Saturday, March 21, 2009

What I'm Reading


McCormick, J. (2008).  Understanding the European Union.  United

Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan. 

I really enjoyed the book by McCormick, which was a very thorough and

up to date explanation of the origins and history of the European

Union.  The book starts with a general description of international

organizations of various kinds, and defines the terms used in the

discussion: states, nations, confederations, et cetera. 

The subject of integration is raised and functionalism discussed.

Cooperation leads to becoming so integrated that small changes will

begin to occur on larger issues. 

Regional integration is a fact around the world.  Some regions are

better integrated, and some regions have institutional problems that

prevent better integration. 

The author gives an historical analysis of the evolution of the

European Union and steps toward integration.  The problems encountered

and the solutions proposed were over come through continued

negotiations, trying different solutions until policy consensus is

reached.  There is still work to be done on a constitution, and a

common foreign policy. 

McCormick filled a large gap in my knowledge of European Union

internal politics and decision making.  The European Commission, the

Council of Ministers, and the Parliament all have a part in the

decision making process.  The roles of the Court of Justice, and the

European Council are described. 

The European role in the global economy is examined, along with

development aid for former colonies. 

The book is up dated to 2008, with most recent accessions to the EU

included.  The book?s argument that the rise of the European Union is

one of the most important developments in global politics is valid,

and I agree with it.  I think the peaceful growth of the EU is why the

subject has been devalued in United States media and culture.  Violent

change always attracts attention.  The EU, by virtue of its quiet

change, does not attract the short attention span of United States media.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The EU NATO and Collective Security

The European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Collective Security.

A casual United States observer would think that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance appears to function as the Defense department for the European Union (EU), however the NATO alliance actually predates the EU. The North Atlantic Treaty was signed in Washington, D.C. by Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, The United Kingdom, and the United States in April 1949(Sandler & Hartley, p55). The Treaty of Paris which created the European Coal and Steel Community was signed by France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg was signed in April 1951 (McCormick, p216).

The first expansion of the NATO alliance occurred in February 1952 when Greece and Turkey joined the alliance. Article 10 of the NATO treaty states: By unanamous consent, any other European state can join NATO (Sandler & Hartley, p26). Thus NATO had its first expansion before the West German state was able to join the Western European Union (WEU), with Italy, in 1954. The running joke at the time was NATO was formed to keep the United States in Europe, the Soviets out of Europe and the Germans under control. In 1955 West Germany joined NATO. The respose from the polarized east was to form the Warsaw Pact of Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Romania.

The treaty of Rome was signed in March 1957 creating the European Economic Community (EEC). The first expansion for the EU occurred when Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom joined the EEC in January 1973. The second EU expansion was for Greece in 1981. In 1982, Spain joins NATO; in 1986 Spain and Portugal become members of the EEC.

After the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, a unified Germany became a member of NATO. By 1991 the Warsaw Pact has disbanded, and the foreign ministers of Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia express the wish to join NATO. In Brussels, the first meeting of the North Atlantic Council (NAC) is held with foreign ministers attending from the NATO Countries and nine Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries (Sandler & Hartley, p54).

Austria applies for EEC membership in 1989; Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Denmark apply to join the EEC in 1992. Switzerland also applies in 1992. In 1995 Sweden, Finland, and Austria join the European Union, and Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania apply for accession. In 1996, the Czech Republic and Slovenia apply for EU membership. These two states are the first members to apply from nation states that desintigrated with the collapse of the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. In 1999, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary joined the NATO alliance.

In 2004, the EU expanded to 25 members with the addition of Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, and Slovakia.

Currently there are 27 EU member states and 26 NATO member states.


Canada - not eu
Czech Republic
Iceland - not eu
Norway - not eu
Turkey - not eu
United Kingdom
United States - not eu


Austria - not nato
Cyprus - not nato
Czech Republic
Finland - not nato
Ireland - not nato
Malta - not nato
Sweden - not nato
United Kingdom

It is shown that there is not perfect symetry between NATO and the EU. There are costs and benefits that come with expansion. For NATO member states, potential benefits include:
collective defense
encourage political reforms and stability in entrants
support for economic and political integration
improved relations among neighbor states
further adaptation of NATO to the post cold war environment

potential expansion costs:

enlargement costs of infrastructure, logistics, and interoperability of forces
risk from entrants ethnic and territorial disputes
joint exercises
larger concensus
entrants force modernization
(Sandler & Hartley, p71)

For EU entrants, cost include:
Loss of sovreignty and national independence
Reduced power of national government
Little public input on integration issues
Increased competition and job loss after removal of market protections
Progressive state norms may be reduced to help integrate states with lower standards
Cross border criminal activity may increase with lessening of border controls

Benefits to EU membership:

Cooperation makes war and conflict less likely
The single market is a larger pool of customers for European businesses
Freedom of cross border movement
Pooling of economic and social resources
Member states enjoy increased global power and influence
Less advanced states rise to the standards maintained by progressive states
Investment creates new opportunities in the poorer regions of the EU
Democracy is promoted in member states
(McCormick, p7).

NATO was formed post WWII as a defense pact, with the presumption that the attack would come from the Soviet Union. Thw c ollapse of the Soviet gave an opportunity to redraw or create something new in place of the NATO alliance. Yet instead we saw a expansion of NATO. The first time NATO forces were dispatched to fight was in the former Yugoslavia. Not used in defense but used as humanitarian intervention. NATO air strikes forced a cease fire in Bosnia, with NATO groundtroops replaceing United Nations (UN) forces in 1995. There was no hesitation when the need for intervention appeared in Kosovo and the Republic of Macedonia, but the intervention also consisted of diplomatic support, direct aid, and sanctions. This speaks to the issue of collective security as different from ‘defense’. NATO was formed as a defensive alliance. The Alliance and its collective nation states were not directly threatened by the ethnic militias and autocratic demogogues in the former Yugoslavia. However the EU’s collective security was certainly threatened by the prospects of failed states and genecidal refugees. These are the breeding grounds for terrorism and dictatorship. Leonard (2005) has European strategic doctrine very different from America’s. Force may be necessary to defend Europe’s values, but will never be a part of European foreign policy. Contrast this with the United States use of military force as a cornerstone of US foreign policy.

Some of the newer members of NATO had devalued their military, and had no desire to rebuild. To integrate these nations into the NATO operations system they were allowed to develope boutique forces, for example Romania’s Moountain Division, or Norway’s Rapid Reponse Force. This is the true strength of the European model, the slow but steady evolutionary growth, involving member states with real responsibility. NATO has used this incremental to good effect. The NAC pledged resources to the UN, Organization for Security and Cooperation Europe (OSCE), and the EU to bring peace to the Balkans. At a NATO Defence Planning Committee in 1992, NATO defense ministers supported including UN and OSCE peacekeeping among NATO missions. By 1993, NATO defense ministers were supporting Combined Joint Task Forces (CJTF) and designing the Partnership for Peace (PFP) program.

In 1994, German constitutional restrictions on the use of German forces in peacekeeping missions abroad were removed by German courts. This same year, in Poland, the first PFP exercises were held (Sandler and Hartley, p55). By 1997, NATO led forces replaced the UN forces in Bosnia.

This European style incrementalism has been used with NATO - Russian Federation relations. The Founding Act on Mutual Relations Cooperation and Security is signed in 1997 between the Russian Federation and NATO. NATO and 26 partner nationsconvene the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) as a sucessor to the PFP and the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC).

The question for the future will be further expansion of the EU, and further expansion of the EU model. A common labor market between the United States and Mexico would do much to allieviate the illegal immigration problem in the United States, but Mexico would have great problems bringing its economy in line to support its own labor market.

The Russian Federation could request acession to the EU, without NATO involvement, yet like the United States have issues with sovreinty. The EU members delegate some of their decision making power to shared institutions they have created, so that decisions on specific matters of joint interest can be made democratically (

It is probable that the United States and Russian Federation are not yet ready to provide defense using collective security and shared sovreinty. Other nations are starting down this road however. The leaders of ten Southeast Asian countries have signed a declaration to integrate their economies and construct a political union modelled on that of the European Union (Phillips). Just like the EU there will be taboo subjects, such as varying norms on civil and human rights, and the disparities between the economies will make it difficult to reach common standards. The Association of Southeast Asain Nations (ASEAN) plan looks to build a common market, without a common currency, in six years. The six countries that founded the European Coal and Steel Community took fifty years of incremental institutional engagement to become the twenty-seven member European Union. The twelve countries that signed the North Atlantic Treaty also grew to twenty-six member states over fifty years of incremental engagement. The NATO defense forces have never been used for defense. They took the offensive against humanitarian abuses in the Balkans, which were a security threat to the stability of Europe. In fifty years we should hope to see the same type of positive growth from the ASEAN countries, and possibly other continent based models.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Article Review

M.E. Smith
Conforming to Europe:
the domestic impact of EU foreign policy.

Journal of European Public Policy 7:4 October 2000

The author’s purpose is to offer a conceptual framework to organize information exploring the general relationship between EU member state domestic politics and EU foreign policy (614). The author examines the way EU membership ‘Europeanizes’ member states.

CFSP issues condition EU member states to orient foreign policy making, even though foreign policy has always been reserved as a special domain of national governments. Also, EU membership is based on economics, and political cooperation is not required of EU states.

Political cooperation developed in parallel with economic cooperation. But political cooperation was restrained by EU member state reluctance, thus developed its own institutional growth based on
intergovernment bargaining over the issue of political cooperation itself. The growth entailed: creation of a communication network among foreign ministers, political agents and foreign policy specialists; codifying norms; increased involvement of EC actors; and the establishment of policy processes (615).

This development, Smith argues, has gradually worked its way into the domestic politics of EU member states. The norms established reorient states to ‘problem solving’ as opposed to ‘bargaining’ as a style of decision making (615).

Bargaining the author defines as satisfaction of self interests through trade offs. Problem solving involves appeal to common interests. The norms established provided the environment for cooperation.

States engaged in regular communication and consultation before adopting a final position so as not to catch partners by surprise. Establishing this norm lead to an increase in telecomm traffic and real sharing of sensitive information. This fosters a community view on ‘European issues’.

Confidentiality is the second norm guiding CFSP. Third is using consensus to make decisions. This strengthens the smaller states. QMV is an option, but knowing that a state can block a policy, makes discussions less threatening.

The fourth norm is a realization that there are issues considered off limits. Usually, involving unilateral problems (616). This norm prevented discussions of many issues, however, as CFSP developed, this norm has evolved. The gradual expansion of political cooperation now includes previously taboo subjects (617).

EU member state domestic politics have adapted to the CFSP with elite socialization, bureaucratic reorganization, and constitutional change. There has also been an increase in public support for political cooperation.

Elite socialization takes place in a transgovernmental communication network: the COREU telex network, EPC working groups, joint declarations, joint reporting, staff exchanges among foreign ministries and shared embassies. All these have moved the conduct of national foreign policy away from the old nation state model toward amore collective endeavor, a form of high level networking with tranformationalist effects and even more potential (Hill and Wallace 1996).

Visible bureaucratic adaptation to political cooperation appears in the national foreign policy ministries. Political cooperation becomes a national priority. Member states are responsible for common positions, and act to the benefit of the EU. New national officials are approved, expansion of diplomatic corps occurs, along with administrative reorganization and expansion of foreign ministries (620).

A main point of the article is the responsibility that comes with membership. The EU Presidency of Spain in 1989 was the biggest task ever undertaken by the government and Spanish administration (Barbe, 1996). EU member state foreign ministries have been able to assert political control over external relations due to the need to coordinate foreign policies between The EC and the EPC. Small states also benefit from large state presence outside Europe.

The EU also has been prepared to aid in nation building. When Greece held the Presidency in 1983, its civil service, state bureaucracy, and domestic legal system were underdeveloped. Spain created a General Secretary for Foreign Policy to make its Foreign Ministry compatible with EPC (Barbe).

EU states have been willing to reorient national legal structures to the demands of European integration (624). States have engaged in constitutional debates, and neutral states have had to consider positions on security and defense issues to justify accession and pacify electorates.

Public support for political cooperation is an area of interest for European citizens. The author notes that much of the growth of support is owing to the issue appearing on a national agenda, citizens going from unconcerned opinions to pro-European opinions.

The constant process of institution building at the EU level has resonated back to the foreign policy culture of the EU states (628). The obligations become part of the foreign policy processes of the states.

The article was written before the historic expansion of the EU in 2004. The norms established and described in the article have proven capable of providing for the problem free accession of the ten new members in 2004, and Bulgaria and Romania in 2007.