Friday, 1 February 2008

EU Treaty of Lisbon: Permanent structured cooperation

Permanent structured cooperation gives a core group of European Union (EU) member states a possibility to cooperate more closely within the common security and defence policy (CSDP).

A main objective of this enhanced defence cooperation is for the EU to be able to assist the United Nations through international peace missions involving military forces.

The member states participating in permanent structured cooperation form a self-governing advance group, meant to shoulder responsibilities from the day the Treaty of Lisbon enters into force. Hence the need for advance preparation. Laggards may be allowed to join later.

Participating member states have to be both willing and able, with the needed capabilities outlined in a Protocol annexed to the Lisbon Treaty.

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In the Treaty of Lisbon the intergovernmental conference (IGC 2007) agreed on new provisions on the common security and defence policy (CSDP) to form part of the Treaty on European Union (TEU)(OJ 17.12.2007 C 306/36 and 37):

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

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Article 28e

1. Those Member States which wish to participate in the permanent structured cooperation referred to in Article 28 A(6), which fulfil the criteria and have made the commitments on military capabilities set out in the Protocol on permanent structured cooperation, shall notify their intention to the Council and to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

2. Within three months following the notification referred to in paragraph 1 the Council shall adopt a decision establishing permanent structured cooperation and determining the list of participating Member States. The Council shall act by a qualified majority after consulting the High Representative.

3. Any Member State which, at a later stage, wishes to participate in the permanent structured cooperation shall notify its intention to the Council and to the High Representative.

The Council shall adopt a decision confirming the participation of the Member State concerned which fulfils the criteria and makes the commitments referred to in Articles 1 and 2 of the Protocol on permanent structured cooperation. The Council shall act by a qualified majority after consulting the High Representative. Only members of the Council representing the participating Member States shall take part in the vote.

A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 205(3)(a) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

4. If a participating Member State no longer fulfils the criteria or is no longer able to meet the commitments referred to in Articles 1 and 2 of the Protocol on permanent structured cooperation, the Council may adopt a decision suspending the participation of the Member State concerned.

The Council shall act by a qualified majority. Only members of the Council representing the participating Member States, with the exception of the Member State in question, shall take part in the vote.

A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 205(3)(a) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

5. Any participating Member State which wishes to withdraw from permanent structured cooperation shall notify its intention to the Council, which shall take note that the Member State in question has ceased to participate.

6. The decisions and recommendations of the Council within the framework of permanent structured cooperation, other than those provided for in paragraphs 2 to 5, shall be adopted by unanimity. For the purposes of this paragraph, unanimity shall be constituted by the votes of the representatives of the participating Member States only.

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Since Article 28e TEU is already consolidated and readable, we go to the Protocol on permanent structured cooperation (OJ 17.12.2007 C 306/151 to 153) :

Protocol on permanent structured cooperation established by Article 28a of the Treaty on European Union

THE HIGH CONTRACTING PARTIES,

HAVING REGARD TO Article 28 A(6) and Article 28 E of the Treaty on European Union,

RECALLING that the Union is pursuing a common foreign and security policy based on the achievement of growing convergence of action by Member States;

RECALLING that the common security and defence policy is an integral part of the common foreign and security policy; that it provides the Union with operational capacity drawing on civil and military assets; that the Union may use such assets in the tasks referred to in Article 28 B of the Treaty on European Union outside the Union for peace-keeping, conflict prevention and strengthening international security in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter; that the performance of these tasks is to be undertaken using capabilities provided by the Member States in accordance with the principle of a single set of forces;

RECALLING that the common security and defence policy of the Union does not prejudice the specific character of thesecurity and defence policy of certain Member States;

RECALLING that the common security and defence policy of the Union respects the obligations under the North Atlantic Treaty of those Member States which see their common defence realised in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which remains the foundation of the collective defence of its members, and is compatible with the common security and defence policy established within that framework;

CONVINCED that a more assertive Union role in security and defence matters will contribute to the vitality of a renewed Atlantic Alliance, in accordance with the Berlin Plus arrangements;

DETERMINED to ensure that the Union is capable of fully assuming its responsibilities within the international community;

RECOGNISING that the United Nations Organisation may request the Union's assistance for the urgent implementation of missions undertaken under Chapters VI and VII of the United Nations Charter;

RECOGNISING that the strengthening of the security and defence policy will require efforts by Member States in the area of capabilities;

CONSCIOUS that embarking on a new stage in the development of the European security and defence policy involves a determined effort by the Member States concerned;

RECALLING the importance of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy being fully involved in proceedings relating to permanent structured cooperation,

HAVE AGREED UPON the following provisions, which shall be annexed to the Treaty on European Union and to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union:

Article 1

The permanent structured cooperation referred to in Article 28 A(6) of the Treaty on European Union shall be open to any Member State which undertakes, from the date of entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, to:

(a) proceed more intensively to develop its defence capacities through the development of its national contributions and participation, where appropriate, in multinational forces, in the main European equipment programmes, and in the activity of the Agency in the field of defence capabilities development, research, acquisition and armaments (European Defence Agency), and

(b) have the capacity to supply by 2010 at the latest, either at national level or as a component of multinational force groups, targeted combat units for the missions planned, structured at a tactical level as a battle group, with support elements including transport and logistics, capable of carrying out the tasks referred to in Article 28 B of the Treaty on European Union, within a period of 5 to 30 days, in particular in response to requests from the United Nations Organisation, and which can be sustained for an initial period of 30 days and be extended up to at least 120 days.

Article 2

To achieve the objectives laid down in Article 1, Member States participating in permanent structured cooperation shall undertake to:

(a) cooperate, as from the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, with a view to achieving approved objectives concerning the level of investment expenditure on defence equipment, and regularly review these objectives, in the light of the security environment and of the Union's international responsibilities;

(b) bring their defence apparatus into line with each other as far as possible, particularly by harmonising the identification of their military needs, by pooling and, where appropriate, specialising their defence means and capabilities, and by encouraging cooperation in the fields of training and logistics;

(c) take concrete measures to enhance the availability, interoperability, flexibility and deployability of their forces, in particular by identifying common objectives regarding the commitment of forces, including possibly reviewing their national decision-making procedures;

(d) work together to ensure that they take the necessary measures to make good, including through multinational approaches, and without prejudice to undertakings in this regard within the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the shortfalls perceived in the framework of the ‘Capability Development Mechanism’;

(e) take part, where appropriate, in the development of major joint or European equipment programmes in the framework of the European Defence Agency.

Article 3

The European Defence Agency shall contribute to the regular assessment of participating Member States' contributions with regard to capabilities, in particular contributions made in accordance with the criteria to be established, inter alia, on the basis of Article 2, and shall report thereon at least once a year. The assessment may serve as a basis for Council recommendations and decisions adopted in accordance with Article 28 E of the Treaty on European Union.

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There is no antecedent to the new Article 28e in the existing Treaty on European Union (latest consolidated version OJ 29.12.2006 C 321 E/1), so we turn to the draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, where Articles III-213 and partly III-214 seem relevant (OJ 18.7.2003 C 169/69 and 70):

Article III-213

1. The Member States listed in the Protocol [title], which fulfil higher military capability criteria and wish to enter into more binding commitments in this matter with a view to the most demanding tasks, hereby establish structured cooperation between themselves within the meaning of Article I-40(6). The military capability criteria and commitments which those Member States have defined are set out in that Protocol.

2. If a Member State wishes to participate in such cooperation at a later stage, and thus subscribe to the obligations it imposes, it shall inform the European Council of its intention. The Council of Ministers shall deliberate at the request of that Member State. Only the members of the Council of Ministers that represent the Member States taking part in structured cooperation shall participate in the vote.

3. When the Council of Ministers adopts European decisions relating to matters covered by structured cooperation, only the members of the Council of Ministers that represent the Member States taking part in structured cooperation shall participate in the deliberations and the adoption of such decisions. The Union Minister for Foreign Affairs shall attend the deliberations. The representatives of the other Member States shall be duly and regularly informed by the Union Minister for Foreign Affairs of developments in structured cooperation.

4. The Council of Ministers may ask the Member States participating in such cooperation to carry out at Union level a task referred to in Article III-210.

5. Notwithstanding the previous paragraphs, the appropriate provisions relating to enhanced cooperation shall apply to the structured cooperation governed by this Article.

Article III-214

1. The closer cooperation on mutual defence provided for in Article I-40(7) shall be open to all Member States of the Union. A list of Member States participating in closer cooperation shall be set out in the declaration [title]. If a Member State wishes to take part in such cooperation at a later stage, and thus accept the obligations it imposes, it shall inform the European Council of its intention and shall subscribe to that declaration.

2. A Member State participating in such cooperation which is the victim of armed aggression on its territory shall inform the other participating States of the situation and may request aid and assistance from them. Participating Member States shall meet at ministerial level, assisted by their representatives on the Political and Security Committee and the Military Committee.

3. The United Nations Security Council shall be informed immediately of any armed aggression and the measures taken as a result.

4. This Article shall not affect the rights and obligations resulting, for the Member States concerned, from the North Atlantic Treaty.

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The IGC 2004 modified the draft of the Convention in the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, where Article III-312 was drafted like this (OJ 16.12.2004 C 310/140 and 141):

Article III-312

1. Those Member States which wish to participate in the permanent structured cooperation referred to in Article I-41(6), which fulfil the criteria and have made the commitments on military capabilities set out in the Protocol on permanent structured cooperation shall notify their intention to the Council and to the Union Minister for Foreign Affairs.

2. Within three months following the notification referred to in paragraph 1 the Council shall adopt a European decision establishing permanent structured cooperation and determining the list of participating Member States. The Council shall act by a qualified majority after consulting the Union Minister for Foreign Affairs.

3. Any Member State which, at a later stage, wishes to participate in the permanent structured cooperation shall notify its intention to the Council and to the Union Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The Council shall adopt a European decision confirming the participation of the Member State concerned which fulfils the criteria and makes the commitments referred to in Articles 1 and 2 of the Protocol on permanent structured cooperation. The Council shall act by a qualified majority after consulting the Union Minister for Foreign Affairs. Only members of the Council representing the participating Member States shall take part in the vote.

A qualified majority shall be defined as at least 55 % of the members of the Council representing the participating Member States, comprising at least 65 % of the population of these States.

A blocking minority must include at least the minimum number of Council members representing more than 35 % of the population of the participating Member States, plus one member, failing which the qualified majority shall be deemed attained.

4. If a participating Member State no longer fulfils the criteria or is no longer able to meet the commitments referred to in Articles 1 and 2 of the Protocol on permanent structured cooperation, the Council may adopt a European decision suspending the participation of the Member State concerned.

The Council shall act by a qualified majority. Only members of the Council representing the participating Member States, with the exception of the Member State in question, shall take part in the vote.

A qualified majority shall be defined as at least 55 % of the members of the Council representing the participating Member States, comprising at least 65 % of the population of these States.

A blocking minority must include at least the minimum number of Council members representing more than 35 % of the population of the participating Member States, plus one member, failing which the qualified majority shall be deemed attained.

5. Any participating Member State which wishes to withdraw from permanent structured cooperation shall notify its intention to the Council, which shall take note that the Member State in question has ceased to participate.

6. The European decisions and recommendations of the Council within the framework of permanent structured cooperation, other than those provided for in paragraphs 2 to 5, shall be adopted by unanimity. For the purposes of this paragraph, unanimity shall be constituted by the votes of the representatives of the participating Member States only.

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The IGC 2004 agreed on a Protocol (number 23) on permanent structured cooperation established by Article I-41(6) and Article III-312 of the Constitution (OJ 16.12.2004 C 310/364):

23. Protocol on permanent structured cooperation established by Article I-41(6) and Article III-312 of the Constitution

THE HIGH CONTRACTING PARTIES,

HAVING REGARD TO Article I‑41(6) and Article III‑312 of the Constitution,

RECALLING that the Union is pursuing a common foreign and security policy based on the achievement of growing convergence of action by Member States;

RECALLING that the common security and defence policy is an integral part of the common foreign and security policy; that it provides the Union with operational capacity drawing on civil and military assets; that the Union may use such assets in the tasks referred to in Article III‑309 of the Constitution outside the Union for peace‑keeping, conflict prevention and strengthening international security in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter; that the performance of these tasks is to be undertaken using capabilities provided by the Member States in accordance with the principle of a single set of forces;

RECALLING that the common security and defence policy of the Union does not prejudice the specific character of the security and defence policy of certain Member States;

RECALLING that the common security and defence policy of the Union respects the obligations under the North Atlantic Treaty of those Member States, which see their common defence realised in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which remains the foundation of the collective defence of its members, and is compatible with the common security and defence policy established within that framework;

CONVINCED that a more assertive Union role in security and defence matters will contribute to the vitality of a renewed Atlantic Alliance, in accordance with the Berlin Plus arrangements;

DETERMINED to ensure that the Union is capable of fully assuming its responsibilities within the international community;

RECOGNISING that the United Nations Organisation may request the Union's assistance for the urgent implementation of missions undertaken under Chapters VI and VII of the United Nations Charter;

RECOGNISING that the strengthening of the security and defence policy will require efforts by Member States in the area of capabilities;

CONSCIOUS that embarking on a new stage in the development of the European security and defence policy involves a determined effort by the Member States concerned;

RECALLING the importance of the Minister for Foreign Affairs being fully involved in proceedings relating to permanent structured cooperation,

HAVE AGREED UPON the following provisions, which shall be annexed to the Constitution:

Article 1

The permanent structured cooperation referred to in Article I‑41(6) of the Constitution shall be open to any Member State which undertakes, from the date of entry into force of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, to:

(a) proceed more intensively to develop its defence capacities through the development of its national contributions and participation, where appropriate, in multinational forces, in the main European equipment programmes, and in the activity of the Agency in the field of defence capabilities development, research, acquisition and armaments (European Defence Agency), and

(b) have the capacity to supply by 2007 at the latest, either at national level or as a component of multinational force groups, targeted combat units for the missions planned, structured at a tactical level as a battle group, with support elements including transport and logistics, capable of carrying out the tasks referred to in Article III‑309, within a period of 5 to 30 days, in particular in response to requests from the United Nations Organisation, and which can be sustained for an initial period of 30 days and be extended up to at least 120 days.

Article 2

To achieve the objectives laid down in Article 1, Member States participating in permanent structured cooperation shall undertake to:

(a) cooperate, as from the entry into force of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, with a iew to achieving approved objectives concerning the level of investment expenditure on defence equipment, and regularly review these objectives, in the light of the security environment and of the Union's international responsibilities;

(b) bring their defence apparatus into line with each other as far as possible, particularly by harmonising the identification of their military needs, by pooling and, where appropriate, specialising their defence means and capabilities, and by encouraging cooperation in the fields of training and logistics;

(c) take concrete measures to enhance the availability, interoperability, flexibility and deployability of their forces, in particular by identifying common objectives regarding the commitment of forces, including possibly reviewing their national decision‑making procedures;

(d) work together to ensure that they take the necessary measures to make good, including through multinational approaches, and without prejudice to undertakings in this regard within the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the shortfalls perceived in the framework of the ‘Capability Development Mechanism’;

(e) take part, where appropriate, in the development of major joint or European equipment programmes in the framework of the European Defence Agency.

Article 3

The European Defence Agency shall contribute to the regular assessment of participating Member States' contributions with regard to capabilities, in particular contributions made in accordance with the criteria to be established, inter alia, on the basis of Article 2, and shall report thereon at least once a year. The assessment may serve as a basis for Council recommendations and European decisions adopted in accordance with Article III‑312 of the Constitution.

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Some remarks on the drafting history:

Permanent structured cooperation was a novelty in the draft Constitution.

The IGC 2004 modified the proposals of the Convention. Originally, the member states outside the permanent structured cooperation were meant only to be ‘duly informed’, but the Constitutional Treaty abolished this restriction concerning the outsiders as to deliberations. Still, only the participating members were to make the decisions.

A weak and non-binding clause on mutual assistance restricted to the participating states was inserted in the Convention’s Article III-214(2), but the Constitution introduceded a general mutual defence clause in Article I-41(7), although with customary references to the ‘specific character of some member states’ policies and NATO membership of others.

The Constitution added the Protocol envisioned by the Convention.

The IGC 2007 adopted the substance of the Constitutional Treaty, with technical adaptations like ‘decision’, the ‘High Representative’ and a referral to the voting rules in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) Article 205(a)(3).

The Protocol on permanent structured cooperation in the Lisbon Treaty version undergoes only technical adjustments compared to the Protocol annexed to the Constitution, as you can see for yourself.

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A few general comments:

Permanent structured cooperation is a form of flexible integration, specific to the common security and defence policy (CSDP).

Jean-Luc Sauron makes the comparison with Schengen: “Cette cooperation structurée, sorte de « Schengen de la défense », sera ouverte aux États qui...” (p. 122).

Each state has to state its wish if it wants to participate. In addition it must fulfil the criteria and must have taken on the commitments set out in the Protocol on permanent structured cooperation.

Permanent structured cooperation is one of many of the institutional arrangements in the Lisbon Treaty requiring implementing decisions. This form of progressive cooperation is instituted by the Reform Treaty and the first decision establishing permanent structured cooperation is to be taken within three months of the Treaty’s entry into force. This decision to determine the original advance group of member states will clearly need advance preparation, since the participating states undertake the obligations from the date of entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon (Protocol Article 1).

The laggards are being offered the option to join later.

On the other hand, a state unwilling or unable may drop out of the permanent structured cooperation, or its participation can be suspended.

With the exceptions expressly mentioned, the Council decisions and recommendations within the structured cooperation require unanimity (for instance the launch of operations), but this unanimity is constituted by the participants only. In other words, this defence lead group is self-governing and it is able to advance without being hindered by the outsiders.

The Protocol gives general guidance on the membership criteria of this core group: contributing forces to the EU, participation in main equipment programmes and European Defence Agency activities, participation in battle groups, investing in defence equipment, converging defence forces, improving interoperability and enhancing military capabilities.

The Protocol, which respects both the specific nature of the security and defence policy of certain member states (neutral, non-aligned, Denmark) and the obligations of NATO members, expresses the determination that the EU is capable of fully assuming its responsibilities within the international community. United Nations Organisation missions are mentioned especially.


Ralf Grahn


Source:

Jean-Luc Sauron: Comprendre le Traité de Lisbonne, Texte consolidé intégral des traités, Explications et commentaires ; Gualino éditeur, 2008