The Lisbon Reform Treaty: internal and external implications
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem thth13-14 July, 2008
THE TRANSATLANTIC RELATIONS AFTER THE LISBON TREATY –OR
Prof. Dr. Natividad Fernández Sola, University of Zaragoza (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Prof. Dr. David García Cantalapiedra, Complutense University of Madrid
After a short revision of changes in international system that affect transatlantic relations, this paper analyses the impact of the Lisbon Treaty on the Transatlantic Relations, even if they are not expressly treated in it. We try to show that main innovations on CFSP and ESDP are able to improve the transatlantic link. Accordingly, a refusal to the amendment Treaty after Irish referendum would imply an impasse or and stand by situation for this relationship. However, as much of the Treaty provisions are jet implemented or could be decided to apply outside the constitutional path, the real impact of the eventual fall or slow down in the ratification process would not be formally a drama.
But, the impasse of the Lisbon Treaty has other psychological consequences inside and outside the European Union, on member states attitude and on international community perceptions about the Union that will affect negatively the transatlantic link. A change of perspective is urgently needed in the EU about its actual role in world affairs and the best way to assume its international responsibilities in global governance.
1. The international environment in which the Lisbon Treaty was adopted
1.1 The International System in the Post-9/11 World
The International System after the end of the Cold War and the 9/11 attacks has clearly and deeply changed. There is a more anarchical International System with different parameters than those from the Cold War, and with a different and asymmetrical distribution of power and capabilities at global and transatlantic level. There is a clear US military superiority (pre-eminence), with a concert of great powers
at economic level (US, EU, Japan, China, some BRICs). And, as a result of certain US
policies and behaviour during the years of the Bush Administration, weakened
acceptance of the US role as a benign hegemon (weakened normative pre-eminence).
This results in a Complex Polarity in the international system, a kind of “Unipolarity-
1Multipolarity complex”, which was most clearly perceived after the Iraq crisis.
Following the 9/11 events, the Global War on Terror, GWOT, a new 2002
National Security Strategy were established by President Bush. This strategy
establishes an approach to fight terror (WMD, terrorist and tyrants), re-creating the
Reagan approach of “Peace through Strength”, restoring the militarization of US
Foreign Policy, including the rhetoric of the fight against Evil (Evil Empire, Axis of
Evil) as its key ideological aspect. Thus, the GWOT is not only the fight against
terrorism as most European countries understand it. It is not only a fight against
“classical” terrorist organizations such as IRA, ETA, Bader-Meinhoff, Red Brigades,
Hamas, Jihad Islamic o Hezbollah, but a fight against the following aspects:
- Terrorist groups, organized crime,
- Proliferation of WMD.
-Aggressive regional behaviour; support of terrorism; WMD proliferation by
non-democratic states and so-called Rogue States.
This is the “renaissance” of the Reagan Doctrine, in form of the so-called Bush
Doctrine. The Reagan Doctrine identified firstly those that were the objective of the
US Counterterrorist Policy: the so-called “League of Terror”. Later, the Clinton
Administration called them “Rogue States” and the Bush Administration called them
the “Axis of Evil”. They were the same countries: Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, and North
2Korea. The Reagan Administration had also begun to consider a turn in common anti-
terrorist policies toward a more pre-emptive approach. On July 4, 1984, Secretary of
State George Shultz made the following statement at the Jonathan Institute in
1 There are some recently published analysis that maintain different postures about US position and the structure of International system. In this vein, for a neoliberal posture see Zakaria, Fareed.“The Future of American Power”. Foreign Affairs. Vol. 83. nº.3. May 2008. pp. 18-43. In the same issue a realist posture in Hass, Richard. “The Age of Nonpolarity”, pp. 44-56; see also, from a neocon point of view Lieber, Robert.
“Falling Upwards: Declinism, the Box set”. World Affairs. Summer 2008.
2 “The US has responded to Low Intensity Conflict through a counter terrorist policy, political and economic support of developing nations, helping governments combat LI aggression, contingency operations, suppression of illegal drug trafficking and peacekeeping operations”. National Security Decision Directive NSDD 277. National Policy and Strategy for Low Intensity Conflict. The White House. June 15, 1987. p. 1; see also NSDD 159. Covert Action Policy Approval and Coordination Procedures. The White House.18 January 1985
Can we as a country, can the community of free nations, stand in a purely
defensive posture and absorb the blows dealt by terrorists? I think not.
From a practical standpoint, a purely passive defence does not provide
enough of a deterrent to terrorism and the states that sponsor it. It is time
to think long, hard and seriously about more active means of defence-
defence through appropriate preventive or pre-emptive actions against 3terrorist groups before they strike”
This conviction would later help to create the Bush Doctrine and an approach
based on pre-emptive action. For Bush Administration neoconservatives, the behaviour
of these countries could be contained but not always and not forever. In fact, this rogue
behaviour is only the “effect”; the idea was to attack the origin of this conduct, and the
origin of this conduct is the nature of the regime itself: a posture of containment cannot
be indefinitely sustained because this could fail, and then pre-emptive action or even a
regime change is seen as the only solution. The Bush Doctrine then would go beyond
4Containment and Deterrence, moving towards Prevention and Compellance. Both the
National Security Strategy 2002 and its later revision of 2006 focus on global terrorism
and terrorists as non-state actors. The NSS 2002 states:
“We will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary, to exercise our right of
self-defence by acting pre-emptively against such terrorists, to prevent
them from doing harm against our people and our country . . . Prevent
attacks by terrorist networks before they occur. A government has no
higher obligation than to protect the lives and livelihoods of its citizens.
The hard core of the terrorists cannot be deterred or reformed; they must 5be tracked down, killed, or captured”.
Accordingly, the NSS 2006 establishes that the United States and its allies “make
no distinction between those who commit acts of terror and those who support and
6harbour them ...”
If necessary, however, under long-standing principles of self-defence, we
do not rule out the use of force before attacks occur, even if uncertainty
remains as to the time and place of the enemy’s attack. When the
consequences of an attack with WMD are potentially so devastating, we
3 Netanyahu, B. (ed) Terrorism: How the West can win. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. NY. 1986. pág. 16-17, 23
4 See Condoleezza Rice discusses President’s National Security Strategy. Wriston Lectures, Manhatan Institute. New York. Office of Press Secretary. The White House. October 1, 2002
5 George W. Bush, The National Security Strategy of the United States of America (Washington: The White
House, September 2002), p. 6 and 12
6 See Guertner, G. “European Views of Preemption in US National Security Strategy”. Parameters, Summer
2007, pp. 31-44
cannot afford to stand idly by as grave dangers materialize. This is the 7logic of pre-emption”
It is also important to expose the underlying assumptions of the NSS 2002
language: since Reagan’s NSSs, a state of war had not been assumed, when the
objectives of defending and expanding peace were asserted. In Clinton’s NSSs, there
can be found a clear assumption of peace, using enlargement and engagement to
8reinforce this situation. Moreover, the 2002 NSSD introduces a set of concepts that,
although they do not appear clearly in the document, can be envisaged as core
assumptions in the conduct of the US Foreign Policy and Strategy. Taking into account
these characteristics, the Peace through Strength motto reaches its ultimate
manifestation, changing to Peace through Primacy. US Grand Strategy would be an
Imperial Primacy. This approach, however, is not couched in terms of a relationship of
dominance and subordination between a metropolis and its colonies but rather in terms
9of the nature and implementation of power. In this sense, this primacy would be
sustained by military superiority, dissuading possible competitors from challenging the
US position in the International System and the order it promotes and defends:
“The foundation of a peaceful world for us and for our posterity rests on
the ability of the US Armed Forces to maintain a substantial margin of
national military advantage relative to others. The US uses this advantage
not to dominate others, but through cooperation with its friends and allies
around the world to dissuade new functional or geographic military
competitions from emerging and to manage them if they do”.
“The US is committed to expanding its network of friendships and
alliances with the aim that eventually all of the world’s great powers will
willing cooperate with it to safeguard freedom and preserve peace. The
aim is to extend the conditions favourable to peace and the US geo-10strategic position far into the future”
7 George W. Bush, The National Security Strategy of the United States of America (Washington: The White
House, September 2006).p. 23
8 See President William Clinton. National Security Strategy of Engagement and Enlargement. The White House, July 1994. GPO, Washington D.C. 1994; "The successor to a doctrine of containment must be a strategy of Enlargement, Enlargement of the world's free community of market democracies". NSA Anthony Lake. From Containment to Enlargement. US Department of State, vol.4, nº 39. September 27, 1993 9 For a wider explanation of the concept of Imperial Primacy and the “Peace through Primacy” motto, see Garcia Cantalapiedra, David. “Peace through Primacy”: la Administración Bush, la política exterior de EEUU y las bases de una Primacía Imperial. UNISCI Papers nº 30. December 2003. Madrid
10 Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Guidance and Terms of Reference for the 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review. June 22, 2001. p. 1
1.2.Transatlantic Relations in the new context
Transatlantic Relations face a different International System from that of the Cold War; a different distribution of power and capabilities at global and transatlantic level; and the changes produced within each part of the alliance. Taking into account these parameters, the tendency in Transatlantic Relations is that Allies should face problems on material capacities, incentives to cooperate, and convergence in expectations of interests (present and future), that is, they face uncertainty. This situation is also fed by perceptions, misperceptions and images of the International System, the Transatlantic Alliance, of each side of the alliance, and very important, of the adversaries and challenges both face. In this sense, this process creates or helps to create the identity, values and political system that compose each side, and the mechanisms used to choose alignments and to identify friends and foes. This problem goes to the basics of traditional Transatlantic Relations: a (real and perceived) common threat, a wide and deep economic relationship, and a common vision of
11Democratic Peace and its content.
Transatlantic Relations were established within the framework of the Cold War International System, and based on certain core parameters:
- Political-military parameter: an existential security threat posed by the
Soviet Union, with Europe protected by US Extended Deterrence.
- Economic parameter: a deep bilateral relationship since the Marshall Plan. - Democratic Peace parameter: common values such as democracy, rule of
law, civil freedoms and human rights, and free market economy.
Democratic states do not fight each other, so the spread of democracy will
create “perpetual peace”. In Karl Deutch’s words, “the creation of a
With the end of the Cold War, changes in Transatlantic Relations began to be envisaged, although a certain Cold War inertia and relative stability of the framework for the relationship allowed its structure to be maintained, with small and slow changes.
- US Extended Deterrence progressively lost its rationale after the demise of
the Soviet Union.
11 Owen, J. “How Liberalism produces Democratic Peace”. International Security. Vol. 19, nº 2. Fall 1994
12 Deutsch, K. Political Community and the North Atlantic Area. Princeton. 1957
- To the contrary, Transatlantic Economy enlarged to almost 3 trillion of
euros in 2007.
- US Normative Pre-eminence started to be challenged in discussion of a
new normative framework: there is a different understanding of the content
of democracy and human rights and the ways to promote them globally.
US-European alliance is undergoing a process of structural adjustment. The current alliance would however not be a completely new one and, as we saw above, there would persisted some features from the former Cold War alliance such as those reflecting certain interests, which predispose the United States and European states to
13align with each other.
1.3.New incentives and new problems for Transatlantic Relations
Once the international system is in process of change towards greater multipolarity, there is a general incentive for creating alliances, and certain states would ally with other states. However, the alignments result from a process that is indeterminate and, at the same time the US-European alliance is undergoing a process of structural adjustment. Thus, although US Extended Deterrence in Europe is no longer necessary, the European Security Strategy 2003 and the NSS 2002 and 2006, identified a more anarchic international system and common global threats such as Terrorism, WMD, and rogue states, which provide a general incentive to form (or maintain) an alliance. Furthermore, there is a core of precedents and relationships (democratic ideology and political system, NATO support, common values) predisposing towards certain alliances and against others.
There is not a sort of existential threat anymore, or at least, there is no common perception of a threat as severe as that emanating from the Soviet Union. There also are perceptions and assessments about rogue states and/or terrorists with WMD that differ on their importance as main threats. Thus, it seems that there is still no incentive to sustain the strong commitment as existed during the Cold War and the main problem within the US-European alliance now rests upon a disagreement about how to deal with the threats and adversaries. Each side tends to adopt different approaches to deal with terrorism: the US is more prone to a strategy of confrontation, using pre-
13 See Garcia Cantalapiedra, David. “Perceptions on US Policy, Transatlantic Relations and Alliance Security
Dilemma”, in Fernandez, Natividad. and Smith, Michael. Perceptions and Policy in Transatlantic Relations.
Routledge (forthcoming september 2008).
emptive actions and a military counterterrorist posture, while Europeans prefer a strategy of moderation and perceive excessive US bellicosity.
For instance, the United States and European Allies have divergent images of the motives and intentions of the adversaries. At the same time Europeans tend to see more danger in the dynamics of the conflict than in the adversary. The US places less emphasis on moderation after the spread of terrorist networks, and the proliferation of bombings not only in certain third world regions, but also in Europe. However, there was a common vision on terrorism during the 1990s (including US-EU summits and 1999 NATO Strategic Concept), and Europeans shared the vision that terrorism and WMD were serious threats and that international law would have to be revised to take care of these new concerns. In this regard, and in order to maintain solidarity with the United States after 9/11, the EU did not fight the US position on the proposed verification protocol to the Biological Weapons Convention. Prior to 9/11, the EU had overwhelmingly rejected this position. Moreover, the 2003 European Security Strategy is an acknowledgement in principle that Europe shares US fears about terrorism and WMD, as can be seen in the range of agreements between both sides of the Atlantic on counterterrorism measures signed following the 9/11 attacks. Besides, EU law enforcement and intelligence officials clearly agree with the US threat assessment and the substantial counterterrorism cooperation that has emerged among the EU member states since 9/11. Sadly, this EU policy was not carried out until these events.
Nevertheless, there are European perceptions of a declining credibility in the US commitment to Alliance interests. The US focuses on global, rather than European, security concerns: for instance, the US Global Posture Review, the plans for troop withdrawals in Europe even before Bush Administration took office, the establishment of US bases at the periphery of Europe to address extra-European threats, and the
14“Greater Middle East” strategic vision. Furthermore, this trend would reinforce an
Alliance game’s prediction about European fears about entrapment: being dragged into a conflict over an US interest that they do not share or share only partially. In this sense, European allies value preservation of the alliance more than the cost of supporting the United States in Iraq or military support of the GWOT. Moreover, they see possibilities of extraregional entrapment in terms of a further NATO enlargement
14 For the origin of this conception, sometimes erroneously identified with the first Greater (later Broader)
Middle East Initiative, see Garcia Cantalapiedra, David. “Peace through Primacy”: la Administración Bush, la
política exterior de EEUU y las bases de una Primacía Imperial. UNISCI Papers nº 30. December 2003.
to Ukraine and Georgia, an entanglement in Afghanistan or even beyond, supporting NATO Global Partners.
Europeans thus try to escape or minimize risks of entrapment without serious risks of US abandonment, although accepting partial abandonment in the form of troop withdrawals, priority to the Greater Middle East, and unilateralism. Even NATO European allies accepted a US Ballistic Missile Defence system (BMD) in Europe related to threats coming from Greater Middle East. However, there has been no troop
15withdrawal in Europe, the future deployment of BMD system is under negotiation
within NATO, the EU also gives a priority to the Middle East and the learned lessons after the campaigns in Afghanistan, Iraq and the GWOT have driven a remarkable change in US policy toward a more multilateral approach during the second George W. Bush administration. Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld envisaged this new
16posture after the “Long War” statement in February 2006. There was an implicit
acknowledgement by the Bush Administration that it was necessary to de-emphasise unilateral solutions and coalitions of the willing, and to accept other powers’ interests, seeking partnerships with regional powers to face problems and crisis. In this sense, this means a better understanding in Washington of the limitations of military power and a greater appreciation of the European contribution. Unfortunately, the controversy over Iraq has tended to obscure these positive trends in U.S.-European cooperation.
European states debate the balance between cooperation and defection mainly because of the influence of certain aspects of the structure of the International System (for instance, the absence of perceived existential threat that would create an integrative spiral within the Alliance), a perceived reduction in US commitment. Since the end of the Cold War, with clear unipolarity, prospective or actual peace dividends and the absence of perceived major threats, there were no clear perceptions of changes and needs for adjustment, but inevitably the Alliance dilemma is more severe in a potentially multipolar international system. Members of the US-European alliance currently respond differently depending on threat perception.
However, there is a mutual fear of abandonment in the case of fighting terrorism and WMD, this promotes convergence of policies in terms of mutual support and firmness toward adversary. But in such cases as the invasion of Iraq, there are different
15 Gates halts cut in Army Force in Europe. The New York Times. November 21, 2007
16 Secretary Rumsfeld's Remarks at the National Press Club. February 02, 2006. U.S. Department of Defense.
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs).
threat perceptions and structural pressure, making abandonment more possible because allies may adopt opposing policies.
1.4. The Lisbon Treaty in the context of the new International System and
thThe Lisbon Treaty adopted on 13 December 2007 by Heads of State and
Government of the twenty-seven member states is the informal successor of the Constitutional Treaty negotiated during the period of the Transatlantic Relations rift after Iraq war. Lisbon Treaty represents the only way to go out from a European crisis after the failure for ratifying the European Constitution due to negative referenda in France and the Netherlands in 2005. If its ratification is now stopped by Irish negative referendum, the crisis will continue even if specific developments in CFSP and specially in ESDP are possible.
By the end of 2007, the US were conscious of the mistakes in the planning and development of the Iraq war as well as the troubles in the post-conflict management. To the problem not solved in Iraq, US and the all international community had to face the Korea crisis and its threat with atomic power and the Iran one and its claim of nuclear power too as a country surrounded by nuclear powers. At the same time, the Middle East war was in a hotter situation because the re-start of the Lebanon civil war.
2. Content of the Reform Treaty
There is no specific provision in the Lisbon Treaty concerning transatlantic relations, as neither in the Constitutional Treaty as an issue with no constitutional character. Specific provision is included in the European Security Strategy (ESS), published in 2003, at the time where the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe was in progress. However this lack of specific provisions in the Treaty, some developments in CFSP and in ESDP, introduced as innovations by the European Constitution, have direct implications on the issue.
The main aims of the new Treaty, apart from internal division of competences and institutional balance, are the promotion of unity and coherence of EU foreign policy.
The tools for unity in Foreign Policy are the new European Council permanent Presidency (2.5 years) and the EU High Representative for External Action who belongs to the Council and to the European Commission. Quite often, Europe receives
the critical US comment about the absence of a unitary international presence and representation (no EU telephone number, using Kissinger expression). Elected by a qualified majority of the Heads of State or Government, the Presidency of the European Council (art.15.5 EU) shall “at his or her level and in that capacity, ensure
the external representation of the Union on issues concerning its Common Foreign and Security Policy, without prejudice of the powers of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy”. The High Representative, elected by
the European Council by qualified majority vote, “shall conduct the EU’s Common Foreign and Security policy. He shall contribute by his proposals to the development of that policy which he shall carry out as mandated by the Council. The same shall apply to the common security and defence policy (art.18.2 EU).
Up to now, some divergences appeared between the Commission and the Council concerning the design and implementation of foreign policy as the first one has competence mainly on EC external relations and the second on CFSP. The High Representative, belonging to both institutions has to give a solution to those sporadic different approaches to external action and so, the relationship with the partners has to be easier. Any facilitation of EU external representation has to have an impact on Transatlantic Relations, even if some time the US prefer a bilateral relationship with Member States.
Apart from this institutional change, the major innovations in ESDP are the “mise à jour” of the Petersberg missions including joint missions for disarmament and
technical assistance in military issues (all suitable for fighting against terrorism), the creation of an European Defence Agency and Member States engagement to improve its military capabilities, the inclusion of a joint self-defence clause and the solidarity clause as instrument to face terrorist attacks or natural disasters.
- Petersberg tasks up to date. In this way EU adapts formally to its really role in
crisis management, conflict prevention and post-conflict reconstruction. It is a
17clear example of the “European way of war” more centred in prevention and
reconstruction than only in military operations. For transatlantic relations the
enlargement of Petersberg task doesn’t imply a weakness in EU position but a
reinforcement of the EU complementary role to be deployed alone, together with
US, or in NATO missions.
- Solidarity and mutual defence clauses. Some authors consider these provisions as
duplicity to NATO role but it can be argued its differences. First of all, solidarity
17 Everts, Freedman, Grant, Heisbourg, Keohane, O’ Hanlon, A European Way of War, CER, London, 2004.