The European Union's Inability to Reach a Concensus on the Construction and Deployment of Military Force

The European Union's Inability to Reach a Concensus on the Construction and Deployment of Military Force

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Since the Kosovo conflict brought home to European countries how militarily dependent on the US they are and will remain unless big changes are made, the European Union began to take serious steps toward creating a credible unified military force. However, the proposed military force may face a number of problems which could impede its success in the future as there are constraints placed on the EU that differ from those facing sovereign states. Among them, whether the EU succeed in creating consensus on the construction and deployment of military force is significant in building the European autonomous military capability. If the answer is no, more attention need to be paid to how to create the consensus in this realm.
This essay argues that the European Union is still unable to create consensus on the construction and deployment of military force primarily due to a lack of decision-making procedures capable of overcoming dissent. Although there have been repeated attempts to overcome the drawbacks, the further improvement of consistency and effectiveness of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) is required to solve this problem. Therefore, the next section observes the current consensus mechanism associated with the EU military force construction and deployment within the framework of the CFSP, and analyse its characteristics. Then Section III discusses the affecting factors with regard to the formation of this kind of consensus mechanism. Based on that, Section IV mainly focuses on how to further improve the EU consensus on the construction and deployment in the future.
II. CURRENT CONSENSUS MECHANISM OF EU MILITARY FORCE CONSTRUCTION AND DEPLOYMENT
1. The definition of consensus
In a political context, the term ‘co...


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...fecting the EU consensus formation is the question of operational finance. The EU must account for the costs of a capable military presence, including an adequate number of military personnel. According to the TEU, ‘costs of military operations are either to be charged to the member-states as common costs in accordance with the gross national product (GNP) scale, or the Council, acting unanimously, will decide to charge the expenditure on some other basis.’
In terms of operational finance, the EU has adopted the principle of ‘costs lie where they fall’. It seems fair that the system penalizes those who have capabilities twice-- once during procurement and again when those capabilities are exercised. The mechanism for financing military operations (Athena) played a role in lessen the financial burden incurred by the deployment of troops at the EU´s request. ‘Much of

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