Guide EU Civilian Crisis Management: The Record So Far

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Firstly, the nature of security as a concept and how this affects foreign policy and secondly the strategic culture and role perceptions this creates. Subsequently, any view of modern foreign policy becomes ultimately linked with this debate as security dominates the policy landscape. This can be simplified to try to understand what kind of security concept the EU can be seen to fit into; there are those who would argue that realist perspectives are still relevant and that the EU has little power in the face of the military power of sovereign nations.

Whilst this backs up the argument that the EU is not a military power, it also dismisses civilian power in such an environment and is ultimately concerned with holding onto Westphalian ideas.

Europe’s New Training Initiative for Civilian Crisis Management (ENTRi) explained

Waltz would argue neorealism, in that the EU seeks to balance in terms of power with the post-Cold War remaining superpower; the USA , cited in Kluth and Pilegaard p. This too can be dismissed both theoretically in terms of culture and objectives and empirically in terms of capabilities and resources. It is far better to consider the EU in terms of human security.

EU Civilian Crisis Management

Adopting the view of human security as a driving force of EU foreign policy automatically favours it in terms of a civilian power. In the European Security Strategy for example, key threats are identified which are very similar to the ones raised by the UN Development Programme of Conflict not only destroys infrastructure, including social infrastructure; it also encourages criminality, deters investment and makes normal economic activity impossible.

It must also be remembered that not all foreign policy necessarily fits into the security argument, yet both social constructivism and human security are more adoptable round other policies than the rigid approach of realism. A strategic culture of the EU begins to emerge, one that is not dominated by the military heavy dictums of a realist perspective. In turn it helps shape role perceptions and helps shape an emerging grand strategy.

Ultimately it becomes limited by the different approaches taken from within its membership and whilst differences in the use of military power exist there is limited scope for the ability of the EU as a military power. These become linked with the arguments of legitimacy and sovereignty of the EU as a whole, as members are unwilling to give over foreign policy sovereignty to the EU, especially concerning the ultimate realist perspective of sovereignty; military force. Whilst this attitude does limit the military power of the EU it does not necessarily stop it from having a grand strategy.

As Chappell points out, key to obtaining a strategy is role theory, namely that roles an actor thinks it and others should play in international relations, Chappell p. As seen the EU is limited by the cultures of member states, let alone their individual views on specific operations or actions. Therefore this pushes the EU very much into an arena rather than an actor militarily, as it can only be representative of the strategic cultures within its membership and attempt to coordinate them along the lines of its aims.

Internal Security in the EU’s External Action

This being said, to guide coordination a strategy is required and this happens far more along the lines of civilian goals with military involvement rather than outright military strategies which have civilian conclusions seen in US led actions such as Iraq and Afghanistan. The EU had developed in Europe which sought to safeguard against the horrors of the Second World War, but attempted unity through economic means not military, the European Coal and Steel community was a civilian response to the problems of a fractured Europe.

It was only as time went by that it became difficult to maintain the distance between economic welfare and motives of national or European security Smith p. Considering that EDC had failed and that the European Political Cooperation EPC had mixed success it is hard to identify from history what kind of foreign policy actor the EU would become at its formal creation in Yet it is important to remember that approach of the EU today and CFSP was shaped by three major events over the course of a decade.

Österreichisches Studienzentrum für Frieden und Konfliktlösung (ÖSFK) | Friedensburg Schlaining

If you couple this with the end of the Cold War, thus meaning the large conscript, tank and artillery heavy armies now existed for a war that would not happen and given freedom from a threat that had diminished. It would be wrong to think the EU did not become more militaristic following the failures of the s and the new threats brought forth in the post-Cold War world, but that does not mean it became a military power. The new military orientated areas of foreign policy had as much to do with civilian power as ever.

To asses this, four areas need analysing; the continued evolution of policy, the creation of military bodies within the EU, the force organisations within the EU and the operations undertaken. Whilst being able to show the civilian foreign policy side of these areas it also important to consider the criticism of the objectives as a whole which contribute to the dismissing of the idea of the EU as a military power. As previously mentioned, the EU has developed strategy through its development of policy and model as an institution.


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The gradual institutionalism of the EU taking a lead in foreign policy has led to the setting of goals, the implementation of policies and the effort to ensure obligations are met. Norheim-Martinsen p. These identified situations in which it would be necessary to use military force, very much in terms of intervention, leaving territorial defence to NATO. It is the way in which the EU is structured for foreign policy, which clearly identifies the military as a policy option, rather than as the defining element of CFSP. The Treaty of Lisbon reinforces the civilian and political apparatus in control of CFSP European Union and this combined with the structure of the various bodies contributing to CFSP it is clear that the military elements are simple part of a wider civilian focused approach.

Firstly it is subservient to the civilian leadership of the High Representative, currently Baroness Ashton, foreign ministers of member states and political security committee. Magone p. The incorporation of the military with into the CFSP structure highlights several more considerations. Secondly, military control is only seconded to the EU rather than given over and therefore the military structure of CFSP is geared to this lending of power and resources. The civilian military cell and CIVCOM represent the institutional approach the EU takes to foreign policy, not only does it fit along the lines of human security, but it as an institutional anchoring of the civilian issues even in military led operations.

In it was identified that Similarly the national bias was evident in development with EDA , cited in Magone p. Whilst the EDA represents an effort to change the approach of EU members in defence spending and is backed up due to the economic crisis of recent years; it remains a civilian approach to military issues. In his opinion it is not only the need to pool resources that is required for European forces but also the expensive administration and back office operations.

Therefore the combined military in terms of size and money becomes irrelevant as it is split down into 27 separate entities of various size and capability. Though the Cold War style armies are changing into more dynamic forces, it is not the amount of divisions, hardware and role capabilities that prevents EU unity it is that each force has a different command, funding and control structure, with little cooperation other than at operational level.

These issues clearly keep the military power at national level, and cooperation in terms of long term force planning limited to close cooperation, such as with Britain and France. More figures add together to show available formations, yet under scrutiny they show a lack of overall commitment on behalf of the contributing nations. The force of 60, troops available for deployment within 60 days has not been tested to its full capacity.

However three interesting analyses can be made of this force. Firstly, would the EU actually be capable to field such a force in the allotted time, as it is made up of voluntary commitments which are bottom up. Secondly, the time scale can be considered unrealistic when compared with similar operations. Therefore the largest projection of EU military force is weakened by its very attempt to be a military option; this is also before we consider the capabilities gap which exists in logistical airlift as highlighted in Operation Artemis in Howorth p.

The smaller scale force in the Battlegroup concept could also be presumed as a display of military power by the EU, but it to falls into the support of civilian centred approaches in its use and fails to be an example of military power due to its size. National structured Battlegroups are empirical evidence of seconded force to the EU; they also become projections of their national interest.

This then becomes another example where bottom up supplying of forces gives the EU little scope to act as a military power and is more facilitating cooperation. Furthermore the Battlegroups which are divided into several countries, such as the Nordic Battlegroup, mean that troops are divided between five countries; diluting the force even more and adding communication and cohesion problems to a numerically small force.

Ultimately the Battlegroup is one of few permanent tools the EU has to act as a military power, yet it must be remembered that the size and sustainability of such a force limits it to small scale roles and that national interests affects its use altogether.


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  5. It would be wrong to think the EU has failed to effectively use military force completely as operational history shows there have been EU deployments and success. It is in the scrutiny of the EU-led operations which we see the true divide in terms of being either a military or civilian power. As of April the EU were engaged in 11 ongoing missions of which three are military. It becomes apparent the EU is operating differently and certainly not playing the role of a global military power.

    At the time of writing it is NATO not the EU leading in the authorisation of the no-fly zone in Libya, despite the proximity of the conflict to the EU and its human security issues of civilian casualties. So while the EU can be dismissed as a military power by analysing the efforts and style it has taken in recent years, by adopting military means it has ultimately created a false image. As already seen the operations under taken by the EU are mainly civilian orientated, these commitments can sometimes be overshadowed in a world where politics and the media are dominated by crisis reporting.

    This is not to say the EU would be in competition with those bodies, but the EU provides a different approach to the three already heavily engaged international actors.

    Furthermore the EU as a civilian power can fit in where other groups would cause political tension; such as monitoring in Georgia, where NATO could not be used due to its military implications. Chivvis p. Whilst being an example of the CFSP instruments promoted by the council of Feira, it also represents two subtle hints of why the EU uses civilian missions. The number of civilians available should also be mentioned in terms of combining efforts in foreign policy; though it has received criticism for its small numbers it is important to remember the difference in civilian personnel to military.

    Whilst military figures are required to be deployed in large numbers to be effective, civilian operations do not require judges or monitoring staff in the thousands. The police officers, judges and intervention staff Council of EU , cited in Magone may seem small but it is an achievement considering that the professions are not as readily available for deployment in the same way as a standing army.

    As previously mentioned, the structure of CFSP is weighted towards civilian power, especially in terms of its political structure and the bodies incorporated within it for civilian foreign policy options. Whilst the EAS is a long way from creating single European embassies it represents the start of creating united foreign policy from an EU body.

    Current civilian missions with Belgian participation

    Most of the migrants came from Muslim-majority countries in regions south and east of Europe, including the Greater Middle East and Africa. Drought , [18] poverty , and violence linked to global warming [19] [20] [21] have accelerated large-scale migration to Europe from the Middle East and Africa. In rare cases, immigration has been a cover for ISIL militants disguised as refugees or migrants. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees , the top three nationalities of entrants of the over one million Mediterranean Sea arrivals between January and March were Syrian Of the migrants arriving in Europe by sea in , 58 percent were males over 18 years of age 77 percent of adults , 17 percent were females over 18 22 percent of adults and the remaining 25 percent were under Between and , around 1.

    Amid an upsurge in the number of sea arrivals in Italy from Libya in , several European Union governments refused to fund the Italian-run rescue option Operation Mare Nostrum , which was replaced by Frontex 's Operation Triton in November In the first six months of , Greece overtook Italy in the number of arrivals, becoming in the summer of the starting point of a flow of refugees and migrants moving through Balkan countries to Northern European countries, mainly Germany and Sweden.

    Already in the European Commission explored in a study the financial, political and legal implications of a relocation of migrants in Europe. Since April , the European Union has struggled to either handle the influx of migrants, reduce or stop that influx, or both, by: -- increasing funding for border patrol operations in the Mediterranean; -- devising plans to fight migrant smuggling through initiatives such as the military Operation Sophia ; -- proposing a new quota system both to relocate asylum seekers among EU states for processing of refugee claims to alleviate the burden on countries on the outer borders of the Union and to resettle asylum seekers who have been determined to be genuine refugees.


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    6. Eu Civilian Crisis Management The Record So Far.
    7. Individual countries have at times re-introduced border controls within the Schengen Area and rifts have emerged between countries willing to allow entry of asylum seekers for processing of refugee claims and other countries trying to discourage their entry. According to Eurostat , EU member states received over 1. Four states Germany, Hungary, Sweden and Austria received around two-thirds of the EU's asylum applications in , with Hungary, Sweden and Austria being the top recipients of asylum applications per capita.

      In the Schengen Agreement of 14 June , 26 European countries 22 of the 28 European Union member states, plus four European Free Trade Association states joined together to form an area where border checks on internal Schengen borders i. Countries may reinstate internal border controls for a maximum of two months for "public policy or national security" reasons.

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      The Dublin regulation determines the EU member state responsible to examine an asylum application to prevent asylum applicants in the EU from " asylum shopping ", where applicants send their applications for asylum to numerous EU member states to get the best "deal" instead of just having "safety countries", [36] or "asylum orbiting", where no member state takes responsibility for an asylum seeker. By default when no family reasons or humanitarian grounds are present , the first member state that an asylum seeker entered and in which they have been fingerprinted is responsible.

      If the asylum seeker then moves to another member state, they can be transferred back to the member state they first entered. This has led many to criticise the Dublin rules for placing too much responsibility for asylum seekers on member states on the EU's external borders like Italy, Greece and Hungary , instead of devising a burden-sharing system among EU states. A briefing by the European Parliament explained that the Dublin Agreement was only designed to assign responsibility, not effectively share responsibility.

      The proposal would introduce a "centralized automated system" to record the number of asylum applications across the EU, with "national interfaces" within each of the Member States. Article 26 of the Schengen Convention [44] says that carriers which transport people into the Schengen area shall if they transport people who are refused entry into the Schengen Area, be responsible to pay for the return of the refused people, and pay penalties.