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Payer or Player? The Role of the European Union in the Middle East Peace Process

Magisterarbeit 2001 88 Seiten





The European Union in International Affairs

The EU as an International Actor

The Member States and the EU Foreign Policy

U.S. Relations with the European Union


The Mediterranean Policy of the European Union

On the Way to Barcelona: the EU Policy before 1995

The ‘Euro-Mediterranean Partnership’

The ‘Barcelona-Process’ since 1995


The Role of the EU in the peace process

On the Way to Oslo: Europe’s Policy before 1993

After Oslo: Europe’s Role in the Peace Process since 1993


Relations between Internal and External Actors

The U.S., Europe and the Middle East Peace Process

Israel, Europe and the Middle East Peace Process

Palestinians, Europe and the Middle East Peace Process


The European Union as a Limited Player



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‘The Union's position and role: Promoter of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace and of prosperity for the region; Key player in the political and economic process’

The European Union on its Middle East policy web site[1]

This way of portraying itself does not leave any doubt about the position and role of the European Union (EU) in the Arab-Israeli conflict[2]. In practice, however, the EU does not appear to be very influential in the region. So far all treaties and agreements concerning the Middle East peace process have been achieved under the mediation and sometimes the intervention of the United States (U.S.). Europe[3] has usually watched these political developments from the sidelines.

That does not mean that in this region Europe has no role at all. The EU is involved in the peace process – not in the political, however, but in the economic part. Since the Oslo-agreement in 1993 European money has kept the quasi-state of the Palestinians alive and thus the EU is usually perceived as payer but not as player in the Arab-Israeli conflict.[4]

At the moment, however, in which the situation in the Middle East is characterised by violent clashes between Palestinians and Israelis and in which there is the widespread assumption that the peace process is on the brink of disaster, there are growing demands that Europe should also play a greater political role in the region. Indeed, in recent weeks Europe has appeared as a mediator between Israelis and Palestinians. In the name of Europe the German foreign minister Joschka Fischer has acted twice as a mediator between both conflict parties.[5] Particularly the Arabs and Palestinians want the EU to get involved more strongly in the peace process. They perceive America[6], which is doubtlessly the most powerful actor in the conflict, as biased and more in favour of Israel and therefore they hope that Europe could be a kind of ‘counterweight’ to the U.S..

Against this background it has to be asked whether the European Union would be able to play a major political role so that one could speak about Europe not only as payer but also as player in the peace process?

In order to answer this question it is firstly necessary to examine the main aspects that determine the capabilities and limits of the European Union in international affairs. One of the main factors in this respect is doubtlessly the concept of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the institutional framework which is set by this concept and so the first section of chapter one will deal with this aspect. Secondly, it is important to look how the member states’ attitudes are towards CFSP because foreign affairs are still a vital part of their national sovereignty. Finally the third section of chapter one will look at how the relations are between Europe and America because the U.S. as a major player on the world’s stage and as the closest European ally has certainly a strong impact on European affairs.

From the European point of view the Middle East as a part of the Mediterranean region is in its direct neighbourhood and therefore of special importance. Indeed over the time Europe developed a close relationship to the countries around the Mediterranean basin. For this reason chapter two will examine the European Mediterranean policy and its links to the Middle East peace process.

As mentioned above Europe has not had a strong political role in the Middle East yet, but the involvement of the EU in the region has increased over the time and especially after the beginning of the peace process at the Madrid Conference in 1991, Europe has become important as aid donor and financial contributor of the peace process. Thus chapter three will deal with the European involvement in the Middle East and the Arab-Israeli conflict in depth.

Furthermore it is also important for a comprehensive analysis to examine the relations in the conflict between the European Union and the other major actors. These are the United States, Israel and the Palestinians and so chapter four will investigate the relationship between the EU and these players. This chapter will especially focus on how these actors assess a stronger political role of the Europeans.

Finally the conclusion will on the one hand give an answer to the question mentioned above and on the other hand try to outline some important aspects of a future European Middle East policy.

But before going on with the analysis, it seems to be appropriate to determine the geographical region that this paper deals with – the ‘Middle East’. There is no single definition (not to speak of the ‘right’ definition) of that term. For some analysts the ‘Middle East’ even starts in Morocco in the West and ends in India in the East.[7] This paper, however, refers to the ‘Middle East’ in connection with the Arab-Israeli conflict and here, therefore, ‘the Middle East’ includes only Israel with the occupied territories, the Westbank and Gaza Strip area and the surrounding countries Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.

The European Union in International Affairs

The EU as an International Actor

There is no doubt that the European Union as an international actor is of a very special kind. The EU-System in which the responsibilities for foreign relations are divided between member states and the EU is surely unique in international affairs.[8] The system in its present state is the result of an ‘evolutionary’[9] development since the Treaty of Rome was signed.

In the beginning there was no element relating to foreign affairs in the European Community (EC). However, in the 1950s and 60s there were some ideas which can be seen as early attempts to create something like a common foreign and security policy. Yet, all of them (Pleven Plan, Gasperi Plan, Fouchet Plan or the ‘European Defence Community’) did not get off the ground and therefore the EC history ‘is littered with failed attempts to create a Common Foreign and Security Policy’.[10]

Only when the ‘European Political Cooperation’ (EPC) was launched in 1970 did the EC get really involved in foreign affairs. In the so-called Luxembourg Report of 1970 the foreign ministers designed a cooperation framework based on regular meetings of the foreign ministers and a political committee of senior diplomats for the field of foreign policy. But this political cooperation ‘was purely intergovernmental in character, it did not involve the Commission or other EC institutions and was not subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice’.[11] Nevertheless the EPC was – despite some criticism – soon regarded as a complement to national foreign policy instruments and an important part of the process of European cooperation.[12] Because of this importance the EPC had been extended over the years and – with the Single European Act (SEA) – got a contractual basis in 1986 for the first time.[13]

After the end of the Cold War it seemed that the EPC was no longer sufficient for the new situation. Hence on the governmental conference in 1990/91 the member states started negotiations about a more appropriate instrument of European foreign policy. The outcome was the ‘Common Foreign and Security Policy’ (CFSP) that became part of the ‘Treaty on the European Union’ (TEU or ‘Maastricht Treaty’). This treaty transformed the European Community into a union which was based on three pillars: The first one was made up by the existing Community treaties, the second pillar, Title V of the treaty, is the Common Foreign and Security Policy, and the third one consists of cooperation in home affairs and justice. Although the Union is built on all three pillars there is an important difference between pillar one, the European Community (EC), and the others: pillar one is supranational and pillar two and three are intergovernmental.[14] The reason for this division is obvious: ‘Whilst external relations could be safely transferred to the European level via the EC Treaty arrangements, foreign policy was so important to the identity and continued existence of states that control had to remain at the national level.’[15]

The division between supranational and intergovernmental competence did not change and therefore its dualism is the main character of the EU in terms of its external relations: On the one hand there are the ‘economic’ external relations (seen as ‘low politics’), which are part of the supranational EC-system and on the other hand there is the foreign policy (‘political’ external relations, seen as ‘high politics’) which is part of the CFSP.[16] At least three main organisational aspects of the dual EU-system can be defined: the division of competence, the decision making process and the implementation procedure.[17]

The member states gave the community the competence to act on their behalf in certain parts of their external economic relations. However, because in the treaties this competence is defined very vaguely, the commission and member states quite often disagreed about a certain responsibility, which disagreement sometimes went to the European Court of Justice. In general the Commission is responsible for the common trade policy (Art. 113 TEC) and it can sign trade and association agreements (Art. 238 TEC). But if the Commission negotiates agreements that are partly outside their competence the member states can also take part in the negotiations and have to come to an agreement.[18]

In the CFSP the situation is less complicated because the member states have not given away any competence and so – in formal terms – the Commission has no influence in these negotiations. However, if CFSP decisions affect economic issues, the autonomy of Community competence has to be respected. If, for example, a CFSP decision calls for economic sanctions as a political instrument, it is necessary that the Council decides in accordance with an initiative of the Commission.[19]

In practical terms this division of competence produces some difficulties. Whereas the Commission represents the EC in external economic affairs, the presidency is responsible for all political and security matters that are part of the CFSP. Hence in negotiations third states often have to deal with different EU representatives in the same issue. According to the specific divisions of competence either the Commission, the presidency or even a single member state is in charge. Not only that this system requires a high degree of coordination - it often produces some irritation outside the EU.[20] With the Amsterdam Treaty the EU made an effort to resolve this problem by appointing a ‘High Representative’ of the CFSP, a position filled by Javier Solana, former Secretary General of NATO.[21] The appointment of Solana coincided with the appointment of Chris Patten as Commissioner for External Relations. This position has been newly created. In previous commissions there were four or six Commissioners dealing with external relations but the new President of the Commission Romano Prodi changed that. For Patten himself this was the first step ‘to speed up the way the EU does business in foreign policy’.[22] However, ‘there are still too many cooks in the EU’s foreign policy kitchen’.[23] At present these ‘cooks’ are the Presidency and the High Representative under pillar II and the President of the Commission and the Commissioners for External Relations, for Trade Policy, for Development and for Enlargement under pillar I.

In the decision-making process there are different proceedings for the EC/EU. Within the foreign relations of the EC the Commission not only has the right of initiative but also a monopoly in the negotiation process. However, the member states control all this very carefully through the Council. Finally the Council has to ratify agreements after a proposal of the Commission. But because agreements often deal with several matters, different laws apply at the same time and thus controversies sometimes arise according to which EU law a decision has to be made. Therefore the Commission has to negotiate not only with third parties but at the same time with member states as well and that can cause not only lengthy decision making procedures but also some impatience on the side of the negotiation partners.[24]

Within the CFSP the situation is less difficult. All decisions are prepared by a ‘Political Committee’ (made up by political directors of the foreign ministries) and decided unanimously by the foreign ministers in the General Affairs Council and there is no complicated interaction between Commission and member states. Nevertheless CFSP decisions are sometimes less efficient than EC decisions mainly because of the principle of unanimity, which often leads to some delay and decisions on the lowest common denominator. It is another problem that economic decisions made by the EC are often not supported by political decisions within the CFSP.[25]

The dual system also applies to the implementation of EU decisions. Whereas EC-decisions are legally binding in every way, in the CFSP only the ‘joint actions’ have this status and everything else is only a ‘political declaration’.[26] Within the EC the Commission and its administration are responsible for the implementation, whereas in the CFSP the presidency together with the national foreign ministries are responsible. Therefore in practice there are two completely different administrations which deal with EU decisions. This inbuilt ‘dual responsibility’ causes some ‘rivalry for control of the power to “design” a European foreign policy’[27], which leads to inefficiency within the EU and uncertainty and confusion outside the EU.[28] Nevertheless the ‘CFSP has managed to get through this first year [1999-2000] without falling flat on its face. The other side to that coin, however, is that it has not yet been really tested.’[29]

The Member States and the EU Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy and its control has always been a crucial point of national sovereignty. Hence it is no surprise that the EU Member states have been very keen on keeping full control of their foreign affairs and that ‘shared sovereignty’ in this field of politics is almost unimaginable. But at the same time there is a clear recognition among the states of the fact that in certain instances the EU probably could exert more power and influence than any single state could individually do. However, there is no clear solution for the contradiction ‘between seeking to maximise the external potential of the European Union and seeking to maintain national competence and authority in foreign policy’.[30] Against this background it is important to see how member states deal with the CFSP but for the purposes of this paper it seems to be adequate to limit the analysis to France, Britain, Germany and Italy, all of which might be able to play – as individual states – a relatively strong role in international affairs.


The French supported the CFSP because within Europe it was a domain in which the French dominated. Furthermore Paris saw it as a means to push forward European integration which was seen as the best way to restrain Germany within its ties. This became especially important after German reunification, as fears grew that Germany could dominate the EU. But French support for the CFSP was mostly linked to the security and defence aspects. There was a strong French desire ‘to charge the European Union with the defence of Europe, for Europe, by Europeans’.[31]

Foreign policy was still seen as a specifically national task. Therefore France claimed that the CFSP would get precisely defined limits. These limits were to be an intergovernmental cooperation under the authority of the European Council and the refusal of a determining role of the Commission. The reason for that is obvious. France still saw and sees itself as world power (with nuclear weapons and a permanent seat in the UN Security Council) and desires to play an autonomous international role. Hence it cannot and will not accept a widespread interference of Brussels with its own foreign affairs or a subordination to decisions made by EU institutions. There was a strong French opposition, for instance, to the introduction of the Qualified Majority Voting (QMV) regarding common strategies.[32]

Great Britain

The French reluctance to give Brussels more power in terms of foreign policy fits in very well with the views expressed by Britain, which in general opposes all decisions which would pass more sovereignty from London to Brussels.

Before 1993 London was satisfied with the conditions the old EPC had attained particularly because it feared that changes might increase the power of the institutions in Brussels. Therefore Britain fought ‘a consistently effective battle’[33] to maintain the intergovernmental framework for the CFSP. Yet, although intergovernmentalism was preserved Maastricht caused in London some headache: ‘The British view of the CFSP is fundamentally that of thinking that even the new status quo of the TEU really goes too far (…).’[34]

After 1997 as the Labour government came into power this way of thinking changed very slowly but the changes concerned more the security and defence dimension than the foreign policy aspects. This can be seen in the 1998 Franco-British St. Malo Declaration in which both countries agreed that Europe needs a common defence policy.[35] Beside this there is still the idea that Britain – like France – is an important power and that it would lose sovereignty and room for manoeuvre should Brussels get more power in foreign policy.[36]


As opposed to France and Britain it was obvious that the German aim was to use the new CFSP for shaping the external role of the EU. However, for Germany foreign policy was always directly linked with trade and economic issues rather than with security and defence.[37] Given the special German history this does not come as a surprise. During the nineties this attitude slightly changed but still defence and questions of military capability came second after diplomacy.[38] This could be seen during the Kosovo war and the role Germany played in it. Bonn was very reluctant – as opposed to Britain, for example, to send ground troops to Kosovo and tried instead to find a diplomatic solution – as the ‘Fischer-Plan’ had shown. But this happened in the name of Europe and the EU was completely involved.

In general there is a the strong German wish for further European integration which would lead to a state in which the second pillar would be fully communitarised – the CFSP. Germany’s major interest is ‘to develop an efficient European entity, not play the game of power politics but to be able to cope with some of the larger challenges on the international agenda (…).[39]


Italy is a strong supporter of the CFSP because since 1945 the country has developed ‘a kind of “natural” reflex to favour multilateral initiatives at the expense of purely bilateral approaches’.[40] The reason for that is mainly the recognition that a national Italian foreign policy would have had only limited impact.[41] It is obvious that Italy could never gain the same international weight as France or Britain. Therefore Italy tried to use the EPC to gain international credibility for its own foreign policy.[42]

However, after the end of the Cold War Italy was confronted with a new situation. In terms of its traditional NATO commitments this is less important but at the same time it is even more important because of its direct neighbourhood – the Balkans. ‘As a consequence (…) Italy is living the ambivalent perception of both having more room for manoeuvre and being less important, while at the same time it is subject to worrying new dangers.’[43]

Therefore Italy tried to move towards greater self-assertion and ‘while maintaining a traditionally pro-European attitude, Italy has seemed to take a more independent role in the new international environment’.[44] After 1990 Italy launched several initiatives in international affairs (e.g. the ‘Conference for Security and Cooperation in the Mediterranean’ [CSCM] and the ‘Five-plus-Five initiative’ towards the Maghreb [Chapter 3 deals with both initiatives]) But because all these plans came from outside the EPC they caused some irritation and forced Rome to reassure that there is still a strict linkage between Italy’s foreign policy and the EU positions.

U.S. Relations with the European Union

From the very beginning the United Sates supported a strong cooperation among European states because it was seen as a means to gain a strong European ally in the Cold War – a vital interest of Washington.[45]

However, during the sixties, after de Gaulle had blocked the British EC-membership which was strongly supported by Washington, the U.S.-EC relations stagnated. Moreover the Vietnam war and new relations to China and the Soviet Union shifted the U.S. agenda away from Europe. But that did not last for long. Changes in leadership, common problems like the oil crisis and an EC-enlargement to ten changed the views in Washington. Particularly because the EC – with its growing economic power – became ‘for the first time a key player in the international arena’.[46]

A new importance got the U.S.-EU relationship after the Cold War had finally come to an end. Suddenly on both sides of the Atlantic there was a great concern about this relationship but especially in the U.S. there was the fear that Europe could became more autonomous and that America could get a new competitor in international affairs. In December 1989 – as a kind of ‘pre-emptive strike’ – the then Secretary of State James Baker proposed ‘that the United States and the European Community work together to achieve (…) a significantly strengthened set of institutional and consultative links’.[47]

This proposal, backed by President Bush, one year later culminated in the Transatlantic Declaration. The paper emphasised common transatlantic values, traditions and principles and foresaw the development of regular consultations between heads of state, foreign ministers and other officials.[48]

Despite its ambitious content the Declaration was unable to achieve its goals because ‘its design was unidirectional – in the sense that consultations merely consisted briefings by U.S. participants to their European counterparts – and therefore lacked the necessary synergy and European input’.[49] To overcome such deficiencies the U.S.-EU summit in 1994 in Berlin agreed to implement three working groups dealing with International Crime, CFSP and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). However, only the third group really got off the ground whereas the other two were hampered by the EU structure. International Crime falls under the third pillar of the TEU and the CFSP under the second. Thus numerous EU member states claimed that both issues had to be treated on an intergovernmental basis.[50]

If not before it was after the war in Bosnia, that Europe had proven that it was unable to cope with an international crisis. Now there was a widespread consensus on both sides of the Atlantic that more comprehensive cooperation was needed. Therefore both sides started negotiations for a successor agreement of the Transatlantic Declaration.[51]

The outcome was ‘The New Transatlantic Agenda’ (NTA) and a more detailed ‘Joint U.S.-EU Action Plan’ (JAP), both of which were signed in Madrid in December 1995.[52] Whereas the NTA ‘underlines a common strategic vision for Europe’s security – reiterating the imperative role that NATO has (…) –, and also emphasises the transatlantic economic partnership’, the JAP contains ‘specific initiatives which accompany the political objectives of the NTA’.[53] Among the objectives mentioned the action plan claimed a cooperation in (1) promoting peace and stability in different areas including the former Yugoslavia and the Middle East; (2) responding to global challenges such as organised crime, immigration or environmental issues; (3) supporting the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and establishing a New Transatlantic Marketplace; and (4) building bridges across the Atlantic with support for the Transatlantic Business Dialogue.[54]

Although both sides welcomed the new agreement and saw it as a strong basis for a more robust relationship between Europe and America, some problems remained unresolved. The fight against international organised crime, for instance, clearly falls under the third pillar intergovernmental regulations and thus it would be extraordinarily difficult to implement this goal.[55]

The same is true in the case of section 1: promoting peace and stability because this is part of the CFSP – and not surprisingly success in this field is very limited. ‘Severely impeded by the (…) ill-developed foreign policy profile of the Union, it was difficult to agree on joint actions, especially in the light of the fact that the working methods and instruments used by each partner are quite different’.[56] What that means is described by Jan Zielonka:

Europeans prefer to rely on economic, cultural and political tools to meet their global or regional aims, while Americans often employ their enormous military leverage in pursuing their ambitions. (…) Europeans prefer to engage in a long-term diplomatic process, often with unclear price and outcome, while Americans have a more instrumental or strategic approach to diplomacy.[57]

Altogether the economic field can be seen as the area in which cooperation is easiest, simply because there is the highest consensus – even if there are trade disputes from time to time. Thus the fourth section, namely the Transatlantic Business Dialogue, is by far the most successful part of the NTA.[58]

In general one has to say that Europe (i.e. Brussels) has got higher importance within transatlantic relations in recent years. However, Washington continues to use bilateral relations to European countries when it suits American purposes better and the same is true in the opposite direction.[59] Hence the Union does not play a role as a substitute for former bilateral relations but as an additional part in the transatlantic relations. Yet it is also true that Brussels will gain more and more importance in the future if the EU members will be able to develop a CFSP that is really functioning.

The Mediterranean Policy of the European Union

On the Way to Barcelona: the EU Policy before 1995

Europe has always been involved in the Mediterranean and even from the very beginning of the European Community there was a link to the Southern periphery of Europe. In the 1950s this was mainly established by special trade relations with Tunisia and Morocco which were at that time protectorates of the EC member France.[60] During the 1960s this component was extended through association agreements with Greece, Turkey, Malta and Cyprus. Moreover in the beginning of the 1970s the EC also negotiated special trade agreements with some North African states (now the independent states of Tunisia and Morocco) and some states in the Middle East (Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon). Therefore Europe had at this time a widespread network of special agreements in the Mediterranean basin, but these agreements were not based on a specific general European policy towards its Southern neighbours –this was in fact more of a ‘patchwork policy’.[61]

In the 1970s that changed but the impulse came from outside – from the North African states. They demanded a coherent concept that would help their economies to deal with the results of the EC-policy which supported trade within the EC but hampered imports – especially in the agricultural sector. Eventually - in 1972 - the EC started negotiations with the aim to reach standardised agreements which would give the EC the ability to play an important political role helping to create stability in the Mediterranean region. The result of these negotiations were cooperation treaties giving the Mediterranean states free access to the European market for industrial and certain agricultural products. A bilateral Cooperation Council (EC plus one Mediterranean country) was a part of these treaties that on a ministerial level dealt with all problems that occurred. Until 1977 the EC signed such treaties with almost all Mediterranean states (except Albania and Yugoslavia).[62]

However, during the 1980s, after Greece (1981), Spain and Portugal (1986) had become EC members, the situation became more difficult for the Mediterranean countries. This was simply because there was suddenly strong competition for certain agricultural products which were now produced inside the EC as well. At this time the EC started new negotiations to adjust the old treaties and in 1988 the new treaties (‘trade protocols’) were signed. In general they gave the Mediterranean states better access to the European market, yet, especially after strong pressure from Spain, there were still limits within the agricultural sector.[63]

Another element in the European Mediterranean policy was the ‘Euro-Arab Dialogue’ (EAD) between the EC and the Arab League (AL). It was an attempt to regulate the growing North-South conflict by new cooperative and integrative elements. Moreover it was a kind of counterweight to the usual economic dominance in the Euro-Mediterranean relations.[64]

On the Arab side that the initial impulse came from, the EAD was seen as a means to gain the EC as a partner in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Yet, some member states, above all France and Italy, also saw the EAD as a way to strengthen the impact of Europe in the Middle East. Furthermore, in the aftermath of the oil crisis there was the recognition that strong cooperative relations with the oil producing states were of crucial importance for Europe. However, from the beginning Europe made it very clear that the Middle East conflict must not be part of the EAD. To emphasise this the EC started negotiations at the same time with Israel about a trade agreement, which was signed only one year later. Because of this the EAD was blocked by the Arab League from the beginning in 1974 until 1976. But even after it had started, it did not last for long because after the Camp David peace treaty between Egypt and Israel had been signed, Cairo was forced to freeze its membership in the Arab League which caused the interruption of the EAD by the EC until 1983.[65] Even then it did not get off the ground because the Arab side still tried to instrumentalise the EAD against Israel and with the newly founded ‘Gulf Cooperation Council’ (GCC) the Europeans had a better alternative to deal with the important oil producing states.[66]

If one assesses the European Mediterranean policy until the beginning of the 1990s in general, the results were poor. The different agreements could not close the gap in the development between EC and the Mediterranean region, nor could the EC exercise any greater influence towards a democratisation of the states in that region. ‘The EC made only little progress to reach the goal of stabilising its Southern periphery through the creation of economic prosperity and political liberalisation.’[67]

The EC’s Mediterranean policy got new momentum after the end of the Cold War. Now the main attention of Brussels clearly shifted to Central and Eastern Europe, which caused fears in the Southern EC member states, namely Spain, France and Italy, that Europe could reduce its efforts in the Mediterranean and that this could result in growing instability. Therefore the Southern European states tried to force the EC to launch a ‘new Mediterranean policy’, which was to stabilise the region and to supplement the North European focus on Central and Eastern Europe[68] because ‘the Maghreb is for us what Eastern Europe is for Germany’, as Javier Solana, the then Spanish foreign minister, pointed out.[69] However, in the beginning the Southern European states launched several initiatives outside the EC’s framework.

The ‘Conference of Security and Cooperation in the Mediterranean’ (CSCM) was a Spanish-Italian idea , modelled on the CSCE (today OSCE) and it was also divided into three baskets (Security, Cooperation and Human rights), . The goal was to support stability, ensure security and resolve conflicts. For three main reasons the CSCM got never really started: First, the Mediterranean states are usually very reluctant to talk about security and human rights issues because such matters are seen as a threat to their power, which as a rule is not based on democracy. Second, the CSCM was designed to apply to all the Mediterranean states with all its different problems and conflicts. This was by far too ambitious in practical politics. Third, especially the U.S. was suspicious about the project because they feared that the Middle East peace process could become a subject of the CSCM, which would have resulted in a multilateralisation of the process and with that in the undermining of the unilateral U.S. politics.[70]

Another initiative were the so-called 5+5 talks, which were mainly launched by France. This project was limited to the Maghreb states plus Malta and the Southern European States but apart from this it was similar to the CSCM – and failed as well. This failure was mainly caused by the sanctions against Libya, the civil war in Algeria, the conflict between Algeria and Morocco about the West Sahara and the absence of Egypt.[71]

There was still the strong wish of the Southern European states, however, to force the EC to put the Mediterranean on its agenda. They reached this goal on the Lisbon summit in 1992. In the final document the Mediterranean basin is named as a region for ‘joint actions’.[72] The final breakthrough came at the Essen summit in 1994. There the European Council decided to call a ‘Euro-Mediterranean Conference’ and identified – as in the CSCE – three baskets for cooperation: (1) political stability and security; (2) economic cooperation; and (3) cooperation in cultural, humanitarian and social issues.[73]


[1] [WWW]: http://www.europa.EU.INT/comm/external_relations/med_mideast/ mideast_peace_process/index.htm, 10/9/2001

[2] The term ‘Arab-Israeli conflict’ and ‘Middle East conflict’ are used synonymous in this paper.

[3] If not indicated otherwise the term Europe will be used as synonym for Western Europe, the European Community and the European Union.

[4] Hollis, Rosemary (1997): Europe and the Middle East: power by stealth?, in: International affairs, Vol.73, No.1, p.22

[5] Ha’aretz: “Peres, Arafat plan to meet next week, probably in Berlin“, 22/8/2001

[6] If not indicated otherwise the term America will be used as synonym for the United States.

[7] Kemp, Geoffrey / Harkvay, Robert E. (1997): Strategic Geography and the Changing Middle East, Washington: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, p. 13

[8] Ginsberg, Roy H. (1999): Conceptualising the European Union as an International Actor: Narrowing the Theoretical Capability-Expectation Gap, in: Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol. 37, No 3, pp. 430ff

[9] Monar, Jörg (1999): Die interne Dimension der Mittelmeerpolitik der Europäischen Union: Institutionelle und verfahrensmäßige Probleme, in: Zippel, Wulfdiether (Hrsg.): Die Mittelmeer politik der EU, Baden-Baden: Nomos-Verlags-Gesellschaft, p. 66

[10] Patten, Chris (2000a): A European Foreign Policy: Ambition and Reality, Speech at the Institut Francais des Relations Internationales (IFRI), [WWW]:, 16/9/2001

[11] Bulletin 1-1970, p. 12, quoted in Piening, Christopher (1997): Global Europe – The European Union in World Affairs. Boulder&London: Lynne Rienner Publishers, p. 33

[12] Allen, David (1998): ‘Who speaks for Europe?’ The search for an effective and coherent external policy, in: Peterson, John / Sjursen, Helene (eds.), A Common Foreign Policy For Europe?, London/ New York: Routledge, p. 46

[13] Ibid., p. 49

[14] Piening, Christopher: ibid., p. 39

[15] Allen, David: ibid., p. 43

[16] Ibid.

[17] Monar, Jörg: ibid., p. 68

[18] Ibid., p. 70

[19] Allen, David: ibid., p. 54

[20] Monar, Jörg: ibid., p. 72

[21] Sjursen, Helene (2001): The Common Foreign and Security Policy: Limits of Intergovernmentalism and the Search for a Global Role, in: Andersen, Svein S. / Eliassen, Kjell A. (Eds.): Making Policy in Europe (2nd ed.), London: Sage Publications, p. 194

[22] Patten, Chris (2000b): Towards a common European foreign policy – How is the EU doing?, in: Challenge Europe, On-Line Journal of The European Policy Centre, [WWW]:, 21/7/2001

[23] Hannay, David (2000): Europe’s Common Foreign and Security Policy: Year 1, in: European Foreign Affairs Review, 5/2000, p. 279

[24] Monar, Jörg: ibid., p. 73

[25] ibid., p. 74

[26] Ibid., p. 75

[27] Allen, David: ibid., p. 51

[28] Monar, Jörg: ibid., p. 77

[29] Hannay, David: ibid., p. 276

[30] Allen, David (1998): ibid., p. 43

[31] La Serre, Françoise de (1996):France. The impact of François Mitterrand, in: Hill, Christopher (ed.), The Actors in Europe's foreign policy, London : Routledge, p. 33

[32] ibid., pp. 32-36

[33] Hill, Christopher (1996): United Kingdom. Sharpening contradictions, in: Hill, Christopher (ed.), The Actors in Europe's foreign policy, London : Routledge, p. 80

[34] ibid., p. 85

[35] Missiroli, Antonio (2000): A Common Defence Policy – what does it mean for the EU institutions? in: Challenge Europe, On-Line Journal of The European Policy Centre, [WWW]:, 21/7/2001

[36] ibid.

[37] Rummel, Reinhardt (1996): Germany’s role in the CFSP: ‘Normalität’ or ‘Sonderweg’, in: Hill, Christopher (ed.), The Actors in Europe's foreign policy, London : Routledge, p. 47

[38] ibid., p. 53

[39] ibid., p. 59

[40] Bonvicini, Gianni (1996): Regional reassertion: The dilemmas of Italy, in: Hill, Christopher (ed.), The Actors in Europe's foreign policy, London : Routledge, p. 94

[41] ibid.

[42] ibid.

[43] ibid., p. 96

[44] ibid., p. 98

[45] Piening, Christopher: ibid., p. 95

[46] ibid., p. 96

[47] Mettler, Ann (2001): From Junior Partner to Global Player? The New Transatlantic Agenda and Joint Action Plan, Bonn: Zentrum für Europäische Integrationsforschung, Rheinische Friedrich Wilhelms-Universität, p. 3

[48] ibid., p. 4

[49] ibid.

[50] ibid.

[51] ibid., p. 7

[52] Sbragia, Alberta (1998): The Transatlantic Relationship: A Case of Deepening and Broadening, in: Rhodes, Carolyn (ed.), The European Union in the World Community, Boulder & London: Lynne Rienner, p. 158

[53] Mettler, Ann: ibid., p. 8

[54] Sbragia, Alberta: ibid., pp. 158/159

[55] ibid., p. 159

[56] Mettler, Ann: ibid., p. 15

[57] Zielonka, Jan (2000): Transatlantic Relations Beyond CFSP, in: The International Spectator, Volume XXXV, No. 4, October - December 2000, p. 39

[58] Mettler, Ann: ibid., p, 18

[59] Sbragia, Alberta: ibid., p. 160/161

[60] Jünemann, Annette (1999): Europas Mittelmeerpolitik im regionalen und globalen Wandel: Interessen und Zielkonflikte, in: Zippel, Wulfdiether (Hrsg.): Die Mittelmeerpolitik der EU, Baden-Baden: Nomos-Verlags-Gesellschaft, 1999, p. 37

[61] Masala, Carlo (2000): Die Euro-Mediterrane Partnerschaft: Geschichte – Struktur – Prozeß, Bonn: Zentrum für Europäische Integrationsforschung, Rheinische Friedrich Wilhelms-Universität, p. 6

[62] Ibid., p. 7

[63] Gomez, Ricardo (1998): The EU’s Mediterranean policy: common foreign policy by the back door?, in: Peterson, John / Sjursen, Helene (eds.), A Common Foreign Policy For Europe?, London/ New York: Routledge, p. 136

[64] Masala, Carlo: ibid., p. 9

[65] Regelsberger, Elfriede (1990): The Euro-Arab Dialogue: procedurally innovative, substantially weak, in: Regelsberger, Elfriede / Edwards, Geoffrey (eds.): Europe’s global links. The European Community and interregional cooperation, London: Pinter, p. 57ff

[66] Masala, Carlo: ibid., p. 10

[67] Ibid.

[68] Ibid., p. 11

[69] Die Zeit: “Der große Graben”, 24/11/1995

[70] Masala, Carlo: ibid., p. 12

[71] Ibid.

[72] Ibid., p. 13

[73] Ibid., p. 14


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University of Bath – Department of European Studies
europäische union palestina nahost friedensprozeß israel



Titel: Payer or Player? The Role of the European Union in the Middle East Peace Process