When the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) undertook military action without an explicit mandate from the United Nations Security Council, it entered a kind of international no-man's land between upholding the sanctity of state sovereignty and that of human life. While NATO members asserted that the humanitarian and strategic imperatives of saving Kosovar Albanian lives and preventing destabilisation in South East Europe drove the action, states such as Russia and China saw the Kosovo conflict as an unacceptable violation of the former Yugoslavia's state sovereignty. NATO's military action best met the description of being an intervention, but this descriptor itself was full of variations, including the one that has been subject to the widest debate: humanitarian intervention. This book has argued that the Kosovo crisis played a smaller and more indirect role in helping initiate the development of the European Union's European Security and Defence Policy than many have assumed. It has also discussed the Atlantic Community, the Euro-Atlantic Area, and Russia's role and place in European security affairs.
The fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 led, in rapid succession over the next two years, to German unification, Baltic state independence, the dissolution of the Soviet Union and its replacement by Russia and other successor countries, the fall of communism in Central and Eastern Europe, and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact. Capitalism, liberalised world trade and new electronics technology seemed to have carried the day. The hope of the countries concerned for a new Marshall Plan was not met, but a new European Bank for Reconstruction and Development was meant to fulfil a similar function. In 1993, the European Union (EU) concluded a European Economic Area agreement with various European Free Trade Association countries, tying them closer to it in the areas of trade and investment. The disintegration of Yugoslavia beginning in 1990, and the several wars it led to, posed serious challenges to the EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), apart from signifying a tragedy for the people of the region.
While the Russian economy began to slide in the early 1990s under its new leader, Boris Yeltsin, as a result of an uncertain mix of change and standstill, economic reform in Central European transition countries started to bear fruit in the form of higher growth and adaptation to world markets. The European Union (EU)'s Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) collapsed in 1993 but was revived in a more flexible form, permitting plans for Economic and Monetary Union to proceed. The conclusion of the Uruguay Round and the establishment in 1995 of the World Trade Organisation meant a major push for Europe towards globalisation and its being exposed to greater competition from emerging non-European economies. Other institutions, such as the Council of Europe, began to form – with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the EU, and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe – a rather complicated European ‘security architecture’. All these organisations were faced with immediate challenges, such as successive wars in the former Yugoslavia and in the southern Russian province of Chechnya.
As the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) enlarge, prospects for overall economic growth and peace are good, even if tensions both within and without the enlarged circle of EU and NATO member states could cloud the picture, as over Iraq in 2003. Continuing EU and NATO enlargement will mean an eastward shift of Europe's ‘centre of gravity’, with a major role for Germany. An intricate ‘European security architecture’ may preserve peace and co-operation via their multiple activities. Co-operation intensified following the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, leading to a broad anti-terrorism coalition spanning the Atlantic and beyond, and causing Russia to become even more involved in that architecture. Europe will be obliged to tackle, in international as well as European fora, such worldwide threats as terrorism, transnational crime, climate change, missile threats from ‘rogue states’ (also via terrorists), economic instability and democratic malfunctioning. Overall, however, Europe is experiencing a unique period of peace and integration.
Intergovernmental Conference JHA Justice and Home Affairs (pillar of the EU) NATO NorthAtlanticTreatyOrganisation OEEC Organisation for European Economic Co-operation OPEC Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries OSCE Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe QMV Qualified Majority Voting SEA Single European Act TEU Treaty on European Union (Maastricht Treaty) UN (see UNO) UNO United Nations Organisation WEU Western European Union WTO World Trade Organisation
NATO clash with those of
the European Union. One might speculate that middle east tensions, which
spill over into Turkey or Cyprus and southern Europe may evoke a very varying
response from the USA and the EU.
Understanding British and European political issues
A key aspect of defence (and foreign) policy concerns intelligence. It may be
difficult for European powers to share intelligence, an area where there is a
notorious amount of secrecy and national self-interest.
EU defence and foreign policy abbreviations and definitions
• NATO: NorthAtlanticTreaty
in its own right. There is a
general commitment by countries to try to reach agreement, but this may not
prove possible. If there is no supra-national body to which they have given up
sovereignty, the organisation need not be threatened if agreement cannot be
reached. The NorthAtlanticTreatyOrganisation (NATO) has always operated
largely on the basis of such co-operation. Members sacrificed no national sovereignty to NATO, but have agreed from time to time to engage in mutual action,
sometimes even committing their own troops to military action under ‘foreign
Programme (the ‘Marshall Plan’).
4 April 1949 NorthAtlanticTreatyOrganisation founded by treaty signed by 12 original member
5 May 1949 Statute signed to
establish the Council of Europe.
30 September 1961 Organisation
for European Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) replaces
Organisation for European Economic Co
crucial role in
upholding West European capitalism. In fact, he argued that the USA had effectively replaced fascism as the established order’s guarantor against any threat from
the Left – and viewed the NorthAtlanticTreatyOrganisation in this light. As a
result, like many on the party’s Left, Miliband saw Labour ending its close association with Washington as a pre-requisite for building socialism in Britain.
A second feature of Miliband’s broader analysis was his rejection of Gaitskell’s
‘revisionist’ argument – most openly articulated by Anthony Crosland in The
the second part of the
century. Security was to be ensured through collective security and collective defence, hence the active commitment to the United Nations (UN)
and the NorthAtlanticTreatyOrganisation (NATO). Belgium has
searched for a ‘voice’ in politico-strategic and economic diplomacy
through multilateralism and through participation in a decision-making
process which rested not on directoires by the great powers but on the
institutional rules of international organisations. Even if both the UN and
NATO have offered forums of great importance for its