EU Strategy: ,,Preemptive Wars", worldwide

THESSALONIKI | | iran

THESSALONIKI The option of waging wars of aggression ( ,,preemptive wars") was explicitly provided for in the EU's first security strategy that had been initiated by Berlin. They say that the EU has to be globally able to intervene militarily wherever its security interests might be endangered, they say.

Drawing up an independent security doctrine - the first in EU history - was started at the initiative of Berlin, which wants to bind the EU nations to a common course of military and foreign policy after their conflicts over the war against Iraq. The EU foreign ministers had decided on ,,Basic Principles"and a detailed ,,Plan of Action"at their meeting in Luxemburg. At the summit in Thessaloniki, the draft for a EU security strategy, titled: ,,A Secure Europe in a Better World", was adopted. The Council of Ministers, in cooperation with the European Commission, is supposed to devise a detailed strategy before December.

The adopted paper explicitly provides for the option of waging wars of aggression ( ,,preemptive wars"). They claim that the traditional concept of self-defense would be insufficient today. ,,Preventive implementation of force"was now necessary: ,,We should be ready to act before a crisis occurs (...) We need to develop a strategic culture that fosters early, rapid, and when necessary, robust intervention."In the future, the EU must be able to intervene militarily worldwide wherever its security interests are endangered: ,,The European Union is a global actor; it should be ready to share in the responsibility for global security."The EU should exercise its role as a world power in cooperation with the U.S.: The U.S. is indeed dominating militarily but not able to fill this position on its own.

German Foreign Minister Fischer appeared satisfied with the results of his initiative and declared that the adopted paper was ,,the first draft on the basis of which continuing work is really productive". At the same time, he demanded that the EU will have to start preparations for the practical steps necessary to put the new strategy into action; he now expects a ,,more operative orientation towards the extended concept of security."

Iran is the first nation to have been the focus of the new strategy. 1)The EU heads of state and government threaten Iran with a wide range of graduated sanctions if Teheran does not comply with EU and U.S. demands. Fischer stated that the EU was ,,very, very concerned about the nuclearization of a Middle Eastern nation - and that is yet cautiously worded."The sanctions could range from political pressure to a blockade of trade to a military attack ( ,,robust intervention").

1) See also earlier article War or Change of Regime

Sources:
EU droht mit Gewalt gegen Schurkenstaaten; Berliner Zeitung 17.06.2003
Brüssel droht iranischer Führung; Frankfurter Rundschau 17.06.2003
A secure Europe in a better world; ue.eu.int 20.06.2003
Wieder Anschluß an Amerika finden. Die neue Sicherheitsstrategie der EU; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 21.06.2003