external relations, security, economic and development policies to both the Council and the Commission (Nuttall,

2005, Duke, 2006). The academic literature on the EU’s external relations has mainly focused so far on incoherence between European institutions, especially on the difficulties of coordinating intergovernmental and community competences. After the events of

1989, the Commission gained competencies in the field of external relations, especially through the management of foreign aid programmes like PHARE or TACIS. The Council also asked the Commission to draw up a proposal to be discussed among the member states when an agreement was to be found on a foreign policy which would deal more with community policies, as was the case in enlargement. Along this vein, the Commission played a central role in shaping the innovative policy frame of the ENP, although in this context second pillar issues (crisis prevention and management of frozen conflicts) have a hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 106-140

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 more prominent share than in accession policies. As far as the European Parliament is concerned, it has been particularly active in generating political debates and in using its competencies in budgetary issues, although the EU treaties envisage, only a marginal role for this institution in EU external relations.

2.1.1. The role of the Council and the member states in the making of a policy frame

When the official negotiations for accession were opened in the EU in 1998, various political initiatives regarding Eastern Europe, which primarily came from the United Kingdom, Sweden, Poland and Germany, have been drawn up in the form of a “proximity policy” and more generally in the form of a “Wider Europe” initiative. These propositions, taking the form of articles published in newspapers, letters to the presidency of the EU or non-papers, were mainly addressed to the European Council, and they aimed at creating a sub-regional policy towards the EU´s Eastern neighbours similar to the Northern Dimension or the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership


. From the opening of accession negotiations in 1998 to the launching of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) in 2003-04, the new member states from Eastern Europe – which were still candidates at the time – played a major role in influencing the European agenda and putting pressure on the Council



The speeches and propositions of Polish politicians added to the support of British and

Swedish calls for a “Wider Europe” policy and to the early propositions of the Finnish and

German governments to enhance the Northern and Eastern dimensions of the EU’s foreign relations. They were showing their concern about the absence of an EU policy in

Eastern Europe. The Baltic States were also pro-active in moving the Eastern and the

Southern Caucasus into the European agenda, and the Visegrád countries as well showed some motivation in getting engaged in this issue. But countries like France, Spain and Italy began to complain that too much attention and resources had already been given to the EU’s Eastern neighbours and argued that the re-launching of the Barcelona process should take first priority. They also feared that the term “Wider Europe” could be con-


The common letter of Chris Patten/Anna Lindh of 2001, Jack Straw’s Letter to the Spanish presidency, speeches from Polish ex-Foreign Minister Cimoszewicz, Polish strategies on Wider

Europe, and German-Polish strategies on ENP.


More on this: Tulmets, 2007; Kratochvíl, Tulmets, 2007. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 106-140

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 fused with an accession perspective. To sum up, some countries wanted a policy toward the East, while others preferred a policy toward the South.

To solve this stalemate, the General Affairs and External Relations Council

(GAERC) asked the Commissioner, Chris Patten, and the High Representative/Secretary

General (HR/SG) for the CFSP, Javier Solana, to prepare a common strategy on Wider

Europe able to generate a consensus among the member states, which resulted in a common letter (Patten, Solana, 2002). The Council then asked the Commission to elaborate, on the basis of this letter, a policy proposal, which the Council endorsed almost entirely in

2004. To underline the importance of the policy and its security aspects, Javier Solana also included the ENP in the European Security Strategy of 2003 (Solana, 2003). Two

ESDP missions were launched in the Eastern neighbourhood (the EUJUST Themis mission related to the Rule of Law in Georgia and the EUBAM border assistance mission to

Moldova and Ukraine) and EU Special Representatives were appointed abroad (to

Moldova and to the South Caucasus). At various occasions, the GAERC asked the

Commission to define the ENP in more detail and to add coherence to the various actions undertaken towards the EU’s neighbours (EC, 2003b, 2004a,b, 2006, 2007). Therefore, the Commission also had an active share in launching the ENP and might be considered as the main tailor of the operational frame of the policy. As a matter of fact, the main policy documents were elaborated within the task force “Wider Europe”, situated, at that time, at DG Enlargement.

2.1.2. The Commission as the tailor of institutional consistency in the ENP

In 2003, the Council gave the Commission the difficult task of proposing a framework for a policy of “Wider Europe” able to create institutional consistency. The Commission came up with a proposition entitled “Wider Europe – Neighbourhood”, which included a method drawing on the experience of enlargement as a new way to do foreign policy, which had been complemented with the experience in the Western Balkans as a way to manage crisis. An important restructuring partly explains why the original policy ideas and instruments of the ENP were adapted from the experience of enlargement (Tulmets,

2005, 2006; Del Sarto, Schumacher, 2005; Kelley, 2006). In 2003, the Task Force “Wider

Europe”, composed of civil servants from the DG Enlargement and DG Relex, was created hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 106-140

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 to deal with the EU’s relations towards its Eastern neighbours. In 2004, when the ENP was officially launched with the larger aim of integrating both Eastern and Southern neighbour countries, the officials working in the Task Force from the DG Enlargement were moved to DG Relex (Interviews DG Enlargement, 2003-2004, DG Relex, 2006).

This allowed for what one may term “policy transfer” or, more precisely, “policy adaptation” from enlargement in the ENP



Institutionally, the ENP method establishes a bilateral dialogue with each ENP country on the basis of already existing economic agreements, which are a pre-condition for the negotiation of bilateral Action Plans (European Commission, 2003). Thus, the negotiation, screening and monitoring process takes place in the framework of the committees and sub-committees of the Association Agreements (AA, for the Southern neighbours) and the Partnership and Cooperation Agreements (PCA, for the Eastern neighbours) or Enhanced Agreements (e.g. Ukraine). This allows for a differentiated approach and for the creation of a bilateral partnership in the ENP.

2.1.3. The role of the European Parliament

Although the European Parliament has no major role to play in the EU’s external relations, the issues of a “Wider Europe” and the European Neighbourhood Policy have been intensively discussed in 2002-2005 (Goujon, 2005). The Committee on Foreign Affairs took the lead in organising the debates and in publishing various reports on the ENP and its instruments


. Its composition – old member states interested by the issue and representatives of almost all the new member states – partly explains why the issue was regularly on the agenda of discussions of the Committee. The debates at the European Parliament were followed with great interest by the members of the Commission, in particular at DG

Relex. Finally, for some analysts, the Parliament played a crucial role because it was le-


Richard Rose defines policy adaptation as occurring “when a program in effect elsewhere is the starting point for the design of a new program allowing for differences in institutions, culture, and historical specifics. Adaptation rejects copying every detail of a program; instead, it uses particular measure as a guide to what can be done” (Rose, 1993: 31).


The European Parliament issued several reports on the propositions of the Commission and the decisions taken in the ENP, available online at: http://ec.europa.eu/world/enp/index_en.htm. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 106-140

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 gally able to vote the necessary budget for the ENP. Traditionally, the European Parliament is also pro-active on issues linked to the respect of human rights and democracy. It also has a say in the ratification of the economic agreements negotiated by the Commission with each ENP country.

Table 2: Institutional structure of the ENP



European Council


CFSP, COREPER, Political and Security Committee (PSC),

Political directors,

Working groups



- Decides on the overall policy objectives

- Decisions on CFSP / ESDP issues

- Policy management

Involved in:

Political dialogue

AA and PCA Committees



European Parliament


DG Relex


- Prepares policy propositions, AA and PCA committees conducts negotiations and moniAA and PCA subtoring in AA/PCA committees, committees

Committee on Foreign

Affairs prepares evaluations and reports

- Manages policy assistance

- Debates and reports on the policy

Programme management committees

- Co-decision on EU budget

- Ratification of AA, PCA

Source: Own compilation on the basis of European Commission (2003a,b) and interviews,


2.2. Legal instruments as a way to improve coordination between Community and inter-

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governmental issues

The method mentioned above was not created out of the blue. It draws on legal means and practices in order to manage the general policy frame of the ENP. More concretely, it relies partly on the experience of enlargement and of the signature of new types of economic agreements in the 1990s (first pillar oriented issues) as well as on new procedures introduced in the field of CFSP, e.g. the Common Strategies (second pillar issues), which were already typical of a growing thematic overlap. Given the complexity of international relations and the importance of economic issues in the EU’s foreign policies, economic and political aspects – first and second pillar issues – cannot be kept separate from each other.

This was already true during the period of European Political Cooperation (EPC).

However, although the EC treaties officially mentioned the necessity of achieving consistency since the Single European Act, there were no legal instruments to allow for a better coordination of the first and second pillar issues, not to mention those of the third pillar.

The Maastricht treaty, in keeping the pillar structure, did not meet the expectations of the integrationists but insisted on the necessity for the Council and the Commission to ensure the consistency of the EU’s external relations, security, economic and development policies. From a legal point of view, the use of some instruments, like the economic agreements or the common positions and joint actions, has built the first real bridges between these pillars. The Association Agreements (AA) and the Partnerships and Cooperation Agreements (PCA) launched respectively with the candidate countries as well as with Russia and Ukraine between 1993 and 1994 mainly dealt with first pillar issues but also contained a chapter on political dialogue typical for second pillar issues. For this reason, most of them have been concluded as mixed agreements. The CFSP and the EC, in fact, pursue similar goals – the consolidation of democracy, the rule of law and the respect of fundamental rights. One component of the CFSP is to promote international cooperation, which offers potential intersections “with virtually all external Community activities, ranging from purely commercial relations to all other kinds of cooperation” (Weidel,

2002: 50). The issue of thematic overlaps has gained particular relevance with regard to the Common Strategies as introduced in the Treaty of Amsterdam (art. 13 TEU). This instrument covers areas of common interest in which the member states should make hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 106-140

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. Before launching the ENP in 2004, the Council made use of this instrument three times by adopting Common Strategies for Russia


, the



and the Mediterranean region


. The Common Strategies were perceived as a response to the need of more consistent policy-making coverage which would extend to all of the Union pillars (Spencer, 2001: 36). They were thus ascribed a “cross-pillar nature” able to coordinate the full range of Community and Union external policies and instruments (Hillion, 2000: 295). Nevertheless, the Common Strategies could not overcome the problems arising from the different organisational structures of the three Union pillars

(Ojanen, 2000: 374).

Although the Common Strategies have been interpreted as an innovation in the EU treaties, they have also been heavily criticised, among others by the High Representative for the CFSP Javier Solana at the end of 2000 for their imperfections and for the large role given to the Commission in foreign policy issues. Therefore, a new approach was needed in order to go beyond the legal tool of Common Strategies. The Action Plans, proposed by the European Commission, represent the new document launched in 2003 to deal with cross-pillar issues. Interestingly, it was inspired by the Accession Partnerships, which contained around 30 chapters for negotiation on the European policies and acquis . The Action Plans are not as detailed as the Accession Partnerships, but as the very first ones were almost copied and pasted from the Accession Partnerships, they entailed many similarities in their structure (interviews, DG Enlargement, 2004). In practice, the Action Plans are negotiated between the Commission and the third countries and then agreed by the

Council in consultation with the European Parliament.


“The Union commits itself to make appropriate use of all relevant instruments and means available to the Union, the Community and the Member States in order to contribute to the objectives of the CS” (Weidel, 2002: 53).


Decision 1999/414/CFSP, Common Strategy of the European Union on Russia, OJ L 157,

24.6.1999, 1.


Decision 1999/877/CFSP, European Council Common Strategy on Ukraine, OJ L 331,

23.12.1999, 1.


Decision 2000/458/CFSP, Common Strategy of the European Council on the Mediterranean region, OJ L 183, 24.7.2000, 5. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 106-140

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Table 3: Main legal instruments of the ENP


Association Agreement (AA),

Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) or Enhanced

International (economic) agreement


Action Plan Political agreement

Source: Own compilation on the basis of European Commission (2003a,b).

2.3. A new method to generate obligations for institutional coherence

The EU treaties contain an obligation (or exhortation) to ensure (institutional) consistency in the field of external relations. But further difficulties emerged from the new structures created in EU external relations with the Maastricht and the Amsterdam

Treaties, and, to some extent, institutional consistency was easier to manage before the reforms introduced by these two treaties (Nuttall, 2005: 98, 102): “The links between member states in the first and second pillars were scanty to the point of non-existence.

The Commission almost alone provided a link between the two pillars, and was able (…) to translate a political consensus in EPC [European Political Community] into action on the Community side, while at the same time warning EPC of potential difficulties in the

Community. This was embodied in the fact that the same official represented the

Commission in the Political Committee and in Coreper” (Nuttall, 2005: 102).

Furthermore, the creation of the office of High Representative for the CFSP only added to competition between the structures of the Council and those of the Commission: “What has previously been a fairly obscure institutional difficulty has now been mediatised as a personal duel, Solana versus Patten” (Nuttall, 2005: 103). Many analysts also consider that the institutional innovations of the Lisbon Treaty will not reduce competition between the various foreign policy actors if the Treaty is ratified, as competences will have to be shared at least between the President of the European Union nominated for two years and a half, the High Representative for External and Foreign Affairs (also President of the Commission) and the Commissioner for Foreign Trade.

In the case of the ENP, the first political initiatives came from some member states and candidate countries, as explained above. The common letter of Solana and Patten of 2002 not only aimed at generating consensus among the member states, but also at smoothing hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 106-140

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 cooperation between Community and intergovernmental measures. The making of a cross-pillar policy may appear as something new. However, it relies on the experience of a growing interface between the EU pillars in the 1990s and the experience of the Common

Strategies. After the Common Strategies were criticised, a growing role was given to objectives, goals or guidelines defined at the level of the Council and generally proposed by the Commission. The ENP method, which mainly aims at governing through guidelines, might therefore be perceived as a way for the EU to overcome the “pillarisation” of its external relations (Winn, Lord, 2001), i.e. to avoid tensions between the logics of integration and sovereignty. This approach also sets up a more procedural way of dealing with foreign policy and thus allows the Council and the member states to keep an eye on the

Commission to avoid mismanagement and to ensure transparency, especially after the mismanagement of EU external assistance denounced by the European Parliament and the European Court of Auditors in 1997 as well as after the demission of the Commission’s collège in 1999.

In this context, the Commission had to elaborate a more transparent method, which was already defined in the “Agenda 2000” (European Commission, 1997). The economic agreements, country reports, and Action Plans – which particularly resemble the European agreements, the accession “avis” and the Accession Partnerships – represent the legal ground for a benchmarked approach employed to pressure and monitor the neighbour countries. As in enlargement, the Commission is in charge of the monitoring and the evaluation of the reforms and the political engagements of the ENP partners with the EU as well as of the management of the assistance policy which supports the reforms through the diffusion of best practices from the member states and the adaptation of EU norms abroad (Tulmets, 2005). hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 106-140

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Table 4: Main components of the method of governing per objectives

Policy objectives (e.g. respect EU values, conditionality)

Country reports

Action Plans / Economic agreements

Lists of acquis communautaire , benchmarks and best practices

Monitoring, peer reviews

Regular evaluations

Redefinition of objectives

Source: Own compilation on the basis of European Commission (2003a,b).

The ENP method, in mobilising various innovative tools, thus aims at enhancing institutional coherence between the Council representing the member states, the Commission and the European Parliament. The documents and management tools adopted serve as a common point of reference but also to avoiding thematic overlaps and thus to improve horizontal consistency as well.

3. Internal coherence (2): avoiding thematic overlaps to reach horizontal consistency

Horizontal consistency “refers to EU policies in general, adopted in pursuit of different objectives but with external implications which are not always taken into account. This applies to many important areas of EU activity”, like agriculture, the environment, transport, competition policy, consumer protection, etc. “All these policies, domestic in origin, can have significant impact for the world outside the EU” (Nuttall, 2005: 104). In enlargement, the externalisation of internal policies is considered as a “normal” process as the candidates aim at entering the EU one day. However, this is not as evident for the neighbour countries, especially for those which have no right, according to the EU treaties, to apply for candidacy.

3.1. The introduction of conditions in EU’s external relations

The definition of conditionality at the end of the 1980s and in the 1990s in the enlargement and the development policies of the EC/EU (Smith, 1998) helps one to understand its presence as a fundament of the Neighbourhood Policy. Lacking of “hard” military hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 106-140

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 power, the European Community developed until 1992 a foreign policy mainly based on elements like economy and finance in the framework of its external economic relations.

After 1992, political speeches clearly state the central role of European values and norms of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in the EU’s external relations. In 1993, the EU member states agreed on the necessity to enlarge to Central and Eastern European countries, but only under certain conditions. The Council of Copenhagen stated that candidates should have: 1) stable institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and minority rights ; 2) a functioning market economy and the capacity to cope with competitive pressures inside the EC ; 3) the ability to adopt the acquis and to accept the aims of the political, economic, and monetary union. At the Council of Madrid in 1995, the member states also insisted on the necessity for candidates to have the administrative and judicial capacity to implement the acquis communautaire , i.e. the whole range of European treaties, directives, regulations and case law defined by the European

Court of Justice. These conditions in fact represented a way for the EU to export its own norms and values abroad in developing an external dimension to its internal policies

(Lavenex, 2004; Tulmets, 2006). A similar logic was applied in the ENP as the Commission particularly values the international dimension of the EU’s internal policies:

“If we are to preserve an international order based on the rule of law and respect for those values we hold dear – human rights, democracy, good governance – we need to be using all means at our disposal to persuade emerging powers to sign up to it now. (…) We already have an impressive range of policy instruments, including development aid, diplomacy, trade policy, civilian and military crisis management, and humanitarian assistance. We also need to do more to recognize and utilise the external dimension of the EU’s internal policies. Thanks to globalization, most internal policies now have an international element” (Ferrero-Waldner, 2006)

However, the ENP does not propose any perspective of accession. Therefore, ENP countries are not politically committed to respect all these conditions but only those which they agreed upon in the Action Plans negotiated with the EU. As official speeches show, the EU can only insist on the ENP countries’ will to cooperate on certain issues.

Despite the fact that the Copenhagen criteria have been defined for candidate countries, they have also inspired the Commission’s rhetoric on the ENP. In his investiture speech before the European Parliament in 1999, Romano Prodi pointed out the necessity of hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 106-140

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 reinforcing stability in Europe through efforts on both sides and an acceptation of the common values of security and stability (Prodi, 1999). Later on, the Commission gave a more precise definition of the ENP conditionality, taking over some elements of the enlargement conditionality and of the negotiation chapters created for the candidate states. In the Commission’s documents, the neighbour countries have to respect their

“commitments to shared or common values”:

“(…) that is respect for human rights, including minority rights, the rule of law, good governance, the promotion of good neighbourly relations, and the principles of a market economy and sustainable development as well as to certain key foreign policy goals”

(European Commission, 2004a).

Thematic conditions thus represent a way to achieve coherence across sectors in the internal definition of the ENP. In its economic agreements and Action Plans with the ENP countries, the EU not only defined conditions, but it also insisted on conditionality, i.e. on the causal relationship between the progress of the partners in their reforms and the evolution of their relations with the EU. Like in the European agreements with the candidates, respect of democratic principles and human rights is a condition for delivering of assistance. It means that the economic agreement and assistance can be suspended if the conditions are not respected (negative conditionality). However, in the ENP, as in its external relations in general, the EU clearly favours positive conditionality over negative conditionality. It means that the scope of assistance is linked with the realisation of internal reforms: the more reforms are introduced along EU norms, the more assistance is allocated to the partner country.

3.2. The structures of horizontal consistency: intergovernmental formations and working groups

Horizontal consistency aims at coordinating the various sectors of the EU’s activity abroad. Given the growing interconnection of these sectors, cooperation within the EU works on the thematic basis of the conditions or common values defined in the bilateral partnership between the EU and the partner countries. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 106-140

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As indicated in the chart on “Institutional structure in the ENP”, they are various intergovernmental formations and working groups concerned with the internal coordination and discussion on the issues linked to the ENP. Technical questions and issues of less political importance are dealt with in the geographical working groups like COEST (dealing with Eastern Europe), COMAG, COMAM (Maghreb and Middle-East) as well as

EUROMED (Euro-Mediterranean Partnership) and other groups related with the ENP framework. The more political issues are discussed at the level of the political directors of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the member states. The main political decisions are prepared at the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) and taken at the

General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC). These represent the various institutional frames allowing for more horizontal and cross-pillar consistency within the

EU on the ENP.

3.3. Exhortations to practice horizontal consistency

The EU treaty and especially the ENP documents present many exhortations to practice horizontal consistency, for example, in regard to transversal issues like human rights and the rule of law but also in civilian crisis management. Very often, these issues concern the three EU pillars: they require the decisional framework of CFSP/ESDP but generally mobilise the civilian resources from the first and the third pillars.

In the ENP, crisis prevention was dealt with so far in the framework of CFSP/ESDP missions, like the ESDP mission on border management between Ukraine and Moldova or the Rule of Law mission in Georgia, and complemented institution-building projects led by the Commission. As some ENP partners expect the EU to play a growing role in crisis prevention in its neighbourhood, horizontal consistency will need to improve to avoid duplications in the definition and the implementation of the projects.

Furthermore, horizontal consistency implies that EU policies do not contradict with each other. One example is a strict visa policy on the side of the member states which hampers innovations promoted by the Commission like the development of people-topeople projects or the participation of ENP partners in EU committees.

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To conclude on horizontal consistency, the ENP method has made possible the definition of conditions and values on the basis of which the differentiated partnership between the EU and each ENP country is defined. Interestingly, what could be seen as the military component of the ENP (because it was linked to ESDP missions) in practice mobilises civilian means (for example, the Rule of law mission in Georgia, the ESDP mission on border management in Ukraine/Moldova). One therefore needs to recognise that the ENP method aims at inducing change in the neighbourhood in the long term not through coercion but through the cumulative mobilisation of civilian means (Tulmets,

2007). The content of the Actions Plans constitutes the common ground for negotiations and dialogue; it also represents a useful document for avoiding duplication of actions between the EU and its member states.

4. Internal coherence (3): vertical consistency as a way to avoid duplication

Vertical consistency “comes into play when one or more member states pursue national policies which are out of kilter with policies agreed in the EU” (Nuttall, 2005: 98). Exhortations in the EU treaties towards more vertical consistency and the introduction of the

ENP method have, however, led to changes that one might refer to as “a process of Europeanisation”


of the member states’ foreign policies.

4.1. National policies towards the neighbours

In the field of assistance, the EU treaties allow for one EU policy and then for as many assistance policies as there are member states. However, in the recent treaty reforms (Amsterdam, Nice) and policy reforms (reform of the development policy in 2005), member states were exhorted to coordinate their policies with those of the EU. Therefore, organisational structures were created to enhance the consistency between Community and national measures.


Europeanization is generally defined as a top-down and “incremental process re-orienting the direction and shape of politics to the degree that EC political and economic dynamics become part of the organizational logic of national politics and policy-making” (Ladrech, 1994:69). See also the work of Radaelli and that of Risse and Börzel. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 106-140

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After the political changes of 1989, several member states of the European Communities had formulated various initiatives to assist the transformations in Eastern Europe in parallel to the European assistance (the PHARE and TACIS programmes). These were national programmes financed by national budgets aiming at transferring national norms to the East. The Germans, for example, set up in 1992 the Transform programme, which lasted until the beginning of the 2000s (Tulmets, 2003); the French launched the “Mission interministérielle pour la cooperation avec l’Europe centrale et orientale” (Miceco) at the beginning of the 1990s to promote economic and cultural cooperation, especially with

Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Romania; the United Kingdom supported a programme called the Know-How Fund in all the candidate countries as well as in Ukraine and Russia; the Swedes were also very active through their Swedish International Development and Cooperation Agency (SIDA), and the Dutch were active through their programme MATRA. All these programmes came to an end or were reduced after accession was politically agreed in 1998. The reforms introduced in 1997-98 by the Commission, which created, among others, the ISPA (Structural Fund), SAPARD (agriculture) and

Twinning (institution-building) programmes, also offered, as consequence, new financial means as an alternative to the national ones. At that time, national experts and institutions all became strongly involved in EU projects. The Commission, which was lacking technical and regional expertise on the candidates, partly relied on the expertise of the member states to check if the accession criteria were fulfilled. In practice, this resulted in what one might call the Europeanisation of the assistance policies of the member states at the level of the norms and values promoted abroad as well as at the level of the institutions used to implement the policies (Tulmets, 2003). As most of the national programmes still concern countries like Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova and the countries of the

South Caucasus, the launch of the ENP extended the adaptation process of national means to European priorities and a greater involvement in EU projects in the East.

As far as the national policies to the South are concerned, they follow a similar pathway of Europeanisation since the ENP was created as a complementary instrument to the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and its MEDA programme, launched in 1995. Claire

Visier, for example, showed how far France’s assistance towards its Southern neighbours has evolved since 1995 in defining its policy more and more within the European frame

(Visier, 2003). The French proposition of a Union of the Mediterranean, which was hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 106-140

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 accepted this year in a modified version at the European level, confirms this analysis. In the framework of the ENP, the national instruments continue to “europeanise” in order to make use of the European frame for the implementation of projects. As a consequence, national expertise is made available at the EU level.

In both cases (those of the East and the South), committees were created to manage the EU assistance policy (the PHARE, ISPA, SAPARD, TACIS, MEDA committees) and to make sure that the preferences of the member states would be respected. The management of the Twinning and TAIEX projects also necessitated the creation of

National Contact Points at the level of the EU member states to liaise between the national experts and the Commission. These structures therefore contributed to enhancing the coordination between the EU and the national activities of implementation. On this basis, it became possible to introduce a more encompassing assistance policy for the neighbours of the enlarged European Union.

4.2. The European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI)

In 2007, the “European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument” (ENPI) replaced the

TACIS and MEDA programmes for the financial perspective of 2007-2013 (European

Commission, 2003b) and, on the insistence of the European Parliament, the European

Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) was kept and renamed into European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights. The ENPI also applies to Russia, which is not officially part of the ENP. Like the pre-accession strategy, the ENPI supports progress towards democracy and reforms towards harmonisation with EU laws. Interestingly, at least four instruments created for the pre-accession strategy have been introduced in the ENPI, in which experts from the member states participate: a) Twinning

(medium-term projects to improve institutional capacities, good governance and the rule of law), b) TAIEX (short-term projects to improve institutional capacities, good governance and the rule of law), c) Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC) (security and border management), d) opening of EU programmes and agencies (people-to-people cooperation). hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 106-140

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The first instrument was, in fact, mobilised very quickly after the launch of the ENP.

Twinning was introduced in 1997 in the enlargement policy to support capacity-building in candidate countries through institutional transfers and adaptation (Tulmets, 2006). Its primary aim is to make available the expertise of member state practitioners in foreign administrations on a specific issue – administrative and judicial capacities – where the EU has almost no acquis

(promotion of good or best practices). Since 2003, Twinning was introduced in Jordan, Morocco, Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, Ukraine, and in the countries of the Southern Caucasus. The political character of some projects implies that implementation in neighbour countries depends mainly on the political will of the governments to cooperate with the EU on their national reforms. Twinning projects cover the sectoral priorities defined in the Action Plans and provide advice, for example, in the fields of internal market, justice and home affairs, energy, transport, communication, environment, research and innovation, and social policies (for more on this, see Königová, Tomalová,

Tulmets, 2006). The experts are provided by the member states’ administrations and institutions dealing with the implementation of the acquis .

The decision was taken in June 2006 to include TAIEX into the ENPI as a complement to Twinning, as difficulties were encountered in the first Twinning projects due to bureaucratic procedures, weak administration in almost all neighbour countries, a high turnover of civil servants, and a lack of resources on the partner’s side. The Technical Assistance Information Exchange Office (TAIEX) was created in 1995 to assist candidate countries in adopting and implementing the chapters of the acquis most directly connected with the integration into the European Internal Market. It did so by providing information from a database on the acquis and by sending independent experts on shortterm missions to the candidate countries. Since one of the aims of the ENP is to offer neighbour countries “a stake in the EU’s internal market” (European Commission,

2003a), DG AidCo introduced TAIEX in its unit that deals with Twinning on the model of the Institution-Building Unit of the DG Enlargement. In the ENP, TAIEX is conceived as an instrument which can allow for the preparation of or serve as follow-up to Twinning projects (Königová, Tomalová, Tulmets, 2006).

The Commission also proposed in 2003 to improve cross-border cooperation (CBC) with specific projects in order to “prevent new dividing lines” in Europe. Cross-border projects between member states and neighbour countries mainly promote sustainable ecohrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 106-140

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 nomic, social, and environmental development in the border regions of the EU. CBC in the ENPI mainly draws on the experience of the PHARE and TACIS cross-border projects. However, difficulties in clarifying procedures on the EU’s side and the lack of administrative capacities at the local level have added some delays to the launching of the first projects, which should start in 2008 (European Commission, 2007).

Finally, the ENPI also intends to increase “people to people” activities through the building of sectoral networks and the participation of neighbouring countries in EU programmes and agencies in areas like education, training and youth, health, research, environment, and culture (European Commission, 2003a, 2004a). Some experience of including citizens from non-member states in EU programmes was gained from the Mediterranean cooperation (e.g. the Anna Lindh Foundation), the Northern Dimension, and especially enlargement, which brought a larger opening of EU programmes to non-member countries. In 2006, the Commission has listed the agencies able to welcome closer sectoral cooperation (European Commission, 2006). The proposition to enhance direct contacts between people was accepted by the Council and, on the suggestion of the German Presidency’s report of 2007, the Commission began to negotiate with Israel, Morocco and

Ukraine protocols allowing for participation in Community programmes and agencies

(European Commission, 2007: 9).

The budget of the ENPI has been discussed in a lively manner by the Council, the

Commission and the European Parliament. While the Commission proposed a budget of about Euro15 billion, the Council accepted the decision to allocate Euro12 billion, which had to be split among sixteen countries plus Russia for a period of seven years (2007-13).

Various specialists and analysts were sceptical about the EU’s capacity to implement such costly instruments with this budget, and the offer was constantly downsized when compared to the last European enlargement. Thus, the Council accepted in 2007 the proposition of the Commission to introduce two new facilities: The Governance Facility would provide additional support (about Euro 50 million a year) for 2007-10 to partner countries that have made progress in implementing the governance priorities in their Action Plans, and the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF) would support lending to ENP countries from 2008 on (European Commission, 2007). hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 106-140

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To summarise, the experience gained in the past twenty years of assistance to transition countries and the new organisational structures have allowed for a better coordination between EU and national measures and for a greater amount of consultation between

EU partners. Competition still takes place between EU member states to exert influence abroad, but it happens more within the European framework.

4.3. Exhortations for better coordination: the example of crisis prevention and management

Nowadays, member states recognise that crisis prevention and conflict management can be dealt with better within the European frame rather than the national one. However, conflict management is an issue where exhortations to practice consistency are important, given the fact that the Council and the Commission do not always share the same approach in this field. Member states tend to favour ESDP missions, where they can pursue their national preferences (and sometimes their more military perspective), while the

Commission defends an approach based on the experience of cooperation with development countries and almost twenty years of democratisation and stabilisation processes in transition countries. Interestingly, the ESDP missions conducted so far in the EU’s neighbourhood were decided before or during the launching of the ENP strategy and pushed forward by certain member countries and even by some countries which were not

EU members yet. The benefits of these missions were included a posteriori in the ENP framework and in the evaluations of the Commission. Therefore, vertical consistency still needs to be improved in these fields (e.g. Nowak, 2006).

5. Internal coherence (4): the ENP, a policy able to link various geographical regions?

In order to complement Nuttall’s analytical framework, one also has to look at the consistency of the geographical region(s) targeted by the analysed policy. In the case of policies reaching a group of countries, the definition of sub-regions and the linking of these various regions represent a real challenge, as the ENP shows. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 106-140

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5.1. Legal acceptation of the geographical scope of the ENP

The geographical scope of the ENP was at the centre of political and academic discussions since the first political proposals on a Wider Europe policy. It was first referred to in the context of discussions of the necessity to launch a policy towards the EU’s Eastern neighbours, especially towards possible candidates like Ukraine, Moldova and, to a certain extent, Belarus. As France, Spain and Italy were more interested in reinforcing their cooperation with the South and in launching the Euro-Mediterranean partnership again, propositions then also included ones related to the Mediterranean countries. After the

Rose Revolution in Georgia, the countries of the South Caucasus were also included among the beneficiaries of the policy. In 2003, Russia refused to participate in the ENP and negotiated a policy based on four common spaces with the EU.

The geographical scope of the ENP thus evolved over time and gained its legal acceptance only when the Council approved the communication of the Commission in 2004.

As a matter of fact, the Commissioner, Chris Patten, and the Special Representative for the CFSP, Javier Solana, identified in their common letter of 2002 various regions towards which the EU should clarify its policy (Patten, Solana, 2002). The Commission had the task to give a more precise view on how the EU should deal with these bordering countries: the countries of the Western Balkans and Turkey were clearly given a perspective for accession; the countries of the Community of Independent States bordering the EU, those of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and those of the Southern Caucasus were included in the ENP strategy. The definition of the EU’s policy targets in sub-groups of countries thus justified the development of two different processes, one including the

Western Balkans and Turkey, managed by DG Enlargement, and a second one with the other groups of countries, managed by DG Relex and EuropeAid.

5.2. Structures to deal with the geographical scope of the ENP

Geographical diversity was dealt with in a common policy frame: the ENP and its assistance policy in the form of the ENPI include all the beneficiary countries, even those which refused to be included into this frame. Thus, the geographical coherence of the

ENP is still undermined by structures inherited from past EU policies. The ENP, in fact, hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 106-140

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South, a substitute to enlargement and to an absent regional approach in the East. In terms of decisions, the main work is done in the working groups, which are organised on a geographical basis (COEST, COMAG, COMAM). However, common meetings between geographical working groups are organised to favour discussions on horizontal issues and to increase coordination within the EU. But they remain the exception rather than the rule (interviews at Permanent representations of the member states, Brussels, 2005-06).

5.3. Obligations to maintain geographical consistency

In fact, the debate on geographical coherence is still a lively one. This is reflected by the fact that some countries want to focus on the Eastern dimension of the ENP (e.g. Poland,

Germany, Finland), others on its Southern dimension (Spain, France, Italy), and some on the South Caucasus (Baltic States) and the Black Sea region (Romania, Bulgaria). However, the presidency of the Council of the European Union was so far used as a place to promote one or another geographical dimension of the ENP, may it be towards the North

(Finland), the East (Germany) or the South (Portugal). The EU member states are exhorted to maintain in this way a certain balance between the various geographical groupings concerned by this policy.

This also has some consequences on the external legitimacy (Beetham, Lord, 1998) and acceptance of the policy abroad and thus on its efficiency, an aspect to which I will now turn.

6. Checking external coherence: Legitimacy and effectiveness of implementation

A foreign policy which is not coherent is rarely legitimate and, without support from the various stakeholders, is rarely effective. One may recognise the importance of dealing with the policy strategies as well as with the policy implementation as foreign policy, like every public policy, has two sides: a conceptual and an operational side. The question of inadequacy between both of these elements and expectations from abroad has been characterised as a “capability-expectations gap” in the EU’s foreign relations (Hill, 1993).

However, the question of implementation was rarely tackled in the field of foreign policy hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 106-140

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 analysis, although it may give useful information on how a policy may gain coherence and legitimacy over time. External coherence will be checked in this part against the elements used to identify internal coherence.

6.1. Institutional consistency and its external effects

Even if a policy was decided unanimously and under a single legal framework, it does not mean that implementation will be or appear to be coherent. The EU has created institutional frames to structure the partnerships, the political dialogue (more linked to the

Council), and the political and thematic committees (more linked to the Commission). It builds on the experience of the negotiations within the committees of the economic agreements between the EU and third countries and the innovative elements on political dialogue added during the last accession process.

The AA and PCA Committees, led by the Commission. represent the institutional frame of discussion and negotiations on thematic issues. They mobilise an expertise which ranges from economic issues linked with the EU’s internal market to environmental and social issues. Interestingly, the Commission managed to propose more political committees based on the same model, like the sub-committees on human rights with Tunisia and

Morocco, which represent an innovation in the EU’s external relations as the committees managed by the Commission no longer deal only with technical issues in their relations with third states (interviews, DG Relex, 2006).

The political dialogue was an important element introduced at the Summit of Essen in

1994 in the context of enlargement. It has spread to cooperation with development countries and now to cooperation with the ENP countries. Situated at the level of the Council, it consists in discussing issues at the level of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and their representatives on sensitive political issues in relation with the EU and with (potential) regional conflicts. It is now conceived as an important tool of crisis prevention as it is used to discuss cross-sectoral issues and to negotiate situations of crisis.

Given this dual institutional setting, the Council (representing the member states) and the Commission are steadily in competition, especially in regard to issues related to the second pillar, and so are the various DGs of the Commission responsible for external affairs (DG Enlargement, DG Relex, EuropeAid, DG Development, etc.). Despite the exishrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 106-140

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 tence of a new method defining common objectives and benchmarks, competition over the definition and the management of the ENP still undermines the institutional coherence of the policy. Competition between the HR/SG for CFSP and the Commissioner for

External Relations did not end with the publication of the common letter of 2002. Officials interviewed at the DG Relex of the Commission reported that J. Solana was keen on taking the Wider Europe initiative out of the hands of the Commission: the ENP was, indeed, one of the key policies quoted in the European Security Strategy of 2003 (interviews, DG Relex, April 2006). The Council and the Commission were not always on the same line as far as the definition of the policy, its budget and its implementation were concerned. In practice, there have been various actions undertaken in different legal frameworks. However, they sometimes took place in similar policy fields, on the same issues or in the same country (for example, the TACIS projects and the ESDP mission on the Rule of Law in Georgia). The measures might be seen as complementary, but they entail a more competitive aspect. The European Parliament was also very proactive in the

ENP. It indicated its positions on various issues through lively debates and the publication of reports and would as well welcome the intensification of inter- parliamentary dialogue.

It is thus not surprising to observe signs of incoherence in the EU’s action abroad, as institutional competition is still present within the EU. Empirical findings on the ENP teach us so far that despite the new method identified, institutional consistency is still difficult to reach in the EU’s external relations. However, efforts are made to growingly improve horizontal consistency in the field of external relations.

6.2. Horizontal consistency in the EU’s neighbourhood

The legal aspects of horizontal consistency are not always clear and thus easy to deal with.

Although some decisions are taken in the second EU pillar (ESDP missions, for example), their implementation often mobilises resources from the first or the third pillar. This occasions small conflicts and competition in the phase of implementation.

Negotiations undertaken in the AA and PCA committees teach us that the content of the norms and values promoted by the EU is not always well defined and is thus subject to various interpretations and definitions. The conditions of the cooperation evolve through time as the internal integration of the EU evolves as well. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 106-140

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The ENP method relies on documents elaborated to coordinate the EU policies around specific topics, like the country reports and the Action Plans. However, some decisions and policies decided at the EU level can also contradict with each other. In such cases, the Commission is often asked to find a solution. For example, the member states traditionally defend a rather strict visa policy, which hampers the development of peopleto-people measures (cooperation in EU programmes) and sometimes renders the implementation of the ENP contradictory. On this specific issue, efforts on the side of the member states were made in 2007 to lower the costs of visas, at least for Ukraine and


6.3. Vertical consistency abroad

Although exhortations towards better vertical consistency are inscribed in the EU Treaties, better coordination between the policies of the EU and the member states is not always easy to ensure in practice. It is challenged by contradictions emerging between community priorities and the member states’ preferences and by difficulties occurring mainly at the level of implementation. The creation of the ENPI does not prevent the fact that according to the EU treaties, EU member states can keep on defining and implementing their own assistance policies to enhance their special relationships with some

ENP countries.

The Commission regularly asks the member states to practice more consistency in the field of assistance to avoid a duplication of actions. It tries to be kept informed of the policies undertaken by the member states abroad, but there is no obligation for the member states to inform the Commission about this. Furthermore, the very nature of the EU implies that many kinds of actors are involved in the implementation of the EU policies. The

TAIEX and Twinning projects as well as the CBC and people-to-people cooperation involve experts, civil servants, companies, universities from the member states and local actors. An ESDP mission, for example, can be implemented with means from the first and the third pillars. The Commission often tries to give coherence to the EU actions on the ground through the country reports, which represent a common frame of evaluation of

EU actions towards one specific country. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 106-140

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6.4. External geographical coherence

Despite the will to create one single policy frame with a method able to take into consideration the specific context of each partner country, the coherence of the policy is undermined by the fact that, since the beginning, the ENP does not entail any geographical consistency. It was first created as a response to the lack of an EU policy towards the

“Wider” Eastern Europe, but politicians have decided to enlarge it to other sub-regions like the Mediterranean countries and the South Caucasus. As a result, differences in priorities towards the East or the South persist. Recent examples are the German and Czech accents placed on the ENP towards the East during their respective EU presidencies or the French proposition of a Mediterranean Union to reinforce the Euro-Mediterranean

Partnership. Institutionally, the management of geographical coherence is difficult to achieve due to the institutional organisation of the political and technical groupings dealing with policy decisions (Council, working groups) and those dealing with policy management and implementation (AA and PCA committees) along geographical regions. As far as implementation is concerned, the ENP relies on the already existing structures of the Association Agreements in the South and the Partnership and Cooperation Agreements in the East. Despite the fact that the various institutional frameworks of the assistance policy (the MEDA and TACIS programmes) were merged to create a single framework of implementation, the ENPI, policy management still works on a geographical basis between East and South.

One might explain this reality through the chain of political decisions taken within the

ENP that have led to the creation of geographical groupings which geographers do not really agree with. As a matter of fact, the policy involves several groups of countries with very different political, economic and cultural backgrounds without any consideration of long time historical issues. The EU member states are now exhorted to maintain consistency between groups of countries which have no geographical definition in common except for the fact that these countries are all (more or less) geographical neighbours of the

EU. The term “neighbour” is in fact used as a substitute to a coherent geographical definition of this policy, and it can also be questioned in relation to the way it is perceived and understood in the ENP countries (Meloni, 2007). hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 106-140

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Finally, the fact that some countries, like Russia, have refused the EU offer and that others are not ready to negotiate Action Plans (Belarus, Algeria) reinforces the conviction that this policy works on the basis of inclusive and exclusive circles which overlap with other circles of cooperation defined in the EU framework. The ENP created various expectations in the neighbour countries, especially in Ukraine and Moldova, which have the right to become candidates to the EU. But the question remains whether the EU will be able to deal with these various expectations and to avoid a “clash of interpretations” (Kratochvil, 2006).

To conclude on external coherence, the EU has made important efforts in the last few years to better coordinate its various actions in its external relations. The ENP is a good test case for showing this, but empirical findings also indicate that the EU’s ability to become a coherent international actor is still open. While a large part of the answers mainly lies within the EU, it is not certain that the institutional changes proposed in the Lisbon

Treaty of 2007 will simplify the issue. One has to take into account the ability of the EU to stay consistent in the phase of implementation with what was decided within the EU.

However, the reasons for inconsistency do not all lie on the EU’s side. The will and the ability of the partner countries to welcome and implement the policy is also another important parameter to take into consideration, an argument which could not be elaborated here.


Coherence is not easy to find in the field of external foreign policies. But the innovations which occurred in the last few years in the field of the external relations of the European

Union indicate that, at least, the political will is there to improve the EU’s actions and image abroad. The example of one of the EU’s latest foreign policies, the European

Neighbourhood Policy, indicates that the experience of enlargement was an important source of inspiration in creating a coherent legal, institutional and political framework able to coordinate the EU actions in an institutional, horizontal, vertical and geographical way. This analysis on the ENP tends to conclude that the EU resembles more a civilian power in the sense of Duchêne (see also Johansson-Nogués, 2007; Tulmets, 2007). However, on paper, the ENP already has the flavour of internal coherence, as it roughly fulfils hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 106-140

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 the criteria defined in the analytical framework presented above. But as far as external coherence is concerned, a lot still needs to be done so that, in practice, the implementation of the policy would be consistent with what has been decided within the EU and meets the expectations of the neighbour countries. To conclude, the ENP method aimed so far at enhancing – even if imperfectly – the internal coherence of EU’s external action rather than its external one. The improvement of the latter remains one of the difficult tasks which the EU will have to deal with in the upcoming years.


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Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, 2/2007, May. <www.iir.cz/upload/projekty/2007/ENP-

Working_paper_eng.pdf> hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 106-140

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Ladrech, Robert (1994), “Europeanization of domestic politics and institutions: The case of France”, Journal of Common Market Studies, 32 (1), March, pp. 69-88.

Lavenex Sandra (2004), “EU external governance in ‘wider Europe’”, Journal of European

Public Policy, 11 (4), August, pp. 680-700.

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Common Market Studies, 40 (2), pp. 235-58.

Meloni Gabriella (2007), “Who’s my Neighbour?”, European Political Economy Review,

(7), Summer, pp. 24-37. www.eper.org

Nowak, Agnieszka (ed.) (2006). Civilian Crisis Management: the EU Way. Chaillot Paper

90, Paris, ISS.

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(eds.), International Relations and the European Union, Oxford, Oxford Univ.

Press, pp. 91-112.

Ojanen Hanna (2000), “The EU and Its ‘Northern Dimension’: An Actor in Search of

Policy, or a Policy in Search of an Actor?”, European Foreign Affairs Review, 2000, pp. 359-376.

Patten Chris, Solana Javier (2002), Wider Europe. Available on: http://europa.eu.int/comm/world/enp/pdf/_0130163334_001_en.pdf

Portela Clara (2007), “Community Policies with a Security Agenda. The Worldview of

Benita Ferrero-Waldner”, EUI Working Papers, RSCA 2007/10.

Prodi Romano (1999), “Investiture speech before the European Parliament”, 14 September.

Rose Richard (1993), Lesson-Drawing in Public Policy. A Guide to Learning across Time and Space, Chatham (New Jersey): Chatham House Publishers.

Sjursen Helene (ed.) (2006), “Special Issue: What Kind of Power? European Foreign Policy in Perspective”, Journal of European Public Policy, March.

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Third Countries : How Effective ?”, European Foreign Affaires Review, 2 (3),

Summer, pp. 253-274.

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Concern?“, The International Spectator, 35 (2), April-June, pp. 11-28.

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Tulmets Elsa (2003), « La coopération allemande face à l’élargissement de l’Union européenne : de Transform à PHARE/ Twinning », Allemagne d’Aujourd’hui , (166), Oct-

Dec., pp. 68-94.

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Neighbourhood: Different Countries, Common Interests , Mykolas Romeris University,

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Policy : The ENP as a Substitute to Enlargement?”, in: Kratochvíl Petr (ed.), The

EU and its Neighbourhood: Policies, Problems, Priorities , Institute of International Relations, Prague, 2006, pp. 16-34.

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France en Méditerranée , Paris, L’Harmattan.

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ed.), Oxford,

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hamburg review of social sciences

Human Security and Coherence within the EU:

The Case of the 2006 UN Small Arms Conference

Javier Alcalde and Caroline Bouchard




In recent years, the EU has reiterated its commitment to play a greater global role and actively participate in international organizations. In particular, the EU has pledged to work toward the strengthening of the United Nations. The EU’s influence on negotiations at the UN can be affected by the EU ability to “speak with one voice”, to demonstrate coherence.


Javier Alcalde is a PhD Candidate at the European University Institute at Florence, Italy.

Caroline Bouchard is a PhD Candidate at the University of Edinburgh, UK.


The authors would like to thank their interviewees, who were kind enough to share their experiences and knowledge, three anonymous reviewers, the editors and the coordinator of this Special

Issue for their constructive comments. Caroline Bouchard wishes to thank UACES for supporting this research project. Javier Alcalde wishes to thank the Juan March Foundation. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 141-170

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Since the early 1990s, the UN has been increasingly active in the policy area of human security. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) first used the concept of human security in its 1994 Human Development Report. The report argued that the scope of global security should be expanded to include threats in seven areas: economic security, food security, health security, environmental security, personal security, community security and political security.


Human security was thus put forward to describe new security concerns and to emphasize the shift from a state concerned security to a peoplecentered approach to security.

The EU has presented itself as an important actor in the promotion of concrete actions on several human security issues, such as the prohibition of landmines and the current negotiation process on cluster bombs. This paper examines the coherence of the EU as an actor at the UN and whether coherence issues affected the EU’s effectiveness in a specific case of human security negotiations:


the 2006 UN Small Arms Review Conference. The paper suggests that although the EU appeared to show some consistency (horizontal, vertical and institutional) the EU was unsuccessful at the Review Conference. To the EU, the NGOs and other actors’ disappointment, the Review Conference failed to adopt a final document.


The components of human security are defined as follows: economic security: an assured basic income, minimum job security, while the threats to economic security are rampant uncontrolled inflation, economic depression and financial crises; food security: questions of access often are in fact more important than simply “having enough to go around”, the threats come therefore from unequal distribution, while obviously famine and starvation due to real food shortages are the worst case threats; health security: death and illness linked to poverty, unsafe and unclean environments, access to healthcare, and the problem of pandemics such as

HIV/AIDS and infectious diseases; environment security: degradations of local and global ecosystems, one of the major challenges being access and cleanliness of water; personal security: against threats of sudden physical violence exercised by the state, by other states in war, or from other individuals from other groups due to ethnic tensions, also encompassing specific personal security of women against violence and exploitation, or of children against all forms of child abuse; community security to tackle threats such as intra-community strife, tensions, or hurtful practices directed against certain members of the community, such as women; political security against torture, political repression, ill treatments and disappearances. See UNDP

1994. On the concept of human security, see also Lodgaard 2000 and Paris 2001.


The concept of effectiveness can be understood from different points of view. As it will be explained in the next section, the EU’s effectiveness is considered as the achievement of the broader small arms and light weapons (SALW) policy objectives expressed in the various EU documents. The absence of agreement on a final document in the 2006 Review Conference will show that the EU has been unsuccessful. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 141-170

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The paper begins by proposing an analytical framework based on a multilevel game approach to explore the link between the coherence of the EU and its effectiveness at the

Review Conference. It explores the ways in which a complex web of actors and institutions interact at three different levels: UN, EU and domestic. By using this analytical framework and various qualitative methods such as expert interviews, documentary analysis and participant observation, this paper aims to examine the factors which might have hindered the effectiveness of the EU at the 2006 Small Arms Review Conference. Finally, the paper discusses whether these factors are linked to problems of coherence within the


1. The European Union at the 2006 Review Conference: achieving coherence in a multilevel game

To grasp the factors that might have affected the EU effectiveness at the Review Conference and to identify if these factors are related to problems of coherence, our analytical approach takes into account not only the complex nature of the EU as an international actor, but also the ways in which a complex web of actors and institutions interact. In the next section, the paper suggests an analytical framework that uses different categories of the concept of coherence and a multilevel game approach to examine the factors affecting the effectiveness of the EU at the 2006 Small Arms Review Conference.

Effectiveness is a concept often used to discuss the EU’s role in international affairs.

Yet, it is rarely defined.


For the purpose of this paper, effectiveness will be defined as the

EU ability to attain its objectives at the Review Conference. With regard to this UN conference, the EU had a clear objective: the EU wished the Review Conference to adopt “a forward looking and substantial outcome document”.


The effectiveness of the EU will be thus evaluated on the basis of progress made towards this goal.


For a discussion on the concept of the EU’s effectiveness see Laatikainen and Smith 2006.


See Statement on behalf of the EU, UN Conference to Review Progress Made and the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in

SALW in all its aspects. New York, 26 June 2006. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 141-170

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1.1 The Coherence of the EU in International Negotiations


The importance of “coherence” in EU foreign-policy making was recognized early on by the Member States. The Single European Act (SEA) emphasized the responsibility of the

European Union to speak with one voice and to act with consistency and solidarity. The

Treaty of Maastricht, with the creation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy

(CFSP) and the position of the High Representative for the CFSP, aimed to address some of the EU’s coherence problems in its external affairs. The Treaty also accentuated the importance of consistency across the newly created pillars. Smith argues that the institutionalization of the EU’s competencies for its external relations has in fact created more uniform methods and solutions for the EU in dealing with external problems (Smith 2001:

192). In contrast, some observers claim that the nomination of the High Representative for CFSP and the creation of other CFSP institutions have not necessarily improved the

EU’s coherence or for that matter its effectiveness. In reality these characteristics of the

CFSP may slow down the process of responding effectively to crisis-situations and in some ways reduce the effectiveness of the EU’s external policy (Sjursen 2003: 37).

The literature on CFSP suggests that the EU is still struggling with problems of consistency and it remains sceptical about the capability of the EU to be a coherent actor.


Sjursen notes that the EU as a global actor suffers from coherence problems both vertically and horizontally. Problems of vertical coherence may occur when the foreign and security policies of individual Member States do not fit together with policies decided at EU level. On the other hand, problems of horizontal consistency are linked to the EU being involved in various external activities that are part of different pillars. If these activities are not consistent with each other and do not strengthen each other, then the EU may experience horizontal inconsistencies (Sjursen 2003: 37) As Nuttall rightly stresses “as long as the EU organises its affairs in separate Pillars, consistency will need to be managed” (Nuttall 2005: 96).


The terms “coherence” and “consistency” will be used interchangeably in this paper. As Nuttall notes: “ ‘consistency’ is the officially preferred term in English, ‘coherence’ is used in French, and in many other European languages, and may well have a broader signification” (Nuttall

2005: 93).


See, inter alia , Peterson and Sjursen 1998 and Bretherton and Vogler 2006. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 141-170

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The purpose of this paper is to examine the EU’s coherence in international negotiations on small arms and light weapons (SALW). The production and export of SALW remains within the competence of EU Member States. EU actions on small arms have to be agreed within the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) framework. Given that

EU Member States remain in charge of foreign and security policy matters (unless they agree otherwise), the Commission has only a subsidiary role in international negotiations on CFSP issues. However, the Commission recently designed several development programmes to directly address the negative consequences of the proliferation of SALW. The response of the EU to the problem of SALW has now become a cross-pillar issue, thus having the potential to create consistency problems. This will be explored by using two broad categories of consistency as defined by Nuttall (2005). The first category is horizontal consistency (which includes institutional consistency). The second category is vertical consistency.

Horizontal consistency focuses on the various policies of the EU. These policies, though may have different objectives, should aim to be consistent with each other. To illustrate this category, Nuttall notes the example of existing problems of incoherence between the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the EU’s development policy. In the case of EU policy on SALW, consistency problems could potentially arise at least between two main policy areas: its security policy and its development policy. A particular subgroup of horizontal consistency is institutional consistency. Nuttall notes that this categorisation contains particular characteristics and may be seen as a separate category (Nuttall

2005: 99). However, in this paper, institutional consistency will be considered as part of the category of horizontal consistency. Institutional inconsistencies stem from the fact that external relations in the EU are managed by two different branches with different decision-making procedures and different approaches to solve the same issue. The question of “who is responsible for what” (the Commission or the Member States) in the EU external affairs is a key issue in this category. In the case of SALW, both the Member States under the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Commission have pledged to combat their proliferation. As we will see, the approach taken by these two sets of actors is quite different. One should note, however, that in negotiations at the UN, the

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 in negotiations is dependent on their willingness, more particularly on the Member State holding the Presidency.

Vertical consistency refers to the coherence between the national policies of the

Member States and the policies approved at the EU level. This type of consistency is usually difficult to manage, as it is the most politically delicate, especially in the case of CFSP policies. EU Member States remain the central players in this specific policy area, since the European Court of Justice has no jurisdiction in CFSP. Member States rarely have to face consequences if they do not follow the EU position. Nuttall points out that even with the introduction of CFSP instruments, such as joint actions and common strategies, the responsibility of the Member States to comply with the EU position is never absolute

(Nuttall 2005: 117). Problems of vertical consistency regarding CFSP issues such as

SALW touches upon the willingness of EU Member States to cooperate on foreign policy matters.

As the analysis of the 2006 SALW Review Conference will reveal, various problems of consistency emerged during the negotiations. We will suggest that, from a theoretical point of view, Nuttall´s typology might need to be sophisticated to be helpful for our analysis. As shown by Figure 1, we argue that each category of coherence (vertical/horizontal) can be related to two aspects: aspects of policy content, but also aspects of representation, both between the different players (vertical) - Members States and EU institutions -, and also between the different policy areas (horizontal). In our case, the ‘representation aspect” relates to the external representation of the EU as an actor in multilateral settings.

Figure 1. A typology of coherence problems




Conflicting priorities between policy areas and/or between different branches

Conflicting priorities between Members

States and EU priorities.


Coordination problems between policy areas and/or between different branches.

Coordination problems between EU

Member States

Own elaboration, built from Nuttall´s (2005) categories

In other words, EU Member States can act coherently or incoherently in multilateral settings regarding the content of their priorities, i.e. policy (in)coherence, but also of their hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 141-170

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 representation, i.e. coordination (in)coherence.


As we will see, in our empirical case, while the EU appeared to have a cohesive position regarding priorities at the beginning of the negotiations, this position gradually crumbled. Moreover, the national positions of the

Member States in the end seemed to overshadow the position agreed at the EU level and created emerging problems of coordination vis-à-vis third parties.


The EU in international negotiations: a multilevel game approach

The study of the EU as an international actor has challenged theorists (Tonra and

Christiansen 2004). The EU represents a double challenge for mainstream IR theories: it is neither a state, nor a typical intergovernmental organisation. Rational theories tend to assume that states are rational “unitary” actors with fixed preferences and the ability to adopt various strategies to achieve their preferred outcomes. Yet, it is difficult to consider the EU as a unitary actor in the international system, especially in the context of negotiations at the UN. First, the EU is not a member of the UN and the EU Member States remain the main players. Second, other EU actors, such as the Commission as well as different levels of decision-making, need to be considered to understand the behaviour of the

EU as an actor at the UN (Farrell 2006: 33-36). As Elgström and Strömvik (2005) point out, EU actors involved in international negotiations have not only to consider the positions of other international actors, but also the bargaining process with the partners at the

EU level as well as domestic negotiations. This reality has prompted a number of scholars to adopt a multilevel game approach based on a n-level game to study the EU as a global actor.

Scholars, such as Robert D. Putnam (1988), have argued that international agreements should be viewed as the product of a multilevel game. More specifically, Putnam argues that international negotiations should be decomposed into two different stages (a

“two-level game”). The first stage consists of negotiations to achieve a provisional agreement at the international level (Level I). The second stage entails negotiations at the domestic level (Level II) within various groups about whether to accept, or ratify, the provi-


It has to be noted that even if all cells have been presented for analytical purposes, the problems of horizontal representation are theoretically less likely to be present in multilateral forums, where the EU negotiators should have already done the horizontal coordination work at the EU level. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 141-170

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 sional agreement. In this two-level game, each side is represented by a “chief negotiator”, or “chief of government”, who plays at two levels (Evans 1993: 399).

Putnam’s approach implies that the two games are played simultaneously. Decisions taken at one level can have a direct effect on negotiations at the other level. Thus, strategies and outcomes at different levels of the game simultaneously affect one another. According to Putnam, the crucial link between international negotiations and domestic politics lies in the necessity of ratification; in order for negotiations to be successful, the chief negotiator must not only reach an agreement at the international level, but also assure that the agreement will be accepted, or ratified, at the domestic level. Furthermore, any modification added to the

Level 1 agreement counts as a rejection of the agreement unless all the other parties to the agreement approved the modification. The multilevel game approach thus depicts diplomacy as “a process of strategic interactions in which actors simultaneously try to take into account of and, if possible, influence the expected reactions of other actors, both at home and abroad” (Moravcsik 1993: 15).

A number of studies have applied Putnam’s two-level game to the analysis of the EU’s external relations (Meunier 2000; Collinson 1999; Patterson 1997). In most of these analyses, the two-level game was adapted to become a three-level game. The three levels can be defined as follows: Level I remains the international level, or in our case the UN level.

Level II becomes the European Union level, where negotiations mainly take place in EU institutions and involve various EU actors. Finally, the third level is the domestic level.

Collinson (1999) points out that the key EU negotiators at Level I are not always the same individuals playing at Level II and Level III. In addition, negotiations at Level I may involve more than one actor and each one may represent different interests (as in the case of the Member State holding the EU Presidency). This paper recognizes that the variation of negotiator does pose an analytical problem, but only if the dynamics of the three-level games are different from the two-level game. To overcome this obstacle, one must make sure that the links between the three levels of negotiations are still present. This paper suggests that officials from foreign ministries constitute the interface between the three levels of negotiations: they are part of their national delegation, they coordinate with their colleagues from the other EU Member States and they participate in the UN negotiating forum. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 141-170

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The multilevel game’s approach in this paper will be used to examine the factors that might affect the EU’s effectiveness, but also to explore potential problems of EU coherence at the Review Conference.

2. Case Study: The UN Small Arms Review Conference: A Missed Opportunity for the


Small arms and light weapons (SALW) are responsible for the majority of armed conflict deaths and are used in more than 40% of homicides in the world. In 2006 the estimated number of SALW in existence was around 640 millions (Small Arms Survey 2006). Following the sudden increase of the global arms trade after the end of the Cold War and their use in the internal conflicts in the 1990s in Rwanda, Somalia and in the Balkans, numerous states, international organizations and NGOs focused on the proliferation of

SALW as the next human security issue to be addressed by the international community.

At the UN, the adoption of a comprehensive ban of SALW was never considered as a realistic option. Small arms are used by armed forces and police forces around the world and are legally owned by civilians in many states. In the late 1990s the UN recognized that a much broader approach would be needed to effectively deal with the effects of this type of weapons. The EU became one of the most vocal actors to support UN initiatives to stem the proliferation of SALW.

The EU’s involvement in this area can be explained by a number of factors. First, several EU Member States were (and still are) important exporters of small arms.


These states began to recognize that an increasing portion of their small arms production was being “recycled” and illegally sold on the global arms market and used in conflict areas (see

Small Arms Survey 2003). In addition, systematic studies showed that large quantities of arms were smuggled through the EU and brokered by EU companies and individuals.


Second, EU activities in the areas of development assistance, humanitarian aid and con-


In 1995 the EU accounted for 33% of the total arms export. See Eavis/Benson 1999: 89. Currently, at least 1,134 companies in 98 countries worldwide are involved in some aspect of the production of small arms and/or ammunition. The largest exporters of SALW by volume are the EU (e.g., Belgium, Germany, France, Italy and the UK) and the US. .


See Saferworld 1998. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 141-170

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 flict prevention were directly affected by the proliferation of small arms. In 1997, the EU took a first step to address the small arms issue by adopting a political declaration, the

Programme for Preventing and Combating Illicit Trafficking in Conventional Arms.

The Programme was followed by a series of other initiatives. In June 1998, the General Affairs

Council formally adopted the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports , a document that is not legally binding. However, EU Member States agreed to apply the Code of Conduct and its common criteria when assessing application to export arms and to share information on export control policies.


A few months later, the first Joint Action on SALW

(1999/34/CFSP) was approved by the Council of Ministers.

It suggested objectives and measures to combat the destabilizing accumulation and spread of SALW and provided financial and technical assistance to specific actions in this field. In December 2000 the EU presented a Plan of Action on small arms to the UN General Assembly. The Plan of Action stated the EU’s priorities with regard to national, regional and international initiatives on small arms. More importantly, the Plan also supported the elaboration of a legally binding agreement to restrict the production and trade in small arms.


The EU’s efforts to reach an international agreement on small arms were supported by the creation in 1998 of the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA), a global network of civil society organizations working to stop the proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons.


The EU and IANSA first collective effort was to focus on the promotion of a UN conference on small arms and introduction of stringent international commitments. However, several states, including the United States, were more apprehensive about the conclusion of international agreements on the regulation of the trade of small arms. These states privileged national or regional approaches over the adoption of global guidelines (Small Arms Survey 2006; Bondi 1999). These States actively lobbied for the UN conference to only focus on the illicit, and not the legal , trade of small arms.


See European Union, EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports , Council document 8675/2/98

Rev.2,Brussels, 8 June 1998. This Code stipulates that arms should not be sent to countries where there is a clear risk that they might be used for external aggression or internal repression.


UN Document A/Conf.192/PC/21


See www.iansa.org hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 141-170

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Despite some unenthusiastic support from several UN members, the United Nations

Conference on the Illicit Trade of Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Aspects opened in

New York on 9 July 2001. A few weeks before the beginning of this Conference, the

European Commission, with the support of the Swedish Presidency, published a report entitled Small Arms and Light Weapons- The response of the European Union . The report stated the EU’s objectives for the UN Small Arms Conference which included the implementation of international exports controls and principles, the development of international instruments on marking and tracing and on arms brokering and the need to address the issues of civilian possession and transfer to non-state groups.

Negotiations were difficult at the 2001 Conference. The US refused to support an international agreement that would focus on the legal trade and manufacturing of SALW, regulate small arms transfer to non-state actors or prohibit civilian possession. The African bloc, the region most affected by the proliferation of small arms, also rejected to compromise on the issues of civilian possession and transfers to non-state actors.

Negotiations concluded on the morning of 21 July. A politically (not legally) binding document, the

Programme of Action (PoA) to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects , was adopted by consensus later that same day. It suggested a broad set of measures to tackle the illicit trade of SALW. A Review Conference of the Programme of Action was also planned for 2006. Several international actors, including the EU welcomed the adoption of the Programme of Action (PoA), but also insisted that stronger commitments and efforts were needed from the international community.


The Small Arms Review Conference would be a crucial opportunity for the European Union and the international community to reaffirm their commitment to stop the proliferation of SALW.


In this sense, in its final statement the President of the Conference expressed his “disappointment over the Conference’s inability to agree, due to the concerns of one state [the United

States], on language recognizing the need to establish and maintain control over private ownership of these deadly weapons and the need for preventing sales of such arms to non-state group”. See United Nations, Annex- Statement by the President of the Conference after the adoption of the Programme of Action to Prevent and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its aspects. Report of the United Nations Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects , New York, 9-20 July 2001 (A/CONF.192/15) hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 141-170

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In the next sections, the proposed analytical framework is used to examine the EU’s coherence and effectiveness at the 2006 Small Arms Review Conference. All three levels of negotiations are analyzed to identify the factors that might have influenced the EU success during the negotiations. The paper focuses first on negotiations at the EU level

(Level II) to explore the EU approach, which shaped negotiations at the UN (Level I).

Finally, a discussion of some of the actors and the policy-making processes in the domestic arena (Level III) is also included.

Negotiations at the EU level

Negotiations at the EU level prior to the 2006 Review Conference concentrated on achieving coherence in the different dimensions we have highlighted. Following the 2001

UN Small Arms Conference, the EU Member States and the Commission remained active on this issue. While the Commission continued to manage a number of initiatives in various part of the world, SALW was still considered by the Member States as a CFSP issue. At the EU level, the Council of Ministers and, more specifically, the Council of General Affairs and External Affairs and two of its working groups (COARM, the working group on conventional arms exports; and CODUN, responsible for the coordination between the EU Member States at the UN) remained the key players in this area.

In July 2002 the Council adopted a new Joint Action (2002/589/CFSP), which replaced the 1998 Joint Action. The new Joint Action had a geographical focus (Africa,

Asia, Latin America and the Balkans) and several objectives: to combat the destabilizing spread of SALW and to reduce existing accumulation of SALW and their ammunitions in these regions. In the following year, the EU continued to strengthen its approach to

SALW and strive towards vertical consistency by adopting a Common Position on the controls of arms brokering (2003/468/CFSP). The Common Position established a clear legal framework and requested from the EU Member States to adopt the necessary national measures to control arms brokering activities on their territory.

Moreover, the PoA revealed that key issues, such as controlling arms transfers and arms marking and tracing, would require follow-up negotiation. See e.g. Greene 2002. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 141-170

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During its EU presidency in the second half of 2005 the UK, one of the most active actors on SALW, undertook several initiatives to address this issue at the EU level. First, with the Control Arms campaign and the British NGO Saferworld , the UK organized a meeting in Brussels in October 2005 to discuss an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) with representatives from EU Member States, the European Commission and the European Parliament, as well as various European NGOs.


The ATT would create legally binding controls and international standards on arms trade. The ATT rapidly gained support among the EU Member States as it would introduce global standards similar to the EU Code of

Conduct, thus ensuring that EU arms manufacturers would not be disadvantaged in the global market. By the end of 2005 the General Affairs Council supported the idea of an international treaty to establish common standards for the global trade in conventional arms.

Second, with the preparatory sessions of the Review Conference scheduled for the beginning of January 2006, the EU Member States, backed by the Commission, recognized the need to address vertical and, to a certain extent, horizontal coherence. The EU Strategy to combat the Illicit Accumulation and the Trafficking of SALW and their Ammunitions was adopted by the European Council on 15-16 December 2005. The Strategy, which is linked to the 2003 European Security Strategy, is presented as a guidance tool for all EU activities in the area of SALW. It highlights the need for an integrated approach to combat the illicit trade of SALW. It also outlines measures to be taken at the global level, but also within the EU. At the EU level, the Strategy’s Action Plan calls for an effective response to the accumulation of SALW and for the establishment and development of the necessary structures within the EU to deal with the issue. This includes the strengthening of the Council Secretariat’s capabilities to ensure a coherent application of the strategy by working in close cooperation with SALW experts from the Commission and Member

States. The Strategy also promotes greater horizontal coordination and exchange of information between the Council’s experts groups both geographical and thematic

(CODUN, COARM, etc). Finally, the Strategy stresses the need to ensure consistency


The global Control Arms Campaign was launched in 2003 by three UK-based NGOs: Oxfam,

Amnesty International and IANSA to support the Arms Trade Treaty. The idea of an international Arms Trade Treaty was first put forward by a group of Nobel Peace Laureates in 1995 with the aim of limiting the spread and misuse of conventional arms, both light and heavy. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 141-170

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 between the Council decisions in the CFSP framework and actions implemented by the

Commission in the field of development aid.

With the adoption of its Strategy on small arms, the EU aimed not only to address coherence problems, but also to demonstrate that it could speak with one voice on this issue. Yet, the EU Strategy on SALW was the result of negotiations and compromises at the

EU level. For instance, the Strategy was adopted “to combat illicit accumulation and trafficking of SALW and also their ammunition”. The fact that ammunitions were included in the title of the Strategy seems to indicate that certain states for which ammunition was a main concern must have pressed for this issue to become a priority for the EU. As the next section will show, Germany and France were part of these countries that called for action regarding the accumulation of ammunition. Furthermore, the EU Strategy supports the adoption of a legally binding instrument on marking and tracing. This clearly reflected the priorities of states such as the UK. The EU Strategy suggested that although the EU

Member States agreed that the international community should act to tackle the proliferation of SALW, they had different priorities with regards to what measures should be adopted.

The EU Strategy on Small Arms gives a central role to the Council and the Member

States in the campaign against the spread of SALW. Yet, it does acknowledge the role of another EU institution: the European Commission. Human security issues such as the production and trade of SALW do not generally fall into the competence of the Commission as they are considered CFSP issues. However, the Commission is responsible for the

European Community actions in the field of humanitarian and development assistance, which are considered by many as intrinsic parts of human security. Following the 2001

Small Arms Conference, the Commission created several SALW-related programs using different lines of budget and the European Development Fund (EDF) to fund SALW related assistance in ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) countries and Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT). Furthermore in October 2004 the European Commission funded a wide-ranging research project on “Strengthening European Action on SALW and Explosive Remnants of War”. This study focused on some of the consistency problems of the EU SALW policy and was carried out by the UN Institute for Disarmament

Research (UNIDIR). Although the research project was initiated before the adoption of the EU Strategy on SALW, it was only completed in June 2006. The study, which was hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 141-170

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 presented as complementing the EU Strategy, was mainly funded by the Commission, but it also received additional funding from the UK. While the report’s aim was to offer suggestions on how the EU as a whole could become more effective in the area of SALW, it focused primarily, but not exclusively, on initiatives that could be carried out by the

Commission. The final report of the study covered all SALW-related activities funded by the different institutional branches. It suggested that problems of (both content and representation) institutional consistency (mostly between the Council and the Commission) were inevitable and should be addressed by the EU.

Thus the UNIDIR report highlighted an important issue: EU SALW policy suffered from some consistency problems. In the years between the 2001 Small Arms Conference and the 2006 Review Conference, the Commission and the Member States had adopted different approaches regarding the small arms issue. As a recent opinion of the European

Court of Justice (ECJ) demonstrates, the Commission centered the debate on SALW on its policy of development cooperation.


The Commission argued that the campaign against the proliferation of SALW had become an integral part of the policy of development cooperation and should fall within the scope of the competences conferred on the

Community in that field. In contrast, the Member States argued that the campaign against the spread of SALW was an issue of disarmament and arms control. It should thus not fall within the Community’s competences as the main aims of the EU policy on

SALW are preserving peace and strengthening international security. At the opening of the Review Conference in June 2006 the debate between the Commission and the Member States on the EU SALW policy was still in progress.


With the adoption of a Strategy on small arms, the EU wished to address potential consistency problems. Yet, some of these consistency problems, both within the content and the representation dimensions would affect the EU’s ability to be an effective actor at the Review Conference.


See Opinion of AG Mengozzi in ECJ Case C-91/05, Commission of the European Communities vs. Council of the European Union, pending, 19 September 2007.


In fact, the EU’s agenda in the 2006 Review Conference was indeed a compromise between the

Member States in order to ensure horizontal content coherence. This fact may have played a role in the development of the negotiations, as other main players at the conference may have been aware of this. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 141-170

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008

Negotiations at the UN level

The Preparatory Committee of the Small Arms Review Conference met in New York in

January 2006. At this Committee, the EU multiplied its efforts to convince other states to support the adoption of strong international commitments. The EU also presented its

Strategy on SALW, which, in the framework of the PoA, supported the adoption of a legally binding international agreement on the tracing and marking of SALW, the creation of a group of experts on brokering, the strengthening of exports control and the inclusion of minimum common international criteria and guidelines for controls on SALW transfers. This EU strategy aimed not only to ensure that the EU security strategy and its development policy were consistent, but also to contribute to enhance the credibility of the

EU as a policy advocate on the issue of SALW, i.e. the horizontal and vertical content dimensions (see fig. 1).

While the EU Strategy attempted to address issues of horizontal consistency, problems of coordination between the Member States emerged at the Preparatory Committee, i.e. vertical representation incoherence. Several EU Member States campaigned for the Review Conference to concentrate on specific issues, which reflected their national interests.

For example, France and Germany emphasized the need to combat the illicit trade of ammunitions. At the same time, the Netherlands and the UK presented a working paper on the negative humanitarian and development impact of the illicit trade of SALW and recommended that the link between SALW and development should be clearly spelled out in the final document of the Conference. With EU Member States campaigning for different issues to be included in the final document, it became unclear which of these issues were considered the priorities for the EU and on which of them the EU would be willing to compromise.

Negotiations were arduous as a number of states including the United States, Iran, Israel and Egypt refused to compromise on certain issues. There was a general agreement among states, including EU Member States, that the Review Conference should not renegotiate the existing Programme of Action, but rather complement or enhance the PoA and its implementation. However negotiations reached an impasse on issues such as civilian possession or transfer to non-state actors. Negotiations at the Preparatory Committee ended on 20 January without agreement on a final draft to forward to the Review Conferhrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 141-170

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 ence. The Chairman produced a conference room paper, but, to the EU’s dismay, was unable to gain support for its incorporation into the final document; only texts of an organizational nature were adopted and forwarded to the officers of the Review Conference.

Six months later, the 2006 United Nations Conference to Review the Implementation of the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade of Small Arms and Light Weapons in all its Aspects

opened in New York on 26 June 2006. Even before the start of this Review Conference, there was some controversy. In the weeks preceding the

Conference, the powerful American National Rifle Association (NRA) had launched a campaign of mass mailing to the UN to denounce “the UN attempts to deny the rights of

Americans to guns ownership” (Hoge 2006). This campaign prompted the UN Secretary-

General to reaffirm that the Review Conference would not negotiate a “global gun ban” or try to “deny law-abiding citizens their right to bear arms in accordance with their national law”.


Nonetheless, spirits were high at the beginning of the Conference, as many international actors, including the EU, believed that the adoption of a strong outcome document would be beneficial to the work against the illicit trade of SALW.

At the Review Conference, the EU attempted to reaffirm that it had a coherent approach to tackle the spread of SALW. Transfer controls, marking and tracing, brokering regulations, ammunition and the integration of SALW measures into development assistance were all identified as EU priorities and several EU member states, including the UK,

Germany and the Netherlands also made statements supporting the EU (vertical and horizontal) content priorities.


In contrast to the position of the EU, other states, including India and China expressed their reservations to negotiate on a number of issues. Furthermore, the US would not agree to negotiate any provisions restricting civilian possession or the legal trade of firearms inconsistent with US laws and practices. Ammunitions and the transfer to non-state actors were also established as “red lines” for the Americans.


See http://www.un.org/events/smallarms2006


These priorities are closely connected with the history of the process. On the one hand, there are issues which were not included in the 2001 Programme of Action, such as the civilian possession of SALW, transfers to non-state actors or global guidelines for national decisions on whether to authorize SALW transfers that also take certain criteria into account, such as the situation of human rights, the risk of conflict caused by weapons transfers, or possible negative consequences for the development of the country. On the other hand, from 2001 to 2006 several instruments had been negotiated, such as the one on marking and tracing, leaded by sevhrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 141-170

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Formal negotiations on the draft final document were only initiated on 5 July as the

High-level segment of the Conference overran the scheduled time. However, a number of informal meetings were held between 30 June and 7 July. A side-event entitled EU Action in the Area of SALW was also organized on 30 June to present a comprehensive overview of the EU’s activities. Representatives from the Presidency, the Council Secretariat/Office of the High Representative for CFSP’s Personal Representative on non-proliferation and the European Commission presented the EU SALW policy and the instruments put in place to achieve the objectives set out in the EU Strategy . While the EU wished to show institutional coherence not only by highlighting the different EU players involved on the

SALW issue, but also by delineating the responsibilities of each institution, this side-event actually revealed that horizontal consistency had yet to be achieved, particularly on the dimension of representation. The participation of the Office of the Personal Representative of the High Representative on non-proliferation was a clear signal that curbing the proliferation of SALW remained first and foremost a CFSP issue. Yet, the presence of the

European Commission also reflected another reality: a number of SALW related programmes under different EC budget lines are managed by the European Commission. The involvement of the European Parliament in the Review Conference was, however, quite limited. Members of the European Parliament were allowed to participate in the EU sideevent, but only as part of the Presidency delegation. The delegation of the European Parliament also had a private meeting with the President of the Review Conference. This delegation presented its own priorities to the President, which in some aspects differed from the EU’s priorities and were closer to the NGO community’s vertical content concerns.


While this meeting had probably little impact on the negotiations, it emphasized the fact that the EU institutions were not speaking with a single voice. In other words, internal factors influenced European coordination. Following our theoretical proposal, the

EU suffered from some coherence problems linked to the aspect of representation. The

EU seemed to be represented by different negotiators. eral EU member states and Europe-based NGOs. Regarding civil society priorities, all NGO officials interviewed point out that the PoA should be legally binding.


Interview with R. Romeva, MEP Green Party, Leader of the Delegation of the European Parliament at the Review Conference, New York, 30.06.2007. Romeva had prepared the annual report of the European Union Code of Conduct on Arms Exports, a document approved by the

European Parliament and interpreted as “very progressive” by the NGO officials. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 141-170

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While the EU Presidency (Austria in the first week and Finland in the second week) held a number of coordination meetings to achieve an EU common position on the key issues discussed at the Conference and organized two meetings between the EU and

European NGOs attending the Conference, problems of coordination between the EU

Member States resurfaced at the Review Conference. As soon as the negotiation phase began, several EU member states were pushing for their own priorities and even conducting negotiations without their other EU colleagues. France and Germany wanted the final document to include a reference to ammunitions and focused their efforts at the Review

Conference on trying to reach a deal with the Americans on this specific issue. The UK advocated for specific issues, such as transfer control to be included in the outcome document. Together with the Netherlands, the UK also advocated for the link between fight against the spread of illicit SALW and sustainable development to be recognized.

Furthermore, the British delegation attempted to persuade the American delegation to support the inclusion of other issues in the final document. However, these British initiatives were criticized by other EU member states as some of these states felt that the UK was too close to the US to advocate strict positions on some of the controversial issues.

The UK also made several proposals and suggestions to the President of the Conference, especially on transfer controls, without consulting its EU partners. The fact that individual Member States fervently lobbied for their national priorities rather than the EU’s more general objectives created a situation where the EU’s willingness to compromise was eclipsed by EU Member States’ inflexibility on certain issues.


The Review Conference being based on consensus, many EU Member States realized that most of their efforts should be concentrated on convincing less enthusiastic states to support the adoption of a final document. Several authors have emphasized that institutional decision-making rules can shape negotiations at the international level (Jupille

1999; Depledge 2006; Buzan 1981). In the context of the Review Conference, the reluc-


Apart from obvious problems of policy coordination, in the context of a negotiation with multiple actors and extremely limited time, the fact that there were different priorities among the

European member states was also a content coherence problem. Even if theoretically their priorities were not mutually exclusive, the fact is that negotiators had to choose in which ones concentrate their efforts. As a matter of fact, they became competing policy proposals, which raised issues of vertical content incoherence. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 141-170

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 tance of several states to negotiate on certain specific issues clearly had an effect on the

EU. The inflexibility of the Americans regarding their “red lines” constituted a colossal obstacle for the EU. Negotiations were also complicated because the US delegation had to send to Washington the various versions of the draft outcome document produced during the negotiations. This considerably slowed down the bargaining process. Cuba, India and other countries, such as Iran and Pakistan also refused to negotiate on particular issues.

Furthermore, two of the main SALW producers, China and Russia, used the consensus rule to maintain their positions on certain controversial issues without making much noise. The EU had therefore to work twice as hard: first, to achieve consensus with other UN partners and then to maintain a strong EU common position on all these issues.

During the Review Conference, the EU was criticized by other states for spending too much time on trying to coordinate the EU position and not enough talking to other potential allies, including several African and Asian states. This fact suggests that coherence issues are more complex than what the literature tends to consider, showing the need to refine the theoretical categories in this field. In this sense, it seems that the efforts to achieve (internal) consistency within the EU member states could have prevented the EU to effectively negotiate with potential allies in the negotiations.

Indeed, this fact was seen as particularly problematic as these are the most affected regions by the scourge of SALW. In fact, most African and Asian countries supported proposals for stronger regulations. However, these states, lacking the necessary political weight and resources, were not in a position to impose their preferences and crucially needed the EU to support their initiatives. Furthermore, the EU was not able to clearly convey their priorities to these potential allies. For example, the EU failed to convince key partners to recognize the link between development assistance and the adoption of international measures on SALW. Indeed, several developing countries vetoed any mention of this link in the final document. A number of states from the Non-Aligned Movement, including India and Indonesia and the Caribbean States, raised concerns about the idea of conditionality on development aid and about resources from the donor countries being diverted from development to small arms projects. The link between development aid and measures on SALW had been identified as a central EU priority at the beginning of the

Conference. However, during the negotiations, it was only truly championed by a small group of EU Member States, including the UK and the Netherlands. The EU initiatives to hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 141-170

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 create new funds to specifically deal with the proliferation of SALW were thus unnoticed or misinterpreted by the developing countries. The EU’s approach to SALW aimed to achieve horizontal content consistency between the EU policy, especially between its security and development policy. The EU wished to export this notion of horizontal coherence to developing countries. Yet, it failed to do so in an effective manner. This objective was not clearly explained to the EU’s partners during the negotiation, which diminished the EU’s leverage.

With a few hours of negotiations left at the Review Conference, EU Member States recognized that their efforts should be concentrated on convincing other states to support the final (weak) document rather than pushing for more stringent commitments. Nevertheless, the content consistency problem of several EU Member States having different priorities did not allow them to act effectively. With the deadline of 6pm rapidly approaching, it became clear that no consensus could be reached on an outcome document.

Some delegations hoped that the Review Conference would be extended for a few hours in order to find a similar agreement as the one reached at the first SALW Conference in

2001. However, around 5.30pm, the President of the Review Conference, Ambassador

Kariyawasam, began the procedures to close the conference and adopted a procedural document; hence the final outcome document stated that “the Conference was not able to agree to conclude a final document”.


Many national delegations and NGOs representatives were disappointed by the lack of result of the Conference; some states even described the Conference as a failure. Ambassador Kariyawasam in its closing remarks said that a consensus on the final document had been “within grasp”. He believed that despite the lack of consensus on a final document, the Review Conference had been successful in attracting the interest of the international community. In its final statement at the Conference, Finland on behalf of the EU, stated that the “conference has been a missed opportunity to make a real difference in our common fight against the scourge of illicit small arms and light weapons”.

Negotiations at the domestic level


See Doc. A/CONF.192/2006/RC/9. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 141-170

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At the Review Conference, the issues of transfer controls, marking and tracing, brokering regulations, ammunition and the integration of small arms measures into development assistance were all identified as EU priorities. Yet, during the negotiations in New York, a number of EU Member States opted to focus only partially on these priorities as a whole.

This created some content consistency problems. The analysis of the domestic level can reveal why some states chose to concentrate on some priorities rather than on others. A comprehensive multilevel analysis of negotiations at the Review Conference would require looking at the domestic politics of 25 EU Member States. However, due to lack of space, the analysis will concentrate on three EU Member States: the United Kingdom,

France and Germany. Not only are these states dominant in the CFSP framework and major SALW exporters, but they were also central players at the Review Conference.

Since the late 1990s, issues of arms exports, brokering and transparency have dominated the debate on SALW within EU Member States. This was primarily fuelled by the publication of studies showing that large quantities of arms were smuggled through the

EU and brokered by EU companies and individuals. According to a study undertaken by the NGO Saferworld in 1998, France and the UK, along with Belgium, were the EU most implicated countries in the illicit trade of SALW in the region of Sub-Saharan Africa (Saferworld 1998). The study revealed that arms manufactured in France and in the UK were used in Sudan. French manufactured arms also found their way to Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In France, control over arms exports, including SALW exports came to the forefront of domestic politics with the “Quiles” Commission. This Commission was established in

1998 to investigate the role of France in Rwanda between 1990 and 1994. The Commission was set up following strong pressure from French civil society, including NGOs, members of the media and the academic community. The Commission strongly criticised the lack of transparency regarding French arms exports including SALW exports

(McNulty 2000). Following the publication of the Commission’s report, the French government adopted several measures to enhance the transparency of arms exports, including the publication of a report to the Parliament identifying measures taken by the government to control arms exports and supplying statistics on arms orders and deliveries. In

2002 the French government also adopted stricter regulations that require brokers operathrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 141-170

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 ing in France to be registered and keep records of their activities. The French government’s priority regarding strengthening control over arms exports and brokering was again strongly voiced at the EU level.

In contrast, Germany has been described as the most transparent SALW exporter in the European Union (Small Arms Survey 2006). SALW exports remain a sensitive issue in German domestic politics. Germany has often been regarded as a front-runner in applying strong control over small arms exports. This can be explained by the Germany’s “constitutional and political-cultural legacy as a defeated aggressor in the Second World War” which meant that “the reconstruction of an arms industry, let alone and export-based industry, was viewed with great apprehension both domestically and amongst its neighbours” (Holm 2006: 226). Germany early on encouraged other EU Member States and the EU to adopt stronger transparency measures on arms exports.

Since the adoption of its Strategy on Small Arms, the EU has reaffirmed the necessity to have an integrated approach regarding SALW. One of the EU priorities at the Review

Conference was the integration of SALW measures into development assistance. This priority was principally championed by the UK. As early as July 2000, the British Government established the Global Conflict Prevention Pool, which included a strategy on

SALW. This pool was managed jointly by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the

Department for International Development and the Ministry of Defence. The British

SALW strategy aimed to coordinate existing programmes managed by the three departments under a single set of objectives and resources. It also included support for partnership with UN agencies and civil society organisations. In addition to the SALW strategy, the British government adopted in 2002 the Export Control Act, which introduced a strong revision of its export control legislation. Within its policy on SALW, the UK aimed to achieve content horizontal consistency. Having already addressed these issues at the domestic level, the UK was in a better position to carry on this idea at the EU level.

The question of SALW ammunition was also identified as an EU priority. In Germany, this issue had become particularly challenging. The end of the Cold War saw more than one million of SALW, ammunition and explosives decommissioned in Germany. The massive amount of ammunition accumulated on German soil became problematic. First, stockpiles of ammunition posed potentially significant security risks for population close to ammunition depots. Second, the German authorities were also concerned by the risks of hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 141-170

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 leakage from these stockpiles, which could lead to illicit trafficking to criminal and terrorist groups. The issue of ammunition became a central priority for the German government. It attempted to convince both its EU partners and the states participating to the

Review Conference of the urgent need to address the illicit trade in SALW ammunition.

Civilian ownership also became a central issue in domestic debates on SALW. In 1997, following the killing of children and a teacher in Dunblane Scotland by a lone gunman in

March 1996, the British government banned the private ownership of handguns. In 2002, following the shooting of students and staff in a high school, the German parliament also introduced stronger regulations with regard to civilian firearm possession.

An analysis of domestic politics in the UK, France and Germany also reveal that national NGO campaigns in these three states successfully pressed their government to address the issue of SALW both at the domestic, EU and the international level. From its creation, IANSA developed a close connection with several EU countries, but particularly with the UK. Indeed, the funding provided by the British Department for International

Development supported the activities of the network during its first years of operation.

IANSA headquarters and most of its biggest and more influential members, including

Amnesty International, OXFAM and Saferworld, are based in London and Oxford. Having its headquarters in the EU, IANSA intensively lobbied, first, EU Member States - particularly the UK - and, second, EU institutions to get the EU to adopt a strong unified position on SALW. In this sense, European NGOs also recognized that achieving horizontal and vertical consistency within the EU was crucial.


Furthermore, in March 2004, the British Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, announced that the UK would support the idea of an international treaty on the arms trade. In all its initiatives regarding the Arms Trade Treaty, the UK was supported by IANSA and the

Control Arms Campaign. Again, the UK with the help of various European NGOs took


It has to be noted that in the coordination meetings between EU and European NGOs, the number of NGO representatives was bigger than the group of EU diplomats. At these meetings

NGOs made clear the need for the EU to achieve consistency in order to be successful in the

Review Conference. However, if the NGOs were pushing the EU member states to spend more political capital opposing reluctant countries (particularly the US), some countries, such as the

UK, made clear that they were not willing to do it. In this sense, the adoption of a more flexible, rather than a pre-fixed, negotiation strategy which aimed to find compromises with both the US and promoters of strong SALW control separately, and then aimed to broaden the hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 141-170

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 up this initiative at the EU level and convinced its EU partners of the need for the EU to support an international treaty on arms trade. The Control Arms campaign gained momentum when the EU member states supported the ATT during the European Council in

October 2005. While the ATT was not formally discussed at the Review Conference, it was nevertheless envisaged by the EU as the next step to be taken by the international community to address the SALW issue.


The EU has been one of the most committed actors in the fight against the proliferation of SALW. Negotiations at the 2006 Review Conference focused on multiple complex issues, including civil ownership, trade arms controls, transfers to non-state actors and development assistance. At the start of the Review Conference, the EU Member States showed a united front and campaigned for the adoption of strong international commitments on these issues.


However, the EU was ineffective in its efforts to convince other states to support the reinforcement of the UN Programme of Action . This paper suggests that several factors linked to the multilevel nature of decision-making in the EU, especially in international negotiations, affected the effectiveness and the consistency of the

EU at the Review Conference. In particular, problems of vertical and horizontal content coherence, but also vertical representation coherence have been identified.

Hence the lack of consistency in the EU camp may have affected the success and the leadership of the EU at the Review Conference. Austria and Finland, which held the EU

Presidency during the negotiations, attempted to enhance the coherence of the EU and tried to display some type of formal leadership. However, the effective leadership was mostly exerted by the UK, arguably the most active state during the Review Conference.

The EU’s lack of leadership might also stem from other EU member states, including

France and Germany, pursuing their own priorities (reflecting domestic interests) rather than the EU position. This resulted in a situation where “in attempts to take stronger pocommon ground, might have been more successful in reaching the EU’s objectives. We thank an anonymous reviewer for this suggestion. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 141-170

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 sitions on a number of themes, several EU member states spoke on behalf of their individual governments, rather than allowing the moderate joint EU statements to represent them” (Buchanan 2006) and influenced the EU’s capacity to exert clear leadership in the negotiations. However, given the inflexible position of some reluctant countries in this conference, it could be argued that even if all the EU representatives had effectively developed their common agreed agenda, the final consensus in this conference would have been extremely difficult to achieve.

In any case, institutional consistency problems at the EU level have become important features of the EU action on SALW, which can affect the EU effectiveness in international negotiations on this issue. From a vertical coherence point of view, it remains unclear whether and for how long the fight against the proliferation of SALW will remain outside the Community’s competence. As a recent opinion of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) demonstrate, the Commission as well as the European Parliament are increasingly arguing that the campaign against the proliferation of SALW has become an integral part of the policy development cooperation and should fall within the scope of the competences conferred on the Community in that field. Moreover, our analysis shows a controversial role of the European Parliament (EP). On the one hand, its active work can foster negotiations and agreements. On the other hand, due to divergence with the frequently lighter common EU position, giving more voice to the EP could be interpreted as leading to further fragmentation of representation, which can undermine thus coherence.

External factors may have also fostered, in some sense, the coherence of the EU. The involvement of NGOs at the domestic level is one of them. Indeed, the EU Member States were urged by NGOs and IANSA to adopt a cohesive position on SALW. From the end of the 1990s, European NGOs intensively and successfully lobbied several key EU member states to adopt stricter regulations regarding SALW, not only at the domestic level, but also at the EU level. Between 2001 and 2006, the EU adopted more than a dozen agreements addressing the issue of SALW, including a series of Joint Actions, an EU Code of Conduct, an EU Plan of Action and the EU Strategy on SALW. The EU Member

States also used European NGOs to raise awareness on this issue and gained public


Indeed, compared to other CFSP issues (e.g. the recent events connected to the independence of Kosovo), the EU member states have a comparatively comprehensive approach to the

SALW area. hrss , Volume 3 (2008), pp. 141-170

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 lic support for their embrace of “humanitarian values”. Yet, during the Review Conference, the NGOs’ insistence on the EU being a cohesive and coordinated actor was not sustained. The NGO community’s approach to the EU consisted on relying on specific EU

Member States to defend their position rather than support the EU as a collective actor.

For example, the UK was perceived as the natural ally by part of the NGO community.

Moreover, other national NGOs attempted to influence their national counterparts, including France, Germany or other countries, such as Japan or Brazil.


The decision-making procedures during the Review Conference and the management of the negotiations also created obstacles for the EU. First, the bargaining phase was extremely short: formal negotiations on the draft final document were only initiated during the second week. This fact was aggravated by a weak position of the president of the Conference, Ambassador Kariyawasam from Sri Lanka. On the one hand, the Ambassador had to deal with the strong demands of the EU and NGOs. On the other hand, he also had to manage the reluctance of powerful states to negotiate on several issues on the table. These facts created difficulties for the EU, who was trying to act as a coordinated and coherent actor. The multilevel nature of the EU as an international actor meant that it would have needed both time and flexibility on the part of other actors to not only to maintain its coherence, but also to be successful during the negotiations. In the end, only an effective and coherent EU will increase the chance of producing effective initiatives to tackle human security issues, such as the spread of SALW.

In this analysis, we have sophisticated the categories proposed by Nuttall in order to account for different problems both on content and on action/coordination among the actors. By doing so, we have been able to identify concrete coherence issues in this case of

EU foreign policy. On the one hand, due to pillar competition (e.g. the SALW case brought to the Court of Justice by the Commission on the grounds of violation of its competence). On the other hand, on the content dimension, different policy priorities in a complicated negotiation bargaining become competing proposals. Further work remains to be done on the internal and external factors that affect the member states coherence in


In this sense, we should remind that the NGOs had legitimate reasons to work with national governments. On the one hand, given that not all NGOs had the same objectives it could be reasonable for them to work with the government closest to their priorities. On the other hand, some NGOs in this field have strong links (also economical) with their national governments.

This could also explain the fact that they chose national governments as their primary target.

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Volume 3, Issue 1 June 2008 multilateral settings. In this sense, a comparison with other cases of EU negotiations of human security issues in the UN context could be particularly fruitful.


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Seminar on Human Rights and Peace.

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