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					                Embedding a Bottom-up Approach to Human Security
                       The case of European Security Policy

                                     Stefanie Flechtner

First draft, 29 June 2004. Comments welcome (stefanie.flechtner@fes.de)

1)    Introduction

Europe's security arrangements are undergoing a process of profound change. This
change is usually associated with the end of the Cold War and the consequent
transformation of Europe's security environment. However, the transformation has been
limited neither to the geo-political realm nor to the European continent, but comprises
also a global conceptual shift in respect of what constitutes “security.”
During the Cold War, security was generally associated with threats directed against a
state, largely of a military nature. The Cold War threat scenario culminated in a massive
military escalation, a “Third World War,” including the deployment of nuclear arms.
Subsequently, security agendas were dominated by the idea of territorial defence and
military (and nuclear) deterrence. However, driven by the end of the Cold War and,
more recently, by the “9/11” terrorist attacks, this traditional security concept has been
called into question and new notions of security are emerging. The conceptual change is
marked by two trends. First, security agendas have been considerably expanded. The
perception of threat is no longer limited to (traditional) warfare but includes a broad
range of military, but also political, economic, social, and environmental security risks.
Second, the “referent objects” (Webber 2004) of security policy are changing: today,
threats to security are seen as directed primarily not against the state but against
individuals or societies. As a consequence, the principle of state sovereignty is more and
more being challenged by the need for “humanitarian intervention.”
The fact that the notion of “security” has changed is already widely accepted in Europe
and has led to the revision of policy agendas and institutional arrangements. However,
change in the realm of policies and institutions is far from being comprehensive and
coherent. One reason for this is that reform of security arrangements in Europe has been
incremental and driven by ad hoc decisions. Furthermore, despite the general agreement
on a changed meaning of security there is no commonly accepted concept of security
and/or security policy in Europe1.
The “Study Group on Europe’s Security Capabilities” has set out to develop a concept
of European security that reflects the changing nature of security described above and
offers a comprehensive framework for policy and institutional reform. The core of this
concept is a bottom-up approach to human security. The aim of this paper is to assess
the implications of that concept for the institutional framework of European security
policy, focusing on the European Union. We will start by identifying a set of
“institutional principles and maxims” that derive from the bottom-up approach to
human security. We will then analyse the existing institutional framework of security
policy within the EU. Corresponding to the institutional principles we will identify
shortcomings of the institutional framework and present some ideas on reform.


1
  The European Security Strategy (ESS) adopted by the European Council in December 2003
can be regarded as a first conceptualising effort, yet, the ESS is still more a security policy
programme than a coherent and comprehensive concept.

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The analysis will focus on the general institutional framework of EU security policy,
that is, institutions that frame decision-making, policy development and political
control, rather than specific institutional arrangements relating to the implementation of
security policy missions.2 We assume, however, that the same institutional principles
apply to those settings, just as the principles and maxims should be applicable to other
institutional frameworks (national security institutions, NATO, UN, and so on).

2)     Institutional principles and maxims of the bottom-up approach to human
       security

The Study Group conceptualizes European security policy as a policy whose
       "goal […] should be to establish and maintain what might be termed human
       security. It should be founded on the primacy of individuals and not states.
       The process through which it operates should be a multilateral commitment
       to international law and international institutions at the global level, and a
       bottom-up approach at the local level. The means it uses are based on law
       enforcement rather than war-fighting, which is premised on the equal value
       of all human life instead of privileging one side, aimed at protecting people
       and arresting individual criminals rather than defeating an enemy, and
       situated within a framework of international law." (Kaldor and Glasius
       2004, p. 15)
At the center of this concept is the idea of human security and a commitment to address
security concerns via a bottom-up approach. According to the Study Group this concept
of European security policy is based not only on moral and legal grounds, but also on
the enlightened self-interest of Europeans: “The ‘threats’ Europeans face are all related
to human security and mostly rooted in areas of severe insecurity”. Therefore the only
way for Europeans to address these threats in a sustainable and credible way is “to
address the security needs of people in situations of severe insecurity” (Kaldor and
Glasius 2004, p. 7), that is, to think security from a bottom-up perspective.
The bottom-up concept of human security contrasts with institutional – and geo-
strategic – approaches to security. “Instead of discussing the relative advantages of
different security institutions … security policy should start from the actual security
situation” (Kaldor and Glasius 2004, p. 5). However, despite this deliberate break with
institutional thinking – which has traditionally been very strong in the European Union
– the concept of a bottom-up approach to human security no doubt has very important
implications for security policy institutions.
The institutional framework embedding a bottom-up approach to human security has to
adhere to a set of principles which can be summarized under the following three
“institutional principles”: 1) bottom-up effectiveness; 2) coherence and consistency; and
3) “inclusive” democratic accountability and legitimacy.

     a) Bottom-up effectiveness: “Be active but do no harm!”
One core prerequisite for any political institution is effectiveness, which means
delivering a framework which enables political instruments to achieve the goals they
have been designed for. According to the Study Group concept the goal of European

2
 The institutional framework for implementation will depend significantly on the character of the
new security capabilities of the EU (integrated EU capabilities or coordination of national
capabilities), still to be defined.

                                                                                               2
security policy is to deliver security to Europe by furthering human security globally,
that is, by addressing “the security needs of people in situations of severe insecurity.”
Consequently, the institutional framework must ensure that policies are planned to
address these needs effectively and that decisions to employ security policies or
instruments are taken in time, or in other words: “Be active but do no harm.”
A key principle of the bottom-up approach to human security is the use of “appropriate
means.” This does not exclude the use of force, but implies a clear primacy of
preventive and non-escalatory policies over military means. However, the primacy of
prevention requires security policy to be pro- rather than re-active, and for policy-
planning and decision-making institutions to be designed accordingly. Furthermore, the
use of force, as well as any form of intervention, even of a civilian nature, is justifiable
only if it does less harm than what it was designed to prevent. “Do no harm” is therefore
the minimum criterion for effective security policy. Policy-planning institutions must
have the capability to assess the impact of a security policy or operation within a certain
environment. This assessment should be based on a bottom-up perspective, that is, on
consultation of the people concerned.

    b) Coherence and consistency: “Coordinate or integrate”
Coherence and consistency3 can actually be seen as a sub-category of effectiveness, as
they are important criteria for effective security policy. However, we think they should
be treated as a separate principle as their importance is directly linked to the changed
meaning of security described above. Moreover, coherence has always been a core
problem of Europe's external policy and is now increasingly affecting security policy.
Whereas traditional concepts of security were dominated by the idea of territorial
defence by military means, today’s understanding of security includes a broad spectrum
of policies ranging from defence to development and including military, civil,
diplomatic and economic instruments. This new understanding of security, and in
particular the concept of human security, makes coherence and consistency a core
condition for European security policy and institutions.
In institutional terms there are two means of securing coherence: coordination and
integration. In terms of implementing the coherence and consistency principle both
options are of the same value (that is, neither is a priori a more suitable means than the
other), but obviously the two methods have very different consequences for the
institutional framework. While integration will in most cases demand some far-reaching
reform of security institutions (due to institutional legacy of the traditional security
concept), coordination requires a constant and sometimes time-consuming commitment
by all parties involved to avoid duplication or even contradictions in policies.

    c) “Inclusive” democratic accountability and legitimacy
The “inclusive” approach to democratic legitimacy has three dimensions: 1) democratic
control of security policy; 2) international legitimacy; 3) and accountability and
responsiveness vis-à-vis the people affected by European security policy. In fact,
bottom-up effectiveness as described above could be seen as a fourth dimension – the



3
  Legal definitions of the two terms imply a slight difference in meaning: "Consistency in law is
the absence of contradictions; coherence on the other hand refers to positive connections"
(Duke 1999, p.3). However, in the Treaty on European Union (TEU) they are used as
synonyms. While the English version refers to “consistency,” the German and French versions
refer to “Kohärenz” and “cohérence” respectively.

                                                                                               3
output dimension – of the legitimacy principle, since no security policy is legitimate if it
does not deliver what it has been designed for.

Democratic control of European security policy
Democratic control of the security sector is a core requirement of democratic societies
and the principal source of legitimacy for European security policy. “The voice of the
people needs to be heard, and the executive made subject to checks and balances”
(Christopher Hill 2002, p.6). Key elements of democratic control are parliamentary
scrutiny, transparency and accountability.
The capacity of a parliament to scrutinize and control security policy is closely linked to
the legal authority of the legislature, notably the power of (a priori or a posteriori)
authorization in relation to sending military and security forces on a mission and the
power to control the security sector budget (see Born 2004, pp. 3–5). Furthermore,
parliamentarians must be able to obtain and process information on European security
policy, implying adequate resources on the parliamentary side, but above all transparent
policy- and decision-making procedures on the executive side. Transparency also calls
for a clear definition of the purposes and means of European security policy. Finally,
political responsibility must be clearly assigned and the parliament must have the power
and will to hold the executive accountable.
Democratic control of the security sector is a core prerequisite for legitimizing
European security policy, yet it is not a sufficient one. The legitimacy – and so also the
success – of a European human security policy depends also on how it is perceived at
the international level and in the region affected by a particular human security
intervention.

International legitimacy: multilateralism and legality
The idea of international legitimacy is closely related to the principles of multilateralism
and legality, that is, a commitment to work with international institutions and to adhere
to international law (see Kaldor and Glasius 2004, p. 10). The first point of reference in
this context is obviously the institutional and legal framework of the United Nations.
Rules and procedures of European security policy have to comply with the UN Charter
and international law. The EU must be driving the momentum of the international
community towards a further legalisation of international relations and the development
and implementation of ambitious multilateral commitments.4
International legitimacy also implies cooperation and coordination with other
international organizations. The EU–NATO relationship figures prominently in this
respect, due to overlapping membership and partly shared assets; however, particularly
in the case of EU interventions outside Europe, cooperation with security organizations
of the respective region (for example, ECOWAS or AU in Africa, OAS in the Western
Hemisphere, and so on) could become very important for legitimizing missions in that
region. Besides international organizations there is also the case of third countries – for
example, accession countries – wanting to participate in EU missions. This means that
European security policy requires an adequate institutional capacity, as well as
guidelines and modalities for multilateral cooperation and policy coordination beyond
the EU framework.




4
    Cp. European Commission 2003

                                                                                          4
Accountability and responsiveness vis-à-vis the people affected by security
interventions
Although there is general agreement that the success of a human security mission
depends heavily on how it is perceived by the people affected, the question of how to
legitimize such an intervention vis-à-vis the people “on-site” is barely raised.
“Conventional” approaches seem to assume that international and output legitimacy –
that is, a UN mandate (or simply a “just cause”) and the delivery of proposed mission
goals – suffice to legitimize an intervention vis-à-vis its objects, the people affected. No
doubt these aspects play an important role, yet, rethinking European security from the
bottom up, they are not adequate.
One of the core ideas of the bottom-up approach is to treat people as citizens, in
particular in areas of severe insecurity. As citizens they must have a say and the right to
determine their own fate as a society. Consequently, it must be the ultimate goal of any
human security intervention to return power to the people, that is, to (re-)install some
system of legitimate government5 as quickly as possible. However, the restoration of
legitimate governance after an intervention will always take time. We therefore need to
think about institutions and procedures that “give people a say” already at an early stage
of transition. Responsiveness and accountability are key principles in this context.
Decision-makers in the European Union have to respond to the needs and interests of
the people affected by European security policy. This requires above all systematic and
legally-grounded procedures for consultation (“right to be consulted”) and institutions
for transmitting the interests of local citizens into the political discourse of the EU.
Second, we need procedures and institutions that allow the local population to hold the
intervening power accountable for its action, in particular in the case of members of the
intervening forces violating basic human rights or exceeding their mandate.
The institutional principles of the bottom-up approach to human security described
above are no doubt very demanding. There might even be some inherent tensions
between them. Nevertheless they should constitute the benchmark against which to
measure the institutional framework of European security policy and to inspire
institutional reform. In what follows we will analyse the institutional framework of
security policy in the European Union with the aim of identifying shortcomings in terms
of bottom-up effectiveness, coherence and consistency, and “inclusive” democratic
accountability and legitimacy.

3)    The institutional framework of security policy in the European Union:
      characteristics and shortcomings

The most characteristic institutional feature of European security policy is the allocation
of the relevant policies to two separate “pillars” of the European Union, each pillar
following a procedural and institutional logic of its own: on the one hand, the
intergovernmental Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP; Pillar II) comprising
diplomacy as well as military and civilian crisis management policies; and on the other,
integrated “external activities” within the European Community (EC; Pillar I) covering
policies of “financial and economic diplomacy” and “technical and humanitarian


5
 “Legitimate” means a democratic form of government. However, it does not mean installing a
government system from the outside, modelled on some type of Western democracy.
Democratisation is an endogenous process that cannot be forced upon a society but has to be
built from the inside. External forces can only support this process and offer positive incentives.

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assistance” (Cameron 1997). Moreover, there is an increasing number of overlaps
between CFSP and EC policies, in particular concerning civil crisis management and
human rights policies, with decisions adopted falling within the domains of both pillars.
Most observers locate the core of European security policy within CFSP, as the guiding
principles of European security policy and the EU security agenda are laid down in this
pillar. However, from a human security perspective and also in terms of financial
resources one could argue that the EU plays a role in security more through the “soft”
Pillar I than the “hard” Pillar II policies (see Bono 2002).
This already highly complex institutional structure is further complicated by the fact
that the institutional framework is still “in the making,” that is, subject to constant
change, either via a formal revision of the EU treaties6 or – and this has been
particularly true in the field of security – via informal decisions taken outside the formal
process and formalized afterwards.7 Like the European Union in general, European
security policy still lacks a “finalité politique,” that is, a comprehensive and commonly
agreed conception of the purpose and ultimate scope of security integration.
Consequently, reforms are driven mainly by ad hoc decisions and not by a
comprehensive vision.
 The following analysis will focus on the key institutions and procedures of European
security policy in their present structure, that is, the institutional framework established
by the Treaty of Maastricht (1993) and consolidated by the Treaties of Amsterdam
(1999) and Nice (2003).8

    a) Decision-making
Decision-making procedures and institutions differ significantly in European security
policy, first of all according to the institutional pillar a specific policy is located in, but
also within pillars different decision mechanisms apply.
Despite its name, the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) is dominated not by
communitarian but by intergovernmental modes of decision-making. The general rule of
voting is unanimity, but in some cases qualified majority voting (QMV)9 applies. In
practice, however, national veto rights are preserved by the Member States’ right to
block the adoption of a QMV decision based on “for important and stated reasons of
national policy".(Consolidated Treaty on European Union (CTEU), Art. 23 (2))
Moreover, all decisions with military or defence implications are exempted from QMV.
The decision-making bodies of CFSP are the European Council (the heads of state or
government of the EU Member States) and the Council of Ministers, more precisely, the
General Affairs and External Relations Council. The first decides on “principles and


6
  Thus, with the Treaty of Amsterdam (1999) and the Treaty of Nice (2003) there have been two
major revisions since the Treaty on European Union (TEU) in 1993 that founded CFSP.
Furthermore with the Constitutional Treaty just having been adopted by the European Council a
thorough revision of the legal framework of the European Union is to follow soon, assuming
ratification of the Constitutional Treaty by the Member States.
7
  For example decisions on ESDP of the European Council in Cologne (1999) that were
formalized not until the adoption of the Nice Treaty in 2003.
8
 The new provisions of the Constitutional Treaty might be included in the final version of the
paper.
9
  Cases where QMV voting is possible include: decisions made on the basis of a common
strategy (itself to be adopted by unanimity); decisions relating to joint actions or positions and
appointment of an EU special representative.

                                                                                                6
general guidelines,” as well as on “common strategies”; the latter is responsible for
implementing the adopted strategies via “joint actions” and “common positions.”10 Due
to the rule of unanimity identifying political compromises to resolve political dispute
within the council is of primary importance. This key task falls into the responsibility of
the (rotating) Presidency of the Council making it a driving force in CFSP decision-
making. The Presidency is further responsible for informing the European Parliament
on CFSP. The EP has, however, no authority in CFSP except for the (rather small)
CFSP budget11 which is charged to the EC budget and therefore handled by EC decision
procedures. In the case of a crisis management operation the Council may also delegate
its decision-making authority to the Political Security Committee (see below).
In contrast to CFSP the Union's “external activities” under the Community pillar are
organized on a supranational level and bound to common decision-making of the
Council of Ministers and the European Parliament (EP). Decisions are taken by the
mode of co-decision12 or assent13. The Council decides commonly by QMV, the EP by
an absolute majority.
Criticisms of EU decision-making in the area of security generally focus on CFSP
procedures. And seen from the perspective of the bottom-up approach to the human
security concept, CFSP decision-making is indeed rather obstructive than effective.
Protracted and cumbersome compromise building in a system of unanimity voting and
national veto contradicts the objective of pro-active policy-making. The particular
interests of Member States dominate in CFSP decisions, while the common interest of
the Union is hardly represented at all. This prevalence of particular interests also causes
a lack of consistency, particularly in the sense of continuous policy-making. This
deficiency is further intensified by the rotating system of the EU presidency, with each
presidency pushing its own policy agenda. Despite this criticism there are, however,
also concerns regarding the application of supranational methods of common decision-
making in the highly sensitive areas of European security policy – such as decisions on
deployment of armed forces – relating to the democratic deficit of European policy-
making (to be further discussed in chapter 4).




10
  To put it simply, “joint actions are more important than common positions in that, in contrast to
the latter, they require a general willingness to put financial resources at the disposal of the
Council for their implementation” (Bono 2002, p. 15). For an overview of the various CFSP
decision mechanisms see Treaty on European Union (TEU), Article 12.
11
   In terms of security policy this authority is, however, not of great importance, as all
expenditures arising from operations having military or defence implications and from cases
where the Council acts unanimously are not charged on the EC budget but from the national
budgets of the Member States.
12
   In co-decision EP and Council act as co-legislators. The procedure comprises one, two or
three readings. If there is no majority in the EP after the final reading no act is adopted. Co-
decision applies to most security relevant EC policies.
13
  This procedures requires the Council to obtain Parliament's assent before certain important
decisions are taken. The European Parliament may accept or reject a proposal but cannot
amend it. The Assent procedure applies to association agreements and other fundamental
agreements with third countries

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     b) Policy development and formulation
At the EU level, European security policy is developed and formulated by two
institutions, the Council and the European Commission.14 This relates to the right of
initiative: whereas in the area of “external activities” under the Community pillar the
Commission holds an exclusive right on initiative, in relation to CFSP, policy proposals
can be submitted either by the Commission or by Member States, giving the Council a
central role in CFSP policy development and formulation. Increasing EU engagement in
foreign and security policy has led to reform and the setting up of new institutional
structures on both sides, the Council and the Commission. As a consequence, a
multitude of actors are now involved in security policy formulation at the EU level, with
competencies not always clearly defined and delineated.
On the side of the Council the most outstanding innovation was the introduction of a
High Representative for CFSP (HR) by the Amsterdam Treaty in 1999. The HR “shall
assist the Council in matters coming within the scope of the common foreign and
security policy, in particular through contributing to the formulation, preparation and
implementation of policy decisions” (TEU, Art. 26). He also assists the Presidency in
the external representation of the EU. The High Representative is the only Council
institution truly representing the common interest. Thanks to this and the fact that, in the
person of Javier Solana, a very experienced and well-known politician took up this
office, the HR gained considerable political authority and became the central figure in
developing a strategic concept for European security policy, the European Security
Strategy. In terms of competences, however, the HR is rather weak, being neither
involved in decision-making nor having the right of initiative. The HR is supported by a
rather small working unit, called the Policy Planning and Early Warning Unit
(PPEWU). The PPEWU mandate includes monitoring, analysis, and assessment of
international developments and early warning.
In the context of the founding of ESDP and increasing EU engagement in crisis
management, a new institutional structure was created which in some respects runs
parallel to traditional Council institutions (namely COREPER). At the top of this
structure is the Political Security Committee (PSC) which takes the leading role in
defining EU policies in the area of military and civilian crisis management. The PSC is
composed of representatives at senior or ambassadorial level of the Member States and
the Commission. It is to provide “political control and strategic direction to crisis
management operations.” As already mentioned, the PSC can be authorized by the
Council to take decisions during a crisis management operation.
Concerning the military aspect of crisis management the PSC receives advice and
recommendations from the European Union Military Committee (EUMC). The EUMC
is the highest military body of the EU and composed of the Chiefs of Defence,
represented by their military representatives. Besides its advisory role the EUMC is also
responsible for developing the overall military concept of crisis management. The
EUMC is supported by the EU Military Staff, a working unit made up of around 135
military officers. The Military Staff is responsible for implementing policies and
decisions of the EU Military Committee and providing early warning, situation
assessment, and strategic planning for Petersberg task operations. The EU Situation



14
   Policy proposals are obviously formulated not only at the EU level, but also within member-
state executives, in particular in the area of CFSP where Member States have the right of
initiative.

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Centre, a further working unit, is linked to both the Military Staff and the PPEWU and
coordinates and processes all information relevant to a crisis.
Concerning the civilian aspects of crisis management another committee has been
formed within the Council, the Committee for Civilian Aspects of Crisis Management
(CIVCOM). It is to “provide information, formulate recommendations and give advice”
on all civilian aspects of crisis management and is in charge of developing the EU’s
database and guidelines for mobilizing civilian crisis-management expertise. CIVCOM
gives advice to the PSC and reports to COREPER. Despite the creation of CIVCOM,
institutional capacities for planning and policy formulation in civilian crisis
management are still much weaker than on the military side. There are no specialized
working units for assessment and analysis of civilian crisis management and no
professional personnel like the EU Military Staff.
Parallel to institutional reforms in the Council, the Commission has undertaken a
fundamental restructuring of its services for external activities under the EC pillar and
foreign and security policy under CFSP. At the center of the new structure is the
External Relations Commissioner responsible for coordinating all external relations
services of the Commission, that is, DG Trade, DG Enlargement, DG Development, the
EuropeAid Cooperation Office, the Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) and finally his
own directorate general, DG External Relations (DG RELEX). DG RELEX is in charge
of developing the Union’s external relations strategy and policies concerning relations
with international institutions and most third countries.15 It is further responsible for the
Commission’s participation in and contribution to policy formulation in CFSP. In this
context a new working unit was created in 2000, the Conflict Prevention and Crisis
Management Unit (CPCMU). CPCMU develops Commission policy in training civilian
experts and managing rapid reaction interventions, including the Rapid Reaction
Mechanism.16
Though located in DG RELEX, CPCMU also works closely with DG Development, the
second important Commission actor in the context of the formulation of European
security policy. DG DEV is responsible for formulating the Union’s development
cooperation policy. As part of this work it is also active in conflict prevention, human
rights, and other security relevant policies.
The split of responsibilities for policy development and formulation between two lead
institutions of the EU and a multitude of actors within these institutions clearly does not
enhance the consistency and coherence of European security policies – despite attempts
at enhancing coordination, as in the case of the External Relations Commissioner.
Moreover, Council and Commission represent two different institutional “cultures,” one
oriented towards the interests of the Member States, the other towards the common
interest of the Union, competing for control of the policy-making process. Both
Commission and Council have tried to keep pace with the increasing engagement and
interest of the EU in security by forming new institutional structures and reforming
existing ones. However, this restructuring has so far not led to a balanced and

15
  DG RELEX coordinates EU relations with third countries, with the exception of countries
which are part of the enlargement process, and bilateral relations under the responsibility of DG
DEV (African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and Overseas Countries and Territories
(OCT)).
16
   The Rapid Reaction Mechanism (RRM) is to enhance the EU's civilian capacity to intervene
fast and effectively in crisis situations in third countries. RRM draws on existing EC instruments
in the area of civilian crisis management and is to provide the flexibility to mobilise Community
instruments to be deployed quickly, whenever necessary.

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transparent institutional structure. Thus, for example, the institutional framework of the
Council tilts towards the military, with civilian crisis management being rather weakly
resourced and represented. On the other side, civilian crisis management is also subject
to institutional overlap, with planning units in the Council and the Commission.
Institutional overlaps exist also within the Council in regard to the various assessment
units of European security policy (PPEWU, Military Staff, EU Situation Centre).
Another problem is the political oversight of the complex institutional system of policy
formulation and development in European security policy. The lack of clearly defined
roles and responsibilities on the planning side provides not only for duplication and
demarcation disputes but also brings with it the danger of “technocrats” exceeding their
authority and exercising disproportionate influence over political decisions.17

     c) Democratic control
European security policy poses serious challenges for democratic control. This is first of
all related to the well known general “democratic deficit” of the European Union. In the
area of European security policy, however, this deficit is aggravated by a “double
deficit” in parliamentary scrutiny (Born 2004) and a lack of transparency.
European security policy is not transparent. This results firstly from the “tradition” of
secrecy within the security sector where the flow of information is often hampered by
restrictive classification and confidentiality procedures. The problem is aggravated by
the already mentioned blurring of responsibilities among the various actors and
institutions operating within European security policy. The lack of “institutional
transparency” seriously undermines the principle of political accountability.
Accountability is further undermined by extremely weak parliamentary scrutiny of
European security policy – despite the fact that or precisely because 26 parliaments are
involved.18 As the core of European security policy is intergovernmental, the primary
role of parliamentary scrutiny belongs to the 25 national parliaments of the Member
States. In theory, national parliaments can hold their government to account for
decisions reached in the European Council or Council of Ministers – given that the
decision is taken by unanimity. In practice, however, effective oversight is difficult to
realize due to very uneven scrutiny practices and control rights in the different Member
States.19 Furthermore, national parliaments still rely on the information provided by
their own executives. There are no formal mechanisms in European security policy for
informing national parliaments about other Member States’ positions or to receive
reports directly from the European Union.
Scrutiny by the European Parliament (EP) is mostly limited to the integrated security
activities of the EC framework. As already mentioned, the EP also has a say in the
CFSP budget. However, as all expenditures arising from operations with military or


17
   Thus, for example, in the context of the creation of the Rapid Reaction Force (RRF) the
Chiefs of Staff, with the support of some EU defence ministries, heavily influenced the shaping
the on the political doctrine underpinning the RRF though clearly not falling into the military
realm, due to a lack of clearly defined responsibilities (cp. Bono 2002, pp. 28–35).
18
  One could even count a 27th, the EU Interim European Security and Defence Assembly, the
successor of the WEU Assembly. However, this representative body has no real means of
parliamentary scrutiny as it is only allowed to pose questions to the Council about its activities
and express its opinion once a decision has been taken.
19
  Some parliaments have the right of prior authorisation of peace support operations (Denmark,
Netherlands, Germany), others don't (e.g. UK, Spain, Portugal, France, Poland), cp. Born 2004.

                                                                                              10
defence implications are charged to the Member States, the budgetary authority is very
limited. In all other CFSP aspects the EP only has the right to be kept informed on
current policy developments.
A final problem of democratic control in European security policy is the fact that there
is not one executive to be controlled, but a mixed executive consisting of the
Commission, Council and national governments. Thus, concluding, the hybrid and
complex nature of the institutional framework of European security policy implies
serious deficits when it comes to democratic control, in particular parliamentary
scrutiny.

4)    Shortcomings, gaps, and some thoughts on reform

The current institutional framework of European security policy clearly falls short of
meeting any of the institutional principles of the bottom-up approach to the human
security concept. This rather severe assessment must be moderated in two respects,
however. First, there are inherent and insoluble tensions between the three institutional
principles, in particular concerning the output and input dimension of legitimacy, that is,
effectiveness and democratic legitimacy. The aim, therefore, is not to implement one of
the cited principles thoroughly, but rather to find an optimum solution which
comprehends and balances all three.
Second, with regard to some of the principles the European Union is performing much
better than other security actors, in particular traditional nation-states. This is
particularly true of “international legitimacy.” Multilateralism is one of the guiding
principles of European integration and deeply embedded in the EU’s institutional and
legal framework. The Treaty on European Union defines the objective of CFSP as
(among other things): “to preserve peace and strengthen international security, in
accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter, as well as the principles
of the Helsinki Final Act and the objectives of the Paris Charter [and] to promote
international cooperation” (CTEU 2002, Title V, Article 11). According to the European
Security Strategy "the development of a stronger international society, well functioning
international institutions and a rule-based international order" (ESS 2003, p. 10) is one
of the strategic objectives of European security policy. While there might still be
shortcomings concerning international cooperation – in particular, cooperation with
security organizations of other regions – the European Union is doubtless one of the
most important global actors in promoting international norms and the legalisation of
international relations.20
Having said that, it is important to note that with regard to other institutional principles
there are not only shortcomings, but also serious gaps. This is particularly true of
“democratic control,” “consistency and coherence,” and, last but not least, the
institutional embedding of the bottom-up approach. Although the democratic deficit of
European security policy is widely acknowledged among academics and policy-makers,
there have been few reform efforts. This might be due to a lack of political will (and
pressure from the public), but also to the inherent dilemma of European democracy,
having institutionalised parliamentary oversight at the supranational level in the form of
the European Parliament, but still lacking a developed European “demos.” The
existence of such a demos is important not only in the sense of a general social


20
    For example, Kyoto Protocol, International Criminal Court (ICC), 'Everything but Arms'
Initiative, Renewable Energy Coalition (cp. European Commission 2003).

                                                                                         11
precondition of democracy but also in practical terms: “without public support, demand
and feedback from its citizens and civil society organisations, a parliament can hardly
perform its oversight functions” (Born 2004, p. 2). Hence, transforming European
security policy from a predominantly intergovernmental to a fully supranational
endeavour (that is, giving the EP the full but also exclusive power of parliamentary
scrutiny) may merely transfer the “democratic deficit” to another level. However, while
in the medium-term a fully satisfying institutional solution of the “democratic deficit” is
not in sight, as the problem relies also on social conditions outside institutional reach,
there are still a number of proposals for “bridging the accountability gap” in European
security policy. These include (see Born 2004; Bono and Mawdsley 2002):
    -   enhancing transparency by increasing public access to ESCP documents and
       obliging the Council to transmit all ESDP documents to national parliaments;
    -   enlarging the resources of the relevant parliamentary committees of the EP and
       national parliaments;
    -   giving the EP greater authority in scrutinising the CFSP budget;
    -   enhancing and standardizing the power of Member States’ parliaments in the
       authorisation of EU security operations;
    -   strengthening inter-parliamentary cooperation by institutionalising regular
       meetings of the national Parliamentary Defence Committees (or their chairs) or
       by producing a joint parliamentary report on European security policy.
Unfortunately, the Constitutional Treaty adopted by the European Council some weeks
ago and now to be ratified by the Member States has taken up hardly any of these ideas.
While contributing little to the democratisation of European security policy the
Constitutional Treaty involves some significant innovations regarding the “consistency
and coherence” principle. The most important new institution envisaged in the
Constitutional Treaty is a Foreign Minister, merging the posts of the High
Representative for CFSP and the External Relations Commissioner. Having an
important say in all aspects of foreign and security policy in both the Council and the
Commission the Foreign Minister will surely make an important contribution to
increasing the coherence of European security policy. Furthermore, the Foreign Minister
will have the right of initiative in CFSP, thus promoting the common interest in
European security policy as against the particular interests of the Member States. The
Foreign Minister will be in charge of an integrated European External Action Service
composed of officials from the relevant departments of the General Secretariat of the
Council of Ministers and of the Commission and staff seconded from national
diplomatic services. The Constitutional Treaty also provides for the abolition of the
current pillar structure. However, as the various policy- and decision-making
arrangements of CFSP and EC security policies will continue to apply, this reform will
probably not have a significant impact on the coherence and consistency of European
security policy.
The Constitutional Treaty and other recent reform efforts indicate a trend within
European security policy towards resolving the problem of coherence, not (as
previously) by increasing coordination efforts but by integration. This trend might be
the result of a certain disenchantment with the intergovernmental coordination approach
that has so far not delivered the envisaged goal of European foreign and security policy,
“speaking with one voice.” The trend towards integration might also be fostered by EU
enlargement, making intergovernmental coordination an increasingly unmanageable and
demanding task. While this trend can be seen as a positive development, opening up
new options for the institutional framework of European security policy, there are also

                                                                                        12
risks in pushing integration of security policies without carefully weighing the
consequences. First, more integrated – that is, supranational decision-making, for
example, the introduction of QMV as a general rule in CFSP voting – might cause
serious problems for democratic control, at least in its current form.21 Second, we have
to acknowledge that not all policies that form part of the new security agenda can be
viewed exclusively under the aspect of security. Some policies have their own agenda
and purpose, with security clearly not the primary policy objective. This is particularly
true of development policy and economic cooperation, in relation to which conflicts
between different policy goals might be unavoidable. However, we have to make sure
that fostering coherence of European security policy by integration does not take place
at the expense of other policy objectives.22 Therefore, integration of European security
policy must be combined with a clear assignment and definition of the responsibilities,
instruments, and resources of each policy which forms part of the new security agenda.
Whereas the problem of coherence and consistency and the democratic deficit of
European security policy are widely recognised and a regular focus of debate, there has
so far been virtually no discussion of the challenge of embedding bottom-up
effectiveness and legitimacy in the institutional framework of European security policy.
An important means of enhancing both the bottom-up effectiveness and the bottom-up
responsiveness of European security policy is consultation mechanisms, that is, the
comprehensive and institutionalised inclusion of “local expertise” in the process of
policy-formulation and development, to make sure that policies are designed in
accordance with the security needs of local citizens.23 Policy evaluation – in particular,
impact assessment from a local perspective – is another crucial aspect. Whereas in
development cooperation regular and thorough evaluation of the impact of policies and
instruments has become the order of the day, there is almost no such evaluation
concerning crisis management policies and their military and civilian instruments.
Furthermore, the in-depth study of the impact of European security policy is not only
essential for enhancing bottom-up effectiveness and responsiveness, but also for
institutionalising a process of policy-learning within the European Union.
Introducing bottom-up accountability during a security intervention, that is, in a
situation where local institutions of democratic control are typically disrupted or simply
non-existent, is doubtless an immense challenge. We cannot yet offer a comprehensive
answer to this challenge, but we want to propose at least one possibility for introducing
“soft” bottom-up accountability, the “European security mission ombudsman.” The
ombudsman concept is very familiar in the European Union. Moreover, within EU
Member States, there is some experience with a specialised ombudsman for the security
sector.24 In these cases the so-called “ombudsman for defence” constitutes a mechanism


21
   National parliaments can hold their governments effectively accountable only for decisions
taken in the Council in unanimity.
22
  One recent example of questionable cross-financing in between security and development
policy is the so-called 'African Peace Support Operations Facility', a EU project intended to
provide funding to support African peace-keeping operations. Though a clear security policy
project, the initial € 250 million for the Peace Facility will be taken from the long-term
development envelope of the European Development Fund.
23
   The Delegations of the European Commission and the Missions of the Member States may
play an important role in offering the framework for institutionalised consultation and impact
assessment.
24
  An ombudsman for defence appears in several European legislations, including Finland,
Portugal, and Germany.

                                                                                           13
for monitoring the national security forces, above all the military, and investigating
“alleged arbitrary decisions or misdemeanours committed on behalf of the responsible
minister(s) of the security services” (DCAF 2003, p. 91). We think that the basic
concept of the “ombudsman for defence” could be further developed and extended to
encompass a “European security mission ombudsman,” accountable not to European
citizens but to the local population subject to an EU security intervention. The “mission
ombudsman” would be responsible for investigating complaints by local citizens25
regarding abuses or offences committed by the European security forces (military and
civilian) in the context of a specific mission. The “mission ombudsman” would be
appointed by the European Parliament and report regularly to the EP, and possibly also
to national parliaments, either by request or if the alleged case relates to a specific
national security force. He/she could further operate as some kind of “legal information
and education service provider,”26 informing the local population of their rights and
duties and of the legal provisions in place during the intervention. Institutionalising a
“European security mission ombudsman” will not bridge the legitimacy gap European
security policy faces vis-à-vis the people affected, but the mission ombudsman might
become an important tool for fostering “soft” bottom-up accountability and enhancing
public confidence in the European intervention forces and thus in European security
policy in general.




25
     And perhaps also members of the European security forces.
26
   As part of the 'legal packages' discussed in the context of the paper on the "International law
framework with respect to international peace and security" by Christine Chinkin.

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Selected Bibliography
Bono, Giovanna (2002). European Security and Defence Policy; theoretical approaches,
the Nice Summit and hot issues. ESDP Democracy Network Publications.
http://www.esdpdemocracy.net/word/ESDP&Democracy.pdf
Bono, Giovanna and Mawdsley, Jocelyn (2002): Bridging the Accountability Gap in
European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP); edited paper prepared for the UACES
32nd Annual Conference;
http://www.esdpdemocracy.net/word/UACES.pdf
Born, Hans (2004). The 'Double Democratic Deficit', Parliamentary Accountability and
the Use of Force under International Auspices.
http://www.dcaf.ch/news/Democratic_Deficit/Born_speech.pdf
Cameron, Fraser (1997): 'The European Union and the Challenge of Enlargement'. In:
Maresceau, Marc (ed.): Enlarging the Europan Union: Relations between the EU and
Central and Eastern Europe. London/New York: Longman, pp. 241-251.
Cussen, Sarah (2004). Background Paper on Existing Arrangements and Cooperation
within the Framework of CFSP and ESDP.
http://www.lse.ac.uk/Depts/global/StudyGroup/BackgroundPaper.htm Duke, Simon
(1999). Consistency as an Issue in EU External Activities. In: EIPA Working Paper
99/W/06.
European Commission (2003). The European Union and the United Nations: The choice
of multilateralism. COM (2003) 526 final.
Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) (2003). Handbook
for Parliamentarians No.5: Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector. Principles,
Mechanisms and Practices. Geneva.
Glasius, Marlies and Kaldor, Mary (2004). European Security Policy: Visions or
Concepts. Draft paper. http://www.lse.ac.uk/Depts/global/StudyGroup/Vision.htm
Hill, Christopher (2002). The EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy: Conventions,
Constitutions and Consequentiality. In: The International Spectator XXXVII, no. 4.
Schlotter, Peter (2003). Europa – Macht – Frieden? Zur Politik der "Zivilmacht
Europa". Baden-Baden.
Webber, Mark (2004): The governance of European Security. In: Review of
international studies, Cambridge, Bd. 30, 1.




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