I will in the coming days and weeks submit a number of comments to the proposed elements for a regional strategy on Syria, Iraq and ISIS/DAESH put forward by the High Representative Mogherini and the European Commission in a communication dated 5 February 2015.
This is one of the first examples of what the new leadership would see as a comprehensive approach to external conflicts and crises.
Three questions arise:
First, does it cover the scope of the current international debate?
And secondly, from an EU perspective: does it cover the relevant policy perspectives in EU security policy outlined in the handbook on EU and security which I will publish shortly, based upon many interviews inside the institutions.
Third: The EU tried once before in 2013 to put forward a communication on Syria labelled a comprehensive approach to the crisis. To what extent does the new communication represent progress in terms of comprehensiveness?
On the issue of the international discourse, a number of detailed presentations of the discussion are available on the web. For the purpose of the discussion of an EU strategy to the crisis a relevant contribution has recently been made by Amir Madani, Huffington Post.
In brief, he makes links not least to the following main issues which he characterises as tactical and strategic:
-- Military presence to limit the expansion of terrorist acts
-- Recognition and engagement with the institutions of the regimes currently in place
-- Negotiations with current Syrian institutions
-- Iran and the resolution of the WMD issue.
-- The resolution of the Palestine Israel issue
-- Turkey and its relationship to Europe
-- Support to the Iraqi government including in enacting major reforms promoting more inclusiveness.
-- Possible regional conference under the auspices of the UN Security Council and including the United States, Europe, China, Russia, and important participation by Iran, Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
-- Supporting civil society throughout Arabia
To what extent does the European Union in its approach to the region include these various elements - and others - into the analysis of its potential comprehensive approach?
This I will try to explore in one on my following blog posts in pursuit of an enhanced EU comprehensive approach to external conflicts and crises.
The proof of the pudding - after all - is to be found in concrete case studies.
That this is a crucial discourse also for the internal security of the EU should not least be obvious from the graph below published recently in Washington Post: