TEU Article 21 recalls that multilateralism is at the core of the EU’s external action. “The Union shall promote multilateral solutions to common problems, in particular in the framework of the United Nations.”
“There are few if any problems we can deal with on our own. The threats described are common threats, shared with all our closest partners. International co-operation is a necessity. We need to pursue our objectives both through multilateral co-operation in international organisations and through partnerships with key actors.”
This quote from the European Security Strategy sets the scene for the EU’s co-operation with partner countries and international organisation in crisis management. In line with this, the EU is developing an effective and balanced partnership with the United States on security issues, including in counter-terrorism, the fight against the proliferation of WMD and in crisis management. The United States participates in CSDP missions in Kosovo and Congo. In May 2011 the EU and US concluded a framework agreement facilitating US participation in EU-led crisis management operations. Similar agreements are in place also with Canada, Iceland, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine. Special arrangements exists for the involvement of non-EU European allies in EU military operations, in compliance with the EU’s decision-making autonomy. Other candidate countries for accession to the EU are also closely involved.
Special frameworks for co-operation on CSDP are also in place for Canada, Russia and Ukraine. So far, 25 partner countries contributed to 16 CSDP missions and operations. At the time of writing twelve countries (Albania, Canada, Chile, Croatia, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, New Zealand, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the US) participate in seven of the twelve ongoing CSDP missions and operations. The EU also intends to further engage in CSDP co-operation with Eastern and Mediterranean partners on a case-by-case basis, thus contributing to enhancing regional security and stability.
EU - UN cooperation in crisis management
The EU-UN co-operation in crisis management is highly important and beneficial to both organizations, since the EU benefits from the political legitimacy conferred by the United Nations Security Council mandate, while the UN benefits from the credibility and the operational capability brought in by the EU, especially when it comes to the EU leading complex operations. Over the years, the European Union has provided operational, financial and political support to peacekeeping efforts of the UN. The launch of about twenty CSDP operations, military and civil, on several continents, bears testimony to such continued support. EU-UN co-operation in crisis management was formalized in 2003 in a Joint Declaration, following operation Artemis. It was then complemented and reinforced by a further Joint Statement in June 2007.
A joint consultative mechanism, known as the “EU-UN Steering Committee on Crisis Management” was created in 2003 as a follow-up to the Joint Declaration, bringing together EU and UN representatives at senior level involved in crisis management. It meets in principle twice a year, with possible additional ad hoc meetings in the event of a crisis.
EU - NATO cooperation in crisis management: "Berlin plus"
The strategic partnership in crisis management between the EU and NATO rests on the so-called Berlin-Plus arrangements adopted in December 2002, which include:
- guaranteed access for the EU to NATO planning capabilities for planning its own operations;
- presumption of availability to the EU of NATO’s collective capabilities and assets;
- identification of European command options which recognise a special role for NATO’s Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (D-SACEUR).
These arrangements were first implemented in spring 2003 for the Operation CONCORDIA in FYROM and then for the current operation EUFOR Althea in BiH.
EU - African Union, OSCE and ASEAN
Apart from NATO, the EU has also developed close co-operation in the field of crisis management with the African Union (AU). The partnership with the AU has three particular aspects: strengthening the political dialogue, making the African peace and security architecture fully operational and providing predictable funding for the AU’s peacekeeping operations.
The EU also maintains an important dialogue on crisis management with the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Association of South-East Asia Nations (ASEAN).