REFLECTIONS ON HOW TO TURN A WORM INTO A GIANT: A Strategic Management Approach to Bridge the Gap towards a Security and Defence Union

Tim Nelissen
Reflections on werpt een kritische blik op het huidig EU-defensiebeleid. Het uitgangspunt is een theoretisch kader ontleend aan het strategisch management. Dit relatief nieuw vakgebied is gericht op het ontwikkelen en implementeren van strategieën voor het optimaliseren van de werking van een organisatie. Strategisch management is hoofdzakelijk afgestemd op de private sector. De eerste stap in deze studie was het ontwikkelen van een model geschikt voor de publieke sector. De volgende stap was het toepassen van het model op het EU-defensiebeleid. Het resultaat is een uitgebreide analyse van de stakeholders, de interne en de externe omgeving van het EU-defensiebeleid met concrete strategieën voor een meer performante werking.

Hoe verander je een worm in een reus? - Het EU defensiebeleid

Europa is een economische reus, een politieke dwerg en een militaire worm.

Enkele dagen voor de start van de Eerste Golfoorlog[1] sprak de toenmalige Belgische minister van Buitenlandse Zaken Mark Eyskens deze historische woorden. Eyskens keurde het gebrek aan eenheid en wilskracht af binnen de Europese Unie (EU) om militaire steun te verlenen. Begin jaren ‘90 werd gekenmerkt door een grote onenigheid onder de EU-lidstaten op vlak van defensie. Meer dan 25 jaar later moeten we vaststellen dat er te weinig is veranderd. Daarom luidt onze onderzoeksvraag: hoe verander je een worm in een reus? Of, hoe kan je ervoor zorgen dat de enorme potentie die de EU kan ontwikkelen op andere vlakken, zoals economie, zich ook kan manifesteren op het vlak van defensie? 

Veiligheid en defensie spelen vandaag de dag een zeer belangrijke rol voor Europa. Deze thema’s beïnvloeden ons dagelijks leven, ook in België. Denk maar aan de terroristische aanslagen op 22 maart 2016 en de migranten aan het Noordstation, beide in Brussel. De instabiliteit aan de grenzen van Europa heeft invloed op onze Europese en Belgische samenleving. Het huidige veiligheids- en defensiebeleid moet herzien en op Europees niveau grondig aangepakt worden. Een middel dat daarbij kan helpen komt uit de private sector, nl. het strategisch management. Strategisch management wordt gedefinieerd als de zoektocht van een organisatie om met strategieën de perfecte pasvorm te vinden tussen enerzijds de interne omgeving (de middelen en capaciteiten waarover de organisatie beschikt) en anderzijds de immer veranderende externe omgeving (de concurrentiële markt met de andere bedrijven en de wetgeving waaraan de organisatie zich moet houden). Het huidige EU-beleid kan een nuchtere management blik gebruiken om ons te vrijwaren van de gevaren inzake veiligheid en defensie.

In deze studie wordt, enerzijds, een grondige analyse gemaakt van de defensiemiddelen en -capaciteiten die de EU ter beschikking heeft. Opvallend is dat het EU-beleid erg versnipperd is. Naast de nationale legers waarover alle landen beschikken, zijn er verschillende grote en kleine organisaties die instaan voor de Europese veiligheid en defensie. Anderzijds bestuderen we de gevaren waartegen we onze samenleving willen verdedigen en die onze veiligheid bedreigen. Als je het nieuws volgt, merk je dat de EU onder druk staat: Rusland is Oekraïne binnengevallen; de Amerikaanse president Donald J. Trump zet het NAVO[2] bondgenootschap op de helling; de EU-Turkije relaties zijn verslechterd onder de huidige Turkse president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan; de burgeroorlog in Syrië en Libië heeft gevolgen die voelbaar zijn tot in Europa. Ook de Europese waarden van democratie, vrijheid en gelijkheid staan onder druk. Om ervoor te zorgen dat de interne en externe omgeving van het EU-defensiebeleid op elkaar zijn afgestemd, stelt deze studie enkele strategieën voor die bijdragen aan de verhoogde veiligheid van onze samenleving. Ten eerste, we kunnen meer eenheid verkrijgen tussen de EU-lidstaten als we het onderlinge vertrouwen verhogen. Ten tweede, het is nodig dat we een aantal verantwoordelijkheden vanuit een centrale plek besturen, oftewel centraliseren. Ten derde, we moeten streven naar meer efficiëntie en effectiviteit. Door een gebrekkige samenwerking verliezen we veel geld en kostbare tijd. Als we voor grote militaire projecten op een goede manier samenwerken creëren we een financieel en een strategisch voordeel. Ten vierde, er moet meer geld geïnvesteerd worden in veiligheid en defensie. Ook de bijdrage van de landen moet op eerlijke wijze worden verdeeld. Ten vijfde, het is belangrijk dat we respect hebben voor onze partners, zowel organisaties (bv. NAVO) als landen (bv. VS). Ten zesde, er moet een brede basis zijn van burgers, politici, soldaten, officiers en organisaties binnen en buiten de EU die een gemeenschappelijk veiligheids- en defensiebeleid steunen.

Het uiteindelijke doel is het creëren van een Europese veiligheid en defensie unie. Deze unie draagt bij aan de veiligheid van alle EU-burgers, de stabiliteit van de EU-lidstaten  (en de omringende landen) en de bescherming van onze Europese waarden. Het is duidelijk dat we als EU nog een hele weg moeten afleggen, maar het neemt nu eenmaal tijd om een worm te voeden tot hij een reus wordt. 

 

[1] Deze oorlog duurde van augustus 1990 tot februari 1991. Irak viel eerst de kleine golfstaat Koeweit binnen. Vervolgens werden de Iraakse soldaten verdreven door een leger onder leiding van de Amerikanen gesteund door verschillende bondgenoten. 

[2] Het letterwoord NAVO staat voor Noord-Atlantische Verdragsorganisatie. Dit bondgenootschap staat in voor de veiligheid van het merendeel van de Europese lidstaten.

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Universiteit of Hogeschool
Bedrijfskunde
Publicatiejaar
2018
Promotor(en)
Professor Doctor Caroline Buts
Kernwoorden