Introduction

Despite all of the attention given to Europe’s financial situation lately, the question now more important than ever is whether the European Union (EU) is becoming a credible security actor capable of contributing to global stability. This question goes back to the very founding purpose of the EU’s ambitious experiment in collective security more than fifty years ago when forward-looking European leaders sought to end the possibility of another war by pooling production of key military resources and calling for the creation of a common European defense policy.  Since then, despite the scale of intra-European economic, trade and monetary issues and their global impact, the European Union has always been – whether explicitly or not – about security integration. Is this integration achievable on the ground, or was it merely an idealistic notion?

In the 21st century, Europe faces key threats in the form of terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, chemical and biological attacks, illegal migration, and the cross-border trafficking of humans, drugs, and weapons. Often the source of these security threats are failed and/or weak states in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. A few high-profile setbacks and a handful of vocal Euroskeptics tend to conceal the EU’s remarkable advances in combating these threats through the composite EU states’ achievement of security integration – that is, the transfer of policy authority from the national to the supranational level – both in its external and internal dimensions. As the EU’s former foreign policy chief Javier Solana recently wrote, “The paradox is that the sensitive nature of security and defense policy should make it the last ‘hold out’ in the progressive development of the EU. But in the past few years, [European Security and Defense Policy] is probably the area where we have made the most progress in the EU.”[1] Moreover, there has been even greater progress with internal security integration – dealing with border control, visas, privacy and data protection, cross-border investigations, prosecutions and arrest warrants, among other things – as the original package of intergovernmental policies has been relocated to the Community sphere of decision-making. Despite a few highly publicized difficulties, EU member-states are gradually agreeing to dismantle certain barriers to security integration that previously stood at the very core of traditional state sovereignty.

The current scholarly debate over European collective security is broadly divided between those who see the conflicting national interests of the EU’s biggest member-states – the UK, France, and Germany – as posing insurmountable barriers to cooperation, and those who see growing evidence for shifting preferences among member-states towards increasing regional cooperation.[2] I argue that while the preferences of member-states are crucial, they are only a part of the story.[3] While the influence wielded by member-states does tend to pull towards maintaining national sovereignty in the security area, any analysis that focuses exclusively on the member-states misses the crucial role played by various types of influential diplomatic actors. These actors – largely based in Brussels where the main EU governance institutions are located – are pulling in the opposite direction, towards greater integration. I argue that the intra-European diplomacy in which they engage is rapidly transforming the EU in the area of security.

Ambassadors, military generals, scientists, crisis management specialists, and others supersede national governments in the diplomatic process of security policy decision-making. They comprise transnational networks of experts or epistemic communities, and they are at the heart of the process of security integration, making headway at a remarkable speed by virtue of their members’ shared expertise, common culture, professional norms, and meeting frequency.  Altogether, these qualities determine an epistemic community’s ability to effectively persuade member-states of their policy goals. The actors who make up these epistemic communities have engaged in a dialogue with some degree of success about how to combine resources, power, and decision-making about security, and how they may persuade member states to transcend cooperation to achieve integration. Many of these actors are both connected as territorially sovereign nation-states, as well as operate beyond strict state control in carrying out their European functions. In the process, they are redefining this regional entity that encompasses half a billion of the world’s citizens.

Two strong examples include the EU Military Committee (EUMC) and the Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper) both of which are housed within the Council of the EU, the EU’s main decision-making body. I briefly discuss the composition and contributions of these two groups below, and suggest that cohesive epistemic communities are more likely to be persuasive diplomatic actors, achieving security goals that would have otherwise been very difficult if left to the member states alone.

The EUMC & External Security

EU military representatives (milreps) have worked their way up through the ranks of their national armies or navies for an average of 35 years.[4] In this time, career experience, education, and training give them a high level of technical knowledge. Many of them have served as commanders and chiefs of staff, and have been posted as faculty at defense colleges, among other things. The significant similarities in training and education add to a culture of shared values and worldviews. The EU milreps find that by the time they begin work in the EUMC, arriving at consensus is unproblematic. Their training and career experiences give them a body of shared knowledge that is often virtually taken for granted.

The key source of the EU milreps’ ability to agree so readily is their high level of tactical expertise. They have specialized knowledge of how to most effectively devise the best military strategy on the ground, and during an operation. Over the past few years, this knowledge has also come to include a range of other military activities in which states are occupied, such as crisis management, civil-military relations, and humanitarian intervention. Any disagreements over tactics usually derive from a lack of information rather than any profound difference in knowledge.

Naturally, milreps may find that they have redlines from their capitals that they cannot cross.  But if they are able to successfully persuade their capitals to shift their political positions, agreement in the EUMC comes very quickly as a result of their shared professional expertise.  As General de Rousiers said, “We have trust in each other due to previous backgrounds, trust in that what we say will not be our own operation, but an operation that has been matured by ourselves, team, and capital.”[5]

Formal EUMC meetings are on the agenda every Wednesday, and additional meetings are quickly scheduled if there is a crisis. But it is really during the informal meetings – in the form of working coffees, lunches, or dinners – that the milreps get to know each other and discuss sensitive topics. They often have dinner together as many as five times per week.[6]

Whether or not real deliberation actually occurs, the quality of these meetings is indicated by the scope and range of shared professional norms that govern the interaction among milreps. An example of a professional norm is the distinction between flags-up and flags-down. Flags are up in formal meetings, when milreps are obliged to be mouthpieces for their chiefs of defense. Everything they say is recorded and then distributed as official papers to those with security clearance.[7] When flags are down in informal meetings, discussions are more open, and the milreps can express their ideas as professionals, rather than just as transmission belts for states. They can rely on their personal expertise, and distance themselves more from their instructions.  The point is for them to achieve consensus as quickly as possible.

The strength of the common culture that binds military officials to each other in the EUMC is an important determining factor of the strength of their collective persuasiveness. European military culture has social, historical, and strategic properties to it, some with roots centuries-old. Although Europe has been the locus of long and violent wars for much of human history, these battles as well as various alliances have also resulted in military emulation and convergence over time, especially when it comes to tactical and strategic expertise. Today, EUMC’s milreps share similar career paths, and have much in common with each other even before they arrive in Brussels. As Dutch General Van Osch put it, “We have the same language, same jargon, same kind of military thinking, and we read each other’s military philosophers.”[8]

There is also a political element to their work. As General Van Osch described it, “Both the military aspects and other aspects are important at our level. We always think of the population.  Factors of influence are numerous. There are clearly military, political, and economic arguments.”[9] Thus, while there is a tendency to imagine that military officers simply follow orders, and that this is fundamental to military culture, the milreps are at the top of the hierarchy, and find they often make decisions with political impact. Additionally, the EU takes a more comprehensive definition of security than is typical in other settings. For example, security includes the civilian dimension of crisis management in third countries. During the negotiations to launch operation NAVFOR Atalanta, which addressed the threat posed by pirates off the coast of Somalia, milreps spent significant amounts of time discussing the development of a legal framework to govern what would happen to pirates after they were captured at sea. They argued that a successful operation would not just tackle the threat at sea, but would also deal with the effects on land, where it was necessary to dismantle the financial system upon which pirates relied. Milreps had to look beyond the military dimension to find solutions.

Beyond the internal dynamic within the EUMC, the relationship between the milreps and their capitals is crucial to understanding the group’s influence as an epistemic community. Formally, Ministries of Defense in the capitals are responsible for preparing instructions to milreps. In practice, however, it is a two-way street in which milreps play a strong role in writing their own instructions. The German deputy-EUMC representative, Peter Kallert, said “Our three-star general…gets guidance from Berlin, it’s not an order; it’s guidance.”[10]

Thus, milreps are not simply following orders. The British head of military-defense for Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) Adam Sambrook said, “Policy formulation happens somewhere in the space between Brussels and London…It is not the case that they have to consult London every time they do something.”[11] In Portugal, the emphasis is even more on Brussels decision-makers. Very few personnel in Lisbon are involved in CSDP issues, and so it is difficult for them to keep fully abreast of developments, especially those that are of a technical nature.[12] Officials from the Dutch foreign ministry view the EUMC as having a special role.  Henrick van Asch of the Dutch MFA’s Security Policy Department said, “The EUMC has to give independent military advice. Officially, they shouldn’t really be instructed in a sense.  Otherwise, you get the national perspective. Mostly, they write their instructions themselves.”[13] Thus, expert advice is seen as more valuable when it is not politicized, but derived from shared expertise. However, EUMC agreements always have political implications.

Two CSDP military operations – NAVOR Atalanta and EUFOR Chad – provide illustrative examples of how milreps are able to regularly achieve consensus even when member-states disagree from the start. In the case of NAVFOR Atalanta, not all member-states supported the launching of such an operation at the outset. There were a number of issues at stake. First, it was to be the EU’s first naval operation, and there were many non-EU ships in the region already, seeking to deal with the pirates in their own ways. Second, as the largest donor to Somalia, the EU wanted to ensure that World Food Program (WFP) ships were all safely escorted to ports. Third, 30% of EU oil is transported through this ocean region. Tackling the growing problem of piracy was clearly something that needed to be addressed, but some member states believed that the best course of action did not necessarily involve a formal CSDP operation. The milreps, however, saw the naval operation as both politically attractive and with a high potential for success because of the EU’s unique experience at incorporating the civil dimension into military initiatives, bringing together other (non-EU) actors, and promoting international stability.

Discussions within the EUMC resulted in a compromise to launch a formal CSDP operation contingent upon the creation of a coordination network between ships, including those from non-EU nations, such as China, Russia, and India, as well as between these ships and ground personnel. In addition, they called for advance agreements with nearby countries on procedures for dealing with captured pirates on the ground. In the end, the milreps essentially pushed for a wider mission, and by relying on military logic and expertise, they were able to persuade those in the capitals. In particular, their top priority was to ensure the safe passage of World Food Program ships, followed by the second priority of providing protection for merchant ships. Member states eventually agreed that a formal CSDP operation under EU command would be the best route to take given the nature of the threat and their shared goal of ensuring that humanitarian aid reached Somalia. Once the political mandate was in place, it only took a matter of days before the actual operation was launched on 10 November 2008.[14] Since that date, not a single WFP ship has been lost to pirates, and member states have agreed to renew the operation, which is still ongoing.

Similarly, in the case of EUFOR Chad – a humanitarian operation to bring security and relief to refugees and displaced peoples – member states initially disagreed about getting involved in an operation so far away from the EU that did not have any immediate political and economic interest for them. At the same time, they did feel increasing pressure to do something about the ever increasing number of displaced Darfur refugees, nearly 400,000 people, in Chad. Because of their colonial ties to Chad, the French put forward the proposal to launch a military operation.  Within the EUMC, milreps importantly decided to set aside the debate about interests versus moral obligation, and focused instead on whether such an operation could achieve successful results. Given the reluctance of some member states to contribute troops, the answer to this question was not straightforward. Several attempts to generate promises of troop contributions had not resulted in the necessary level of participation, which led to an initial shortfall of 2,000 troops (it was thought that 6,000 were needed).  Several member-states saw this as further reason not to go forward with the operation. However, milreps determined that despite this shortage, there were enough reserve forces to satisfy the requirements, alongside an extra contribution from France. They stipulated that the chances for success were high as long as the UN took over as planned one year later, and that the EU operation complemented the UN’s efforts to protect civilians, refugees, and humanitarian facilities. They determined that EUFOR Chad should not address the core causes of the conflict – violence between different ethnic groups and armed militia – as this was not best resolved through military force. Despite great hesitance and division among member-states initially, the expertise and persuasiveness of the milreps served as a catalyst for the launching of a new operation on 15 March 2008 that would not have otherwise gone forward.[15]

Both examples show how milreps are often able to find military solutions that overcome political obstacles stemming from the capitals, and enable an integrated approach to dealing with crises. They do this through constant dialogue among themselves as well as with their capitals. Their expertise and high status play no small role in enabling them to influence at several levels. However, the impact of their military expertise is not limited to the short-run; milreps are also heavily involved in shaping long-term military planning in terms of increasing capabilities and achieving interoperability.

 

Coreper & Internal Security

Coreper is equally important to consider as an example of highly effective Brussels-based diplomacy. It is a committee comprised of an ambassador from each member state, but in practice its influence as a knowledge-based network is far stronger than its formal role would suggest.[16] Among other things, it has had tremendous influence in developing the internal security side of EU integration.

Coreper’s members undergo a rigorous selection and training process as part of their professional development. Professional selection begins right out of university, and is repeated when diplomats are subsequently promoted to new positions over time. The fact that they come from the same top universities contributes to a similar social and networking background. Training occurs at the foreign ministries, but it is clear that actual time in the field – performing the daily duties of a diplomat, navigating through difficult multilateral negotiations, and learning the nitty-gritty of foreign policy – is a crucial component of this. As Ambassador Mavroyiannis of Cyprus said, “Expertise comes from experience, long exposure, and whether you know the people, issues, and procedures.”[17] Coreper ambassadors originate from this process, and after decades of service, have shown themselves to be the best at what they do. Among senior diplomatic postings, a Coreper appointment is considered one of the most prestigious and challenging to attain. It is comparable to postings to London, Washington DC, Berlin, and Paris, and for many member-states it is the most important appointment.

These elite diplomats meet frequently in informal settings, and share a multitude of key professional norms. Face-to-face meetings give members of an epistemic community the opportunity to cultivate relationships, engage in real deliberation, and develop a common culture. This is where shared norms evolve and are reinforced. Coreper meets formally once per week, following a pre-circulated agenda including certain professional protocol. It is during informal meetings, however, that the real discussions take place, and these occur daily through working coffees, lunches, or dinners. They are so much a part of Coreper’s activities that one ambassador said, “We are not only ambassadors, but friends on the other side of the table…We are permanently together.”[18]

Coreper has a strong ability to foster cohesion among its members and to reach compromise on key issues. Ambassadors strive to be as efficient and results-oriented as possible, and this is reflected even at the very moment that they decide something. Like in the EUMC, Coreper never votes. Instead, ambassadors strive to ensure that everyone is on board with each individual policy, regardless of formal voting rules. As one ambassador explains, “There is a gentleman agreement to search for unanimity.”[19] Ambassadors also try to avoid escalating an issue to their ministers if at all possible. If they cannot come to agreement amongst themselves, the ambassadors feel they have failed.

The common culture of Coreper’s ambassadors holds the group together, and results in a similar worldview that enables them to more easily reach consensus and persuade their capitals of further integration. Coreper’s esprit de corps is manifested as a feeling of being part of a club and empathizing with each other. One ambassador said, “A very special kind of solidarity bonds us…we have a duty and natural inclination to respect each other for past achievements and accomplishments…”[20] New member-states are no exception to this feeling of solidarity. This enlargement has brought to the table a greater number of voices and interests, but not new geographic dividing lines.[21] The seniority of the ambassador matters much more than the seniority of the member state he or she represents.

What does this wealth of expertise and common culture lead to in terms of actual policy goals?  First, members of Coreper to a great extent believe that integration is inevitable and good for Europe. Ambassador Store expressed the idea concisely: “What is good for Europe is good for Finland, even if we didn’t get all that we wanted.” The ambassadors consistently describe themselves as pro-Europe, and in most cases, more pro-Europe than their capitals. Given that they could just as easily approach negotiations as a game of bargaining and strive to gain as much as possible for their national interests, this norm is significant. Cypriot Ambassador Mavroyiannis described, “We are conscious of the need for us to reconcile pursuit of national and pursuit of general interest. This has to do with the idea that one should never – except in extreme cases – put one above the other.”[22] One manifestation of this is that there are no fixed alliances among certain member-states. They genuinely deal with each issue on its own terms, based on their expertise and ability to get the capitals on board. They feel that they are serving European citizens in common, as one constituency, and that the Council is in effect a kind of EU government.[23]

 

Given that these ambassadors do share substantive beliefs, even when it comes to the contentious issues of security, how successful are they at convincing their capitals? In fact, they face much resistance from the capitals where the tendency is to try to directly control the direction of internal security policy and to guard national regulations, some of which have been in place for centuries. As Austrian Ambassador Schweisgut explained, it is a “situation where the ministers of home affairs are obsessed with secrecy and obsessed with keeping information as close to their chests as possible. They are reluctant to give things early to Coreper. They pre-cook things to the extent possible.”[24] The nature of such resistance does vary somewhat depending on the member-state.

Generally, the main way in which a capital has leverage over its ambassadors is through formal instructions, and the main way in which ambassadors exercise agency is through flexibility with those instructions. While receiving instructions from capitals is a big part of how the epistemic community of diplomats operates and is constrained, in practice, the instructions serve as a more formalized means of coordination and persuasion between the ambassadors and capitals. Instructions are rarely set in stone for high-ranking ambassadors; rather, they serve as a basis for deliberation.

Ambassadors each report that they have a high degree of flexibility with their instructions but they gain flexibility and autonomy through their own initiative. Those in the capitals recognize, trust, and respect Coreper. They understand that their ambassadors have gained a much deeper perspective of security issues by virtue of their time in Brussels, and previous experience working on European issues. Emma Gibbons, head of the EU section of the International Directorate in London’s Home Office, said “It’s about being on the frontline, exposed to the day-to-day dynamic.” Rita Faden of Portugal’s Ministry of the Interior said, “Trust in the ambassador is really important….In the capitals, we may not have the complete picture…[Coreper ambassadors] have asked to change the instructions, and we have been flexible.”[25] Dutch policy officer Rogier Kok said, “In the end, if [the ambassador] doesn’t want to say something, he doesn’t.  In the end, he’s in charge. He’s in control. It’s his interpretation of what’s important or not, and what’s achievable.”[26] Thus, ambassadors are able to persuade their capitals of compromises that they reach in Brussels. Sometimes there are certain red lines, but even then the obstacles are not insurmountable.

The example of the 2005 Strategy on Radicalization & Recruitment (SRR) provides a brief illustration of how Coreper is able to infuse a particular policy with the shared beliefs of the ambassadors. The SRR was designed to define the terrorist threat to the EU, highlight the challenges the EU faces in overcoming extremist ideologies and threat vulnerabilities, and outline the pro-active measures the EU will take to undermine Al Qaeda’s radicalization and recruitment in Europe.[27] Coreper sought to advance particular goals that emphasized their twin norms of achieving more security integration alongside the strengthening of the EU legal space.

First, the ambassadors argued that the EU should enact a comprehensive response.  They agreed that there is a dangerous, distorted version of Islam that must be combated with efforts to integrate Muslims into European society and empower moderate voices. To accomplish this, the ambassadors emphasized the importance of non-state, transnational actors like NGOs, alongside state-driven solutions, decreasing the responsibility of member states in tackling the problem alone. Coreper believed that these efforts to empower moderate voices and involve NGOs would weaken the influence of extremist Islam.

Second, the ambassadors wanted to elevate the perception of threat. They believed that more people were at risk, and more citizens could be impacted by terrorist activity than had been previously anticipated, as recruitment was occurring in prisons, educational institutions, religious training centers and places of worship.  Ambassadors asserted that even if a specific country had not been a target, that it was still not immune. They called upon member states to approach the problem of radicalization and recruitment as a European problem. Estonia, Finland, and Slovakia, for example, do not have problems with radicalization yet all three ambassadors agreed that they must take a European approach and engage in the debate about what should be done. The Estonian ambassador said, “The EU provides a collectively prepared understanding.  We’re not specialists on Islam so we can use the whole EU’s approach.” The Slovakian ambassador indicated that his country does not even have a single mosque, and yet radicalization and recruitment is still a European problem. He stressed that the fact that the Dutch were surprised when they started to hear radical ideas coming from their mosques could be a lesson for everyone.

Third, they agreed that any action taken by the EU with respect to radicalization and recruitment must be legitimated. To accomplish this, they added to the SRR’s final draft specific mention of protecting fundamental rights, putting in place a legal framework, encouraging a political dialogue, and involving experts such as academics in shaping policies. The idea of protecting fundamental rights, common to all citizens of the EU, once again demonstrated the idea that through asserting “Europeanness” radicalization and recruitment to extremism could be counteracted. Since much of EU legislation already rests on a strong legal system and respect for rights, the ambassadors argued that the effort to combat terrorism was no exception.

As the Strategy was made public on 24 November 2005, Coreper has revised its policy goals every six months to take into account actual progress and their ongoing deliberations. The SRR became part of the more general EU Action Plan for Combating Terrorism, a policy for which Coreper also performed the preparatory work. The new initiatives include: a public diplomacy campaign to explain and legitimate EU actions to the international community and to put forward a common EU image; information sharing across member-states; setting up both funding for individual research that would aim to strengthen the relationship between civil society and European authorities, and multinational funding to generate policy proposals that would require a European approach to combating terrorism; and a new approach to extremism that would treat it as a danger within all religions, instead of emphasizing Islam alone.

Biannual progress reports show that major initiatives have been successfully launched along these lines, including: the implementation of a media communication strategy; the development of a “common lexicon of terms”; a signed agreement among member-states to abide by EU laws criminalizing both direct and indirect incitement of terrorist activities; multinational meetings to promote interfaith and intercultural dialogue, direct involvement of major NGOs, and others.  In the end, Coreper persuaded member-states to envision the EU as a contiguous “homeland” in which policy would be legitimated. One year after the launch of the SRR, a progress report stated:

Radicalization has moved from a somewhat specialist issue to a central theme with profound implications for the future of our society.  [SRR] has brought this issue to centre stage and focused minds on how we tackle the problem collectively (Council document 15386/06, 2006).

Despite the fact that the majority of member-states had not even experienced the problem of radicalization, Coreper successfully reframed the issue as European thereby significantly advancing internal security integration.

Conclusion

These two examples, as well as many others, show that knowledge-based experts, or epistemic communities, are playing an important role in shaping the future of European security policy.  The diplomatic processes among these actors are gradually contributing to more innovations in European integration, reaching into traditionally contentious policy areas for member states.  The EU is now surpassing NATO in the variety of initiatives it can do around the world, and milreps are even taking on a kind of post-modern character; their aims go beyond traditional national security goals.  EU citizens must be protected on multiple levels, from traditional defense to food security to environmental security, and they have common external borders.  The chief goal of high-ranking military generals and admirals is to provide this security, and increasingly, they find that the best means of achieving this is to encourage member-states to work together in an integrated way.

In terms of internal security, the EU increasingly resembles a federal model.  The reality of shared borders has led to a number of initiatives that secure Europe through common approaches.  Coreper has been at the forefront of achieving internal security integration by virtue of its expertise and persuasive abilities vis-à-vis the member states.  More examples abound.

Security integration is the real test for how far the idea of an “ever closer Union” might go.  However, the idea of security integration is still little discussed in the halls of national governments, EU institutions, and among the general public.  To really understand the extent to which it is moving forward, it is necessary to open up the black box of formal decision-making, and examine the dynamics that occur behind the scenes in Brussels, among the true movers and shakers.

Dr. Mai’a K. Davis Cross is Assistant Professor of International Relations at the University of Southern California.  She is the author of two books: Security Integration in Europe: How Knowledge-based Networks are Transforming the European Union (University of Michigan Press, 2011) and The European Diplomatic Corps: Diplomats and International Cooperation from Westphalia to Maastricht(Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).  Her current research includes a book project with the working title, “The Politics of Crisis in Europe,” and another entitled, “European Public Diplomacy: Soft Power at Work.” Professor Cross holds a Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton University, and a bachelor’s degree in Government from Harvard University. In 2009, she was a Fulbright fellow as well as a visiting fellow at the EU Institute for Security Studies.


[1] Javier Solana, “The Quiet Success of European Defence,” Schlossplatz (Hertie School of Governance), Spring 2007, Issue 2.  p. 9.

[2] A good example of a book that makes the case for more cooperation is Seth G. Jones, The Rise of European Security Cooperation, Cambridge University Press, 2007.

[3] Mai’a K. Davis Cross, Security Integration in Europe: How Knowledge-based Networks are Transforming the European Union, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2011.

[4] Interview with Greek EUMC representative Kourkoulis Dimitrios, June 2009.

[5] Interview with French EUMC military representative General Patrick de Rousiers, May 2009.

[6] Interview with Dutch EUMC military representative General A.G.D. van Osch, March 2009.

[7] Interview with Dutch EUMC military representative General A.G.D. van Osch, March 2009.

[8] Interview with Dutch EUMC military representative General A.G.D. van Osch, March 2009.

[9] Interview with Dutch EUMC representative General A.G.D. van Osch, March 2009.

[10] Interview with German deputy-EUMC representative Colonel Peter Kallert, June 2009.

[11] Interview with British Head of Military-Defense CSDP Adam Sambrook, May 2009.

[12] Interview with Portuguese MFA, Director for Security and Defense Affairs, João Pedro Antunes, April 2009.

[13] Interview with Dutch MFA Security Policy Department representative Henrick van Asch, May 2009.

[14] Interview with Italian Chief of the Operations & Exercises Branch, Colonel Italian Air Force Benedetto Liberace, June 2009.

[15] Interviews with EUMC General Endahl (Sweden), Admiral Treviño-Ruiz (Spain), General Coelmont (Belgium), Major General Békési (Hungary), Brigadier General Graube (Latvia), and Colonel Liberace (Italy).

[16] Formally, Coreper is only mandated to prepare the work of the Council.  Article 16 (7) Treat on European Union.

[17] Personal interview, January 2009.

[18] Personal interview, January 2009.

[19] Personal interview, January 2009.

[20] Personal interview, March 2009.

[21] Personal interview, Ambassador Store, January 2009.

[22] Personal interview, January 2009.

[23] Personal interview, March 2009.

[24] Personal interview, January 2009.

[25] Personal interview, April 2009.

[26] Personal interview, May 2009.

[27] Council document 14781/1/05, 2005.