Global "policing" role for EU (1)

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The feature below describes the decisions on the creation of the new EU military structures and under the heading of "non-military crisis management": the creation of an EU para-military police force and the imposition of EU standards in crisis areas where the political and economic needs of the EU are threatened.

This feature is directly related to the Solana Decision in July 2000 which removed whole categories of documents - on foreign policy, military and "non-military crisis management" issues - from the EU's code of access to EU documents. Over the summer the Council of the European Union (the 15 governments) tried to "spin" a line that the decision was merely "temporary" to head off opposition (the European Parliament and the governments of the Netherlands, Sweden and Finland are taking the Council to the European Court of Justice over the way the decision was adopted in secret - without consulting national or European parliaments or civil society).

Now the Council has quietly re-introduced the "Solana Decision" in a more hidden form in its draft common position on the new code of access to EU documents: Solana Decision The latest Council draft common position on access to EU documents introduces the concept of "special documents" - the categories of documents to which this concept will apply is not specified. The intent is clearly to initially use the term to cover foreign policy and "military matters" (military and non-military crisis management).


This feature first appeared in Statewatch bulletin, July-August 2000

The Amsterdam Treaty allowed for the integration of the Western European Union (WEU) military alliance into the EU and the development of the European Security and Defence Plan (ESDP). The Treaty came into effect on 1 May 1999 and by the end of the year the EU had agreed to create a 50,000-60,000 rapid reaction military force. In September the SecretaryGeneral of NATO, Mr Solana was not only appointed as the EU's High Representative for common foreign and security policy (CSFP) but also given the job of running the Council of the European Union (the institution working for the 15 EU governments) as its Secretary-General. In November he was appointed as the Secretary-General of the WEU as well.

At the Helsinki Council in December 1999 the EU governments agreed that not only was it to have an independent military capacity but that it should also create, as an adjunct to military policy, a "non-military crisis management" role as well.

A EU "crisis management" capacity developed out of its humanitarian role (ECHO) would have been a civilian, rather than a military initiative. But the "non-military crisis management" role which has been adopted threatens to "contaminate" not just the EU's policy on access to documents (see feature in this issue) but also justice and home affairs and the role of (paramilitary) policing at national, EU and international level.

From Amsterdam to Solana

Until the Amsterdam Treaty was agreed by the EU governments in June 1997 the EU was a purely civilian organisation. However, the revised Treaty on European Union Title V (CSFP) says that for the defence of the "security of the Union" Member States shall support policies and practices "unreservedly in a spirit of loyalty and mutual solidarity" (Article 1).

Article 17.1 says that the "Union" shall "foster" closer relations with the WEU with a view to the possibility of the integration of the WEU into the Union". Only 11 of the 15 EU members states are in NATO - Austria, Finland, Sweden and Ireland are outside - and Denmark, while in NATO, is not a member of the WEU. Under the "Luxembourg Declaration" agreed by the WEU Council of Ministers in November 1999 the WEU has: "been de facto integrated in

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