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Security, and Prevention of Terrorism and Militarism

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A European Way of Security. The Madrid Report on the Human Security Study Group

The European Union should relaunch its foreign and security policy in the wake of the proposed Reform Treaty by declaring its commitment to principles of human security governing the deployment of military and civilian forces in external interventions, suggests the Madrid Report of the Human Security Study Group launched on 08 November 2007.

Entitled "A European Way of Security," the report urges EU member states to support a new framework for the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP). This would include a public declaration committing the EU to six principles of human security, and the appointment of civilian commanders to oversee all EU missions, whether military or civilian.

The Human Security Study Group, under the direction of Mary Kaldor, professor of global governance and co-director of the Centre for the Study of Global Governance at the London School of Economics, issued the report, which was presented in the presence of the EU High Representative, Javier Solana, on November 8, 2007 in Madrid. It is based on a year-long review of ESDP and human security, undertaken at the request of the 2006 Finnish presidency of the European Union.

The report urges the European Union to define a European Way of Security as an alternative agenda to address global security issues, in the wake of policy failures in Iraq and Afghanistan. A public statement committing the European Union to follow human security principles is the starting point for this agenda. In addition, the report says the EU should consider reforming the way it carries out its assistance to deal with violent crises abroad.

It goes on to say: "The draft Reform Treaty spells out the general values and norms that guide the Union’s external action. It commits member-states to make available more military and civil assets to carry out the Foreign and Security Policy and it proposes significant institutional changes which will increase the powers of the High Representative and establish an External Action Service. To make these reforms meaningful, what is needed in addition is a set of operational principles which will specify how these assets are to be used."

Six principles are set out in the report, including the primacy of Human Rights, a bottom-up approach, and effective multilateralism, which form the basis of a Human Security approach. It proposes that these principles should be used to improve the quality and accountability of EU external security missions, and it recommends that all missions, including the use of military force, should be placed under civilian command in order to improve post-conflict planning and reconstruction.



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