Bulgaria and the Balkans in the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union


Sofia, July 1995

© Institute for Security and International Studies, 1995


This study was carried out with the support of the PHARE Information Programme of the European Union.





Foreword (Plamen Pantev, Valeri Rachev, Venelin Tsachevski)

Bulgaria's integration in the European Union (EU) became an undoubted strategic objective of the country, forming the basis of a national consensus among the political forces and society in general. The association stage of the integration process implies the beginning of an active, purposeful adaptation of the different branches of national policy to the main directions of EU's common undertakings. This means that the country's foreign relations and national security policy need to adapt to the Common foreign and security policy (CFSP), Common defence policy (CDP) and Common Defence (CD) of EU.

A short study cannot cover all essential details about the character, history, formation and implementation of CFSP of EU, as well as specific issues touching certain Bulgarian interests. The Institute for Security and International Studies, recognising the special meaning of the forthcoming Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) in 1996 of EU member states, will carry out three other shorter studies, in addition to the present one. This should help develop a better picture of the following issues: the political dialogue of EU with the associated countries in Central and Eastern Europe (ACCEE); the economic factors of stability on the Balkan peninsula; and Russia's relations with EU and the repercussions for Southeast Europe.

The Institute for Security and International Studies and the authors of this Research Study wish to extend their gratitude to the PHARE Information Programme of EU and to the Delegation of the Commission of EU in Sofia, whose gracious support made possible both the study and the publication. The authors wish also to thank Mr. Giancarlo Chevallard, Mr. Simon Banks and Mrs. Ana Ettoriaga from the Commission of EU, Mr. Sergei Makarinov from the Delegation of the Commission of EU in Sofia, Dr. Willem van Eekelen from the Centre for European Political Studies in Brussels, Dr. Mathias Jopp from the Institute for Security Studies of the Western European Union (WEU) in Paris, Dr. Wolfgang Manig and Dr. Marco Carnovale from NATO, and Dr. Dinko Dinkov from the Institute for Security and International Studies in Sofia, for their shared ideas, useful remarks and moral support for the study. The authors are grateful to Miss Marina Caparini for her help in improving the English edition of the Study.

The text, assessments and conclusions are the sole responsibility of the authors of their respective parts of the study in their capacity as Associates of the Institute for Security and International Studies.

List of Abbreviations

ACCEE: Associated countries of Central and Eastern Europe
AWACS: Airborne Warning and Control System
BSEC: Black Sea Economic Cooperation
CBMs: Confidence Building Measures
CD: Common Defence
CDP: Common Defence Policy
CE: Council of Europe
CFE: Conventional Forces in Europe (Treaty)
CEFTA: Central European Free Trade Area
CFSP: Common Foreign and Security Policy
CJTF: Combined Joint Task Forces
EA: European Agreement (for Association)
EAA: European Armaments Agency
EC: European Community
EDC: European Defence Community
EPC: European Political Cooperation
EU: European Union
IGC: Intergovernmental Conference
INTERREG: Programme for transboundary cooperation of the EU with neighbouring countries in the fields of infrastructure and communications
NATO: North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
NACC: North Atlantic Cooperation Council
OSCE: Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe
PFP: Partnership for Peace
UN: United Nations
WEAG: Western European Armaments Group
WEU: Western European Union

I Introduction (Plamen Pantev)

The end of the Cold War coincided with a new phase of the integration processes in Western Europe with the conclusion and entering into force of The Treaty for European Union. The reasons are the deep transformations in the system and structure of international relations during the 70s and the 80s. The EU member states undertook the obligation to reach the following goals in about ten years time: creation of a "European" Union citizenship; establishment of economic and monetary union; and formation of a political union. The latter was supposed to have the following components: CFSP with respective CDP and CD; augmenting the role of the European Parliament; increasing the power of the Community generally and developing common internal and social policy.

Bulgaria has only a European Agreement for association (EA) with the European Community (EC) and has no obligations with respect to CFSP of EU. The country's obligation, according to the EA(1) (see Articles1 and 2 of the Agreement) is to support the construction of an appropriate framework of political dialogue with the Community, leading to closer political relations. This will foster a better mutual understanding and gradual convergence of the positions on international issues on the basis of solidarity and cooperation. Studying the respective political decision-making processes of the parties is a major task of an active political dialogue. The latter should help the harmonization of the positions of the countries on security questions as well as improving security and stability in the whole of Europe.

It is obvious CFSP is an area in which Bulgaria does not have legal grounds to directly intervene. The development of CFSP of EU is rather an important factor in Bulgaria's foreign-political environment, to which Bulgaria will adapt.

But as a contender for membership in EU Bulgaria has a real interest in the upgrading of CFSP and in cooperation that would stimulate the involvement of the country in the Community. This is a reason for having a judgment of its own about the development and the future of CFSP and even to demand taking into consideration Bulgaria's position on questions which concern the country, especially in the field of security. This might be realized on a bilateral basis with the members of the Union and on a multilateral one according to the provisions of Art. 2 of the EA. This may lead to a natural process of interweaving aspects of Bulgarian policy in CFSP and CDP of EU. The very process of joining EU is a real Bulgarian interest.

EU, on its part, has taken a firm decision to enlarge to Central and Eastern Europe(2), a region Bulgaria belongs to. The accession, according to the resolutions of the European Council in Copenhagen (June, 1993), will be effected as soon as the associated countries are in a position to undertake the responsibilities for membership, meeting the economic and political conditions set by the Council. The EU summit resolutions of June, 1995 in Cannes deal also with the enlargement issue. They demand that in parallel with the legal reform, the applicants for membership adopt new internal procedures that might effectively enforce judicially or administratively all the decisions, leading to the smooth functioning of the single market. The present procedures are considered inadequate.

Beside these general requirements for full membership, EU is directlyinterested in the development of the situation in the Balkans one of the essentially risky regions for the security of the Union, in which Bulgaria plays a stabilizing role both in its own interest and in the interest of European security. Furthermore in the Balkans Bulgaria neighbours an EU country Greece, as well as a state with EA Romania. Bulgaria borders Turkey, which has a customs union agreement with EU.

The accession strategy of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe to EU has both a bilateral instrument of implementing EA and a multilateral one giving substance to the "structured relationship" with EU institutions, according to the Copenhagen document of June, 1993. The latter provides a framework for an intensified dialogue, consultations and harmonization of relations on issues of mutual interest. One of these questions is CFSP. Except on a bilateral level, the Council, the President of the Council and the President of the Commission of EU may discuss a previously agreed agenda of foreign political and security issues with heads of states and governments of countries with EA in a multilateral context during joint meetings among them. The legal nature of the eventual agreements is consultative, but when needed the procedures of EU or of the Association Councils may be activated.

The structured dialogue with the Associated Countries of Central and Eastern Europe (ACCEE) on foreign political and security issues includes also the following possible procedures: a) during each Presidency the "Troika i.e. the former, the present and the future Presidents of the Council of Ministers may have meetings with the associated countries; the same holds true for the Political Directors; b) at the level of the Secretaria t, briefings may be organized after each meeting of the General Affairs Council, as well as after every meeting of the Political Directors; c) on t he level of working groups there might also be convened meetings of the "Troika" for the relevant working groups for each Presidency. Regular consultations of the Troika with the associated countries may also be held before important sessions of the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) and of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

At the present stage the structured relationship on CFSP issues is one of the means of diluting the feeling of insecurity in the associated countries of Central and Eastern Europe (ACCEE). The leaders of EU consider it an additional tool in the framework of the Western European Union (WEU), NATO and Partnership for Peace (PFP), OSCE and the Stability Pact, as well as a separate tool for improving security in the whole of Europe. This short Research Study aims at analysing the complex questions accompanying the development of CFSP of EU: the common risks, interests, institutional interrelationships, and an evolving common European defence identity, policy and material defence. On this basis comes the next research target: identifying the outlines of a "Balkan" regional aspect of CFSP of EU. Third, the Study tries to assess Bulgaria's cooperation with CFSP as an element of the country's integration strategy in EU, the achievements and the unused opportunities of common interest. Practically this means looking for ways of improving the mechanisms of cooperation between Bulgarian foreign policy and CFSP of EU, aiming at their harmonization. From a theoretical point of view, the Study provides material for analysis of different sectors of functional integration in international relations, of the developing concept of security in the contemporary world, and of the behaviour of small states in the present circumstances.

II CFSP the Conceptual Challenge for EU

1. CFSP and Its Evolution (Plamen Pantev, Venelin Tsachevski)

A basic normative source for the contents and the parameters of CFSP of EU is the Maastricht Treaty(3). It outlines the aims, the procedures, the particular intentions in the field of defence and the specific institutional obligations in the CFSP framework.

There is some theoretical literature, not big in volume, dealing with these questions and practically helpful for the developments in this field(4). The legal prerequisites of CFSP have existed for almost half a century. CFSP inherits directly the European Political Cooperation (EPC), institutionalized with the Single European Act of 1986 by the European Community (EC). The provisions of the Maastricht Treaty, dealing with CFSP, legally stimulated functional integration in the field of foreign policy and security. From a problem of the correspondence of the economic and other factors of integration in the EC, foreign policy and security evolved to one of the essential issues concerning the interrelationship of the disputable final federalist aims of the integration processes and the still conservative intergovernmental nature of the diplomatic and defence relations of the sovereign member-states.

Aside of being a logical continuation of the EPC, CFSP is also the general conceptual reaction of the EC countries to the end of the Cold War. It has been established by research in the field that the cohesion engendered by the integration processes in Western Europe has been practically assured with the participation of two North American and of one semi-European state in the NATO context. The new geopolitical and economic realities, which followed the dissolution of the East/West order of the period after World War II, created new opportunities for European integration in the field of foreign relations and security. They also led to a lot of questions about the contents and institutions of security: what should be preserved, what can be improved, and what must be discarded.

The text of Title V of the Maastricht Treaty, covering the CFSP issues, reflected both a stage of the natural social process of integration in Western Europe and the initial reaction of the EU member states to the systemic and institutional transformations in Eastern Europe and the world. Just an intensified treatment of the security dimension in the process of European integration, an ambition for a more meaningful international profile of the biggest economic and social community in the world were not the adequate political and legal answers to a dynamic situation such as the post- Maastricht one.

A lot of activities in the area of the CFSP were launched after the Treaty entered into force on the 1st of November 1993. An undoubted evolution was occurring in planning and costs for defence by EU members in the context of CFSP, as well as direct participation with the Union's own efforts in international crises management. Real achievements of this new consciousness, especially for countries as the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands and Denmark are: the Declaration of the North Atlantic Council of January, 1994, providing the possibility of the European members of NATO to utilize the Alliance's resources and facilities for their own purposes through the operationalized concept of the Combined Joint Task Forces (CJTF); the readiness to provide the WEU with multinational forces in conjunction with the CJTF; the planned strengthening of the Eurocorps.

CFSP underwent a certain institutional evolution. A special group for security issues was established with the Political Directors. The regional groups of the EPC were merged with the respective groups of the Commission. The Secretariat of EPC became part of the Council's Secretariat with a doubled staff. A group of EU senior officials monitors the

question of the Stability Pact's implementation, and the Commission established a General Directorate for external relations, headed by an EU Commissioner and with the task of facilitating the Commission in executing its right of initiative on CFSP issues.

There were efforts of conceptual development of CFSP by three reports, drafted by the Council of Foreign Ministers and by a special group on security in June 1992, December 1992 and June 1993 respectively. All three reports reflected a very cautious approach to defining and activating CFSP. They underline the central role of the economic, political and social factors of instability and conflicts and of their respective treatment. Their conclusions concern the need to strengthen the political, diplomatic and economic ties with the neighbouring countries and regions; the more intense involvement of economic instruments as a means to guarantee realization of UN and OSCE principles; the need to support regional cooperation and integration of other parts of Europe and the world as a means of developing peaceful relations among the states; and about improving the tools of EU for crisis management through monitoring missions, good offices, arbitration, reconciliation, peace conferences. A special role in realizing CFSP is devoted to the support of the UN and OSCE activities, including their peace- keeping operations, the precise implementation of international treaties in the field of arms control and disarmament, of the various aspects of non- proliferation and of the economic aspects of security, especially the arms trade.

Two messages are perceived from these reports. First, EU is underlining its role of a "civilian" power. Second, EU is firm on developing its security policy, stemming from an all-encompassing concept that includes purely military elements too.

Important steps of EU enlargement were also made and presently an active debate is under way on the issues of CFSP in the new member-countries Austria, Finland and Sweden. The question of the scope of CFSP obligations is in the centre of the discussion. The IGC (1996) is expected to shed more light on significant international legal as well as constitutional problems in these countries.

The General Affairs Council concerning the contenders with EAs decided on 7 March, 1994 both to extend and intensify the dialogue on all levels and to give the chance to the ACCEE to associate with concrete activities of the Union: statements, demarches and Joint Actions. In October, 1994, were developed together with the associated countries, the guidelines for implementing the 7th of March conclusions(5). At the April-May, 1995 Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference the 15 EU countries, together with the 6 ACCEE made a joint statement, supporting the indefinite prolongation of this important Treaty.

There is possibility of more focused and substantial cooperation by outlining priority topics at the start of each new Presidency of the Council of EU. Bulgaria and her neighbours, mainly Greece and Romania, are interested in bringing regional problems to the attention of EU and the member-countries. The Presidency may choose to treat these problems in a special way. The same holds true for particular Bulgarian interests the country may bring to the attention of the Presidency.

There is no complete clarity of the relationship between the mechanism of utilizing the economic instruments of EU's foreign policy and the mechanism of cooperation in the same area by the "15" and the 6 ACCEE. What are the parameters of implementing the tools of foreign trade, economic help and monetary policy to the ACCEE, whose interests on particular issues may diverge from the position of the "15", while on others may completely coincide and even act as an alliance in international relations ? Thus, for example, Bulgaria suffering from an inadequate internal economic transition model, was overburdened with the losses from the sanctions against FRYugoslavia. The delay of entering into force of the Interim Trade Agreement Between Bulgaria and EC further complicated the already different conditions for cooperation of the country with EU compared to other associated countries of Central and Eastern Europe (ACCEE). These developments diminish Bulgaria's chances to influence politically the cooperation on CFSP issues with EU.

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