Wednesday, 30 January 2008

EU Treaty of Lisbon: CSDP mission coalitions

On Monday, the Council of the European Union decided to launch an international military mission in support of UN peace-keeping missions in Darfur, Sudan. The Council conclusions stated i.a.:

“8. The Council launched the military bridging operation EUFOR Tchad/RCA. It authorised the
EU operation commander, with immediate effect, to release the activation order in order to execute the deployment of the forces and start the execution of the mission. The Council reaffirms its full commitment to contribute to the implementation of the UNSC-Resolution 1778 (2007) which authorises the deployment in Chad and Central African Republic of a multidimensional presence, including the EU providing the military element of it. In accordance with this resolution, the EU conducts this military bridging operation for a period of 12 months from the declaration of Initial Operational Capability which is planned to be reached in March 2008. A mid mandate review after 6 months, conducted in conjunction with the UN, will assess the need for a possible UN follow-on capability.”

According to the Council factsheet 14 EU member states will be present in the field and 22 at Operations Headquarters.

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As we see, international missions – military and civilian – are not new to the common security and defence policy (CSDP) of the EU.

This operation, too, is a coalition of willing and able member state, even a broad one, with at least a token representation of more than two thirds of them.

The Lisbon Treaty clarifies the basic Treaty provisions on CSDP operations, but more than creating new rules it is a codification of existing (and evolving) practice, where the European Union acts to enhance peace and stability in troubled regions.

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In the Treaty of Lisbon the intergovernmental conference (IGC 2007) offers us one of its new and unmaimed Articles in the Treaty on European Union (TEU) Article 28c (OJ 17.12.2007 C 306/35).

50) The following new Articles 28 B to 28 E shall be inserted:

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Article 28c

1. Within the framework of the decisions adopted in accordance with Article 28 B, the Council may entrust the implementation of a task to a group of Member States which are willing and have the necessary capability for such a task. Those Member States, in association with the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, shall agree among themselves on the management of the task.

2. Member States participating in the task shall keep the Council regularly informed of its progress on their own initiative or at the request of another Member State. Those States shall inform the Council immediately should the completion of the task entail major consequences or require amendment of the objective, scope and conditions determined for the task in the decisions referred to in paragraph 1. In such cases, the Council shall adopt the necessary decisions.

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In the existing TEU the CSDP missions mentioned in Article 17(2) TEU (latest consolidated version OJ 29.12.2006 C 321 E/17), the Petersberg tasks, form the basis for the evolved CSDP Section in the Lisbon Treaty.

Article 17(2)

2. Questions referred to in this Article shall include humanitarian and rescue tasks, peacekeeping tasks and tasks of combat forces in crisis management, including peacemaking.

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The Convention fathered the rules on tasks entrusted to a group of member states in Article III-211 of the draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe (OJ 18.7.2003 C 169/69):

Article III-211

1. Within the framework of the European decisions adopted in accordance with Article III-210, the Council of Ministers may entrust the implementation of a task to a group of Member States having the necessary capability and the desire to undertake the task. Those Member States in association with the Union Minister for Foreign Affairs shall agree between themselves on the management of the task.

2. The Council of Ministers shall be regularly informed by the Member States participating in the task of its progress. Should the completion of the task involve major new consequences or require amendment of the objective, scope and conditions for implementation adopted by the Council of Ministers under Article III-210, the Member States participating shall refer the matter to the Council of Ministers forthwith. In such cases, the Council of Ministers shall adopt the necessary European decisions.

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The IGC 2004 was the mother of the modified Article III-310 of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe:

Article III-310

1. Within the framework of the European decisions adopted in accordance with Article III-309, the Council may entrust the implementation of a task to a group of Member States which are willing and have the necessary capability for such a task. Those Member States, in association with the Union Minister for Foreign Affairs, shall agree among themselves on the management of the task.

2. Member States participating in the task shall keep the Council regularly informed of its progress on their own initiative or at the request of another Member State. Those States shall inform the Council immediately should the completion of the task entail major consequences or require amendment of the objective, scope and conditions determined for the task in the European decisions referred to in paragraph 1. In such cases, the Council shall adopt the necessary European decisions.

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The child, Reform Treaty Article 28c TEU, is almost a clone of its mother.

The CSDP provisions have to be read in conjunction. Article 28a TEU forms the background, with 28a(4) requiring a unanimous Council decision to launch a mission, and 28a(5) offering the option to entrust a task to a group of member states. Article 28b TEU describes the various missions – the expanded Petersberg tasks – and the contents to be settled in the Council decision. (Read the two previous posts.)

Article 28c TEU tries to strike a balance between the European Union as a whole and the group of member states which actually implements the task.

The operation is launched in the name of the EU, with the Council defining the objectives, the scope and the general conditions of the mission.

Based on this authorisation, the coalition then agrees on the management of the task, in association with the High Representative.

Basically, the ‘coalition of the willing and able’ runs the operation, and the rest of the member states (Council) only have a right to be informed.

If the mission runs into trouble, or if other major changes are needed, the Council takes on the role of decision maker.


Ralf Grahn


Sources:


Council of the European Union: Council conclusions, General Affairs and External Relations, 28 January 2008, 5624/08, Provisional version (p. 12-15)
http://www.consilium.europa.eu/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/pressData/en/gena/98460.pdf

European Union Council Secretariat: Background: EU Military Operation in Eastern Chad and North Eastern Central African Republic (EUFOR Tchad/RCA), January 2008 (p. 2)
http://www.consilium.europa.eu/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/pressData/en/misc/98416.pdf