La nouvelle stratégie européenne de sécurité pourrait aider à reconfigurer les relations entre l’UE et les Etats-Unis après l’administration Bush tout en encourageant un accroissement de la cohérence, de la coordination et des capacités dans le processus de prise de décision de l’UE. C’est ce qu’indique Antonio Missiroli, directeur d’études au European Policy Centre, dans un commentaire d’octobre.
EU foreign policy chief chief Javier Solana is to present a report on the new strategy to the bloc’s leaders at their December summit.
The report should « evaluate the ways in which the Union has acted in international crisis management operations [and] draw lessons and recommendations for future strategy, » Missiroli explains.
However, the author says « very little is known about the report’s precise contents ». He believes it will probably « focus on what the Union can do better in the broader arena of peace-building ». Indeed, peace-building is « the term that resounds most favourably with European citizens ».
Missiroli argues that the first issue that the report should address is « coherence ». Looking at the countries where the EU has deployed different missions and programmes (military, civilian and aid) simultaneously, the author argues that the « end result has often been less, not more, than the sum of its parts ».
Different organisations with distinct missions, like the EU, the UN and NATO, have co-existed in certain situations. But the author argues that such fragmentation is « not acceptable within a single organisation » like the EU, which often has separate military, civilian and aid programmes operating simultaneously in the same place.
The report should also make the case for « streamlining » the EU’s presence and activities abroad, says Missiroli. The current rigid separation between civilian and military structures, procedures, funding rules and lines of accountability « makes ever less sense given the operational challenges confronting [the bloc], » argues the author, because it « makes horizontal cooperation and coordination more difficult to achieve ».
Finally, the report should also account for « shortfalls in the military capabilities arena, » Missiroli argues. Given the « very worrying » effect of the international financial crisis on national defence budgets, the author notes that an « integrated EU approach [to military spending] is urgently needed, » including funding for overseas missions.
Missiroli concludes that a better focus on what the EU has to offer in the global security arena « would be appreciated in Washington, presenting the US president-elect and his transition team with a better-defined catalogue of options for the future ».