Turkey’s Contribution to Common Foreign and Security Policy of EU, speech at the European Forum Vachau, Krems (Austria) 4 June 2005

TURKEY’S CONTRIBUTION TO COMMON FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY OF EU

European Forum Wachau  Krems (Austria), 4 June 2005

Mr. Chairman,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 Introduction

 It is great pleasure and honour for me to address such a distinguished audience.

 The title of the work of our Working Group is “The Contribution of the New Member States to the Common Foreign and Security Policy CFSP)”. Turkey does not enter automatically within the scope of the New Member States, because it is not a Member State. It is only a candidate country, or if we use more appropriate EU terminology, it is a Negotiating country. The decision to start accession negotiations with Turkey was made during the EU Summit of December 2004, and the negotiations are due to start on 3 October this year.

 However I presume that what is expected to be discussed in this forum is not county reports that contain the contributions that each of the Member States are making at present to the CFSP. It may be more appropriate if we discuss ways and means each new Member State may contribute to the CFSP.

 What are the frameworks that allow the new Member States to contribute to the CFSP? This question leads us to an area outside the exercise of shaping foreign policy of the EU and security policy of the EU. Member countries, old or new, have the possibility of contributing to the shaping of the foreign policy of the EU through their representative in the European Council or in the European Parliament.

 I understand that what is meant here is the specific framework of the CFSP. There are two existing general frameworks that allow the new Member States to contribute to the foreign and security policy of the EU. Of course, this does not mean that contributions may not be made outside these frameworks. These two frameworks are:

 –  One is the European Defence and Security Policy (ESDP), and the second is

–   The Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) itself.

 These two frameworks are closely related to each other, they have many overlapping features, but they are still two different concepts. The distinguished members who come from the Member countries will be in a better position than me to point out how they can contribute to the CFSP. I will leave this area to them, and focus my statement to the contributions that a non member country may make through the ESDP, because this is where Turkey’s experience may be useful for the member countries of the EU. This is the area where Turkey is making at present substantive contribution to the CFSP in an indirect manner through the ESDP, because it is not yet a full member of the EU.

 European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP)

  The EU has made considerable progress in adding depth to the ESDP as well as in developing its military and civilian capabilities. The EU, in cooperation with NATO has developed the following concepts:

 – a European Security Strategy,

 – the EU Headline Goal 2010,

 – the establishment of the European Defence Agency and

 – the evolution of the Battle Groups Concept

EU countries that are at the same NATO countries may contribute to the work carried out within these frameworks. But it is not necessary for a country to be a member of both NATO and EU in order to contribute to this. It could bring this contribution as only an EU Member country as well.

 The ESDP has two dimensions:

–         Civilian dimension,

–         Military dimension

Military dimension of the ESDP 

Military dimension of the ESDP deals mainly with crisis management activities for EU and NATO and includes military missions and operations as well as the establishment of institutions such as the European Defence Agency.

Macedonia

The very first EU operation where the EU utilized NATO facilities and capabilities was in an operation carried out in Macedonia. The operation was called Concordia and was carried out between 31 March and 15 December 2003. Turkey participated in this operation with 2 liaison teams and 11 military personnel deployed in the Headquarters in Skopia.

Another operation in Macedonia was called Proxima and involved a police mission. This is a small mission that any EU Member country could easily afford to participate. Turkey participates in Proxima with 6 police officers and two gendarmes. Though it looks modest, this contribution is highest among non-member States of the EU and 6th biggest among all contributing countries including EU member States. Proxima mission will be completed on 15 December 2005.

Bosnia-Herzegovina

A joint EU-NATO operation carried out in Bosnia-Herzegovina is called EUFOR-ALTHEA. It started on 2 December 2004. This operation requires more substantial contribution and is suitable for countries that may contemplate to send a few hundred troops to Bosnia-Herzegovina. Turkey participates in it with around 400 military personnel.

Battle Groups  

The idea of establishing Battle Groups composed 1500 troops was proposed by the UK, France and Germany. This Group could be deployed in a period of maximum 15 days in all whether conditions and in all parts of the world. It will have the capability to penetrate a given area and prepare the ground for the arrival of more troops.

During the meeting of the Ministers of Defence held in Brussels on 22 November 2004, the EU countries pledged their contribution to such Battle Groups and it has become clear that 13 such Groups will be established.

Willing Member States of EU may wish to come together and pledge the quantity of troops that they can afford. What is expected in the project is not to make available a homogenous national contingent. The original idea is to see to what extend, troops from various countries can operate in a coordinated manner under crisis conditions.

For instance, Turkey pledged to contribute to this EU project. According to a letter of intention signed by Turkey, Italy and Romania, one of these 13 Battle Groups will be composed of the troops to be provided by these three countries; The negotiation of the technical agreement will be completed in 2006; joint manoeuvres will start in 2007; full capability will be reached in 2009; and the joint Battle Group will be declared to the EU in 2010.

European Defence Agency (EDA)

The European Defence Agency is established at the margin of the unofficial meeting of the Defence Ministers of the EU countries held in Noordwijk. The Steering Board of the Agency held already its first meeting.

During the meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Western European Armament Group (WEAG) held in Brussels in December 2004, it was decided to dissolve the WEAG in June 2005 and to transfer its task to the European Defence Agency. This is an interesting framework for countries that possess competitive defence industry.

European Gendarmerie Force

A statement of intent was signed at the margin of the meeting of the Ministers of Defence of France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Netherlands held in Noordwijk to establish a European Gendarmerie Force.

This force will start with an initial number of 800 and will have 2300 reserve personnel. It will have the capability to be deployed within 30 days in case of need. The headquarters will be in Vicenza, Italy. The force will not be deployed only for EU operations, but also for UN, OSCE and NATO operations. The Force will also be used to secure public order in areas where a military operation is carried out and in cases of organised crime.

A contribution to this Force be interesting for Member countries that have experience in this field. 

Civilian Dimension of the ESDP

The EU believes that the crisis management operations should not include only the military elements, but it should also include civilian elements. In conformity with this approach, the EU summit of June 2004 adopted the Plan of Action of the Civilian Dimension of the ESDP. A pledging conference was held in Brussels on 22 November 2004.

Macedonia

Very first civilian crisis management operation carried out within the framework of ESDP took place in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It started on 1 January 2003 and is called EU Police Mission (EUPM). It is still an ongoing programme for the member countries wishing to contribute to it.

Bosnia-Herzegovina

There is another NATO/EU police mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Member countries may wish to contribute to it. Turkey participates with 23 gendarmes in this police mission.

  Congo

The EU has deployed a police mission in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. It will be composed of 23 personnel all together. 10 non member States of EU were invited to participate in the mission. Together with the mission in Iraq these are two missions outside Europe.

Iraq 

General Affairs and Foreign Affairs Council of the EU decided on 21 February 2005 to establish an “Integrated Mission of Police, Rule of Law and Civilian Administration” in Iraq. This particular programme calls more neighbouring countries to Iraq to participate in it. But I believe that Iraq will need many such programs before the situation is permanently stabilized. Turkey informed the EU authorities of its intention to participate in the mission in virtue of the article 12 of Nice Implementation Document.

Palestine

EU Council adopted in December 2004 a Plan of Action for the Middle East Peace Process. 4 EU police officers are working in the Palestinian Ministry of Interior. A Coordination Office for the Support to the Palestinian Police is established in Ramallah on 20 April 2005. The Office did not yet acquire the status of an ESDP mission.

Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)

Now I turn to Common Foreign and Security Policy.

The idea of developing a concept of Common Foreign and Security Policy started to emerge in the EU as early as the beginning of 1990s. The foundations of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) were laid by the Maastricht Treaty of 1993. This Treaty   transformed the CFSP into the second pillar of the European Union. The member countries of the EU decided develop a Common Foreign Policy and this meant to go beyond the political cooperation among the member countries of the EU.

Member countries must have developed proper channels and methods to contribute to the CFSP.

Turkey is participating, since the date of its official recognition as a candidate country during the Helsinki Summit of the EU in 1999 in various activities of the EU within the framework of CSFP but only in its capacity as a Negotiating Country and not as a full member of the EU. Therefore this participation remains limited to the activities such as the following:

  • Turkey holds regular consultations under the auspices of the rotating Presidency of the European Union. It contributes to the shaping of the CSDP through this mechanism on subjects where it has an accumulation of experience.
  • Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs briefs regularly the Ambassadors of the member and candidate countries of the EU on subjects that are important for Turkey.
  • Meetings of political dialogue held at the level of political directors of the member countries of the EU.
  • Co-sponsorship for proposals, communiqués or common position papers submitted by the EU in international fora.

European Neighbourhood Policy 

In addition to the CFSP, the European Union has also developed a European Neighbourhood Policy.  This Policy is designed to share EU’s experience to consolidate the stability and to increase the security in the neighbourhood of the EU.

            I believe that this policy of the EU will prevent further fragmentation in the countries neighbouring the EU area.

Member countries that have common borders with countries that fall within the framework of the Neighbourhood Policy will be in a beter position to contribute to this  programme. Turkey will continue to contribute to the CFSP and Neighbourhood Policy by sharing with the EU its knowledge and experience of the adjacent regions to Turkey such as the Balkans, Caucasus and Eastern Mediterranean.

To conclude my words, I would like to point out that the CFSP will be more successful when the member countries will be able to transcend their national interests and perceive the CFSP as their own common stake.

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