Establishing European Union

In February 1992, the TEU or Maastricht Treaty was signed and ratified in all member states by October 1993.

According to that Treaty:

  • • The EC is committed to launch a common currency, EU by 1999. Britain and Denmark are to be allowed to opt out should they decide so.
  • • Established the domain of CFSP.
  • • Laid the infrastructure for a common defence policy.
  • • Added to the policy issues in which the EC would have a voice. It provided the EC a role called the “social chapter”.
  • • Pledged increased aid for the four poorest nations of the Community: Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain.

Somewhat the powers of the EP increased, for instance, through the procedure of co-decision-making.23

The scale of the CFSP is very broad and it covers almost all areas of foreign and security policy which were not covered in EPC.24 The purpose of CFSP is to integrate European states on maintaining peace and strengthen global security, under the umbrella of principles of the United Nations Charter and the Helsinki Accord.25 The European Council anchored a report in Lisbon, in which they figured out the development of CFSP.26

The core idea behind establishing CFSP was to list a number ofpossible explicit goals and aims for creating foreign and security policy. It also mentioned its intention for working on settlement of conflicts’ resolution of crises. However, the primary focal point of CFSP was of two aspects. The main concern for CFSP was to show its power and strength on Balkan crises during early 1990s. The second priority was to mention concrete policy on the issues of Central and Eastern Europe, Mediterranean region, Middle East and the Maghreb.

The European integration process has played an important role in peacemaking within the member states in terms of mutual cooperation, coordination and cohesiveness to work on common goals for prosperity among them.

The European Community has been very much successful in avoiding wars in member countries since 1945 onwards, as well as the EU has been expanded on the basis of prosperous and attractive stature of social welfare, honour of human rights, growing economy and other social incentives.

The EU/EC has begun its search for peace and prosperity from ECSC. This process has been gradually increased year by year in the form of EEC and EURATOM in 1957 under Treaties of Rome. In 1965, the Merger Treaty and SEA in 1982 strengthened this process. Finally, TEU or Maastricht Treaty institutionalised this process in 1992. There are some more important treaties and waves of enlargement that potentially played their role as modus operandi for integration process and making member state more prosperous and peaceful. After establishing the CFSP, the EU has moved towards political and strategic world affairs. It is very successful within EU bloc. The next chapter will explore the role of EU institutions in peacemaking and conflict resolution.

The history of EU shows that this transnational organisation has anchored some very innovative alternatives for confliction resolution and establishing peace. When a country seeks the EU membership there is a very strict process according to which it needs to comply with some economic and political standards maintained by the EU. It not only works on inter-bloc countries but the EU has set standards for peacemaking beyond the confines of enlargement. The strength of EU is its association with the international organisations; for example UN, African Union and with those NGOs that are working for peace.

Its integration process also demonstrates that the EU has set up some functional policies for peacemaking in which it adopted strategies ofcarrot and stick; meaning much of times, in its civil figurehead, the EU improvement provides promises and grants rewards for fulfilment of peace accomplishments; moreover, developing common market, elimination of trade barriers, providing financial and technical assistance, collaboration in education, research, science, technology, creating infrastructure, cooperation in environmental betterment, energy, political assistance and dialogue. All these aspects are called the strategy of carrot. On the other hand, in its political grounds it has capacities to deploy forces, send peace military missions and rehabilitate the administrative structure as it did in former Yugoslavia and in some disputed African regions. Some other conditions the EU can apply are security guarantees, economic sanctions, trade preferences etc. This is called stick strategy. These expectations will be explained in the following chapters in detail.

One very important aspect illustrates that the process of membership in the EU has potentially more power for conflict resolution within member states than any other country that has relations with the EU based on association, partnership and/or financial assistance because membership carries the sense of citizenship than the mutual cooperation with nonmembers. The EU has used this tool in the European Neighbourhood Policy where without granting membership the EU provided association, financial assistance and trade partnership for the countries which do not aspirate to integrate.

The EU history also emphasised the “promotion of EU’s common culture”. When there is a dialogue for peace with any country, the EU attempts to, intentionally or unintentionally, promote its common culture and values. For example, it enthusiastically insists for democracy, accepting environmental measures, discrimination, children and women rights, freedom of expression, good governance, elimination of death penalty, ratification of international treaties and agreements specifically for human rights. For socialisation of conflict or disputed areas, the EU provides different methods; for example, technical support committees or teams, anchoring training programmes, selecting participants from third state who comply with the standards of EU for conflict resolution. These contacts can be official or non-official where the EU can facilitate with the NGOs, regional authorities or business partners.

Finally, the history of EU demonstrates that it has institutionalised system for conflict resolution, peacemaking and reconciliation of regional disputes. The members of EU are bound to comply with the standards of EU legitimacy. For example, an EU member accepts to obey the EU law during negotiations of its inclusion. This means the EU does not work extra on setting out the measures of peace and conflict resolution from first step and that the third country must be clear about legal supremacy of the EU law, its contracts and financial system. On the other hand, as the charter of EU for fundamental rights they respect the European Convention of Human Rights. The European Community Law is illustrated by the international law that attaches the countries to the international aspects of humanitarian doctrine. This aspect shows a uniformity of Community Law, International Law and national law according to which a country deliberately or non-deliberately accepts the international or regional legitimate measures for conflict resolution.

The following chapters will more clearly explain these methods of conflict resolution by the EU. But before stepping forward, the understanding of EU institution is very important because most of the peacemaking methods and conflict resolution measures are reflected by these institutions, and without having understanding of difficult functionality of these EU institutions, the understanding of EU’s peacemaking and conflict resolution is complex. The next chapter shows the functional or institutional competency of EU to resolve the disputes.

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