EU’s New Security Doctrine: Urges & Motives?

 

By Syed Qamar Rizvi.

 

The international order is under the flux of vicissitude and reformation vis-à-vis old security paradigm versus new. The EU has moved a step closer towards having a joint military force by signing an agreement on a permanent command structure. In other words, this is the first step towards the decentralisation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ( NATO). And as it is clearly manifested, by taking such an Initiative ,  the European Union seems to have moved out from the Transatlantic community trajectory. Though the current development is an end result of gradualism, Trump’s policy towards Europe has assisted the EU block in concluding this historical agreement.

The agreement on PESCO, or Permanent Structured Cooperation, was signed in Brussels by 23 members of the 28-strong European Union. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini supported the move, hailing it as an “historic moment.” Backed by a €5-billion ($6.5-billion) EU defense fund, PESCO “will enable member states to use the economy of scale of Europe and in this manner to fulfil the gap of output that we have.”

The agreement will come into force in December, after which members will be legally bound to participate in projects under PESCO. Work on the pact started last year amid uncertainty over the UK’s decision to withdraw from the European Union, and US President Donald Trump’s continued criticism of European NATO members for failing to deliver on defense-spending commitments.

Hoping to add to its deterrent factor against Russia, NATO defence ministers agreed to create an Atlantic command and a logistics command to help respond more quickly to threats in Europe, officials said.“ This is vital for our transatlantic alliance,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference. “It is about how to move forces across the Atlantic and how to move forces across Europe.”

New gas interconnectors between Central and East European countries have interconnected “EU energy islands” and allow a much better crisis supply of gas, together with new reverse-flow capacities. However, not all of the “energy islands” have been interconnected. The EU’s short-term measures are still constrained at least for some member states, though this will change over the next two to three years.

The EU gas supply situation has also changed. Russia transports only 53 per cent of its gas exports to Europe – in comparison to 80 per cent in 2009 – through the Ukrainian pipeline network, due to the opening of the Nord Stream pipeline. The strategic question is no longer whether Europe has alternative gas import diversification options. It is rather whether European member states have the political will and strategic vision to oppose Russian pressure; formulate coherent national strategies; and bring national interests and strategies in compliance with the declared common EU energy and gas diversification policies.

Western economic and energy experts have often claimed a mutual interdependence between the EU and Russia: the EU is dependent on Russian gas and other energy exports; Russia is dependent on the EU as its most important gas export market, European investments and technologies.

Regardless of what assurances were given, some in the West believe that it was a major error of policy to alienate Moscow by enlarging NATO without providing for a wider European security arrangement that included Russia. http://www.ecfr.eu/…/commentary_nato_enlargement_assurances_and_misunderstandings

Hoping to add to its deterrent factor against Russia, NATO defence ministers agreed to create an Atlantic command and a logistics command to help respond more quickly to threats in Europe, officials said. The top three issue that have refined the transatlantic military partnership are: Europe policy towards Russia, EU policy towards US’s projected Nato’s eastward expansion, and the issue of Ukraine.

“It is about how to move forces across the Atlantic and how to move forces across Europe.” Costs will not be discussed until 2018 but the two new regional bases have broad support and show NATO’s focus on its traditional task of defending its territory after out-of-area campaigns in the Balkans, Libya and Afghanistan in recent years. But the most significant departure characterized by this security development is that the European security matrix-an intermingling of the NATO, European security and Defense policy, and the common security and foreign policy (CSFP) has trended now to become an inwardly looking paradigm. The European security policy is seemingly security fixed towards Russia than its past orientation towards America.

Any sanctions on its energy sector and gas businesses from Europe cannot compensate it by Russia by re-directing its gas exports to China, due to a lack of gas transport infrastructure. It is rather whether European member states have the political will and strategic vision to oppose Russian pressure; formulate coherent national strategies; and bring national interests and strategies in compliance with the declared common EU energy and gas diversification policies.

And here’s why: The Southern Gas Corridor project will open in a few years importing gas from the Caspian region and – for the first time – circumventing Russia, which will lose its gas export monopoly from the region to Europe. Europe gets 30 per cent of its gas imports from Russia, paying around US$250 billion in annual energy bills. But any way, two impressions are windowing from this independent European security system: one that the international order is under the current and cross-current of change where the US-dominated global regime is losing its grip, and second that Europe cannot annoy Russia.https://www.nato.int/docu/review/2014/nato-energy…on…Russia…/index.htm

 

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