The Notion of Solidarity in European Foreign Policy

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Official Journal (OJ) of the European Communities [a], (16/04/1982) Council Decision 82/221/ECSC, L102, vol.25

---------- [b], (16/04/1982) Council Regulation no. 877/82, L102, vol.25

Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), (16/07/2002) "About the recent developments that have taken place over the Moroccan island of Leila", Press Release, Jeddah

SN 3543/96, (15/07/1996) "Declaration adopted by the 15 Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the EU", Brussels

SN 10945/02, (22/07/2002) 2447th Council Meeting, General Affairs and External Relation Council, p.21, Brussels

  1. Interviews

(06/02/2003) Anonymous Senior Diplomat of Permanent National Representation in Brussels, External Relations - Maghreb, via telephone communication

(10/02/2003), Köhler A. Michael, European Correspondent, European Commission, DG External Relations, Directorate A - CFSP, via electronic mail

(19/02/2003), Anonymous Senior Diplomat of Permanent National Representation in Brussels, External Relations - Maghreb

(20/02/2003), Vikas Anastasios, General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union, Directorate General E (External Economic Ralations, CFSP), Deputy Director-General (CFSP, Regional Affairs)

(28/02/2002), Gosalbo Bono Ricardo, General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union, Legal Service (External Relations and Enlargement), Director, via telephone communication

* The author would like to gratefully acknowledge the generous and continuous support of the Swedish Institute without which the task of completing this study would be a lot more difficult to accomplish.

1 Declaration of Robert Schuman (1950), cited in Marias (1994:85), emphasis added

2 The notion of solidarity was initially mentioned in the ECSC Treaty that virtually founded the process of European integration (3rd Recital of the Preamble of the ECSC Treaty).

3 For an overall historical assessment of the notion of solidarity in European integration process, see Marias (1994)

4 When not otherwise indicated, the abbreviation 'EU' is used to pertain not only to the three-pillar structure created by the Treaty on European Union (TEU) in 1993, but also to the European Communities as existed before that date.

5 For the reason of brevity, further on we will generally refer to the crises only by the islands' and islets' names that they are most popularly known in Europe, i.e. Falklands crisis, Imia crisis and Perejil crisis.

6 In the study of IR there have been attempts to combine the explanatory ability of the two theoretical approaches in a single theoretical frame. Indicative examples of this is Ericson's effort to use realist and constructivist insights under a single theoretical framework (2000), or Winnerstig's theoretical model of a "Relaxed Realism" (1996).

7 In constructivist studies on European foreign policy, the existence of intergovernmentalism is not rejected in principle (Glarbo 1999, Tonra 1999, Mulay-Shah 2001) and occasionally its increased significance is recognised as Tonra does by referring to an "adapted intergovernmentalism" (2000:8). On the other hand, realists have recognised -although not wholly hearted- a degree of significance for Constructivism in European Integration studies (Moravcsik 1999:670).

8 There are three core assumptions of Constructivism which make it a distinct form of theorising in IR. Firstly, constructivists stress the importance of collective or intersubjective understandings -shared ideas, norms and values- held by agents, in shaping international politics. Secondly, intersubjective understandings are generated inside the framework of ideational structures that constrain and shape behaviour. Therefore, in contrast to realist theoretical approaches, which regard interests as fixed in an effort to extricate the causal roles of power and material capabilities, Constructivism takes into account how ideas shape the way agents define themselves. Thirdly, social structures and agents are mutually constituted by each other. Structures constitute agents in terms of their interests and identities, but structures are also produced and re-produced by the discursive practices of agents. (Checkel 1998[a]:325-8, Mulay-Shah 2001:3-4, Pollack 2001:234-5, Trondal 2001:3-7).

9 It is interesting to note that within the IR literature, research that examines the transformation of interests -as given by Realism- by contructivists' norms and by "bringing agency back in" to the analysis, has been recently growing (Checkel 1998 [b]:1).

10 Similar considerations on the limitation of constructuralist approaches are developed in White's analysis of European foreign policy (2001:31-2)

11 Articles 224 and 113

12 The London Report was adopted on October 1981 and consolidated the "Troika" principle in the EPC machinery. Under this principle the Presidency should be "assisted by small team of officials from preceding and succeeding presidencies" (London Report, Part II, Article 10). What the London Report actually did, was to incorporate existing practises, as even from the mid 1970's the Presidency was 'unofficially' supported by the immediate past and future Presidencies (Bretherton, Vogler 1999:175, Tonra 2000:3)

13 As both Greek and Turkish legal arguments on sovereignty in the Southeast Aegean were founded on the 1932 Italo-Turkish Agreement, the Italian role in the conflict was potentially significant. A significance, which was reinforced by the fact that it was exercising at the time the Presidency of the Council. This significant role was not however fully exercised.

14 The Custom's Union agreement was signed on March 6 1995 and was comprised of three components: the Customs Union with Turkey, the approval of financial aid to Turkey amounting to 375 million ECU; and the beginning of negotiations on Cyprus' accession to the EU six months after the end of the inter-governmental conference (IGC), taking into consideration results reached at the IGC.

15 Greece had threatened that it would freeze the Community financial aid to Turkey "because it is not possible for the customs union to proceed while Turkey attacks Greek islands" as the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs posed it (Diaspora 01/03/1996).

16 Morocco's Association Agreement with the EU was signed in 1996 and implemented in 2000. Through the Agreement, it is planned that Morocco will be part of a large free trade area within ten years. Currently, more than half of Morocco's trade is with the EU. The country has also access to certain EU development funds. Between 1996 and 1998, Morocco received aid worth 450 million ECU.

17 The response of the Arab world to the EU's show of solidarity towards Spain was harsh. The Arab League from Cairo declared its "full support" of all Arab states to Morocco's claims (Arabic News, 17/07/2002). Ahdelouahed Belkeziz, the Moroccan Secretary General of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, asserted the organisation's solidarity with Morocco and expressed his "surprise at the hasty position of the European Union on this issue before examining the full facts of the situation" (OIC, 16/07/2002). On the same tune, the Damascus based Arab Parliamentary Union voiced its "surprise at the escalation adopted by some parties, which, while claiming to work for establishing security and peace in the Mediterranean region, back Spain…in defiance of historical and geographic facts and peoples' rights and sovereignty" (Arabic News, 17/07/2002).

18 Title V, Article J.8.8., Treaty of Amsterdam

19 EU officials leave no space for other interpretations on that issue, by categorically stating that "solidarity does not exist [in a legal obligating form]" (Interview, 20/02/2003) and that the "TEU does not include a solidarity clause" (Interview, 10/02/2003).

20 A not so improbable evolution, as Greece had already seriously threatened to do so.

21 Article 18.1, Title V, TEU (consolidated version) declares that "the Presidency shall represent the Union in matters coming within the common foreign and security policy". This function is formally exercised together with the European Commission as stated by Article 18.2 TEU.

22 As part of the relevant London report provisions, which were later incorporated in SEA and TEU.

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