New European Security Architecture

A. Official Documents and Declarations
     I. Security-related Organisations in Europe
        1. Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
        2. United Nations Organisation (UNO)
        3. North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)
        4. Western European Union (WEU)
        5. European Union (EU)
        6. Council of Europe
     II. Map of the Membership of European States in Security Organisations
     III. Approaches
        1. Russian Perspective 
        2. US Perspective 
        3. European Perspective 
B. Speeches
C. Research Studies
D. Parliamentary Reports

A. Official Documents and Declarations

I.  Security-related Organisations for Europe

The European Security landscape during the Cold War was characterised by the opposition of the US- led NATO and the Soviet-dominated Warsaw Pact. This bipolar security structure ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Contrary to many peoples' expectations, this did not lead to a secure environment: numerous conflicts erupted in the Soviet Union's successor states and in the Balkans. During the past decade, the question of how to establish an institutional structure to ensure security within Europe has been widely discussed. This institutional structure, which should provide a framework for security cooperation among European states, has come to be known as the "New European Security Architecture" (NESA) - a denomination presumably designed to obscure the overabundance of institutions and its resulting overlap of competencies within the European political/institutional landscape. This site presents a brief overview of the institutions making up the NESA, with a particular focus upon Russia's varying relationships to them. 

Organisations forming part of the NESA include: 

1. The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)

The former Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), was founded on 3 July 1973 in Helsinki. Initially the CSCE was a political process aimed at setting out the fundamental principles needed to ease tensions between East and West, and at building confidence among members of the two blocs. After the end of the Cold War, it was institutionalised into an all-inclusive European security organisation. It now counts 55 members: all European states plus Canada and the United States. 
The first step in the direction towards NESA was the CSCE-Charter of Paris of November 1990, in which the 35 signatory states declared their recognition of representative democracy as the only acceptable political system. Renamed to OSCE at the Budapest Summit in December 1994, the organisation was intended to be developed into a "primary instrument for early warning, conflict prevention and crisis management from Vancouver to Vladivostok". The expectation existed that the OSCE could provide a framework for security cooperation in Europe which integrates the United States, Europe and the Russian Federation. 
See the OSCE's Lisbon Declaration from December 1996. 
The OSCE-Charter of Istanbul in November 1999 determined a security concept for Europe in the 21st century. 
The Chapter III of the Helsinki Document from 1992 provides for co-operation with NATO and WEU in peacekeeping operations. 

The Position of Russia within the OSCE

As laid out in the Helsinki Final Act and subsequent relevant documents, the participating states - including Russia - committed to "endeavour in good faith and in a spirit of co-operation to reach a rapid and equitable solution to their disputes on the basis of international law".  To this end, it undertook to allow participating countries to "use such means as negotiation, enquiry, good offices, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement or other peaceful means of their own choice, including any settlement procedure agreed to in advance of disputes to which they are parties". See the Conference of Valetta.
OSCE members undertook to respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all members and their right to choose the means to ensure their own security. 

2. The United Nations Organisation (UNO

The United Nations Organisation (UNO) was founded in 1945 with the signing of the United Nations Charter. Preserving world peace is the central purpose of the United Nations. Under the UN Charter, member states agree to settle disputes by peaceful means and to refrain from the use or threat of military force against other states. See Chapter VII of the UN Charter for the rights and obligations of UN-members. The two main bodies of the UN are the following: 

  • The General Assembly is the main deliberating body of the United Nations, and is composed of representatives of all member states, each of which has one vote. Decisions on important questions, such as those of peace and security, of the admission of new members and of budgetary concern, require a two-thirds majority. Decisions on other questions are reached by a simple majority. 
  • The Security Council: While the decisions of the General Assembly are not legally-binding for participating governments, the decisions of the Security Council are. Under the UN Charter, it has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. Under international law, the Security Council alone has the power to authorise the use of force against one state, and such decisions are legally binding to all member states. The Security Council consists of five permanent members and ten members elected by the General Assembly. Only permanent members can veto Security Council resolutions. As a permanent member of the Security Council, Russia has a veto-power. To apply pressure on a state, the Security Council is able to use different mandatory sanctions, like complete or partial interruption of economic relations. 
3. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) was set up by the Washington Treaty of April 1949 as a collective defence alliance of ten European states along with the US and Canada. For about 40 years NATO served to preserve the balance of power between the two blocs. NATO's post-Cold War transformation began with the London Declaration of 1990, which stated that the Alliance no longer considers the Soviet Union as an adversary. Since then, the development of the Alliance has been characterised by two main features: its enlargement through the admission of  Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic in 1999 and its adoption of peacekeeping and crisis management functions. To follow the development of the Alliance, compare: 

Against the background of NATO's announcement that it intended to enlarge, the Alliance signed with Russia a Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Co-operation and Security in an attempt to ameliorate their relationship. The creation of a Permanent Joint Council provides for regular meetings between both parties; however, this arrangement offers Russia a merely consultative role. The complexity of the relationship of NATO with Russia, which lies somewhere between partnership and confrontation, is reflected in a wide range of documents and primary sources presented in our Formal Relations Archive. The possibility for each party to influence the decisions of the other remains through joint consultation and the permanent exchange of information. 

4. The Western European Union (WEU)

The Western European Union (WEU) was first established as a mutual assistance commitment with the 1948 Treaty of Brussels, developed into a security organisation for cooperation in the defence and security of its ten member states, all of which are both NATO and EU members. After having served as a mere forum for consultation in the previous decades, it experienced a period of reactivation in the mid 1980s. It was within the context of WEU that the Petersberg Tasks were agreed upon. See the Petersberg Declaration of the WEU Council of Ministers, Bonn, June 19th, 1992. WEU´s new role in European security is recorded in several documents. See

WEU has developed relations with Russia consisting of political consultations and practical cooperation on subjects of mutual interest. Regular consultations are held between the Secretary-General, the Permanent Representative of the Presidency and the Russian Ambassador. 

 4. The European Union (EU)

The European Union (EU), although for a long time a civilian-only organisation, is now in the process of developing a Common Policy on Security and Defence and therefore bears the potential of becoming another security organisation in Europe. Within the EU, the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), is increasingly being developed as a tool for expressing security views and interests. Its fundamental objectives are listed in Title V of the Treaty of Amsterdam. In the pursuit of these aims, the EU promotes  policies that are in accordance with the UN Charter, the OSCE Final Act and the Charter of Paris. 

5. The Council of Europe

The Council of Europe was established in 1949 by ten Western European states in the Treaty of London. The aim of the Council of Europe is to safeguard the principles contained in the European Convention on Human Rights and to facilitate the economic and social progress of its member states. Its main instrument for promoting the rule of law and human rights is the European Court of Human Rights
How this institution works and what influence it is able to impose on a particular state can be seen in the rules of procedure before the Court and the effects of judgements and cases.

Another instrument of the Council of Europe is the Parliamentary Assembly. See examples of its work relevant to Russia: 

II. The European Security Architecture


These institutions differ in the depth, scope and role that they actually play within NESA. To summarize their different approaches to NESA, this section analyses the perspectives of the main security actors in Europe: the Russian Federation, the United States, and Europe.

III. Approaches

1. Russian Perspective

Russia promotes OSCE as the main organisation for security co-operation in Europe, and has consistently proposed to create a system of collective security under its aegis. See references in the Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation, Moscow, June 2000. However, the tasks of OSCE remain limited to the non-military domain, e.g. election monitoring, conflict prevention, and confidence building measures. 
Russian politicians oppose unilateral use of force such as the Atlanctic Alliance's intervention in Kosovo. Such use of force is  regarded by Russia as an attempt to undermine the Non-Intervention Regime, which is the foundation of the current international law. Instead, Russian officials promote a world order based on multilateralism, represented by a collective security system. 
Russia feels particularly threatened by the enlargement of NATO. As the Atlantic Alliance proceeds to admit new members and is  moving its borders closer to the former Soviet Republics, Russia increasingly perceives this action as invading its former sphere of influence or even encircling its territory. 

2. U.S. Perspective

The United States have been sponsoring NATO as the central organisation within NESA. In 1994 NATO established Partnership for Peace (PfP) within the framework of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council. Russia joined in 1996. This programme comprises joint planning, training, and exercises aimed at strengthening the ability of  individual members in undertaking missions within the fields of peacekeeping, search and rescue, and humanitarian operations. 
In the realm of security, U.S. strategy towards the Russian Federation has three major goals which should be pursued through both bilateral and multilateral channels. 
See Strengthening Transatlantic Security -  A U.S. Strategy for the 21st Century, US Department of Defense, December 2000. 
For a detailed description of the official US position on NESA, see relevant excerpts of the United States Security Concept for Europe and NATO, Department of Defense - Office of International Security Affairs, 2001. 

3. European Perspective

In the aftermath of the Cold War, countries within both Western and Eastern Europe shared the common goal of establishing a security arrangement that would overcome their division. Instead of simplying the Cold War security structure by suppressing organisations with an exclusively Western membership, Western countries decided to expand their organisations to include former socialist states, which were also keen to join. A decade on, NATO has admitted three new member states, while the European Union's expansion is still pending. 
The creation of the Common European Security and Defence Policy (CESDP) by the EU an autonomous security component has not caused the EU to step away from NATO. Western European states continue to regard NATO as the primary provider of collective defence. Instead of making a choice between the existing organisations, Western European countries opted to forge links between those that already existed. One of the means conceived to this aim was the 'double-hatting' of national forces, which means that the same troops were assigned for the use of both NATO and WEU. 'Double hatting' is made possible by NATO's concept of Combined Joint Task Forces - see information provided by NATO on CJTF

The European Member States of NATO are still unwilling to loosen their bond of security with the United States. Obviously, U.S. influence constrains relations between the Russian Federation and the EU. Security issues are included within the political dialogue prescribed in by "Title II of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement". As the European Union has a strong interest in the stability of the Russian Federation due of their geographic proximity, cooperation will likely evolve through dialogue and coordination in the realm of security as well as economics. 
The interests of the Central and Eastern European countries are almost identical to those of Western Europe. With the exception of  Russia-oriented Belarus, all states have an interest in close co-operation or even integration into Western structures, i.e., the European Union and NATO. Some former Soviet republics also fear that Russian influence could threaten their security. 
The real chances of being admitted into these organisations vary from country to country. In view of Russia's strong opposition to the admission of former Soviet republics into NATO, further enlargement of the Alliance could prove to be highly delicate.  

B. Speeches and Statements

C. Research Studies

D. Parliamentary Reports