New Security challenges for the CSCE
The CSCE process was initiated specifically as a European security conference. As the preparations advanced, a broad concept of European
security emerged, and "co-operation" was added to the conference name.
The primary significance of the CSCE with respect to security policy was that the Helsinki Final Act consolidated the post-war European security situation. In a sense, the CSCE replaced the European peace treaty that was never concluded after the Second World War. In fact, the CSCE therefore became the maintainer of the status quo. The same end was also served by talks and agreements on confidence and security
Yet, the CSCE Final Act contained the seeds of revolutionary change. Agreement was reached in the Final Act on a number of principles and
goals on the basis of which efforts began to build contacts and co-operation across political, ideological and military borders. These principles and goals also meant that the legitimacy of international co-operation extended to issues which had formerly been considered the internal affairs of states. Most important of all, a process was initiated in the area of human rights that encouraged the peoples of Eastern Europe to undertake radical reforms in their own countries.
Although the Helsinki process has played an important role as an impulse for revolutionary change in Europe, its contribution here should not be overestimated. Change in Europe was primarily an outgrowth of Eastern Europe's inability to compete in business and technology because of, inter alia, a disproportionately heavy burden of armaments and the subsequent economic collapse. The CSCE had created a framework in which profound change could take place on our continent in an orderly and peaceful fashion.
The CSCE has therefore had two functions to date with respect to security. First, it improved European security by consolidating the security policy configurations that resulted from the war. In the following stage, it created stability in a situation where the old order was breaking down. This traditional role of the CSCE in security policy is now even growing stronger, as new talks on both CSBMs and disarmament are being undertaken. The CSCE is also confronting its third security policy challenge: the creation of lasting stability in the new security policy situation. On the one hand, the issue concerns construction of a new security architecture, and on the other, the development of mechanisms to prevent and contain crises.
The old architecture rested on military bipolarity on our continent. With the exception of a few neutral and non-aligned countries, the states of Europe belonged to one or the other of two opposing military alliances.
Now the Warsaw Pact has been dissolved. Its former member countries are seeking a new identity and international position for themselves.
NATO will be preserved, although its nature is evolving. New colour will be added to the Atlantic Alliance by efforts on the part of the EC to craft its own identity with respect to security. At the outset, this may be sought through the Western European Union (WEU), although in time there may be an effort to create a joint EC policy on security and defence. Opinions on this topic, however, vary within the EC.
Both of the above-mentioned processes will have a fundamental effect on the architecture of Europe's security. They are also interrelated.
It is apparent that the strengthening of the EC's identity in security policy will not affect its relations with the United States, at least for some time; the EC's security role will evolve on the basis of mutual understanding with its North American allies. In contrast, the formulation of a common EC policy on security and defence does appear to have an effect within Europe; expansion of the Community is also in progress and internal integration is moving towards closer political and economic union.
At present, there are a number of very different European countries outside the EC. The most important non-members in terms of Europe's security architecture are the EFTA countries and the former Warsaw Pact members. They have very different relationships with the EC.
Most EFTA countries are economically suited for full EC membership. They include, however, four neutral countries, for which extension of the EC's foreign, security and defence policy dimensions will cause certain problems.
The "new democracies", that is the former Warsaw Pact members, would like to join the EC quickly, for political reasons. They seek membership out of concern for their own security, which they feel can be advanced within the EC. For them strengthening of the EC's role in security policy poses no problems, quite the contrary. Direct membership in the EC, however, would be an economic and social problem both for the countries themselves and for the EC, and for this reason it probably cannot be achieved for a long time.
These components of the new architecture bring out issues related to the entity of the new structures:
1. Can the new architecture permit neutrality? Can some countries - if they so desire - be fully fledged participants in economic co-operation and in joint efforts in other "civil" sectors, but preserve their national independence and neutral security policy?
2. Can the European security system be developed so that it guarantees the security of all countries regardless of whether or not they are members of NATO or of the EC? Could the security needs of the countries seeking EC membership primarily for security reasons be met at least during the transition period when they cannot yet be admitted?
The above issues are not by nature such that they would already have been discussed within the framework of the Helsinki process. The alliances retain their right to determine their own future, as does the EC. Each country already has the right to decide on its own security policy and also its relationship to the alliances according to the CSCE principles.
However, discussion of the architecture of Europe's security should include all those concerned, that is all the CSCE countries. A new lasting security architecture for Europe can only be built when all the parties take part in the discussion and when work proceeds on the basis of conscious political decisions, considering longer-term prospects as well. It is my view that the CSCE will inevitably have to confront this challenge.
The CSCE has already begun to respond to its second new security policy challenge. Institutions which will create the capacity to prevent the outbreak of conflicts and to handle crisis situations have developed within the CSCE. The Paris Summit decided to found a Council of Foreign Ministers, a Committee of High Officials and a Conflict Prevention Centre. The emergency meeting mechanism was also set up at the Paris Summit.
The first meeting of the CSCE Council of Foreign Ministers decided on the emergency meeting mechanisms to be used in practice.
The CSCE crisis prevention system has been tested in connection with the crisis in Yugoslavia. Both the Conflict Prevention Centre and the emergency meeting mechanism of the Committee of High Officials have functioned in the projected manner.
The fact that principles and forms for operative action have not been developed within the CSCE has caused problems. In this situation the initiative and any action taken were in the hands of the EC. The initiative was again shifted to the CSCE at the meeting of the Committee of High Officials held last week. Expansion of the monitoring mission already undertaken within the framework of the EC to include four non-EC CSCE countries was decided in Prague. Implementation of this expansion now depends on Yugoslavia. Finland has already expressed its readiness to participate, although we have not as yet received a request. Moreover, the Prague Meeting further specified the option of "good offices" for Yugoslavia, in support of talks on the Yugoslavian crisis.
Experience from the Yugoslavian crisis has already led to discussion concerning how the CSCE crisis prevention system could be further developed. The foreign ministers of Germany, Belgium and Austria were amongst those to propose a separate CSCE peace-keeping force. Certain other countries, among them the Soviet Union and Germany, have already proposed formation of some sort of European security council. It is apparent that discussion along these lines will continue in future CSCE meetings, including the Helsinki follow-up conference.
As has been the case before, development of the CSCE crisis prevention system should be gradual and on the pragmatic level. Although a separate security council for Europe might be established at some point in the future, for the time being it would make most sense to improve the functioning of the Committee of High Officials and the Conflict Prevention Centre. Any decision on the formation of a European peace-keeping force should be made, if and when there is an apparent need and grounds for it. In contrast, preparedness for the use of observers and peace-keeping forces should be developed in advance - this has already been shown by the experience of the Yugoslavian crisis.
Why then should Europe have its own peace-keeping capacity when such a system already exists within the UN? One weighty reason is apparent in the UN Charter, which stresses, in the first instance, regional measures for the preservation of international peace and security. Another reason is a practical one; why link non-CSCE countries to European conflicts, when Europe itself is in the best position to handle these problems. The third reason has come out in statements by the UN Secretary General on the situation in Yugoslavia; he is of the opinion that the UN should not intervene in the Yugoslavian crisis because it is an internal affair. This interpretation of the UN Charter does reflect a certain difference between the UN and the CSCE. Within the CSCE co-operation has developed which is seen to include the internal affairs of the countries to some extent. And a threat in Europe to international peace and security is rooted precisely in the internal conflicts of certain states which will also have international repercussions.
We should also ask whether CSCE peace-keeping efforts are required in a situation in which the EC is developing its own peace-keeping capacities and there is even discussion within it of the formation of separate intervention forces. The answer can only be "yes". Developments in the EC directly underscore the need for development of separate peace-keeping capacity within the CSCE. Alternative methods of crisis prevention are needed, they should expressly include a pan-European CSCE approach, in which all the CSCE countries could take part on an equal basis.
When the CSCE undertakes discussion of improvements of security mechanisms, proposals for the creation of the permanent capacity needed to initiate monitoring missions may have priority. The experience from Yugoslavia will provide a good foundation for this discussion. However, proposals already made for the development of capacity to dispatch peace-keeping forces will certainly be to the fore.
It is already time to contemplate those principles which should obviously be observed in CSCE peace-keeping operations. The decision to initiate a peace-keeping operation should always be unanimous. All parties to the crisis should approve the operation and support it. It could involve either unarmed civilian or military observers or an actual peace-keeping force. The last mentioned, however, would not be intended for combat, but to monitor any agreement or ceasefire achieved. Peace-keeping forces would have only light arms, intended for self-defence. Observers or peace-keeping forces could come from countries acceptable to both the parties to the crisis and all the CSCE countries. Financing would be the joint responsibility of all the CSCE countries.
Finland, too, is prepared to discuss development of the CSCE crisis prevention system. We will obviously have to take a stand on how the system is to be developed and on the terms under which Finland can participate in it.
Ladies and gentlemen.
I have limited my presentation explicitly to the security policy challenges facing the CSCE. In closing there is thus reason to emphasize that the Finnish concept on the CSCE is a broad and dynamic one. All creation and improvement of contacts and co-operation is work that strengthens peace and increases security. Here, too, there is reason to remind ourselves that developments in Europe can be stable and peaceful only if we are able to narrow the economic and social gaps here.
On the other hand, if Europe is to advance, peaceful conditions and a stable security situation are essential. Without these, Europe cannot succeed in the ever more intense worldwide economic competition, competition which also has an increasing impact on events and configurations in world politics.