English: Insignia of the European External Action Service (EAS) Norsk (bokmål)â¬: Emblemet tilhørende Den europeiske avdeling for agering utad (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Posted on 26/11/2012
Climate change has until now only received limited attention from national governments, EU policymakers and analysts in the framework of international security. A European Parliament report entitled “The Role of the CSDP in case of climate driven crises and natural disasters” was adopted on 23 October 2012. This is a timely moment to provide some clarification and insight on how climate change can impact international security and to describe the position of the international community, especially the European Union (EU).The present Security Review focuses on the definition of a new challenge for international and regional cooperation, military and civilian, in order to target the main problems and thus, to find adequate political, strategic and institutional responses. The impact of climate change is not a problem the international community has to tackle in the future but today.
Formally introduced by the Lisbon Treaty in January 2009, the mutual assistance and solidarity clauses now enshrined as Article 42(7) of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) and Article 222 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), have, until now, only received limited attention from national governments, EU policymakers and analysts. As these clauses are currently under discussion at the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Security and Defence, this is a timely moment to provide some clarifications and insight on clauses that arguably challenge Member States’ sovereignty claims and that could potentially constitute a basis for the further development of the Union’s defence cooperation. The present Security Review focuses on the origins, scope, interpretation and technical aspects of the mutual assistance and solidarity clauses and argues that EU and national policymakers should promptly establish operational mechanisms that would give credibility to these clauses, before their symbolic dimension and concrete potential lose their appeal.
This parliamentary update covers the three topics on the agenda of the European Parliament Subcommitee on Security and Defence (SEDE)’s session on 12 November 2012. The first topic included an exchange of views on the current situation in Afghanistan with Ambassador Stephen Evans, Assistant Secretary General for Operations at NATO, and Hansjoerg Haber, Civilian Operations Commander and Director of CPCC. This was followed by another exchange of views with Mr. Hansjoerg Haber regarding two relatively new CSDP missions in the African Sahel: EUCAP Nestor and EUAVSEC South Sudan. Finally, MEPs and representatives of the European Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS) discussed the Union Civil Protection Mechanism, particularly the voluntary aspect of Article 11. The meeting was chaired by MEP Norica Nicolai, Vice President of the SEDE Subcommittee.
There are currently fifteen active CSDP and EU missions in operation (four in the Balkans, Caucasus and Eastern Europe; three in the Middle East; one in Central Asia and seven in Africa). This month’s CSDP update includes three new missions in Africa: EUAVSEC South Sudan, EUCAP SAHEL Niger and EUCAP Nestor. It also provides a brief overview of two upcoming missions in Libya and Mali.
Common perceptions, joint efforts and further integration are the primary requisites for the EU to foster its role of «security provider». If the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty defined an ambitious role for the EU in the world and aimed at improving its ability to assert its influence and power beyond its borders, the momentum created is now being torpedoed by an increased focus on the financial crisis and debates over the necessity of a fiscal and political union. While defence budgets and external support (i.e. from the US) are decreasing, perceived common challenges and threats are on the rise and get closer and closer to the EU. The optimism of the immediate post-Lisbon era has given space to a feeling of sustained pressure over national defence budgets, EU military capabilities, and over the Union’s capacity and preparedness to promote international security. As ambitious aspirations have come to face reality, neither the Member States nor the EU seem, yet, clearly committed to the path of further integration to foster CSDP.