EU as a Peacemaker Part II
The values on which the EU is based, as formulated in the EU Treaties, are human dignity , freedom , democracy and respect for human rights . It is these core values that the EU member states must base themselves on. It is important in itself to contribute to these values gaining a foothold in all countries, and to ensure that tolerance, solidarity and equality characterize society. It is also believed that it will help ensure peace.
The goal of peace does not stop at the EU’s external borders. As long as solidarity and equality are objectives for the members of the Union, and these principles are universal, the EU owes itself to pursuing an ethically sound foreign policy as well, in order to promote its values elsewhere as well. This idea has been repeatedly promoted by EU representatives in the UN Human Rights Council and in the EU’s own annual human rights reports.
Among the most important “export items” to the EU in this connection is the idea of regional cooperation as a model for others. Integration based on common rules, values, legislation and guidelines between individual countries in an area has often been highlighted by the EU as a way in which other parts of the world can also achieve increased stability and peace. This is often about trade agreements, such as Mercosur (Latin America) and ASEAN (Asia), or energy cooperation.
According to SOFTWARELEVERAGE, there is a moral obligation to promote the EU model for cooperation elsewhere, it is in a way in the Union’s DNA (genetic code). In the same way, the principles of dialogue and negotiation are embedded in the way the EU makes decisions. This was emphasized by EU representatives Herman Van Rompuy and José Manuel Barroso during the Nobel Prize ceremony in Oslo. The prize winners quoted one of the EU’s pioneers, Jean Monnet, who emphasized that “it is better to quarrel around a table than on a battlefield”. The EU’s long and ongoing negotiations in more and more areas will thus become a kind of perpetual peace conference , the prize winners claimed.
This tradition of dialogue and negotiation can be useful to maintain outside the EU: Both the experience of negotiations and the possibility of offering skilled diplomats indicate that the EU should pursue peace mediation. Many EU countries do have a past as colonial powers; it can complicate such work in some cases. Knowledge of previous colonies can still be useful experiences and knowledge at a negotiating table. The combination of neutrality and in-depth knowledge of local conditions in conflict areas can be the key to the EU’s success as a global peace broker.
4: The EU as a peace broker
The EU is thus committed to contributing to peace-building in various ways. But how successful has the peace work been? The global peace mediation effort was not mentioned in the Nobel Committee’s justification for the EU receiving the Peace Prize. This may be due to the fact that the EU’s efforts as a peace mediator in other countries have not always been a success. The most famous setback took place when the EU proved powerless when Yugoslavia collapsed with widespread use of violence from the early 1990s. There was no lack of motivation and self-confidence: a common foreign and security policy was on the horizon in 1991. “Europe’s time has come”, it was stated in the final declaration from a conference at the time. Instead, it would take four years of war and cruel suffering before a peace agreement was reached, and then under the auspices of the United States, with the support of the UN Security Council . The peace talks were held in Dayton, Ohio, in November 1995 – not in a European country.
This was a wake-up call for the political leaders of the EU countries. They started work to make the union better equipped to pursue an active foreign and security policy. The Amsterdam Treaty (1997) provided several concrete tools. Among other things, it was decided to establish a kind of foreign minister for the union. The position, which later became known as the ” High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy “, was to give the EU a clearer diplomatic voice on the international stage . After this, the EU failed again when the conflict over Kosovo and the province’s secession from Serbia arose in the late 1990s.
Following the defeats in the former Yugoslavia, the EU, sometimes with the support of the OSCE and NATO , has succeeded in contributing to peaceful solutions to international conflicts, including through
- The Ohrid Agreement, a peace agreement signed by representatives of Macedonian and Albanian parties in the Republic of Macedonia in 1999.
- The Belgrade Agreement of 2002, which laid the foundations for a peaceful division between Serbia and Montenegro.
- implementation of the Aceh agreement(large degree of internal self-government for part of Indonesia) from 2005.
- the Russia-Georgia cease fire negotiated by the EU presidency in 2008.
EU diplomacy’s foremost feather in the cap so far is undoubtedly an agreement (Brussels 2013) on how to normalize relations between Serbia and Kosovo . The agreement sent a strong signal that the EU takes stabilization of its neighborhoods seriously; it can be seen as another argument that the EU deserves the Nobel Prize – even after the award in 2012. The agreement showed that the EU, despite major economic problems, is attractive enough for future member states and that they will therefore go to great lengths to achieve closer ties. with the EU.