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 (email@example.com)
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