Possibility of NATO and the EU/CFSP Cooperation in the New Security Ecosystem

Article

On 1 August 1975 the participating States to the Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE) adopted the Final Act of Helsinki. This Act, a political document which was not meant to be legally binding, contained the basic principles for East-West dialogue and coexistence....

Dr. Gökhan AK
Nişantaşı University

1. A Short Snap-Shot to Organizational Security Structure in Europe Security in Europe is the realm of several regional international organizations, mainly the European Union (EU), WEU, NATO, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and, to a lesser extent, the Council of Europe, creating a patchwork of regional security institutions that is unique in the world. These main actors on the European security stage, which interact in many ways and are mutually reinforcing (1), can be briefly introduced as follows.

On 1 August 1975 the participating States to the Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE) adopted the Final Act of Helsinki. This Act, a political document which was not meant to be legally binding, contained the basic principles for East-West dialogue and coexistence. It was also one of the first official documents that recognized a broad security concept: the ‘human dimension’ was an integral part of the Final Act (2). Further, it was the start of a process which increasingly led from co-existence to co-operation and to a gradual institutionalization. The latter process led to the transformation of the CSCE into the OSCE (3) The OSCE is characterized by its broad security concept, its large membership (55 States) and its political character (OSCE decisions and documents are of a political rather than a legal nature, e.g. the 1990 Charter of Paris for a New Europe, with some notable exceptions, such as the CFE Treaty4) and consensual nature (decisions require unanimity, though exceptionally unanimity ‘minus one’ - a State grossly violating its OSCE commitments - or ‘minus two’ - the parties to a conflict - is possible).

At present the OSCE has a number of permanent institutions, of which the Secretariat, the Conflict Prevention Centre (‘CPC’), the High Commissioner for National Minorities (‘HCNM’) and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (‘ODIHR’) are the most important ones for our study. Further, the Chairman-in-Office plays a great role in day-to-day management. It is claimed that OSCE is mostly responsible for the establishment of democracy and freedom in post-crises countries and areas, including regarding consequent management.

(1) Jan Wouters and Frederik Naert, How Effective is the European Security Architecture? Lessons from Bosnia and Kosovo, Catholic University Leuven Faculty of Law, Institute for International Law Working Paper No: 6, May 2001, p. 3, consulted at http://www.law.kuleuven.ac.be/iir/eng/wp/WP6e.pdf.

(2) See Principle VII and the ‘basket’ titled ‘Co-operation in Humanitarian and Other Fields’. See also the European Security Charter (Istanbul, 19 November 1999, (2000) 39 I.L.M. 255, para. 9.

(3) CSCE, ‘Towards a Genuine Partnership in a New Era’, Budapest, 6 December 1994. We will hereafter always use ‘OSCE’, even when reference could be made to the CSCE.

(4) Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, Paris, 19 November 1990 (thoroughly amended at Istanbul on 19 November 1999, but the amendment has not yet entered into force).

Link to the related book: New Security Ecosystem and Multilateral Cost
 
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