Statement on Civilian-Military Integration in European Security and Defence Policy
THE EUROPEAN PEACEBUILDING LIAISON OFFICE (EPLO) statement:
The European Council of December 2008 agreed to integrate EU civilian and military crisis management at the strategic planning level. The plans were referred to in the EU Presidency Conclusions1 and more recently in a presentation to the European Parliament by High Representative Javier Solana2.
EPLO welcomes proposals to improve the planning of ESDP missions and believes that the development of the envisaged Crisis Management and Planning Directorate (CMPD) is an opportunity to introduce measures that will improve the effectiveness and accountability of civilian ESDP missions.
We believe that there is also a risk that the proposed integration of civilian and military dimensions of EU crisis management strategic planning could lead in effect to the absorption of the civilian dimension into the military dimension.
- Merging of Directorates VIII and IX could mean that the planning of civilian missions is not conducted by civilians with the relevant political, professional and operational expertise.
- The increased militarization of ESDP could, in turn, have a negative impact on civilian crisis management.
In line with established good practice, the EU’s plans should seek balance between the two dimensions, with concrete measures put in place to ensure that sufficient weight continues to be afforded to the civilian dimension of EU crisis management.
The Importance of Civilian Responses to Conflict
The EU’s comparative advantage as an international actor is civilian crisis management; it has a wide range of tools at its disposal. Civilian responses to conflict should not be viewed as soft, ineffectual alternatives to military intervention. On the contrary, in order to build sustainable peace, in many conflict settings civilian responses of the type that the EU supports are more effective – and far cheaper – than military options. Civilian crisis management has a strong record at contributing to long-term stability, conflict prevention and development. To date, the majority of the EU’s interventions have been civilian and this is likely to continue to be the case: there is strong public opposition in the EU to military intervention and there is a high demand for specialized civilian assistance from citizens and governments in conflict-affected countries.
The EU has already undertaken considerable commitments, with ten civilian ESDP missions currently operating, and more likely to follow. The EU faces challenges when it comes to the identification, training and deployment of the right civilian experts to these missions. Above all, the EU needs to do more to ensure that it builds local capacity, rather than supplanting it.
1 The European Council would encourage the efforts of the Secretary-General/High Representative to establish a new, single civilian-military strategic planning structure for ESDP operations and missions.
Presidency Conclusions, 11 and 12 December, Annex 2, Article 6
Let me say a word about our internal structures relating to ESDP. As you know, during the last month of the French Presidency, we began working on the development of an integrated civilian-military strategic planning capability. This is the modern approach to crisis management. Because we are relatively new to these activities, we can be even more efficient and flexible and even more able to adapt to new realities.
Javier Solana, presentation to the European Parliament, 18 February 2009
The EU also faces multiple challenges when it comes to its military response to conflict, including redefining its relationship with NATO. Addressing these problems and strengthening Europe’s military response should not take place at the expense of civilian crisis management.
There are significant risks for the EU if current and future missions are not successful; these include the risk that the EU’s actions are ineffective, leading to greater suffering – human rights abuses, poverty and insecurity – in conflict-affected areas. In the worst cases, poorly planned and executed interventions can generate conflict rather than helping to reduce it. The EU’s reputation is at stake as it seeks to be an important player in international politics.
EPLO’s Recommendations for Effectiveness and Accountability in Civilian Crisis Management
In order for the EU to realize its potential to play a significant and positive role in the prevention of conflict and to contribute to global efforts to build sustainable peace in areas affected by conflict, EPLO calls on the Member States of the EU to consider the following recommendations related to the current restructuring of the General Secretariat:
The proposed Crisis Management and Planning Directorate should have a ratio of military to civilian planners that reflects the EU’s ESDP commitments. For example, as most ESDP missions are civilian, then most of the planners in the CMPD should be civilian experts, i.e. have extensive experience of civilian response to conflict.
The leadership of the Directorate should also reflect a balance between civilian and military experts, in line with the principles of balanced integration of the two dimensions. For example, at the senior level there should be a greater number of civilian experts (with significant expertise and experience in civilian crisis management) than military experts. All senior managers should have expertise on conflict transformation by peaceful means, human rights and gender in line with the EU’s policy commitments on these issues.
At all levels, personnel should have requisite experience and expertise in the areas of civilian crisis management encompassed by ESDP, e.g. Rule of Law, police training, Security Sector Reform, etc. Former military officers may be civilians but they are not necessarily experts on the areas of civilian crisis management of relevance to the EU.
At all levels, there should be equal numbers of men and women in the CMPD. It is particularly important that women are appointed to senior positions given the current lack of gender balance at senior level in the General Secretariat of the Council and the recent adoption of the Comprehensive Approach to the Implementation of the UN Resolution 1325. As there are currently no female Heads of Mission, and very few women in any senior management position across ESDP Missions, the Council should set a positive example to EU Member States (who propose candidates for positions in Missions).
The EU should use the establishment of the CMPD as an opportunity to make ESDP missions more accountable to EU citizens and citizens in the countries where missions are deployed. It should establish local entry points and mechanisms for involvement of civil society (European civil society and civil society in countries where missions are based) in all phases of a Mission’s work, from planning to evaluation.
All pre-mission fact-finding assessments should include a thorough conflict analysis as well as an analysis of institutional capacity. Only personnel with relevant civilian expertise should be involved in the pre-planning of civilian missions.
Processes for evaluation of ESDP Missions should be broadened to cover their impact on conflict dynamics and their contribution to creating sustainable peace in the countries where they are based, as well as the important – but narrower – questions relating how they meet the terms of their mandates.
The need to ensure balance between military and civilian dimensions of ESDP and to improve the effectiveness and accountability of ESDP should be taken into consideration in planning for the European External Action Service (if the Lisbon Treaty is ratified). For example, personnel in the new Directorate should have requisite civilian expertise so that the possible absorption of the Directorate into the new service does not have an adverse effect on the early stages of operation of the new service.
The EU should heed lessons on civilian-military integration from the UN’s experience of peacebuilding, and in particular the decision to establish a cadre of civilian peace operation staff.
EU Member States should oversee and assess the integration plan to ensure that it does not have an adverse impact on civilian crisis response. Under the current committee structure, this would be the responsibility of CIVCOM. If the committee structure changes and a new committee is established above PMG and CIVCOM, its mandate should include oversight and assessment of the integration of planning.
The plans for the CMPD and the implications for ESDP – including the relationship between the restructuring in the General Secretariat and the parallel process of NATO reform – should be debated transparently and there should be an opportunity for European citizens to provide input, rather than being presented with a fait accompli at the culmination of the process.
- Berghof Research Center for Constructive Conflict Management
- Civil Society Conflict Prevention Network—KATU
- Crisis Management Initiative—CMI
- European Network for Civil Peace Services—EN.CPS
- European Centre for Conflict Prevention—ECCP
- ESSEC Iréné
- Fundación para las Relaciones Internationales y el Diálogo Exterior—FRIDE
- German Platform for Peaceful Conflict Management
- International Alert
- International Center for Transitional Justice—ICTJ
- International Crisis Group
- International Security Information Service – ISIS Europe
- Kvinna till Kvinna
- Life and Peace Institute
- Nansen Dialogue Network
- Nonviolent Peaceforce
- Partners for Democratic Change International—PDCI
- Pax Christi International
- Quaker Council for European Affairs—QCEA
- Search for Common Ground
- Toledo International Centre for Peace—CITpax
- World Vision
THE EUROPEAN PEACEBUILDING LIAISON OFFICE EPLO
EPLO is the platform of European NGOs, networks of NGOs and think tanks active in the field of peacebuilding, who share an interest in promoting sustainable peacebuilding policies among decision-makers in the European Union.
EPLO aims to influence the EU so it promotes and implements measures that lead to sustainable peace between states and within states and peoples, and that transform and resolve conflicts non-violently. EPLO wants the EU to recognise the crucial connection between peacebuilding, the eradication of poverty, and sustainable development world wide and the crucial role NGOs have to play in sustainable EU efforts for peacebuilding, conflict prevention, and crisis management.
EPLO advances the interests of its members through common policy positions and consequently advocating for those common positions. EPLO disseminates information and promotes understanding of EU policies of concern to its Members. The Office builds also solidarity and cooperation amongst its members and with other relevant NGO networks. Finally, EPLO raises awareness about the contribution the EU should make to peacebuilding and the need to hold the EU accountable to its own political commitments of helping secure peace within and outside its borders.
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