The independent resource on global security

8. Europe: the multilateral security process




The political debate and decisions taken in 1994 regarding the security of
Europe constituted a new stage in the process initiated at the turn of the
decade by the collapse of the bipolar system and the breakup of multinational
totalitarian states in Europe.

The decisions made in 1994 were an attempt to respond to a number of new
challenges: how the existing security institutions in Europe might contribute
to ending, limiting and preventing future outbreaks of bloody conflicts such as
those that have engulfed areas of the former Yugoslavia and the former Soviet
Union; how the USA will accommodate its role and active involvement in European
security to the new realities; how to stave off the isolation of Russia and its
embracing of a hegemonic  and neo-imperialist policy, and pave the way to
integrating the Russian Federation into the changing security structures of the
European political order; how to overcome the invisible but tangible division
of Europe; where to draw the eastern borders of Europe; and how to expand NATO
and the European Union (EU).

However, the real issue is neither one of formal legal interpretations of
treaty provisions nor of purely institutional arrangements. Specific interests
of individual great powers are, as a rule, concealed behind the façade
of formal arguments or complex debates on the institutional transformation of
the existing security systems. The bipolar system not only caused the
subordination of the interests of the Central and East European (CEE) states to
Soviet policy but also blurred the differences in the security policies of
Western states. When this system disappeared, national security interests
reasserted themselves, even overriding international community or
alliance interests. The declared policy of expanding and deepening European
integration is accompanied by centrifugal tendencies and the growth of
nationalism in the East, a remarkable differentiation and competition among the
partners of the EU, and a weakening of links between Western Europe and the USA
and of the US military's political presence in Europe.

The Western states face the dilemma of how to expand NATO and the EU eastward
without creating new divisions in Europe. In 1994 a serious effort was made to
harmonize security policy within the framework of NATO and NACC, the PFP, the
EU/WEU and the CSCE. The priority in shaping an efficient multilateral security
system is inclusion of the reforming CEE states in the mutually reinforcing
Western security institutions.


Appendix 8A. Documents on European Security

Appendix 8A contains Documents on European security including an extract from the Budapest
Document 1994.