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posted on 12/09/2003 12:39:17 AM PST
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A European Security Doctrine to Match America
DW - Germany
Just how big a role will Europe fill on the world stage? A new European security doctrine attempts to answer that question and forge unity where there has been dissent.
As the clock ticks on Brussels' finalization of the EU constitution this week amid wrangling over controversial vote-sharing agreements, the European Council will be looking at ironing out several other important issues before the end of the week. One of these includes the European Security Doctrine -- a paper laying out European strategy on conflict prevention, drawn up by Javier Solana, the EU's foreign policy chief.
Spurred on by divisions over U.S. policy in Iraq, European diplomats began working on the document early this year that would present the world a security strategy based on principles of multilateralism and greater action on the world stage.
But as with the draft constitution for a EU that will expand to 25 members in May, the security doctrine has been a matter of heated internal debate recently. The chief sticking point in the document is a clause on when and how the EU will intervene in conflicts of the future. The opponents divide along familiar lines.
Great Britain led some EU countries in advocating U.S.-style pre-emptive approach to conflicts that would approve a military strike in order to deter enemies.
A matter of wording
Germany and France, the two main European opponents of the war in Iraq, were able to shoot down the clause in negotiations since the first draft was completed.
The document now suggests the EU engage in "preventive" not "pre-emptive" intervention in global conflicts. The wording change is a clear rebuff of the Bush administration's pledge, in their 2002 National Security Strategy, to use "pre-emptive" force.
"There is a fundamental difference between 'pre-emption' and 'prevention,'" George Schöpflin, professor of political science at London University told the Financial Times. "This is about the Europeans saying they are not going down the U.S. road."
foreign policy of EU strengths
The document cuts to the heart of the problems the EU has faced in developing a coherent security and foreign policy.
As the Union stands before an expansion to the east and south that will increase its population to 450 million, disputes remain on how to lend some of that weight to a global foreign policy. In the paper presented to ministers in June of this year, Union diplomats agree that the EU's should utilize a mutifaceted approach in tackling conflicts.
The 25-member bloc's combined diplomatic, economic, military and political power means it is "particularly well-equipped to respond to such multi-faceted situations," according to the document.
EU military dreaming
The deployment of an EU police force in the Balkans and EU troops taking over a security mission in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia from NATO last year are evidence of the Union's readiness to step-up internationally, argues the paper.
But the EU's continued military reliance on NATO and inability to unify or build up its military capabilities have harmed its ability to forge a policy that carries weight against the United States in questions like Iraq. The doctrine argues for a more active approach in pooling military resources and a troop force that would allow it "early and
The possibility of that happening say observers rests mostly on the shoulders of Great Britain, France and Germany, who recently agreed the EU should have its own military planning abilities outside of NATO.
The three also showed in recent weeks in Iran how the EU's "preventive" strategy might work. The foreign ministers of the three countries were able to dissuade Iran from covering up its nuclear program and urged it to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency. http://www.dw-world.de/english/0,3367,1433_A_1052964_1_A,00.html
posted on 12/09/2003 1:16:10 AM PST
by F14 Pilot
posted on 12/09/2003 3:51:08 AM PST
Solana to visit Tehran as EU warns Iran over nuclear drive
09 December 2003
The European Union agreed Tuesday to send its foreign affairs envoy Javier Solana to Iran in the New Year to encourage the Islamic republic's compliance with international nuclear safeguards.
But EU foreign ministers stopped short of promising a resumption of talks on a lucrative trade deal as reward for Iran's promises to come clean on its nuclear drive.
In a statement, the ministers asked Solana "to visit Tehran early in 2004 to discuss the modalities of taking forward the EU's dialogue with Iran in all areas".
Diplomats said the Spanish official's visit would be in January but that dates have yet to be fixed.
The statement "reiterated the EU's readiness to explore ways to develop wider political and economic cooperation with Iran".
"This can only be achieved through full international confidence in Iran's adherence to non-proliferation and, in particular, in the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programme, as well as improvements in the areas of human rights, fight against terrorism, and Iran's position on the Middle East peace process."
Diplomats said the EU's Italian presidency, supported by Austria and Greece, had pushed for the statement to mention a resumption of talks on the trade and cooperation agreement, but this was omitted in the final version.
"It's far too early for the EU to hold out any prizes to Iran," one diplomat said.
The EU, which unlike the United States advocates a policy of constructive engagement with Iran, launched talks on the trade accord a year ago.
Four rounds of negotiations have been held but they were suspended in June over international concerns that Iran was secretly building nuclear bombs.
Iran helped to defuse the crisis by promising to comply with inspections by the UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The IAEA last month condemned Iran for 18 years of covert nuclear activities but stopped short of bowing to US demands to haul Tehran in front of the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.
The EU statement said the bloc would review the situation after Solana reports back and after a report by IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei in February on the full scale of Iran's nuclear activities. http://www.eubusiness.com/afp/031209112633.sdaxqbaz
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