HELSINKI EUROPEAN COUNCIL
10 AND 11 DECEMBER 1999
1. The European Council met in Helsinki on 10 and 11 December 1999. It adopted the Millennium Declaration. It has taken a number of decisions marking a new stage in the enlargement process. Steps have also been taken to ensure that the Union itself will have effective, reformed institutions, a strengthened common security and defence policy and a competitive, job-generating, sustainable economy.
2. At the start of proceedings, the European Council and the President of the European Parliament, Mrs Nicole Fontaine, exchanged views on the main items under discussion, in particular enlargement, institutional reform and employment.
I. PREPARING FOR ENLARGEMENT
The enlargement process
3. The European Council confirms the importance of the enlargement process launched in Luxembourg in December 1997 for the stability and prosperity of the entire European continent. An efficient and credible enlargement process must be sustained.
4. The European Council reaffirms the inclusive nature of the accession process, which now comprises 13 candidate States within a single framework. The candidate States are participating in the accession process on an equal footing. They must share the values and objectives of the European Union as set out in the Treaties. In this respect the European Council stresses the principle of peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with the United Nations Charter and urges candidate States to make every effort to resolve any outstanding border disputes and other related issues. Failing this they should within a reasonable time bring the dispute to the International Court of Justice. The European Council will review the situation relating to any outstanding disputes, in particular concerning the repercussions on the accession process and in order to promote their settlement through the International Court of Justice, at the latest by the end of 2004. Moreover, the European Council recalls that compliance with the political criteria laid down at the Copenhagen European Council is a prerequisite for the opening of accession negotiations and that compliance with all the Copenhagen criteria is the basis for accession to the Union.
5. The Union has made a firm political commitment to make every effort to complete the Intergovernmental Conference on institutional reform by December 2000, to be followed by ratification. After ratification of the results of that Conference the Union should be in a position to welcome new Member States from the end of 2002 as soon as they have demonstrated their ability to assume the obligations of membership and once the negotiating process has been successfully completed.
6. The Commission has made a new detailed assessment of progress in the candidate States. This assessment shows progress towards fulfilling the accession criteria. At the same time, given that difficulties remain in certain sectors, candidate States are encouraged to continue and step up their efforts to comply with the accession criteria. It emerges that some candidates will not be in a position to meet all the Copenhagen criteria in the medium term. The Commission's intention is to report in early 2000 to the Council on progress by certain candidate States on fulfilling the Copenhagen economic criteria. The next regular progress reports will be presented in good time before the European Council in December 2000.
7. The European Council recalls the importance of high standards of nuclear safety in Central and Eastern Europe. It calls on the Council to consider how to address the issue of nuclear safety in the framework of the enlargement process in accordance with the relevant Council conclusions.
8. The European Council notes with satisfaction the substantive work undertaken and progress which has been achieved in accession negotiations with Cyprus, Hungary, Poland, Estonia, the Czech Republic and Slovenia.
9. (a) The European Council welcomes the launch of the talks aiming at a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem on 3 December in New York and expresses its strong support for the UN Secretary-General’s efforts to bring the process to a successful conclusion.
(b) The European Council underlines that a political settlement will facilitate the accession of Cyprus to the European Union. If no settlement has been reached by the completion of accession negotiations, the Council’s decision on accession will be made without the above being a precondition. In this the Council will take account of all relevant factors.
10. Determined to lend a positive contribution to security and stability on the European continent and in the light of recent developments as well as the Commission's reports, the European Council has decided to convene bilateral intergovernmental conferences in February 2000 to begin negotiations with Romania, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Malta on the conditions for their entry into the Union and the ensuing Treaty adjustments.
In the negotiations, each candidate State will be judged on its own merits. This principle will apply both to the opening of the various negotiating chapters and to the conduct of the negotiations. In order to maintain momentum in the negotiations, cumbersome procedures should be avoided. Candidate States which have now been brought into the negotiating process will have the possibility to catch up within a reasonable period of time with those already in negotiations if they have made sufficient progress in their preparations. Progress in negotiations must go hand in hand with progress in incorporating the acquis into legislation and actually implementing and enforcing it.
12. The European Council welcomes recent positive developments in Turkey as noted in the Commission's progress report, as well as its intention to continue its reforms towards complying with the Copenhagen criteria. Turkey is a candidate State destined to join the Union on the basis of the same criteria as applied to the other candidate States. Building on the existing European strategy, Turkey, like other candidate States, will benefit from a pre-accession strategy to stimulate and support its reforms. This will include enhanced political dialogue, with emphasis on progressing towards fulfilling the political criteria for accession with particular reference to the issue of human rights, as well as on the issues referred to in paragraphs 4 and 9(a). Turkey will also have the opportunity to participate in Community programmes and agencies and in meetings between candidate States and the Union in the context of the accession process. An accession partnership will be drawn up on the basis of previous European Council conclusions while containing priorities on which accession preparations must concentrate in the light of the political and economic criteria and the obligations of a Member State, combined with a national programme for the adoption of the acquis. Appropriate monitoring mechanisms will be established. With a view to intensifying the harmonisation of Turkey's legislation and practice with the acquis, the Commission is invited to prepare a process of analytical examination of the acquis. The European Council asks the Commission to present a single framework for coordinating all sources of European Union financial assistance for pre-accession.
13. The future of the European Conference will be reviewed in the light of the evolving situation and the decisions on the accession process taken at Helsinki. The forthcoming French Presidency has announced its intention to convene a meeting of the conference in the second half of 2000.
The Intergovernmental Conference on institutional reform
14. The European Council welcomes the Presidency's report on the issues raised in relation to the Intergovernmental Conference and setting out the main options the Conference will be confronted with.
15. Appropriate steps will be taken to enable the Intergovernmental Conference to be officially convened in early February. The Conference should complete its work and agree the necessary amendments to the Treaties by December 2000.
16. Following the Cologne Conclusions and in the light of the Presidency's report, the Conference will examine the size and composition of the Commission, the weighting of votes in the Council and the possible extension of qualified majority voting in the Council, as well as other necessary amendments to the Treaties arising as regards the European institutions in connection with the above issues and in implementing the Treaty of Amsterdam. The incoming Presidency will report to the European Council on progress made in the Conference and may propose additional issues to be taken on the agenda of the Conference.
17. Ministers who are members of the General Affairs Council will have overall political responsibility for the Conference. Preparatory work shall be carried out by a Group composed of a representative of each Member State's Government. The representative of the Commission shall participate at the political and preparatory level. The General Secretariat of the Council will provide secretariat support for the Conference.
18. The European Parliament will be closely associated and involved in the work of the Conference. Meetings of the preparatory Group may be attended by two observers from the European Parliament. Each session of the Conference at ministerial level will be preceded by an exchange of views with the President of the European Parliament, assisted by two representatives of the European Parliament. Meetings at the level of Heads of State or Government dealing with the IGC will be preceded by an exchange of views with the President of the European Parliament.
19. The Presidency will take the necessary steps to ensure that candidate States are regularly briefed within existing fora on the progress of discussions and have the opportunity to put their points of view on matters under discussion. Information will also be given to the European Economic Area.
20. Substantial changes in the Council's working methods are necessary and must be gradually introduced starting now so that by the time of enlargement, the Council can smoothly accommodate a larger membership. The European Council approves the operational recommendations attached in Annex III. The Council, the Presidency and the Secretary-General/High Representative will be responsible for ensuring that these recommendations are observed and enforced in practice, without calling into question arrangements and programming already made by the incoming Presidency.
21. The European Council recalls its commitment in support of reforming the Commission's administration, especially financial and personnel management, in order to enhance efficiency, transparency and accountability and thus ensure the highest standards of public administration. The Commission will present a comprehensive programme of administrative reforms in early 2000. The European Council calls for rapid implementation of these administrative reforms.
22. Transparency of the European institutions is an important element in bringing the Union closer to its citizens and improving efficiency. Progress has been achieved during the Finnish Presidency, especially in the area of access to documents and rapid communication using modern information technologies. The European Council welcomes the Commission's intention to table in January 2000 the proposal on general principles governing the right of access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents.
Subsidiarity and better lawmaking
23. The European Council welcomes the Commission's report entitled "Better law-making" which confirms the priority attached to the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality and to full application of the relevant Treaty Protocol.
24. The establishment of the Union's Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) marks an important new step in the fight against fraud. The Commission will present by June 2000 a communication with a view to further developing a comprehensive strategy for the protection of the financial interests of the Community.
common European policy on security and defence
25. The European Council adopts the two Presidency progress reports (see Annex IV) on developing the Union's military and non-military crisis management capability as part of a strengthened common European policy on security and defence.
26. The Union will contribute to international peace and security in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter. The Union recognises the primary responsibility of the United Nations Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security.
27. The European Council underlines its determination to develop an autonomous capacity to take decisions and, where NATO as a whole is not engaged, to launch and conduct EU-led military operations in response to international crises. This process will avoid unnecessary duplication and does not imply the creation of a European army.
28. Building on the guidelines established at the Cologne European Council and on the basis of the Presidency's reports, the European Council has agreed in particular the following:
-cooperating voluntarily in EU-led operations, Member States must be able, by 2003, to deploy within 60 days and sustain for at least 1 year military forces of up to 50,000-60,000 persons capable of the full range of Petersberg tasks;
-new political and military bodies and structures will be established within the Council to enable the Union to ensure the necessary political guidance and strategic direction to such operations, while respecting the single institutional framework;
-modalities will be developed for full consultation, cooperation and transparency between the EU and NATO, taking into account the needs of all EU Member States;
-appropriate arrangements will be defined that would allow, while respecting the Union's decision-making autonomy, non-EU European NATO members and other interested States to contribute to EU military crisis management;
-a non-military crisis management mechanism will be established to coordinate and make more effective the various civilian means and resources, in parallel with the military ones, at the disposal of the Union and the Member States.
The European Council asks the incoming Presidency, together with the Secretary-General/High Representative, to carry work forward in the General Affairs Council on all aspects of the reports as a matter of priority, including conflict prevention and a committee for civilian crisis management. The incoming Presidency is invited to draw up a first progress report to the Lisbon European Council and an overall report to be presented to the Feira European Council containing appropriate recommendations and proposals, as well as an indication of whether or not Treaty amendment is judged necessary. The General Affairs Council is invited to begin implementing these decisions by establishing as of March 2000 the agreed interim bodies and arrangements within the Council, in accordance with the current Treaty provisions.
III. A COMPETITIVE, JOB-GENERATING, SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY
Policy coordination for economic growth and job creation
30. Economic recovery in the Union has gathered momentum and become increasingly widespread. It is based on sound fundamentals: investment conditions are favourable, inflation remains low and public finances have improved. New jobs are being created and unemployment, while at an unacceptably high level, is on a downward trend. This favourable outlook is supported by the successful introduction of the euro, and should continue to be underpinned by Member States' efforts geared to fiscal consolidation and economic reform, in particular liberalisation and tax reform, as well as wage developments consistent with price stability and job creation.
31. Demographic changes will require policies on active ageing and increased efficiency in the public and private sectors to manage the economic burden of such changes. The ongoing globalisation process intensifies competition and the need to foster innovation and structural reform. The Union and the Member States must actively promote more widespread use of new technologies and develop the information society to support competitiveness, employment and social cohesion. The link between economic and social development underlines the importance of guaranteeing the existence of adequate social safety nets.
The European Council welcomes the report on economic policy coordination by the Council and stresses its major importance in reinforcing coordination of economic, employment and structural policies in order to exploit fully the potential of the single market and the single currency. Emphasis should now be placed on effectively applying and streamlining existing processes and arrangements and on closely monitoring policy implementation. The Broad Economic Policy Guidelines provide the framework for the definition of overall policy objectives and orientations. The synergy between these Guidelines, the Employment Guidelines and the monitoring of structural reform should be further developed under the political guidance of the European Council. While ensuring coherence between the different formations of the Council, the role of the ECOFIN Council in economic policy coordination should be enhanced. Cooperation related to the shared responsibilities for the single currency should be further developed within Euro 11, respecting the conclusions of the December 1997 Luxembourg European Council.
33. The special meeting of the European Council in Lisbon on 23/24 March 2000 will provide an opportunity to further develop these issues by examining the objectives of the existing processes and instruments aimed at strengthening employment, economic reform and social cohesion in the framework of a knowledge-based economy.
The tax package
34. All citizens resident in a Member State of the European Union should pay the tax due on all their savings income.
35. In examining how best we in Europe can pursue the application of this principle, the European Council has agreed that a High Level Working Group will consider specifically how the principle can be implemented most effectively and whether, as a starting point for these considerations, the paper of 7 December 1999 put forward by the Presidency and the Commission offers a way forward.
36. It shall also consider the proposals put forward by the UK, including exchange of information.
37. In its consideration the Working Group will take account of all decisions of the Council including the approaches set out in the paper of 29 November 1999.
38. It will provide a report to the Council with possible solutions on the issues set out above and on the Code of Conduct and the Directive on Interest and Royalties as a package, and the Council will report to the European Council in June 2000 at the latest.
39. Under the Luxembourg process, Member States have, for the past two years, been transposing the Employment Guidelines into national action plans. The positive results are apparent. The European Council welcomes the Commission’s proposal for Employment Guidelines for 2000 as well as the recommendations to individual Member States which provide support for addressing employment challenges in their National Action Plans. It endorses the outcome of the joint meeting of the Council (ECOFIN and Labour and Social Affairs) on these Guidelines and Recommendations. In this process, the increased involvement of both the social partners and the European Parliament, which has been formally consulted on the Employment Guidelines for the first time, is of a particular importance.
40. In undertaking labour market reforms, Member States should pay particular attention in their National Action Plans to the tax and benefit systems, service sector employment, organisation of work, life-long learning and equal opportunities for women and men.
41. Progress has been made in drawing up and using employment performance indicators and related data. The European Council invites the Member States and the Commission to develop further their work in this field.
The internal market, competitiveness, innovation and the information society
42. An internal market that operates at the optimal level is of vital importance for the competitiveness of Europe’s companies, and for growth and employment. Improving the functioning of product, services and capital markets is a key element in the process of comprehensive economic reform. The Commission’s Communication on a Strategy for Europe’s Internal Market is welcomed as an important contribution to this end. The Commission and the Council are invited to develop and clarify the role, objectives and measures of a comprehensive competitiveness policy for the European Union, within the area of co-ordination of economic policies.
43. Effective application of information and communication technologies plays a crucial role in global competition. The Cologne European Council has set the objective for Europe to take a leading role in the information society which calls for further investment in innovation, research and education. Particular emphasis must be placed on the need to meet the growing demands placed on labour markets by the information society.
A well-functioning electronic market requires an open and competitive telecommunications market and legislation that supports electronic business while taking into account the interests of both enterprises and consumers. The European Council notes the recent progress achieved in creating legislation on electronic commerce and urges the Council to conclude unfinished work in this area. The Commission is invited to prepare without delay proposals on necessary changes to Community legislation on communications brought about by technical and market development.
45. The European Council welcomes the e-Europe initiative launched by the Commission as a way of turning Europe into a genuine information society for all. The European Council invites the Commission, together with the Council, to prepare the e-Europe Action Plan, to provide a progress report to the Lisbon Special European Council on 23/24 March 2000 and to conclude the Action Plan by June 2000.
Environment and sustainable development
46. The strategies for integrating the environmental dimension into agriculture, transport and energy sectors have been agreed. Work on similar strategies has started in the Internal Market, Development and Industry Councils, which have already made initial reports available, as well as in the General Affairs, ECOFIN and Fisheries Councils. The Council is asked to bring all of this work to a conclusion and submit to the European Council in June 2001 comprehensive strategies with the possibility of including a timetable for further measures and a set of indicators for these sectors.
47. The completion of sectoral strategies should be followed by their immediate implementation. Regular evaluation, follow-up and monitoring must be undertaken so that the strategies can be adjusted and deepened. The Commission and the Council are urged to develop adequate instruments and applicable data for these purposes.
48. Preparations in relation to policies and measures, including national and Community law, should continue in a manner that would enable the prerequisites to be established for ratifying the Kyoto Protocol both by the European Community and the Member States before 2002. The European Council urges all parties to the Convention to achieve ratification by 2002 so it can enter into force. Integrating environmental issues and sustainable development into the definition and implementation of policies is a central factor in fulfilling the Community's commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. Every effort will be made so that the Hague Conference reaches coherent and credible decisions.
The European Council takes note of the Global Assessment of the 5th Environmental Action Programme and the Report on Environmental and Integration Indicators presented by the Commission and invites the Commission to prepare by the end of 2000 a proposal for the 6th Environmental Action Programme.
50. The Commission is invited to prepare a proposal for a long-term strategy dovetailing policies for economically, socially and ecologically sustainable development to be presented to the European Council in June 2001. This strategy will also serve as a Community input for the ten year review of the Rio Process scheduled for 2002.
IV. OTHER INTERNAL POLICIES WITH A DIRECT IMPACT ON CITIZENS
Public health and food safety
51. The European Council recalls the need to ensure a high level of human health protection in the definition of all Community policies. Particular attention must be given to ensuring healthy and high quality food for all citizens by improving quality standards and enhancing control systems covering the whole of the food chain, from the farm to consumers. The European Council asks the Council to examine as a matter of urgency the forthcoming Commission White Paper on food safety, which will also provide for the possible establishment of an independent food agency and support for national food safety measures, as well as its communication on the precautionary principle. The incoming Presidency will present to the Feira European Council a report on the progress already accomplished.
Fight against organised crime and drugs
52. The European Council has taken note of the report on the finalisation and evaluation of the Action Plan to combat organised crime adopted at its meeting in Amsterdam in 1997. In the light of the Tampere conclusions, it calls upon the Council to follow up this Action Plan with an EU Strategy for preventing and combating organised crime.
53. The European Council takes note of the European Union Drugs Strategy 2000-2004. It invites the institutions and bodies concerned by the strategy to proceed rapidly with implementation and report on the initial results by the end of 2002.
54. New momentum has been injected into the Union's common foreign and security policy with the arrival in office of the Secretary-General/High Representative, Mr Javier Solana. Further possibilities for action are now afforded by Common Strategies which will enable maximum coherence, added value and efficiency in the Union's external action, including appropriate use of the provisions of the Amsterdam Treaty on qualified majority voting on matters of common foreign and security policy implementation. The European Council invites the Council, on the basis of input from the Secretary-General/High Representative and the Commission, to take the necessary steps to ensure that optimum use is made of all the various means at the Union's disposal for more effective and comprehensive external action by the Union.
55. The European Council adopted on 10 December 1999 a separate Declaration on Chechnya (see Annex II).
56. The European Council has decided on a Common Strategy of the European Union on Ukraine (see Annex V). In so doing, the European Council underlines the importance it attaches to the emergence of a democratic, stable, open, and economically successful Ukraine as a prominent actor in the new Europe. The Common Strategy takes account of Ukraine's European aspirations and pro-European choice.
57. The European Council has undertaken a general review of the Union's common strategies. It recalled that in its Declaration on Chechnya it decided that the implementation of the common strategy on Russia should be reviewed. It took note of the advanced state of preparation of the common strategy on the Mediterranean region and the need to continue work on the common strategy on the Western Balkans. It encourages the Council to continue its preparations and to develop the concept of common strategies, as well as the subjects, notably thematic, and timing of further common strategies.
Stability for South-Eastern Europe
58. The Union is determined to have a leading role in promoting stability, security and economic development in South-Eastern Europe in close partnership with the countries of the region and with others under the overall aegis of the Stability Pact. The European Council welcomes the joint report by the Presidency and the Commission emphasising key areas for future work. It invites the Secretary-General/High Representative, together with the Commission, to present to the Council for further urgent consideration a political and economic analysis of future prospects of the region. The European Council also underlines the need for a single regulatory framework for financial assistance which should contribute to more effective action on the ground and cooperation in the region. The European Council expresses its gratitude for the work being undertaken by Mr. Bodo Hombach.
59. The prospect of stabilisation and association agreements should enable closer relations to be developed between all of the states in the region in all areas. Support from the Union will depend on the clear and visible commitment of the states of South Eastern Europe to cooperate in order to achieve the common political priorities. The European Council stresses the major importance of improving relations and removing trade barriers and barriers to the movement of people between the countries concerned. It recalls the importance of rapid action on clearing the Danube.
60. The Union wishes to assist the democratisation of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) as part of its efforts to stabilise South-Eastern Europe. It will intensify dialogue with Serbian democratic forces, as well as the democratically elected government of Montenegro. The Union will pursue further ways of supporting Montenegro's political and economic reform programme.
61. The Union is committed to rehabilitation and reconstruction in Kosovo. The European Council welcomes the Reconstruction and Recovery Programme for Kosovo and the Union's pledge of 500 million euros starting from year 2000 for reconstruction, in addition to the national contributions from the Member States. UN Security Council resolution 1244 must be fully implemented in all its aspects by all the parties. Non-compliance with UNMIK's mandate and lack of cooperation with KFOR will have serious consequences for the EU's commitment in Kosovo. In this context, the European Council expresses its gratitude for the work being undertaken by Mr Bernard Kouchner.
The Northern Dimension
62. The European Council welcomes the conclusions of the Foreign Ministers' Conference on the Northern Dimension held on 11 and 12 November 1999 in Helsinki and the intention of the future Swedish Presidency to organise a high-level follow-up. The European Council invites the Commission to prepare, in cooperation with the Council and in consultation with the partner countries, an Action Plan for the Northern Dimension in the external and cross-border policies of the European Union with a view to presenting it for endorsement at the Feira European Council in June 2000.
63. The European Council welcomes the conclusion of negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement with Mexico.
64. The European Council takes note of the Presidency's report on human rights and welcomes the follow-up to the measures suggested in the European Union declaration of 10 December 1998. The European Council invites the Council, the Commission and the Member States to continue actively to pursue these measures and further develop the format and the contents of the Annual Report on Human Rights and the Annual Human Rights Discussion Forum and examine the need for strengthening analysis and evaluation in the area of human rights. In this context regular dialogue with civil society on human rights is encouraged.
65. The European Council reaffirms the importance of equal enjoyment of human rights by all individuals. Special attention should be paid to the improvement of the situation of those groups which do not form a majority in any State, including the Roma. The European Union is committed to working to achieve this objective together with the Council of Europe and the OSCE.
Middle East Peace Process
66. The European Council welcomes the renewed momentum towards just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East and reaffirms the Union's full support for it.
67. The European Council particularly welcomes the courageous decision of President Assad and Prime Minister Barak to resume negotiations on the Syrian track in Washington in mid-December. It looks forward to early agreement between Israel and Syria which should pave the way for resuming negotiations and for a solution also on the Lebanese track.
68. The European Council emphasises the importance of the measures taken so far by Israel and the Palestinians to implement the Sharm El-Sheikh Understanding. Steady progress should be secured with timely implementation of all the obligations taken by the parties to the agreement. The European Council calls on both parties to refrain from all unilateral acts.
69. All parties to the Multilateral Track of the Peace Process are invited to work for full and early resumption of activities in that field. Parallel progress on all the tracks should be in the interests of all in the present phase of the peace process.
70. The European Council regrets the failure of the WTO Ministerial Conference in Seattle. It reaffirms its commitment to the existing multilateral trading system and to a comprehensive round of multilateral trade negotiations. It endorses the conclusions of the General Affairs Council of 3 December 1999.
71. On the eve of the transition in Macao, the European Council emphasises the importance it attaches to Macao's stability and prosperity as a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China, as well as to preserving its specific identity and its people's rights and freedoms, as set out in the Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration of 1987 and the Basic Law of the SAR. Their full implementation offers the best assurance for Macao's future.
VI. NORTHERN IRELAND
72. The European Council welcomes devolution to Northern Ireland and the establishment of the British-Irish and North-South institutions under the Good Friday Agreement, recognising that these developments represent very significant progress towards full implementation of the Agreement. The European Council congratulates the political parties, the United Kingdom and the Irish Governments and Senator George Mitchell on achieving this progress. The European Council reaffirms its political and practical support for Northern Ireland and for cooperation between North and South.
ANNEXES TO THE
HELSINKI EUROPEAN COUNCIL
10 AND 11 DECEMBER 1999
Annex I The Millennium Declaration
Annex II Declaration on Chechnya
Annex III An effective Council for an enlarged Union – Guidelines for reform and Operational Recommendations
Annex IV Presidency reports on
– strengthening the common European policy on security and defence
– non-military crisis management of the European Union
Annex V Common Strategy of the European Union on Ukraine
Annex VI List of documents submitted to the Helsinki European Council
The quest for peace and prosperity has been the driving force of European integration. In fifty years we have come a long way towards these goals. We live in a Union where citizens and businesses can freely move and settle regardless of national borders. People from all walks of life benefit from the Single Market, Economic and Monetary Union and common policies fostering competitiveness and social inclusion.
The European Union is based on democracy and the rule of law. The Union's citizens are bound together by common values such as freedom, tolerance, equality, solidarity and cultural diversity.
The European Union is a unique venture, with no model in history. Only together, through the Union, can we and our countries meet tomorrow's challenges.
* * *
On the threshold of a new century and the third millennium, the Union should focus on tasks which are central to its peoples’ security and welfare.
Europe faces the realities of the information society and globalisation. There is a need to provide for an ageing population and respond to the expectations of young people. We shall develop our human resources through life-long learning and innovation and we shall promote a dynamic and open knowledge based European economy to secure growth and to bring down unemployment on a permanent basis.
Europe is acutely aware of the need to combat local and world-wide environmental degradation. We shall act together to achieve sustainable development and guarantee a better quality of life for future generations.
People expect to be protected against crime and to be able to exercise their legal rights everywhere in the Union. We shall make the Union a genuine area of freedom, security and justice.
The Union shares a growing global responsibility for promoting wellbeing, preventing conflicts and securing peace. We shall strengthen stability and prosperity in Europe by enlarging the Union and cooperating with partner countries. We shall work for a more open and stable international economy benefiting also people in less favoured parts of the world. We shall create Union military and civil capabilities in order to manage international crises, and to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need.
* * *
Only an open, democratic and efficient Union can fulfil these pledges.
The Union needs the confidence and active involvement of its citizens and civic organisations. The Union also needs the full support of its Member States in promoting the common interest.
We must rejuvenate the idea of a Europe for all – an idea on which each new generation must make its own mark.
DECLARATION ON CHECHNYA
1. The European Council condemns the intense bombardments of Chechen cities, the threat levelled at the residents of Grozny and the ultimatum set by the Russian military commanders, as well as the treatment of the internally displaced persons as totally unacceptable.
2. The European Council does not question the right of Russia to preserve its territorial integrity nor its right to fight against terrorism. However the fight against terrorism cannot, under any circumstances, warrant the destruction of cities, nor that they be emptied of their inhabitants, nor that a whole population be considered as terrorist.
3. This behaviour is in contradiction with the basic principles of humanitarian law, the commitments of Russia as made within the OSCE and its obligations as a member of the Council of Europe. This war increases the gap between the Chechen people and the rest of Russia, and threatens to destabilise the whole region. Only a political solution can put an end to this crisis. The European Council is deeply concerned at the threat the continuing conflict poses to the stability of the Caucasus region and possible spill-over from the fighting in Chechnya to Georgia and the effects on her territorial integrity.
4. The European Council calls upon the Russian authorities:
- not to carry out the ultimatum against the civilian populations of Grozny;
- to end the bombing and the disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force against the Chechen population;
- to allow for the safe delivery of humanitarian aid and the security of the international relief agencies;
- to start forthwith political dialogue with the elected Chechen authorities.
5. The European Council urged the Chechen authorities to respect the rules and principles of humanitarian law, to condemn terrorism and to aim at the renewal of a political dialogue.
6. The European Council expects Russia to fully honour and implement the commitments made in Istanbul. It pays special attention to the forthcoming visit of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office to the region. The European Council urges Russia to use this visit for a dialogue with the elected leaders of the North Caucasus including Chechnya. A field office of the OSCE Assistance Group in Chechnya should be opened forthwith in Nazran, Ingushetia.
7. In the light of the above, the European Council decides to draw the consequences from this situation:
- for the implementation of the European Union's Common Strategy on Russia, which should be reviewed;
- for the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, some of the provisions of which should be suspended and the trade provisions applied strictly;
- for TACIS, the budgetary authority is asked to consider the transfer of some funds from TACIS to humanitarian assistance. Finance in the budget for 2000 should be limited to priority areas, including human rights, the rule of law, support for civil society and nuclear safety.
It invites the Presidency with the Secretary-General/High Representative to notify this decision and the contents of this declaration urgently at the highest level to the Russian authorities.
It invites the OSCE and the Council of Europe to review, in their field of competence, the modalities of their cooperation with Russia.
8. Russia is a major partner for the European Union. The Union has constantly expressed its willingness to accompany Russia in its transition towards a modern and democratic state. But Russia must live up to its obligations if the strategic partnership is to be developed. The European Union does not want Russia to isolate herself from Europe.
COUNCIL FOR AN
GUIDELINES FOR REFORM
GUIDELINES FOR REFORM
Reforming the functioning of the Council is an important component of the broader institutional reform process to prepare the Union for enlargement. The scale of the coming enlargements coupled with the wider scope of the Union's action could well slow the Council down, and ultimately even paralyse it. That risk is already perceptible now and represents a threat to the smooth operation of the Union, given the Council's central role in Union decision-making. Hence the need for a comprehensive review of the Council's working methods, as highlighted in the report submitted by the Secretary-General in March 1999( 1).
The Council must have an overview of all Union policies. For it to do so, there has to be at the heart of the system a single chain of coordination capable of ensuring that Union action is consistent with the will of its political leaders. This chain of command starts in the Member States themselves with effective interdepartmental coordination and arbitration, and extends through COREPER, the General Affairs Council to the European Council. The Council's ability to meet the challenges ahead largely depends on strengthening the effectiveness of this channel – the backbone of the system. Action to preserve the Council's ability to act decisively therefore needs to be taken at all levels.
The European Council must remain an effective forum for policy leadership in providing necessary impetus for the Union's development and defining general political guidelines. It must preserve the flexible way in which it is prepared at present, the restricted format of its meetings and the practical impact of the Presidency conclusions.
The General Affairs Council's central responsibility for general horizontal issues, including overall policy coordination, means that it will have to manage an increasingly complex external and internal agenda, dealing with major multidisciplinary and interpillar dossiers. Effectively handling all aspects of its work by better agenda management and suitable Member State representation is essential if the General Affairs Council is to continue to play its role in ensuring overall coordination and policy consistency, and in preparing European Council meetings.
Given the diversification of the Union's activities and broadening of the areas covered by the Treaties, it is important to prevent fragmentation of the Union's activities and decision-making by limiting the number of Council formations, and by avoiding artificial activities to fill up agendas. This will help focus the Union's action and improve overall policy coordination and consistency by the Council's preparatory bodies.
Efficient legislative practices must be followed. This means ensuring that the correct legislative instruments are used, that texts are drafted in a high quality and legally watertight manner, that the codecision procedure, given its increasing application, operates smoothly and effectively and that the Council's legislative work is more transparent and open to public scrutiny.
While internal coordination in the Member States is, and must remain, the exclusive preserve of each government, effective coordination has a direct bearing on the functioning and coherence of the Council. Therefore Member States have a common and genuine interest in endeavouring to ensure that their internal organisation allows the Council to deliberate more effectively.
Effective Council decision-making requires preparatory work to be undertaken as rationally and cost-effectively as possible while ensuring overall policy consistency. This implies planning all programmable activities, a clear definition of the role of COREPER and Council Working Parties, and improved working methods designed to ensure optimum use of infrastructure and resources. Already now, and all the more so in an enlarged Union, full use must be made of the limited time available in meetings. Without suitable preparation upstream and greater discipline in plenary debates at all levels, discussions risk becoming completely ineffective. At meetings, delegations should be able to react and negotiate on clear options, drafted solutions to known difficulties or clearly identified problems. Therefore it is of the utmost importance that clear and well-structured papers are provided. The Presidency, as part of its particular responsibilities for managing and conducting discussions, should have the means to ensure suitable working methods.
The Presidency must retain overall political responsibility for managing Council business. Over the years its burden has increased substantially, and will continue to do so as the Union enlarges. Optimum use must therefore be made of the various forms of support available, such as the incoming Presidency, the Troïka and the General Secretariat, in order to ease the Presidency's workload. The increasing number of Council members, along with the increase in the Presidency's responsibilities, will also require greater and more upfront support for the Council and the Presidency from the General Secretariat.
Finally, practical issues such as the layout of rooms, translation, interpretation and document production are crucial to the smooth operation of the Council. New imaginative and pragmatic solutions are needed on these issues, while respecting basic principles, if the Council is to continue to operate effectively.
The following operational recommendations will, for the most part, be implemented as soon as possible. Some will require more detailed work before being implemented over the medium-term in connection with enlargement. They are designed to meet the Cologne European Council's call for specific proposals to be made for improving the operation of the Council with a view to enlargement. It is imperative that these recommendations are applied using effective means of enforcement through the Council's rules of procedure( 2) and are coupled with the practical measures already being implemented by the Presidency and the Secretary-General, which must be consolidated over the coming years. The combined impact of these measures should ensure that the Council is properly equipped to welcome new members in the near future with minimum upheaval.
A. THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL AND THE GENERAL AFFAIRS COUNCIL
1. The European Council's primary purpose must be to continue to provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development and define general political guidelines. One means of helping it better fulfil these tasks is to make the Presidency conclusions more concise (maximum 15 pages( 3)) thereby focusing them on the political decisions taken on the items actually discussed at the meeting.
2. The General Affairs Council must be in a position to deal effectively with horizontal internal issues including overall policy coordination. The General Affairs Council agenda shall accordingly be divided into two distinct parts. Member States shall ensure that they are suitably represented at ministerial level at both parts of the session.
3. The General Affairs Council is responsible for the overall coordination of European Council preparatory work.
B. EXTERNAL RELATIONS( 4)
Role of the Secretary-General/High Representative
4. Subject to the requirement laid down in Article 3 of the TEU for the Council and the Commission to ensure consistency in external relations, and in accordance with their respective responsibilities under the Treaties, the Presidency, the Secretary-General/High Representative and the Commissioner for external relations, will cooperate closely in order to ensure overall continuity and coherence of action by the Union in external relations.
5. The Secretary-General/High Representative shall, in accordance with the Treaties:
(i) assist the Presidency in coordinating work in the Council to ensure coherence on the various aspects of the Union's external relations;
(ii) contribute to preparing policy decisions and formulating options for the Council on foreign and security policy matters, so that it constantly focuses on the major political issues requiring an operational decision or political guidance;
(iii) contribute to the implementation of foreign and security policy decisions in close coordination with the Commission, Member States and other authorities responsible for effective application on the ground.
6. The Secretary-General/High Representative may receive specified mandates from the Council.
Regular meetings / contacts with third countries
7. Given the increasing administrative burden of organising ministerial level meetings with third countries, in particular under cooperation and association agreements, more effective management of such meetings will be achieved by:
(i) drawing up systematic schedules of ministerial meetings with third countries covering the current and the next two Presidencies, adjusted on a rolling basis, to enable an appropriate shareout of the administrative burden and ensure adequate preparation;
(ii) seeking the consent of third parties to including provisions under existing or future cooperation and association agreements:
-which, as far as timing of meetings is concerned, do not specify a given periodicity, but allow ministerial meetings to be convened when warranted by a substantive agenda after proper preparation;
-and which, as far as the level of representation is concerned, provide that the Council will as a rule be represented at ministerial level by the Presidency, assisted by the Secretary-General/High Representative, and the incoming Presidency. Other members of the Council may designate representatives at official level;
(iii) ensuring that, as far as political dialogue meetings are concerned, the Presidency and the High Representative make the most effective use of both possibilities offered under the Treaty for conducting such meetings (i.e. the Presidency, assisted by the Secretary-General/High Representative or the High Representative at the request of the Presidency on the Council's behalf) in order to streamline the Union's political dialogue arrangements, in full association with the Commission.
Optimum use of diplomatic networks
8. The Secretary-General/High Representative is invited to draw up a report for the Council examining ways and means of using the networks of Member States' embassies and Commission delegations throughout the world to strengthen implementation of the Union's action and assist him in carrying out his tasks.
9. In order to improve the coherence and consistency of the Council's work, the number of Council formations shall be reduced to a maximum of 15. The General Affairs Council shall take the necessary steps to achieve this objective as soon as possible by merging certain Council formations, by handling certain matters in other relevant Council formations and by making maximum use of "back to back" arrangements when convening closely-related Council formations.
10. In convening Council sessions, particular attention shall be paid to the management and organisation of the agenda in order to allow Member States to be represented in each Council formation as they deem appropriate on the basis of their own internal organisation. The Presidency shall endeavour to ensure as a rule that each Council formation has a single President.
11. Without prejudice to Article 1(1) of the Council's rules of procedure, Council formations and sessions shall only be convened when a substantive agenda exists (e.g. when policy decisions are to be taken or political orientations are to be given) or when required by objective deadlines. Failure to meet these criteria would imply not convening the Council formation or session in question.
*12. No new formations of the Council may be convened unless the General Affairs Council so decides.
13. Joint sessions of different Council formations shall no longer be convened, save in exceptional circumstances.
14. Each Member State will keep under permanent review its internal coordination arrangements for EU matters so that they are tailored to ensuring the optimum functioning of the Council. On the basis of a contribution from each Member State giving a practical description of internal coordination procedures on EU matters, a summary of coordination systems in the different Member States will be compiled by December 2000.
THE COUNCIL'S LEGISLATIVE ROLE
Proper use of legislative instruments and improved drafting quality
*15. Delegations shall ensure that proposed textual amendments are properly drafted, including during the first reading of a text by a Working Party.
*16. The Council shall refrain from adopting resolutions, declarations, or any other non-standard form of act when dealing with legislative matters.
Improved codification procedures
17. In order to speed up work on the codification of legislative texts and increase the amount of legislation available in a codified and more readable form:
(i) a strict deadline of 30 days shall be imposed within the Council for delegations to comment on proposals. The European Parliament should be approached in order to agree on procedural deadlines for giving its opinion on codification proposals;
(ii) the Council will seek a further Interinstitutional agreement with the European Parliament and the Commission as soon as possible on the use of a fast-track method for the "recasting" technique (i.e. using the opportunity offered by an amendment to a basic act to codify all of it), subject to ensuring that the principles and spirit of the codification technique (i.e. codification of texts as published without substantive amendment) are respected.
Making the co-decision procedure more effective
18. The Presidency shall, as an integral part of its programming, take due account of the requirement to schedule conciliation and preparatory meetings, bearing in mind the deadlines applicable for codecision procedures. Contacts with the European Parliament at the first and second reading stages must be undertaken with the aim of bringing the procedure to a successful conclusion as swiftly as possible.
19. The Presidency and the General Secretariat are invited to propose by the end of 2000 further changes in the Council's working methods in dealing with codecided acts in the light of experience acquired in implementing the Joint Declaration of 4 May 1999.
INFORMAL MINISTERIAL MEETINGS
20. Informal meetings of Ministers are designed to permit as free as possible an exchange of views on topics of general scope. They are not Council sessions and cannot replace the Council's normal activities. Such meetings are subject to the following rules:
(i) A maximum of 5 informal Ministerial meetings may be held during any Presidency;
(ii) No official agenda shall be drawn up;
(iii) The presence of assistants shall be limited to a maximum of two per minister;
(iv) Discussions must in no circumstances require Council documents to be prepared, either before or after the meeting;
(v) Meetings cannot arrive at formal conclusions or decisions. Any press communication must make this point explicitly clear.
21. Given that COREPER has responsibility for the final preparation and presentation of all agenda items to the Council( 5), it shall be responsible for assembling all preparatory work undertaken by different vertical bodies for both multidisciplinary and interpillar dossiers. In order to carry out effectively this role:
(i) the Presidency, assisted by the General Secretariat, shall ensure effective forward planning of all multidisciplinary and interpillar dossiers;
(ii) all evaluations, assessments or contributions from other bodies must be available for the COREPER meeting preparing the Council where a final decision is to be made( 6);
(iii) as a rule, a single Presidency or Secretariat paper shall be prepared for the Council encompassing all contributions and aspects of the dossier;
(iv) the Antici, Mertens or "Friends of the Presidency" groups may be called on to assist COREPER in this task.
*22. Preparatory work by COREPER for a legislative item on the Council agenda must be completed by the end of the week preceding the week prior to the Council. Failure to do so will, as a general rule, result in such items automatically being removed from the Council agenda unless considerations of urgency require otherwise.
*23. For any dossiers where substantive preparation is undertaken in other fora, COREPER must in any case be in a position to verify that the following principles and rules are respected:
(i) the principle of legality in the light of Community law, including the principles of subsidiarity, proportionality and of providing reasons for acts;
(ii) the powers of Union institutions;
(iii) budgetary provisions;
(iv) rules on procedure, transparency and the quality of drafting of legislation;
(v) consistency with other Union policies and measures.
24. Ad hoc meetings of COREPER may be convened by the Presidency at short notice in order to discuss specific urgent matters.
G. THE COUNCIL PRESIDENCY
*25. The incoming Presidency shall assist the Presidency, while preserving fully the Presidency's powers and overall political responsibility for managing Council business in conformity with the Treaties and the Council's rules of procedure. The incoming Presidency, acting under the Presidency's instructions, shall replace the Presidency as and when required, relieve the Presidency, when needed, of some of its administrative burden and enhance continuity of work in the Council. The Presidency and the incoming Presidency will take all the necessary steps to ensure a smooth transition from one Presidency to the next.
Access to documents
*26. Procedures for public access to Council documents should be streamlined and automated as far as possible using modern technology, including the Internet, without prejudice to general principles governing the right of access to documents to be decided in accordance with Article 255 of the Treaty.
Greater openness by the Council when acting in a legislative capacity.
*27. The General Affairs and ECOFIN Councils shall each hold a public debate every six months on the Presidency's work programme.
*28. At least one public Council debate should be held on important legislative proposals. COREPER shall decide on public debates by qualified majority.
29. In order to ensure more interesting public debates, discussion shall be organised as follows:
(i) delegations shall be invited, in time before the Council, to communicate to the Presidency and the Secretariat their views on the proposal or the item to be publicly debated;
(ii) the Presidency, on the basis of the written statements, shall draw up a one page note containing a brief questionnaire;
(iii) this note shall be circulated to delegations before the start of the meeting and will constitute the basis on which the debate shall be conducted.
I. INFORMATION POLICY
30. The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission are urged to take steps to pool as far as possible efforts to provide coordinated general information about the Union, in particular by optimising use of existing resources; in this context, it might be useful to examine the feasibility of setting up in Brussels a joint European Parliament, Council and Commission information centre for receiving visitors to the institutions and coordinating publications on EU matters for the general public.
31. The Commission is invited to study the general question of the Union's information policy, including improving coordination with its information offices in the Member States and links with national information offices.
J. ORGANISATION AND CONDUCT OF MEETINGS
Programming of Council work
32. Each Presidency shall, in cooperation with the Commission, the General Secretariat and the future Presidency, programme all legislative activities as well as all other aspects of the Council's work not dependent on the latest political developments.
*33. Seven months before the beginning of each Presidency, the incoming President of the Council shall make known the dates envisaged for all Council sessions where it is clear that legislative work needs to be undertaken or operational policy decisions need to be made. The final Presidency programme may provide for additional Council sessions, provided they are warranted for operational reasons. If a programmed session proves to be no longer warranted, it shall be cancelled.
*34. The Presidency programme, in the form of indicative Council provisional agendas indicating operational decisions and legislative work, shall be finalised at the latest one week before the beginning of the Presidency.
35. When deemed useful, the Presidency may invite delegations to submit preliminary comments and positions in writing by a specified deadline before the Working Party begins its work on a new proposal. On the basis of the written contributions, a working paper will be produced setting out in an ordered way the main issues arising in order to guide and structure the initial debate in the Working Party.
36. A list of all Council preparatory bodies( 7) shall be updated regularly by the General Secretariat as a result of decisions to establish such bodies by COREPER or the Council.
37. The Council and COREPER shall refrain from setting up new high level working parties.
*38. All Working Party meetings preparing a legislative item for COREPER must complete their work at least 5 working days prior to the COREPER meeting in question. Failure to do so will, as a general rule, result in the item automatically being postponed to the following COREPER meeting, unless considerations of urgency require otherwise.
Agendas and documents
39. Without prejudice to Article 2 of the Council's rules of procedure, the Presidency and Secretariat shall ensure that items are only proposed for inclusion on Council provisional agendas when decisions or political guidance are necessary.
40. Council discussions shall be based on clear guidelines, options or suggested solutions prepared by COREPER for the key issues under examination.
Conduct of meetings
41. Council and COREPER discussions shall focus on reacting to options or solutions presented in the Presidency or Secretariat paper. Well-known arguments or positions should be developed in written statements.
42. Full table rounds shall be proscribed in principle; they may only be used in exceptional circumstances on specific questions, with a time limit on interventions set by the Presidency.
43. Where a good prospect exists of proposing a compromise for resubmission the same day, the Presidency shall convene a working party in the margins of COREPER or Council meetings. If a compromise emerges in the course of a Council or COREPER debate, the agreed decision shall be framed in parallel with the meeting.
*44. Decisions may only be taken in formal sessions of the Council. The General Secretariat shall verify that a quorum exists for a decision to be taken. The Presidency shall provide for more restricted and super-restricted sessions during formal meetings (which include Ministerial conclaves) in order to discuss politically sensitive or classified subjects, instead of dealing with such matters over lunch.
*45. The Presidency may, inter alia:
(i) fix in advance the time to be allocated for agenda items in COREPER and Council where no objective need exists for a decision to be reached;
(ii) organise the time allotted for discussion of a particular item;
(iii) determine numbers per delegation present in the meeting room (i.e. whether to hold restricted or super-restricted sessions);
(iv) make use of points of order each time it is necessary to ensure the conditions imposed regarding the conduct of a discussion are respected.
K. THE GENERAL SECRETARIAT AND THE PRACTICAL FRAMEWORK
Role of the General Secretariat
46. The General Secretariat's supporting role as advisor to the Council and the Presidency shall be strengthened by being continually and closely associated in programming, coordinating and ensuring the coherence of the Council's work. In particular, it is encouraged to play a more active role, under the Presidency's responsibility and guidance, in assisting it in its "good offices" function and searching for compromise solutions.
47. Documents issued by the General Secretariat and used as a basis for negotiations in the Council and its preparatory bodies must be concise and set out clearly the issues to be decided including, where appropriate, options or avenues for compromise. Lengthy records of meetings describing delegations' positions should be avoided.
*48. The Secretary-General/High Representative shall have full responsibility for managing the Council budget.
Organisation of the General Secretariat
49. The Secretary-General/High Representative is invited to take steps to adapt the General Secretariat rapidly to the changing requirements of the Council, in particular by:
(i) tailoring its structures to the operational requirements of the Council, in particular by reorganising work in larger administrative units;
(ii) strengthening internal auditing to ensure the best possible match between the Council's requirements and the human and material resources available in the General Secretariat;
(iii) introducing a flexible and dynamic staff policy designed to provide greater staff motivation. This will involve ensuring adequate staff training so that the Secretariat is able to fulfil effectively an enhanced supporting role. The possibility of short-term exchanges with national administrations should be considered as part of this training.
50. The Secretary-General/High Representative is urged to review the Council's and the General Secretariat's working methods in order to improve efficiency by making optimum use of modern technology, including improved use of data processing and electronic means, adapting procedures and the document production and transmission circuit and targeting staff training at the needs of modernisation.
Material aspects of the Council's work
51. The Secretary-General/High Representative is invited to undertake a detailed examination of the technical and methodological means available for increasing the translating and interpreting capability at the disposal of the Council.
52. In the light of the above study, an examination should be undertaken to see how, at the preparatory level, the necessary efficiency of the Council can be ensured while respecting the provisions on the principles of equality of and non-discrimination among the Union's official languages( 8).
Building requirements and configuration of meeting rooms
53. While keeping the Council duly informed, the Secretary-General/High Representative shall have full responsibility for evaluating the building requirements for a substantially enlarged Council and how these requirements can be satisfied, so that detailed proposals can be made to the Council in due course in the light of that evaluation.
54. In order to allow effective deliberations and negotiations after enlargement, it will be essential to reduce numbers present in meeting rooms and at the main table. For meetings of the European Council, each delegation shall have no more than two seats at the table. For meetings of Council preparatory bodies (Committees and Working Parties), each delegation shall have one seat at the table, unless stipulated otherwise. The Secretary-General/High Representative is requested to study the appropriate configuration of meeting rooms for Council sessions and make appropriate proposals. This study shall take account of the various constraints linked to work in different Council formations.
55. The Secretary-General/High Representative shall evaluate implementation of these recommendations and, if appropriate, make further practical suggestions by July 2001 for improving the Council's working methods.
PRESIDENCY REPORTS TO THE HELSINKI EUROPEAN COUNCIL ON
"STRENGTHENING THE COMMON EUROPEAN POLICY ON SECURITY AND DEFENCE" AND ON "NON-MILITARY CRISIS MANAGEMENT
OF THE EUROPEAN UNION"
The Presidency has responded as a matter of priority to the mandate given by the Cologne European Council to strengthen the common European policy on security and defence by taking the work forward in military and non-military aspects of crisis management. The work has been based on the provisions of the Treaty on European Union and the guiding principles agreed at Cologne, which have been reaffirmed by the Member States.
Work has yielded two separate progress reports to the European Council, which are intended to be complementary. The reports propose concrete measures and provide guidance for further work to take the necessary decisions by the end of the year 2000 towards the objectives set at Cologne. During the Portuguese Presidency, consideration will be given as to whether or not Treaty amendment is judged necessary.
To assume their responsibilities across the full range of conflict prevention and crisis management tasks defined in the EU Treaty, the Petersberg tasks, the Member States have decided to develop more effective military capabilities and establish new political and military structures for these tasks. In this connection, the objective is for the Union to have an autonomous capacity to take decisions and, where NATO as a whole is not engaged, to launch and then to conduct EU-led military operations in response to international crises.
Also in order to assume these responsibilities, the Union will improve and make more effective use of resources in civilian crisis management in which the Union and the Members States already have considerable experience. Special attention will be given to a rapid reaction capability.
All these measures will be taken in support of the Common Foreign and Security Policy and they will reinforce and extend the Union's comprehensive external role. With the enhancement and concertation of military and civilian crisis response tools, the Union will be able to resort to the whole range of instruments from diplomatic activity, humanitarian assistance and economic measures to civilian policing and military crisis management operations.
NATO remains the foundation of the collective defence of its members, and will continue to have an important role in crisis management.
The development of the common European policy on security and defence will take place without prejudice to the commitments under Article 5 of the Washington Treaty and Article V of the Brussels Treaty, which will be preserved for the Member States party to these Treaties. Nor shall the development of the common European policy on security and defence prejudice the specific character of the security and defence policy of certain Member States.
Further steps will be taken to ensure full mutual consultation, cooperation and transparency between the EU and NATO.
The Union will contribute to international peace and security in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter. The Union recognises the primary responsibility of the United Nations Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security. Following up the principles and objectives of the OSCE Charter for European Security, the Union will cooperate with the UN, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and other international organisations in a mutually reinforcing manner in stability promotion, early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict reconstruction.
ANNEX 1 to ANNEX IV
PRESIDENCY PROGRESS REPORT TO THE HELSINKI EUROPEAN COUNCIL
ON STRENGTHENING THE COMMON EUROPEAN POLICY
ON SECURITY AND DEFENCE
Recalling the guiding principles agreed at Cologne, the European Union should be able to assume its responsibilities for the full range of conflict prevention and crisis management tasks defined in the EU Treaty, the Petersberg tasks.
The European Union should have the autonomous capacity to take decisions and, where NATO as a whole is not engaged, to launch and then to conduct EU-led military operations in response to international crises in support of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). The action by the Union will be conducted in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter and the principles and objectives of the OSCE Charter for European Security. The Union recognises the primary responsibility of the United Nations Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security.
For this purpose, the following has been agreed:
A common European headline goal will be adopted for readily deployable military capabilities and collective capability goals in the fields of command and control, intelligence and strategic transport will be developed rapidly, to be achieved through voluntary co-ordinated national and multinational efforts, for carrying out the full range of Petersberg tasks.
New political and military bodies will be established within the Council to enable the Union to take decisions on EU-led Petersberg operations and to ensure, under the authority of the Council, the necessary political control and strategic direction of such operations.
Principles for cooperation with non-EU European NATO members and other European partners in EU-led military crisis management will be agreed, without prejudice to the Union's decision-making autonomy.
Determination to carry out Petersberg tasks will require Member States to improve national and multinational military capabilities, which will at the same time, as appropriate, strengthen the capabilities of NATO and enhance the effectiveness of the Partnership for Peace (PfP) in promoting European security.
In presenting this report, the Presidency has taken note of the fact that Denmark has recalled Protocol no 5 to the Amsterdam Treaty on the position of Denmark.
Military capabilities for Petersberg tasks
Member States recall their commitment made at Cologne and their determination to give the EU appropriate capabilities, without unnecessary duplication, to be able to undertake the full range of Petersberg tasks in support of the CFSP. Such capabilities will enable them to conduct effective EU-led operations as well as playing, for those involved, their full role in NATO and NATO-led operations. More effective European military capabilities will be developed on the basis of the existing national, bi-national and multinational capabilities, which will be assembled for EU-led crisis management operations carried out with or without recourse to NATO assets and capabilities. Particular attention will be devoted to the capabilities necessary to ensure effective performance in crisis management: deployability, sustainability, interoperability, flexibility, mobility, survivability and command and control, taking account of the results of the WEU audit of assets and capabilities and their implications for EU-led operations.
To develop European capabilities, Member States have set themselves the headline goal: by the year 2003, cooperating together voluntarily, they will be able to deploy rapidly and then sustain forces capable of the full range of Petersberg tasks as set out in the Amsterdam Treaty, including the most demanding, in operations up to corps level (up to 15 brigades or 50,000-60,000 persons). These forces should be militarily self-sustaining with the necessary command, control and intelligence capabilities, logistics, other combat support services and additionally, as appropriate, air and naval elements. Member States should be able to deploy in full at this level within 60 days, and within this to provide smaller rapid response elements available and deployable at very high readiness. They must be able to sustain such a deployment for at least one year. This will require an additional pool of deployable units (and supporting elements) at lower readiness to provide replacements for the initial forces.
Member States have also decided to develop rapidly collective capability goals in the fields of command and control, intelligence and strategic transport, areas also identified by the WEU audit. They welcome in this respect decisions already announced by certain Member States which go in that direction:
- to develop and coordinate monitoring and early warning military means;
- to open existing joint national headquarters to officers coming from other Member States;
- to reinforce the rapid reaction capabilities of existing European multinational forces;
- to prepare the establishment of a European air transport command;
- to increase the number of readily deployable troops;
- to enhance strategic sea lift capacity.
The General Affairs Council, with the participation of Defence Ministers, will elaborate the headline and capability goals. It will develop a method of consultation through which these goals can be met and maintained, and through which national contributions reflecting Member States’ political will and commitment towards these goals can be defined by each Member State, with a regular review of progress made. In addition, Member States would use existing defence planning procedures, including, as appropriate, those available in NATO and the Planning and Review Process (PARP) of the PfP. These objectives and those arising, for those countries concerned, from NATO’s Defence Capabilities Initiative (DCI) will be mutually reinforcing.
The European NATO members who are not EU Member States, and other countries who are candidates for accession to the European Union will be invited to contribute to this improvement of European military capabilities. This will enhance the effectiveness of EU-led military operations and will, for those countries concerned, contribute directly to the effectiveness and vitality of the European pillar of the NATO.
Member States welcome the recent progress made towards the restructuring of European defence industries, which constitutes an important step forward. This contributes to strengthening the European industrial and technological defence base. Such developments call for increased efforts to seek further progress in the harmonisation of military requirements and the planning and procurement of arms, as Member States consider appropriate.
The Council decides upon policy relevant to Union involvement in all phases and aspects of crisis management, including decisions to carry out Petersberg tasks in accordance with Article 23 of the EU Treaty. Taken within the single institutional framework, decisions will respect European Community competences and ensure inter-pillar coherence in conformity with Article 3 of the EU Treaty.
All Member States are entitled to participate fully and on an equal footing in all decisions and deliberations of the Council and Council bodies on EU-led operations. The commitment of national assets by Member States to such operations will be based on their sovereign decision. Member States will participate in the ad hoc committee of contributors in accordance with the conditions provided for by paragraph 24.
Defence Ministers will be involved in the common European security and defence policy (CESDP); when the General Affairs Council discusses matters related to the CESDP, Defence Ministers as appropriate will participate to provide guidance on defence matters.
The following new permanent political and military bodies will be established within the Council:
a) - A standing Political and Security Committee (PSC) in Brussels will be composed of national representatives of senior/ambassadorial level. The PSC will deal with all aspects of the CFSP, including the CESDP, in accordance with the provisions of the EU Treaty and without prejudice to Community competence. In the case of a military crisis management operation, the PSC will exercise, under the authority of the Council, the political control and strategic direction of the operation. For that purpose, appropriate procedures will be adopted in order to allow effective and urgent decision taking. The PSC will also forward guidelines to the Military Committee.
b) - The Military Committee (MC) will be composed of the Chiefs of Defence, represented by their military delegates. The MC will meet at the level of the Chiefs of Defence as and when necessary. This committee will give military advice and make recommendations to the PSC, as well as provide military direction to the Military Staff. The Chairman of the MC will attend meetings of the Council when decisions with defence implications are to be taken.
c) - The Military Staff (MS) within the Council structures will provide military expertise and support to the CESDP, including the conduct of EU-led military crisis management operations. The Military Staff will perform early warning, situation assessment and strategic planning for Petersberg tasks including identification of European national and multinational forces.
As an interim measure, the following bodies will be set up within the Council as of March 2000:
a) - Fully respecting the Treaty provisions, the Council will establish a standing interim political and security committee at senior/ambassadorial level tasked to take forward under the guidance of the Political Committee the follow up of the Helsinki European Council by preparing recommendations on the future functioning of the CESDP and to deal with CFSP affairs on a day-to-day basis in close contacts with the SG/HR.
b) - An interim body of military representatives of Member States’ Chiefs of Defence is established to give military advice as required to the interim political and security committee.
c) - The Council Secretariat will be strengthened by military experts seconded from Member States in order to assist in the work on the CESDP and to form the nucleus of the future Military Staff.
The Secretary General/High Representative (SG/HR), in assisting the Council, has a key contribution to make to the efficiency and consistency of the CFSP and the development of the common security and defence policy. In conformity with the EU Treaty, the SG/HR will contribute to the formulation, preparation and implementation of policy decisions.
In the interim period, the SG/HR, Secretary General of the WEU, should make full use of WEU assets for the purpose of advising the Council under Article 17 of the EU Treaty.
Consultation and cooperation with non-EU countries and with NATO
The Union will ensure the necessary dialogue, consultation and cooperation with NATO and its non-EU members, other countries who are candidates for accession to the EU as well as other prospective partners in EU-led crisis management, with full respect for the decision-making autonomy of the EU and the single institutional framework of the Union.
With European NATO members who are not members of the EU and other countries who are candidates for accession to the EU, appropriate structures will be established for dialogue and information on issues related to security and defence policy and crisis management. In the event of a crisis, these structures will serve for consultation in the period leading up to a decision of the Council.
Upon a decision by the Council to launch an operation, the non-EU European NATO members will participate if they so wish, in the event of an operation requiring recourse to NATO assets and capabilities. They will, on a decision by the Council, be invited to take part in operations where the EU does not use NATO assets.
Other countries who are candidates for accession to the EU may also be invited by the Council to take part in EU-led operations once the Council has decided to launch such an operation.
Russia, Ukraine and other European States engaged in political dialogue with the Union and other interested States may be invited to take part in the EU-led operations.
All the States that have confirmed their participation in an EU-led operation by deploying significant military forces will have the same rights and obligations as the EU participating Member States in the day-to-day conduct of such an operation.
In the case of an EU-led operation, an ad-hoc committee of contributors will be set up for the day-to-day conduct of the operation. All EU Member States are entitled to attend the ad-hoc committee, whether or not they are participating in the operation, while only contributing States will take part in the day-to-day conduct of the operation.
The decision to end an operation will be taken by the Council after consultation between the participating states within the committee of contributors.
Modalities for full consultation, cooperation and transparency between the EU and NATO will be developed. Initially, relations will be developed on an informal basis, through contacts between the SG/HR for CFSP and the Secretary General of NATO.
Follow-up for the Portuguese Presidency
The Portuguese Presidency is invited, together with the Secretary General/High Representative, to carry forward the work within the General Affairs Council on strengthening the common European security and defence policy. The Portuguese Presidency is also invited to report to the European Council in Feira on the progress made, including:
a) - recommendations on the institutional development of the new permanent political and military bodies related to the CESDP within the EU, taking into account the paper on "Military bodies in the European Union and the planning and conduct of EU-led operations" and other contributions made;
b) - proposals on appropriate arrangements to be concluded by the Council on modalities of consultation and/or participation that will allow the third States concerned to contribute to EU military crisis management;
c) - proposals on principles for consultation with NATO on military issues and recommendations on developing modalities for EU/NATO relations, to permit co-operation on the appropriate military response to a crisis, as set out in Washington and at Cologne;
d) -an indication of whether or not Treaty amendment is judged necessary.
ANNEX 2 to ANNEX IV
Presidency Report on Non-Military Crisis Management
of the European Union
The Presidency was mandated by the European Council in Cologne to continue the work on all aspects of security including the enhancement and better coordination of the Union's and the Member States' non-military crisis response tools. Developments inter alia in Kosovo have for their part underlined the importance of this task. To this end, a thorough discussion has been carried out within the Council instances.
Work listing all available resources of the Member States and the Union has been initiated and has led to inventories of the tools available to the Union and to Member States, which are contained respectively in doc. 11044/99 REV 1 for the Union and in doc. 12323/99 for the Member States.
The inventories which have been drawn up clearly show that Member States, the Union, or both have accumulated considerable experience or have considerable resources in a number of areas such as civilian police, humanitarian assistance, administrative and legal rehabilitation, search and rescue, electoral and human rights monitoring, etc. This inventory should be pursued further. Regular updating will be necessary to better identify lacunae as well as strongpoints.
In order to be able to respond more rapidly and more effectively to emerging crisis situations, the Union needs to strengthen the responsiveness and efficiency of its resources and tools, as well as their synergy.
It is therefore appropriate to draw up an Action Plan which would show the way ahead and indicate the steps the Union has to undertake to develop a rapid reaction capability in the field of crisis management using non-military instruments.
A. The Union should aim at:
- strengthening the synergy and responsiveness of national, collective and NGO resources in order to avoid duplication and improve performance, while maintaining the flexibility of each contributor to decide on the deployment of assets and capabilities in a particular crisis, or via a particular channel;
- enhancing and facilitating the EU's contributions to, and activities within, other organisations, such as the UN and the OSCE whenever one of them is the lead organisation in a particular crisis, as well as EU autonomous actions;
- ensuring inter-pillar coherence.
B. To that end:
Member States and the Union should develop a rapid reaction capability by defining a framework and modalities, as well as by pre-identifying personnel, material and financial resources that could be used in response to a request of a lead agency like the UN or the OSCE, or, where appropriate, in autonomous EU actions.
An inventory of national and collective resources should be pursued to give an overview of resources that could be marshalled within such a rapid reaction framework. In this process Member States and the EU institutions could, if they wish, highlight sectors in which they find that they have acknowledged expertise.
A database should be set up to maintain and share information on the pre-identified assets, capabilities and expertise within all areas relevant to non-military crisis management. The availability and quality of these assets would need to be clearly defined.
A study should be carried out, taking into account lessons learned, to define concrete targets for EU Member States' collective non-military response to international crises (e.g. the ability to deploy at short notice and sustain for a defined period a set number of civilian police as a contribution to civpol missions; to deploy a combined search and rescue capability of up to 200 people within twenty-four hours). This work should be taken forward by the Portuguese Presidency together with the SG/HR.
The inventory, the database project and the study should help identify areas of relative strength and weakness and could promote improved training standards, sharing of experience and best practice, as well as bilateral or multilateral projects between Member States (e.g. 'pairing' one Member State's helicopter lift with a specialist medical team from another).
A coordinating mechanism, fully interacting with the Commission services, should be set up at the Council Secretariat. It would run the database project and the different capabilities initiatives. In particular crises, depending on the EU's role, it may set up an ad hoc centre to coordinate the effectiveness of EU Member States' contributions. This should be a lean, efficient, non-bureaucratic structure permitting close interaction with the Commission (ECHO in particular).
In establishing a rapid reaction capability urgent consideration will be given to developing civil police capabilities.
Rapid financing mechanisms such as the creation by the Commission of a Rapid Reaction Fund should be set up to allow the acceleration of the provision of finance to support EU activities, to contribute to operations run by other international organisations and to fund NGO activities, as appropriate.
DECISION-MAKING AND IMPLEMENTATION
The Union should develop a comprehensive approach with a view to marshalling national and collective non-military instruments within the time limits called for by the situation on the ground.
For the coordination of civilian crisis management tools, the co-ordinating mechanism for a civilian crisis management will be established. This mechanism, which will be of inter-pillar nature, will provide expert advice in support of the management of crises. Decision-making and implementation of non-military crisis management tools under the first pillar will remain subject to institutions and procedures of the EC Treaty.
As an interim practice, this work to develop the co-ordinating mechanism for civilian crisis management may draw on experts from the Member States.
If appropriate, the Union will lay down general guidelines ensuring inter-pillar coherence and setting out the means which should be made available. Arrangements for rapid financing mechanisms for a prompt response to crisis situations could be devised in this context.
EUROPEAN COUNCIL COMMON STRATEGY 1999/ /CFSP
THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL,
Having regard to the Treaty on European Union, in particular Article 13(2) thereof,
Whereas the Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation (PCA) between the European Communities, their Member States and Ukraine entered into force on 1 March 1998,
HAS ADOPTED THIS COMMON STRATEGY:
VISION OF THE EU FOR ITS PARTNERSHIP WITH UKRAINE
1. The strategic partnership between the European Union (EU) and Ukraine, based on shared values and common interests, is a vital factor enhancing peace, stability and prosperity in Europe. The freedom, independence and stability of Ukraine rank among the greatest achievements in the new Europe rid of old dividing lines. Geography as well as size, the resources of its population as well as its location along the North-South and East-West axes give Ukraine a unique position in Europe and makes it a determinant regional actor.
2. Ukraine enjoys today excellent relations with all its neighbours and has taken important steps in nation-building and towards consolidating its democracy. The fact that Ukraine has since independence been a source of regional stability, despite its domestic difficulties and diversities, is a laudable achievement. The EU welcomes the close involvement of Ukraine in the stabilisation of its region and encourages the strengthening of Ukraine's role in regional cooperation fora. The EU also welcomes Ukraine's commitment to nuclear disarmament as well as its cooperation in the maintenance of European and international peace and security, namely through the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations.
3. The strategic partnership between the EU and Ukraine has been continuously reinforced since the independence of Ukraine. In this context, the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement is a significant achievement. Ukraine was the first of the Newly Independent States to sign such an agreement, thus marking the EU's and Ukraine's wish to strengthen cooperation. Through macro-financial assistance, the Tacis-programme, as well as through bilateral programmes, valuable support is provided by the EU to help Ukraine in her transition and reform process.
4. Following the current enlargement process, some future EU Member States will share an external border with Ukraine. The enlargement of the Union will further enhance economic dynamism and political stability in the region, thus increasing the possibilities for cooperation with Ukraine.
5. The European Union has the following strategic goals with regard to Ukraine:
– to contribute to the emergence of a stable, open and pluralistic democracy in Ukraine, governed by the rule of law and underpinning a stable functioning market economy which will benefit all the people of Ukraine;
– to cooperate with Ukraine in the maintenance of stability and security in Europe and the wider world, and in finding effective responses to common challenges facing the continent;
– to increase economic, political and cultural cooperation with Ukraine as well as cooperation in the field of justice and home affairs.
6. The EU acknowledges Ukraine's European aspirations and welcomes Ukraine's pro-European choice. The EU remains firmly committed to working with Ukraine at national, regional and local levels, in order to support a successful political and economic transformation in Ukraine, which will facilitate Ukraine's further rapprochement with the EU. The EU and its Member States offer to share with Ukraine their various experiences in building modern political, economic, social and administrative structures, fully recognising that the main responsibility for Ukraine's future lies with Ukraine itself.
7. The European Council therefore adopts this Common Strategy to strengthen the strategic partnership between the EU and Ukraine. The European Council recognises that a successful, stable and secure Ukraine is in the best of interests of the EU. The legal basis of the relationship between the EU and Ukraine is the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA). The full implementation of this agreement is a prerequisite for Ukraine's successful integration into the European economy and will also help Ukraine assert its European identity.
8. The EU and its Member States will develop the coordination, coherence and complementarity of all aspects of their policy towards Ukraine. The Union, the Community and its Member States will also work together with and within regional and international organisations as well as with like-minded partners to meet the objectives set out in the PCA and this Common Strategy. The positions taken by the Community and its Member States in all relevant fora will conform to this Common Strategy. The European Council invites Ukraine to work with the EU on the basis of this Common Strategy to the benefit of both.
The European Council has identified the following principal objectives:
I. Support for the democratic and economic transition process in Ukraine
II. Ensuring stability and security and meeting common challenges on the European continent
III. Support for strengthened cooperation between the EU and Ukraine within the context of EU enlargement
I. Support for the democratic and economic transition process in Ukraine
The EU and Ukraine have a common interest in accelerating the democratic and economic transition process in Ukraine. The successful transformation in Ukraine will bring prosperity not only to Ukraine but to the entire region. In order for this transition process to be successful, reforms must take place to consolidate democracy and the rule of law as well as economic and social reform in view of establishing a functioning market economy.
The EU proposes to strengthen cooperation with Ukraine in the following priority areas:
I.i. The consolidation of democracy, the rule of law and public institutions in Ukraine.
9. The EU welcomes Ukraine's achievements in laying the foundations of a democratic system namely in establishing a multiparty system and adopting a parliamentary constitution. The EU acknowledges Ukraine's achievements in maintaining its unity despite the country's diverse make up.
10. The EU supports Ukraine in all its efforts aiming at the consolidation of democracy and good governance, human rights and the rule of law. The Union considers that the rule of law is a prerequisite for the development of a functioning market economy which offers opportunities and benefits to all the citizens of Ukraine. The EU supports Ukraine's efforts to reform the legal system in the framework of the PCA. A properly functioning independent judiciary, a professional police-force, the development of a meritocratic, well-trained public administration at national, regional and local levels are all key elements in the effective implementation of government decisions. The EU encourages Ukraine's efforts to develop the efficiency, transparency and democratic character of its public institutions, including the development of free media. These are prerequisites for economic and social development and contribute to the building of a modern civil society.
11. The EU attaches importance to the development of civil society and a competitive, investor friendly business environment in Ukraine and encourages closer links between the peoples and non governmental organisations of the Union and Ukraine. The EU welcomes Ukraine's agreement of a Memorandum of Understanding with the OSCE and strongly recommends Ukraine to work in close cooperation with the OSCE project-coordinator in Ukraine. The EU supports Ukraine's efforts aiming at the protection and promotion of rights of minorities and calls upon Ukraine to continue its good work in this domain, including in cooperation with the High Commissioner for National Minorities.
12. The EU attaches particular importance to close cooperation with Ukraine in the framework of the Council of Europe and the OSCE. In this context, the EU urges Ukraine to fulfil its commitments and to adapt its legislation to meet the norms and standards of the Council of Europe, in particular the obligations to which Ukraine signed up on its accession to the Council of Europe in 1995. The EU takes note of the findings of the OSCE/Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) election monitoring mission on the conduct of the 1999 presidential elections in Ukraine, to the effect that the conduct of these elections failed to meet a number of OSCE commitments and calls on Ukraine to heed the recommendations made by the OSCE monitoring mission in its report with a view to future elections.
I.ii. Support for the economic transition process in Ukraine
13. The EU is committed to supporting Ukraine's efforts in establishing an environment that is conducive to economic activity and will support Ukraine in its economic and social reforms.
14. The EU encourages Ukraine to establish macro-economic policies aiming at price stability, sound public finances and a sustainable current account position. In order to proceed further to price stability it is important that the central bank is allowed to operate independently of political interference. Existing prudential regulations for financial sector supervision need to be strengthened. Tax collection must be improved, and ad hoc tax amnesties and tax exemptions for specific sectors of the economy should be avoided.
15. The EU strongly encourages Ukraine to intensify its efforts to build a functioning market economy through greater structural, economic and administrative reforms in the context of a comprehensive reform programme agreed with the International Monetary Fund. This should include establishing and enforcing clear property rights, further privatisation, further liberalisation of prices, the raising of communal tariffs for energy, water and rents to full cost recovery levels, restructuring of business, and encouraging the growth of small and medium size enterprises. The overall pace of these reforms needs to be accelerated. As far as sectoral reform is concerned, the agriculture, energy and transport sectors deserve particular attention.
16. The introduction of a land reform process is required to facilitate, inter alia, the long term lease of land as collateral for loans, paving the way for more investment in the agriculture sector.
17. Attracting and protecting domestic and foreign investment also plays a key role in Ukraine's development. In this context, the EU notes that allegations of corruption and poor governance are damaging to Ukraine's economic reputation. The Union will support Ukraine in developing and adopting the economic policies needed to increase domestic and foreign investment and to meet the requirements of international lenders.
18. In view of Ukraine's heavy debt service obligations, Ukraine's economic recovery will require the continued involvement of private creditors. Collaborative solutions to Ukraine's debt service problems must be found.
19. The EU is fully aware of the fact that Ukraine's economic reforms sometimes have to be pursued in a difficult external environment. EU macro-financial assistance would be pursued as appropriate, in accordance with established criteria and procedures, aiming at supporting macro-economic stabilisation and comprehensive structural reform, consistent with programmes of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The EU will continue to stand ready to support economic reforms in Ukraine in those circumstances. EU macro-financial assistance helps Ukraine to open up its economy, improve economic adjustment, enhance competition, and further integrate the Ukrainian economy into the European and global economy.
20. The EU will support Ukraine through the promotion of progressive approximation of legislation towards that of the EU, especially in such areas as competition policy, standards and certification, intellectual property rights, data protection, customs procedures and environment.
21. In implementing a programme that establishes a functioning market economy, a well targeted social security system must be put in place, so that the social aspects of the transition to a market economy are taken into account.
II. Ensuring stability and security and meeting common challenges on the European continent
The EU and Ukraine have a common interest in the maintenance of stability and security in a free and democratic Europe. The geopolitical situation of Ukraine, situated along the North-South and East-West axes gives Ukraine a unique position in Europe. The EU recognises Ukraine's regional importance. In this context, the EU proposes to strengthen cooperation with Ukraine paying particular attention to nuclear safety and to the strengthening of political dialogue, as provided for in the framework of the PCA, with a view of making it more coherent and operational.
The EU wishes to deepen cooperation with Ukraine in order to find effective responses to common challenges facing the continent on the following issues:
II.i. Cooperation to strengthen stability and security in Europe
22. The EU supports Ukraine's efforts to promote cooperation and stability in its region, including in the context of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organisation, the Council of Baltic Sea States and Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Moldovo. The EU welcomes the positive development of Ukraine's relationship with all its neighbours and believes it has an interest in those relationships remaining strong and stable. The EU also notes Ukraine's contribution to European stability through its role as an observer to the Stability Pact for South-East Europe.
23. The EU and Ukraine share a common interest in the maintenance of stability and security in a free and democratic Europe. Strengthened mechanisms for consultations between the EU and Ukraine in the framework of the PCA, Council of Europe and United Nations, and strong cooperation between the OSCE and Ukraine, are needed to respond jointly and effectively to European and global security challenges.
24. The EU congratulates Ukraine on its election to the United Nations Security Council (2000/1). This fact reinforces the need for the EU further to deepen and broaden its political dialogue with Ukraine at official and ministerial level, bilaterally and through EU mechanisms. The adoption of the European Security Charter will enhance the cooperation between the Member States of the OSCE.
25. The EU promotes and supports the dialogue on general and specific issues relating to crisis management and security building as developed over the past years between the Western European Union and Ukraine as well as the intensification of practical cooperation in this field, in particular through the implementation of the action plan recently drawn up between the Western European Union and Ukraine.
26. The EU is also interested in strengthening cooperation with Ukraine in the field of export-controls and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery vehicles, and encourages Ukraine to fulfil its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention.
27. Moreover, the EU encourages Ukraine to achieve the goals of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction. The EU also encourages Ukraine to develop a strategy to combat the destabilising accumulation and the spread of small arms and light weapons.
II.ii. Cooperation in the field of environment, energy and nuclear safety
28. The EU will seek to enhance European stability and work with Ukraine in the fields of energy and nuclear safety, by supporting a comprehensive energy sector reform, inter alia, by continued cooperation with Ukraine on the implementation of the financial Recovery Plan for the energy sector, including price liberalisation, improved cash collection and privatisation of distribution companies. In this context, the EU will promote the efficient and environmentally responsible use of energy in Ukraine and the strengthening of new energy institutions and authorities and their policy-making capacity.
29. Nuclear safety and the decommissioning of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant are a priority in EU-Ukraine relations. The EU encourages the development of an independent nuclear regulatory authority in Ukraine and urges Ukraine to stand by its commitment to implement the G7/Ukraine Memorandum of Understanding of 1995 on the closure of Chernobyl. In return, the EU will support Ukraine in financing replacement energy generating capacity in Ukraine.
30. The EU is also interested in enhancing cooperation with Ukraine on such issues as radiation protection, waste management, decontamination and dismantling of nuclear installations, and studies in the field of fusion technology. The recently signed cooperation agreements in the fields of nuclear safety and thermonuclear fusion between EURATOM and Ukraine will facilitate this cooperation.
31. Moreover, the EU encourages Ukraine to take resolute measures in the field of environmental protection. The protection of public health against pollution of drinking water, air and soil, and the sustainable and responsible use of natural resources as well as the limitation of transboundary pollution of air and water are priorities in this area.
III. Support for strengthened cooperation between the EU and Ukraine within the context of EU enlargement
Following the current enlargement process, some future EU Member States will share an external border with Ukraine. The EU wishes to contribute to the mutual benefit of the Union and Ukraine in this process. In this context, the EU proposes strengthened cooperation with Ukraine, paying particular attention to cooperation in the field of justice and home affairs. The EU also encourages Ukraine's participation in regional, European and world structures.
The EU could strengthen cooperation with Ukraine in the following fields:
III.i. Support for Ukraine's integration into European and world economy
32. The Union supports Ukraine and urges it to redouble its efforts to meet the requirements of World Trade Organisation membership. The Union encourages Ukraine to take full advantage of the possibilities offered by the PCA to facilitate two-way trade and investment. The Union will also examine the circumstances which might, in addition to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) accession, allow for the future establishment of an EU-Ukraine Free Trade Area, as foreseen in the PCA.
33. In order to facilitate a favourable investment climate in Ukraine, the EU encourages Ukraine to negotiate and ratify further bilateral investment protection agreements with EU Member States so as to stimulate foreign direct investment. The EU also encourages local, regional and national Ukrainian authorities to avail themselves of the opportunities of the new law on public concession to attract investment in public infrastructure and services.
III.ii. Cooperation in the field of justice and home affairs
34. The EU and Ukraine have a common interest in developing cooperation to combat illegal immigration and trafficking in human beings. The EU and Ukraine also have a common interest in developing their cooperation in the area of border security and the fight against the common scourges of organised crime, including money laundering and illegal trafficking in weapons and drugs.
35. In view of the current EU enlargement process, the EU will seek to intensify dialogue with Ukraine on the adjustment of Ukraine's visa policy with the EU through the introduction of visa requirements in accordance with EC provisions and introduction of travel documents which are sufficiently non-forgeable.
III.iii. Regional and cross-border cooperation with neighbouring countries
36. The EU encourages the development and strengthening of regional and cross-border cooperation initiatives involving Ukraine and its neighbouring countries. In this context, the EU will put increased emphasis on border management issues.
37. As to the development of infrastructure networks, especially in the fields of transport, telecommunications, electricity and energy-pipelines, the EU, through TACIS, pays particular attention to regional initiatives, such as INOGATE (Interstate Oil and Gas Transport to Europe) and TRACECA (Transport Corridor Europe Caucasus Central Asia), with the aim of improving economic cooperation in the region. The EU will explore the scope for working towards linking the Ukrainian transportation systems (road and rail) with the Trans-European networks and will seek mutually satisfactory ways to address transport issues. In so doing so, special care will be taken to reinforce coordination with other donors and with international financial institutions, as well as to stimulate the involvement of the private sector, which will be crucial to the success of this endeavour.
INSTRUMENTS AND MEANS
38. This Common Strategy shall be implemented in accordance with the applicable procedures of the Treaties. The Council and the Commission shall in accordance with Articles 3 and 13 of the Treaty on European Union ensure the unity, consistency and effectiveness of the Union's actions in implementing this Common Strategy.
39. The EU will contribute to the cited objectives of this Common Strategy by making appropriate use of all relevant instruments and means available to the Union, the Community and to the Member States.
40. In accordance with Articles 18 and 26 of the Treaty on European Union, the Secretary-General of the Council, High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), in the framework of his obligations under the Treaties, shall assist the Council and the Presidency in implementing this Common Strategy with regard to those objectives and initiatives falling under the CFSP. The Commission shall be fully associated in accordance with Articles 18 and 27 of the Treaty on European Union.
The Council, the Commission and Member States
41. The Council, the Commission and Member States shall:
– review, according to their powers and capacities, existing actions, programmes, instruments, and policies to ensure their consistency with this Common Strategy, based on the principal objectives in Part II and taking due account of the specific initiatives in Part III;
– make full and appropriate use of existing instruments and means, in particular the PCA, as well as all relevant EU and Member States programmes, and to develop and maintain to this end an indicative inventory of the resources of the Union, the Community and Member States through which the Common Strategy will be implemented.
42. Member States shall make additional efforts to coordinate their actions vis-à-vis Ukraine, including in regional and international organisations such as the Council of Europe, the UN, the OSCE, the OECD and the International Financial Institutions (IFIs), and including coordination with the Community where it has competencies.
43. Coordination between the Member States and the Commission shall also be consolidated, including through regular consultations between their respective representatives in Ukraine.
44. The Council, the Commission and Member States shall work towards more effective cooperation with regional and international organisations, and will seek with other like-minded countries to achieve the objectives of the Strategy.
45. The European Union will invite the candidate countries in the accession process launched in the Luxembourg European Council in December 1997 to associate themselves within the framework of this Common Strategy.
Implementation and review
46. The Council shall:
– ensure that each incoming Presidency presents to the Council, in the framework of its general programme, a work plan for the implementation of this Common Strategy, based on the principal objectives in Part II and taking due account of the specific initiatives in Part III;
– review and evaluate the EU's action under this Strategy and report to the European Council on progress towards its objectives not less than annually;
– review the situation in Ukraine and the state of Ukraine's cooperation in the implementation of this Strategy, including through periodic reports by the Heads of Mission, and make an assessment in its report to the European Council;
– where necessary, submit recommendations for amendments to Part II and III of this Strategy to the European Council.
47. The Commission will contribute to the above within its powers.
Cooperation with Ukraine
48. The EU and its Member States will work closely together with Ukraine to implement this Common Strategy, in particular through the PCA and its institutions.
49. The EU shall pursue the specific initiatives set out in Part III of this Common Strategy which are based on the principal objectives identified in Part II. These initiatives shall be adapted when necessary and do not preclude possible new initiatives during the duration of this Common Strategy. The Council, the Commission and the Member States shall, in accordance with their respective powers and capacities, support and work towards the achievement of these specific initiatives.
The following specific initiatives shall be pursued not precluding possible new initiatives:
The consolidation of democracy, the rule of law and public institutions in Ukraine
50. The EU will undertake efforts to foster democracy, good governance, human rights and the rule of law in Ukraine, by:
– supporting Ukraine's efforts to observe its international democratic and human rights obligations in accordance with the Dublin conclusions, in particular with regard to the abolition of the death penalty, the promotion of good governance, and an effective and transparent legal system as well as democratic local self-government, inter alia, in cooperation with the Council of Europe and the OSCE;
– establishing a regular dialogue between the ombudsman-institutions of the EU Member States and Ukraine in order to strengthen the role of this institution in Ukraine;
– encouraging Ukraine to sign, ratify and implement the relevant international instruments in the field of Human Rights, especially the second Optional Protocol of the United Nations Convention on Civil and Political Rights and the sixth Additional Protocol of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms as well as the United Nations Convention on the Status of Refugees;
– increasing cooperation among journalists and relevant authorities in order to contribute to the development of free media. The Commission in cooperation with the Member States will investigate the possibility of assisting in the transmission of a programme, such as Euronews, on Ukrainian television. Work will begin by June 2000.
Support of the economic transition process in Ukraine
51. The EU will help Ukraine advance the process of economic reform by enhancing the impact of economic policy advice, including through appropriate high-level dialogue, in the framework of the PCA, so as to promote the development of a modern, liberal market economy.
52. The EU stands ready to provide technical assistance in support of Ukraine's economic and social reform process provided that Ukraine takes steps designed to establish the necessary conditions to make reform possible. The EU will examine the possibility of providing technical assistance to Ukraine with a view to:
– supporting the development of a transparent and stable legal, regulatory and institutional framework in Ukraine designed to promote increased economic activity and domestic and foreign investment. The Commission in cooperation with Member States and other competent bodies will prepare a report with regard to this initiative by December 2000;
– promoting the progressive approximation of Ukrainian legislation to that of the EU and its implementation, in particular in the areas of competition policy, financial services, standards and certification, fiscal policy as well as employment and intellectual property rights. The Commission is invited to make adequate proposals to this end by June 2000;
– supporting the development of the health system, in particular public health awareness and education with a view to restricting the spread of communicable diseases. The Commission in cooperation with the Member States and other competent bodies will prepare a report with regard to this initiative by June 2001;
53. The Member States will consider means to assist Ukraine in:
– supporting the development of a well-targeted social security system, in particular addressing the social assistance and pension systems;
– supporting social dialogue and the adherence to and implementation of the International Labour Organisation Labour Standards, in particular the seven core Labour Standards. As far as ratification and implementation of legislation in the employment field is concerned, particular attention will be paid to gender equality.
Cooperation to strengthen stability and security in Europe
54. The EU will consider ways to give more continuity, flexibility and substance to the cooperation with Ukraine on stability and security in Europe and to render it more operational and effective, within the framework of the existing political dialogue, as instituted under the PCA, by:
– exploring the possibilities of establishing regular expert level Troika dialogue meetings with Ukraine in the margins of CFSP working groups on disarmament, non-proliferation, export of conventional arms with a view to organising the first meetings during the year 2000/first semester 2000. The dialogue within these groups will aim to set up cooperation between the EU and Ukraine in the following fields: non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons and small arms and light weapons on the basis of the joint action on small arms (1999/34/CFSP);
– considering the possibility of intensifying the dialogue between the EU and Ukraine to promote responsibility and transparency in transfers of conventional arms, making full use of the EU Code of Conduct where appropriate;
– exploring the possibilities for closer cooperation in conflict prevention and crisis management, inter alia, in the framework of relevant international organisations, such as the United Nations and the OSCE, and in seeking a political settlement to conflicts in the region. Periodic meetings between Ukraine and the Troika of the OSCE Working Group would help achieve this. One of the aims would be to work with Ukraine to develop joint foreign policy initiatives in the area of conflict prevention and crisis management with regard to specific third countries and regions, especially in areas adjacent to Ukraine.
55. The EU will, as soon as the year 2000, take up the following specific initiatives concerning the strengthening of security and stability in Europe:
– consider facilitating the participation of Ukraine when the EU avails itself of the Western European Union for missions within the range of the Petersberg tasks;
– consider means to assist Ukraine in fulfilling the obligations of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction;
– consider means to initiate cooperation between the EU and Ukraine on prevention of trafficking of small arms, which is a source of instability for Ukraine and other States of the region. The EU could after identification and analysis of the situation and needs in the region, draw up a Joint Action on this subject with a view to:
(1) reinforce control capacities of police and/or local custom services;
(2) tackle this specific type of criminality in training courses;
(3) develop exchanges of information between the EU and Europol Member States in order to improve the analysis on criminal activity concerning small arms.
Cooperation in the field of environment, energy and nuclear safety
56. The Community stands ready to support the efforts of the special Task Force established to support the Ukrainian authorities in their effort to reform the energy sector.
57. The Community support to the G7 Action Plan includes a contribution to financing the short term safety improvements of Chernobyl via the Nuclear Safety Account managed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development before closure, decommissioning, addressing the social consequences of closure, contributing to the Shelter Implementation Plan and participating in the financing of substitution facilities in line with previous commitments compensating for Ukraine's energy losses, provided that all necessary due diligence procedures can be concluded satisfactorily, including the establishment of an agreed position regarding the loan conditionality and the wording of the loan and guarantee agreement and provided that Ukraine stands by its commitment to implement the 1995 Memorandum of Understanding.
58. The EU will seek to support Ukraine in its effort to reduce the negative impact on public health of the environmental situation in Ukraine - notably as regards the quality of drinking water, waste water treatment, waste collection and disposal as well as air pollution. The EU will support institutional reform in the public utilities responsible for environmental services, other technical assistance projects and environmental investments.
59. The next "Environment for Europe" conference will be held in September 2002 in Kyiv and will provide the opportunity to increase awareness in Ukraine of environmental issues. Member States and the Commission will consider the possibility of offering technical assistance/support to the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety with the preparation and planning of the conference.
Support for Ukraine's integration into European and world economy
60. The EU remains ready to maintain and, if appropriate, to enhance its support for Ukraine's efforts to meet the requirements of WTO accession. Special attention will be given to removing obstacles to trade and investment in Ukraine, starting with the elimination of trade measures incompatible with PCA and WTO.
61. The EU will examine the circumstances which might, in addition to WTO accession, allow for the future establishment of an EU-Ukraine Free Trade Area as provided for in Article 4 of the PCA. The on-going joint economic feasibility study of the Free Trade Area will provide important input to evaluate the situation.
62. The Commission will examine ways to deepen the investment dialogue with Ukraine in the framework of the PCA Sub-Committee on trade and investment and will report to the Council by June 2000.
Cooperation in the field of justice and home affairs
63. In view of the EU's current enlargement process, also taking into account Ukraine's position as an important transit country providing a conduit for the cross-border flow of a wide range of non-legal activities, the EU and Ukraine have a particular interest in stepping up cooperation in the field of justice and home affairs. The EU proposes to concentrate its efforts with a view to:
– assessing the scale of illegal immigration via Ukraine. The Member States in association with the Commission will produce a strengths/weaknesses/opportunities/threats ("SWOT") analysis of the existing mechanisms to combat these problems by the end of 2000; where weaknesses are identified, the EU will consider remedial action;
– improving cooperation regarding the readmission of own nationals, persons without nationality and third country nationals, including the conclusion of a readmission agreement;
– supporting a full application of the Geneva Convention, including the right to seek asylum and respect for the principles of non-refoulement;
– establishing a regular dialogue between the judicial authorities of the Member States and Ukraine in civil and criminal matters, including by encouraging Ukraine to sign, ratify and implement key conventions, such as the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organised Crime;
– offering to provide practical help to Ukraine in implementing its legislation on money laundering as soon as it is enacted;
– establishing cooperation between EU Member States' law enforcement agencies, Europol and Ukrainian law enforcement authorities.
64. An informal network will be established in Kyiv consisting of EU Member States Embassies, Commission and relevant international organisation representatives in order to improve the exchange and analysis of information in justice and home affairs. A dialogue, within the framework of the PCA, between the Member States, the Commission, including the liaison officers in Kyiv and competent Ukrainian bodies will make it possible to analyse Ukraine's requirements in this area more precisely. A report will be submitted to the Council by the end of 2000.
Regional and cross-border cooperation with neighbouring countries
65. The EU will seek to encourage the development and strengthening of regional and cross-border cooperation initiatives involving Ukraine and its neighbouring countries, by:
– making targeted use of existing cross-border cooperation, regional and inter-State programmes. In this context, special attention will be devoted to border management issues, including the technical modernisation of border crossing points on Ukraine's borders with Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia;
– further developing Tacis programmes aimed at improving the development of infrastructure networks, such as INOGATE and TRACECA in order to improve economic cooperation in the region.
Cooperation in the fields of culture, twinning and exchange programmes
66. The EU will support the fostering of closer links between public institutions, civil society and non governmental organisations of the Union and Ukraine, by:
– promoting educational and scientific exchange programmes between schools, universities and research institutes, also paying due attention to the Science and Technology Centre in Ukraine;
– promoting twinning programmes between national, regional and local administrations as well as professional associations, trade unions, non-governmental organisations and the media.
The Commission and the Member States will coordinate their programmes. The Commission will study the possibility of bringing Community programmes into play for this purpose (Tacis, Tempus and Democracy). The Member States' bilateral instruments will also be used.
On the basis of an inventory of existing instruments (to be drawn up by the Commission in cooperation with the General Secretariat of the Council) and an identification mission to Ukraine, the Commission will report to the Council by June 2000 and will thereafter submit proposals for action as appropriate.
67. This Common Strategy shall apply from the date of its publication for an initial period of four years. It may be prolonged, reviewed and, if necessary, adapted by the European Council on the recommendation of the Council.
68. This Common Strategy shall be published in the Official Journal.
Done at Helsinki,
For the European Council
European Council Declaration
on the Common Strategy on Ukraine
The Council acts by qualified majority when adopting joint actions, common positions or any other decisions within the scope of Title V of the Treaty on European Union (Common Foreign and Security Policy), on the basis of the Common Strategy.
Acts adopted outside the scope of Title V of the Treaty on European Union shall continue to be adopted according to the appropriate decision-making procedures provided by the relevant provisions of the Treaties, including the Treaty establishing the European Community and Title VI of the Treaty on European Union.
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED TO THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL IN HELSINKI
Commission composite paper on enlargement
Report on the European Conference
(13764/99 REV 1)
Efficient institutions after enlargement: Presidency report on options for the Intergovernmental Conference
An effective Council for an enlarged Union: Guidelines for reform and operational recommendations
Presidency reports on strengthening the common European policy on security and defence and on non military crisis management of the European Union
(13619/1/99 REV 1)
·Presidency report on the implementation of the common strategy on Russia
·Common strategy on Ukraine
·Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe : Report on EU action in support of the Stability Pact and South-Eastern Europe
·Presidency report "Reinforcement of European Union action in the field of Human rights"
Council report (ECOFIN) on Economic policy coordination; review of instruments and experience in Stage 3 of EMU
(13123/1/99 REV 1
Council report (ECOFIN) on reinforced tax policy cooperation
(13140/1/99 REV 1)
Council report (ECOFIN) on the fight against fraud
(13329/1/99 REV 1)
Joint Employment report
(13607/99 + ADD 1)
Council report on employment guidelines in 2000
Commission Recommendation for Council recommendations on the implementation of Member States' employment policies
Council recommendation on the implementation of Member States' employment policies
·Commission communication: Proposal for Guidelines for Member States' Employment policies 2000
·Council report: Strategy for integrating environmental aspects and sustainable development into energy policy
·Council report on Transport and Environment
·Council report: Integration of environmental protection and sustainable development into the Internal Market policy
·Council report: Integrating sustainable development into the industry policy of the European Union
·Council report: Strategy on the environment integration and sustainable development in common agriculture policy established by the Agriculture Council
·Integration of environment in the Community's development policies
·Commission report on integrating environment and sustainable development into Community policies
·Commission coordinated report on environmental indicators
·Commission communication on the global evaluation of the 5th action programme for the environment
·Commission report on Better Law Making 1999, including subsidiarity
·Report on the finalisation and evaluation of the Action Plan on Organised Crime
·European Union Action Plan on Russian Organised Crime: Basic Principles
·European Strategy against Drugs (2000-2004)
·Commission report on safeguarding current sport structures and maintaining the social function of sport within the Community framework
( 1) See doc. SN 2139/99.
( 2) Asterisks denote recommendations which will require a revision of the Council's rules of procedure.
( 3) Save in very exceptional circumstances such as Agenda 2000.
( 4) The recommendations in this section are without prejudice to developments on preparatory/implementing bodies for the CFSP which might result from ongoing discussions in the Council.
( 5) See Article 207 of the TEC and Article 17 (1) of the Rules of Procedure.
( 6) The Political Committee may provide updates on CFSP items prepared for the Council in order to take account of the latest political developments.
( 7) See document 13406/99.
( 8) As they are set out in Regulation No. 1 determining the languages to be used by the European Community
(OJ of 6.10.58) and in the Council's rules of procedure.