European Security and Defence Identity-Common European Security and Defence Policy: A Turkish Perspective

Tags: NATO, management operations, Common European Security and Defence Policy, arrangements, crisis management, Turkey, European security, security frameworks, comprehensive definition, Modified Brussels Treaty, security risks, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, post-Cold War, intense efforts, Cold War era, sui generis, European countries, widening participation, satisfactory arrangements, Western European Union, World War establishment, European Union, International Security Affairs, non-EU, Allies, management arrangements, Feira Summit, Feira, European security issues, decisions, fundamental principles, non-Article, European Allies, EUROPEAN SECURITY AND DEFENCE IDENTITY, Europe, members of the EU, collective defence, inclusiveness
Ambassador Цmьr Orhun is Director General for International security Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey.
Throughout history, security has always been a major concern for all states, while alliances were born out of the necessity to preserve the security of their members.
As far as alliances go, the twentieth century was noteworthy. The post-Second World War establishment of NATO, in addition to its mission of providing security for its members, was also the expression of the resolve of free peoples and Sovereign Nations to unite in their efforts for collective defence, the maintenance of security, peace and stability, and the safeguarding of common values. After five decades of intense efforts and through the solidarity of its members, today the Allies can take pride in the fact that this collective endeavour has been a true success. NATO also helped to overcome the adversarial relationship between East and West and paved the way for the creation of a new and inclusive security framework.
The definition and content of any security policy corresponds to the existing environment and at the same time evolves in line with changes in that environment. In the Cold War era, the security policies of Western countries were generally oriented towards meeting politicomilitary threats. In the post-Cold War era, on the other hand, such policies are generally directed towards prevention and the management of force, naturally keeping politico-military threats also as a possible factor.
In the post-Cold War era, tendencies that were already recognisable but not well defined at the end of the Cold War have become clearer. New opportunities have emerged to strengthen security, stability and peace. However, new risks to security have also become evident, necessitating a comprehensive definition of security. The main emphasis of such a comprehensive definition should no doubt be security through co-operation.
To have European structures and European capabilities to deal with challenges to European security is an old debate. One might go as far back as the 1960s to revisit the transatlantic burden-sharing debate and the creation of the EUROGROUP. Even the revitalisation of the Western European Union (WEU) in the mid-1980s was initiated under the slogan of 'Europeanisation of European security'. However, the recent debate centring on the European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI) and Common European Security and Defence Policy (CESDP) has connotations that are far more significant.
There is now an overwhelming consensus that in the post-Cold War era, the risk of a massive
military confrontation in Europe is almost entirely non-existent and the ideological division of
Europe is brought to an end. On the other hand, the relative but uneasy stability during the
bipolar system has given way to a vacuum. Today Europe faces new security risks and
uncertainties mainly due to this vacuum. The series of crises that engulfed former Yugoslavia
are concrete examples of such risks and uncertainties. On the other hand, the greater
Mediterranean basin continues to be of strategic importance to Europe and a hot bed of
There is also a growing awareness that to overcome these risks and challenges arising both
within the Continent and in its periphery, the efforts of all European powers must be coordinated. However, this is not enough. They must also realise the necessity of developing an overarching co-operation and a wide institutional consensus.
ESDI/CESDP, when analysed in this context, seem to be evolving concepts. So far, they have found their expression in separate and divergent institutional frameworks. However, it now seems that this institutional separatism is at a crossroads. Either various national and institutional interests will be converged, leading to a workable arrangement, or an exclusive, thus ineffective and unworkable model will regretfully be created.
A CESDP that would make political sense, that would be strategically meaningful and credible and, above all, that would be of practical utility, requires political determination on the part of all the actors.
Post-Cold War circumstances necessitated NATO to engage itself in an adaptation process
given the changing security requirements. Indeed NATO was at the forefront in adapting to
the then evolving European security architecture at the beginning of the last decade. NATO,
in the light of these requirements focused its attention on non-Article 5 operations as well. It
did not take too long for NATO to be forced by the crises that erupted in the Balkans to be
involved in two major Crisis Management and peace support operations - first in Bosnia-
Herzegovina and later in Kosovo. I believe there is general agreement that NATO has been
successful in leading these complex operations that helped to prevent the conflicts to escalate.
One may therefore confidently attribute the success of these operations to the credibility that
NATO projected. No doubt, the unity and cohesion of the Allies and solidarity among them
Strengthening the European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI) also became an integral
part of NATO's adaptation process. At its Brussels Summit in 1994, NATO stressed the
importance of strengthening the European pillar of the Alliance. At that summit meeting,
NATO heads of state and government decided to make NATO's structures more flexible and
responsive to the new security environment in Europe. The concept of Combined and Joint
task forces (CJTF) was introduced at that time to provide the Alliance with an improved
capability for responding to the full range of its tasks and missions, ranging from collective
defence to crisis management and peacekeeping. This concept is designed, inter alia, to
provide separable but not separate military capabilities that could be employed by NATO or
the WEU. In this context, at the WEU and NATO ministerial meetings held in 1996, ministers
decided to develop the ESDI within NATO. Following this decision, NATO took important
steps, especially in the context of NATO's relations with the WEU.
While NATO was trying to develop the ESDI, the EU initiated a process to develop the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) separately, with a view to putting in place a Common European Security and Defence Policy (CESDP). One may get the impression that the EU, in addition to its political and economic power status, aims at gaining further global weight. Although the emphasis initially seemed to be on Petersberg-type conflict prevention and crisis management operations, the results of the EU's Cologne, Helsinki and Feira summits indicate that the EU's long-term objective is to acquire a larger domain in the security field, possibly leading to defence, thus reinforcing the stature of the EU.
The fundamental principles that should guide endeavours to develop the ESDI and the CESDP should be inclusiveness, transparency and the indivisibility of security in Europe. It should not be forgotten that NATO and the EU share common strategic interests and face the
same challenges. Thus, it is difficult to deny the fact that they have an important stake in the security and crisis management arrangements currently being developed. Although there are statements supporting the Guiding Principles of inclusiveness and reciprocity at the core of the ongoing endeavours, from time to time we witness tendencies towards exclusivity. Such tendencies may lead to the creation of an independent system. This will set in motion, not only undesired results like de-coupling from NATO, but may lead to discrimination between Allies since some of them are not full members of the EU. De-coupling and discrimination cannot be justified given the objective of developing European capabilities. Utmost attention should be given to ensure that NATO's present and future role and responsibilities in the Euro-Atlantic security domain are not adversely affected. Additionally, such tendencies may at the same time lead to unnecessary duplication.
From time to time, we come across ideas suggesting that the EU should take the lead in undertaking Petersberg-type non-Article 5 operations and leave NATO with responsibility for collective defence. In this connection, it is useful to remember that non-Article 5 operations are among the fundamental security tasks of the Alliance. Such a suggested division of labour would be arbitrary and contrary to the Alliance's Strategic Concept.
Another important point we should not lose sight of is the fact that a non-Article 5 operation may eventually transform into an Article 5 contingency having direct implications for the security and defence of some Allied countries. This is one further reason that underlines the need to have an inclusive approach while developing the CESDP. Differentiated statuses to be created among Allies will also be detrimental to solidarity within the Alliance.
As far as Turkey is concerned, it is in close proximity to existing and potential crisis areas. Therefore, arrangements to be formulated for the security of Europe are of the utmost importance to her, given the fact that Turkey's vital interests would be at stake. Turkey's contributions to conflict prevention and crisis management, in political, financial and military terms, have been substantial. We intend to continue and to strengthen our involvement in future EU-led crisis management efforts. Our contributions are based on full participation in the decision process as well as in the preparation and planning of EU-led operations. The following aspects of EU activities are of particular significance to Turkey:
- Day to day consultations and other non-operational activities related to European security
- Consultations on and the shaping of policy related to crisis situations, including the stage
before a decision in principle on planning for or initiating an operation;
- Full participation in all aspects of force planning, operational planning and exercises ;
- Not only military but also non-military crisis management operations.
Since the beginning, Turkey has emphasised that any future arrangements should allow direct input into the decision process for all relevant aspects of European security. Such arrangements should be based on the common recognition that European security and defence must be further developed in close co-operation with NATO and our transatlantic partners.
The involvement of non-EU European Allies in a satisfactory manner would no doubt also facilitate efforts in reaching an agreement on the modalities for co-operation between NATO and the EU.
This was the set-up on the eve of the Feira Summit. Now I would like to evaluate the Feira
1. Throughout, all of us stressed one basic principle: inclusiveness. 'Inclusiveness' is not an
abstract term. It means, regardless of legal or institutional considerations, we are, as Allies, in
the same boat. And this boat is for European security. Unfortunately, despite our repeated
appeals and warnings, Feira brought about an exclusive format.
2. We also agreed that the ESDI/CESDP process has implications for the entire Alliance and
that it should enhance the security of all the Allies. Washington decisions also stipulated that
all European Allies should be involved in this process, building on arrangements developed
by NATO and the WEU. However, the arrangements envisaged by the EU do not take into
3. On the other hand, proposed EU arrangements limit the participation of non-EU European Allies only to the day to day conduct of operations through a so-called Ad Hoc Committee of Contributors. This is an arrangement that does not make sense politically or militarily since only a military commander can undertake the day to day conduct of an operation. What the non-EU European Allies should be involved in is the political control and strategic direction of an EU-led operation.
4. It is interesting to note that the Feira decisions did not make the necessary distinction between autonomous EU-led operations and those involving NATO assets.
5. Most importantly, the suggested EU format for dialogue, consultation and co-operation is a
restrictive one that cannot be the basic structure for a true dialogue, co-operation and
consultation on European security issues. A single and permanent structure of 21 should be
6. Another important point relates to the Headline Goal. The non-EU Allies' proposed contribution should not be considered a supplement to fill possible gaps. Such Allies should also be invited to the Capabilities Commitment Conference. The language used by the Feira Summit is unfortunately too loose and open to interpretation.
7. No role is foreseen for the non-EU European Allies in non-military aspects of crisis management.
8. Finally, the EU has not been able to come up with any suggestion concerning the
participation of non-EU European Allies in EU military bodies, both for the interim and
In short, the Feira decisions have not met Turkey's legitimate concerns and expectations. Her appeals and warnings seem to have fallen on deaf ears. It should not be forgotten that:
- A non-Article 5, Petersberg-type operation may eventually transform into an Article 5 contingency, so having direct implications on the security and defence of all Allies;
- Any possible EU operation will make use of the same sets of forces and capabilities assigned for the full range of Alliance missions;
- And, an EU operation, regardless of the capabilities used, might affect the legitimate security interests of Allies like Turkey.
How can this unsatisfactory situation be remedied?
Feira, although an important milestone, is not the end of the road. Responsible Allies and partners should continue to do everything possible to correct this situation. If not, a rupture, this time not between the two shores of the Atlantic but within Europe, might be inevitable. The present state of affairs is not acceptable from a Turkish perspective and such a rupture would be to the detriment of all.
A Europe that is 'whole and free' can only be achieved through widening participation in
political, economic and security frameworks. Participation, on the other hand, cannot be
achieved only through paying lip service, but requires meaningful arrangements for
consultations at all phases and through satisfactory arrangements for the conduct of crisis
The EU cannot solve this problem through rhetorical claims of institutional prerogatives or autonomous decision-making rights. In fact, nobody denies the EU's, or for that matter, NATO's decision making autonomy. The crux of the matter is to try to find sui generis solutions to a sui generis situation. For that, we do not need to look beyond the realm of European security, since such a sui generis solution - a workable and satisfactory model - has already been found in the Western European Union. Here it is advisable to remember that although the Modified Brussels Treaty does not legally or institutionally foresee an Associate Membership status, such a status was 'invented' through a political decision in 1992, since a necessity was felt in that respect.
After the Second World War, European countries felt the need to create a plethora of new international institutions as well as multinational arrangements through which they aimed to manage and steer a path through the changed international environment. The European Union's Common European Security and Defence Policy seem to be the last in this series. Whereas almost all the institutions and arrangements created thus far have been rather successful, the future course of Common European Security and Defence Policy, if corrections are not made, seems to be in doubt, since it started on wrong assumptions and on an unsatisfactory institutional set up.
Leading European powers, such as Germany and France, characterise their countries' relationship with Turkey as a strategic partnership. They also seem to favour Turkey's entry to the EU. If one is to follow this logic, then excluding Turkey from European crisis management is all the more inexplicable.
Some European countries, in search of an excuse for their refusal to agree on satisfactory and inclusive arrangements for Turkey's participation in military and non-military crisis management operations, assert that the contribution of Turkey to such operations would be welcomed. Seen from a Turkish perspective, such an attitude amounts to confining Turkey's contribution to that of a sub-contractor. It is evident that such a role will be totally unacceptable for Turkey.

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