NATO-Lisbon :: O Futuro e o Caminho 2 (autores convidados)
Abaixo segue a continuação do texto de Åsne Kalland Aarstad, da Universidade de Aarhus, que hoje se centra na regra do consenso que vigora na NATO no processo de tomada de decisões. Este princípio fundador da Aliança, inerente a todo o seu sistema de funcionamento interno, é visto por muitos analistas como um travão à actividade desta organização, que deveria, de acordo com esta visão, adoptar uma regra de decisão por maioria próxima da que actualmente vigora na União Europeia. Saber se esta é ou não uma evolução provável é algo passível de discussão, mas é provável que este tema esteja em cima da mesa na Cimeira de Lisboa.
Goodbye to the consensus rule?
The proliferation of security challenges that NATO is currently facing, as well as the increased membership base taken into consideration, it should come as no surprise that NATO is currently experiencing an increased tension being a ’multimember organization that works by consensus and a military Alliance operating in a fluid and fast-paced security environment’, as the NATO Panel of Experts put it. Despite its status as a fundamental principle in NATO, the consensus rule as it works today is increasingly endangering the Alliance of becoming paralyzed when it is needed the most. According to Sean Kay, the best way for NATO to regain its institutional relevance for security provisions would be to reform and streamline the rules and decision-making process. However, the very rules and procedures that make NATO so in need of reform would require consensus to even place such adaptation on the agenda. Facing an immediate re-launch of a new strategic concept later this month, many scholars have expressed their recommendations in terms of a reconstruction of NATO’s decision making procedures, challenging the consensus rule and offering alternative solutions closer to the majority-rule of the European Union. Indeed, even the recommendations from the Panel of Experts have clearly stated the need for a reform of the decision-making procedure. They suggest that the consensus rule should be strictly kept for the most important decisions (Article 5 commitments, budgets, new missions, or new members) but open up from departures from the consensus principles under certain conditions. In addition, they suggest ’giving the Secretary General or NATO military leaders certain pre-delegated authorities to respond in an emergency situation such as a missile or cyber attack’.
The question that rightly needs to be asked is whether or not this is a viable option, taken the long and strong position of the intergovernmental, consensus-ruled political structure of NATO. Scholars such as Mats Berdal and David Ucko are highly skeptical to any suggestions that would challenge the very intergovernmental character of NATO decision-making, as the organization has always been proceeding by consensus and various interests and perspectives among its member states is by default a characteristic feature of the institution. Transformation of NATO’s political assets for decision making has received much less attention that has its military assets for command structure, and has thus continued to function ’as it always has’ despite an evolving security environment. As a last instance of ’national sovereignty’, the consensus rule in NATO is of obvious reasons a highly sensitive issue for its members and attempts of reforms is likely to counter large-scale challenges. Nevertheless, the dilemma that the member states might come to face in the nearest future is whether it is restructuring NATO’s decision making practices or living with an increasingly paralyzed and less relevant Alliance that pose the biggest challenge for national sovereignty. In order to continue to benefit from NATO’s established political assets for consultations and for making and implementing decisions, these procedures must reflect the complexity of both current security challenges and membership base. There are good reasons to believe that the consensus rule will occupy a central spot for negotiations at the upcoming Lisbon Summit.
Åsne Kalland Aarstad – email@example.com
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