Review of Georgia’s National Security Architecture – Strategic Level
Security Sector Review Project and this particular report are made possible by the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the sole responsibility of the Atlantic Council of Georgia and do not necessarily reflect the views of the USAID or the United States Government.
Following people contributed to this report:
Ambassador Vasil Sikharulidze – SSR Project Director, Chairman of the Atlantic Council of Georgia. Former Georgian Ambassador to the US and former minister of Defense.
Mr. Giorgi Muchaidze – SSR Project Manager. Executive Director of the Atlantic Council. Former deputy Minister of Defense
Ms. Teona Akubardia – Fellow, Atlantic Council of Georgia.
Mr. Levan Alapishvili – Lawyer. Atlantic Council of Georgia
Ambassador Batu Kutelia – Fellow, McCain Institute. Former Georgian Ambassador to the US. Mr. Nodar Kharshiladze – Fellow, GFSIS. Former deputy Minister of Defense.
Mr. Irakli Mchedlishvili – Researcher. Civil Council on Defense and Security
Ms. Tamar Pataraia – Researcher. Civil Council on Defense and Security
Mr. Nick Rurua – founder, Iveria.biz. Former deputy chairman of the parliamentary committee on defense and security. Former Minister of Culture
Ambassador Salome Samadashvili – Visiting Fellow of the Center of European Studies, Brussels. Former Georgian Ambassador to the EU.
Introduction – page 2
Part 1. Legal Framework and Redistribution of Competencies in the Field of National Security in light of the Constitutional Changes – page 4
Part 2. The National Security Architecture – Institutional Settings of the National Security System – page 10
Part 3. Strategic Documents – Hierarchy of the Planning Documents, Process of Development – page 15
Part 4. Crisis Management System – page 19
Part 5. Checks and balances and civic engagement – page 22
Part 6. Challenges Posed by the New Constitutional Arrangement and Recommendations – page - 26
Annex one – Practices from other Countries – page 30
As the Constitutional amendments have entered into force with the inauguration of the new
President, Georgia is undergoing an important change of its system of governance. The Presidential constitutional model is changing to the new system based on the constitutional principles of Parliamentary governance. According to the new constitutional framework, a popularly elected President enjoys considerably less executive powers than the Prime Minister and the Cabinet confirmed by the Parliament. President retains the role of a Head of the State and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, but the Presidential competencies are substantially reduced in many areas, including the field of national security. A new President of Georgia will no longer be in charge of conducting country’s foreign and security policy.
While the new Constitutional framework affects the entire national security architecture, due to the busy political agenda, the needed changes in the legal and policy framework have not been at the center-stage of the policy debate so far. It is self-evident that the new constitutional model mandates a thorough and fundamental review of the institutional framework for development of the strategic documents, policy planning instruments and interagency coordination mechanisms of national security. Supporting a serious policy-debate on these fundamentally important issues to facilitate the development of well thought through legislative and institutional changes is the main goal of the USAID funded Security Sector Review Project being carried out by the Atlantic Council of Georgia.
Georgia continues to face serious security threats, risks, and challenges, both hard and soft security related, requiring complex policy responses. To deal with them, it is vitally important to have an effective and efficient security policy-making and implementation system, which is fully in line with the principles of democratic governance, democratic oversight and accountability.
The first report produced in the framework of the Security Sector Review Project is the assessment of the overall legal and institutional policy framework of the Georgian security sector. It provides a review of the existing legal framework of the national security architecture, including the changes introduced by the recent Constitutional amendments and a number of other legislative amendments initiated lately with the aim to bridge the gaps between the new Constitutional provisions and existing legislation with regard to distribution of competencies between President and the Government.
The report also reviews existing institutional settings and mechanisms for interagency coordination, development of the strategic documents, interagency policy planning and policymaking process, as well as implementation oversight and crisis management instruments. It provides a review of the role of the National Security Council and its staff and assesses the system of checks and balances, as well as civic engagement mechanisms. An annex to the document also provides an overview of the existing practices from the selected democratic countries.
Based on a review of the existing system, recently initiated amendments and the lessons learned from the best practices of other countries, this report offers a set of recommendations. The recommendations offer a suggested roadmap for legislative and institutional changes aimed at strengthening the effectiveness and sustainability of the overall mechanisms of governance in the security sector, streamlining the security policy-planning process, while at the same time increasing democratic oversight and accountability in this vitally important field of public policy.
Part 1. Legal Framework and Redistribution of Competencies in the Field of National Security in light of the Constitutional Changes
Today, Georgia finds itself in a new political reality. The new amendments to the Constitution of Georgia were just enacted. These constitutional changes have significantly altered the statusquo in regards with the separation of powers, as well as the legal framework for the national security architecture.
The Constitution of Georgia adopted in 1995 resembled the model of the constitutional system of the United States. It envisaged a strong Presidential institution and the National Security Council, a body prescribed by the Constitution, with the significant executive powers vested in it. Article 99 of the Constitution of 1995 defined the functions of the NSC as taking charge of the process of creation and development of the Georgian armed forces, as well as organization of country’s defense system. According to the Constitution, President and Parliament would define further functions, as well as the composition of the NSC in the relevant organic laws. The organic law on the functions of the NSC, adopted in 1996, defined NSC as the consultative body to the President, with the coordinating and supervisory functions on the issues related to national security. Constitutional changes of 2004 did not significantly change NSC functions as the government, led by the Prime-Minister, continued to play a minimal role in the questions related to the national security, with the President retaining wide competences in this field.
However, the most recent constitutional changes have significantly widened the competencies of the government and reduced the Presidential powers in many fields, including the national security. This, in its turn, necessitated the introduction of legislative changes in respect with the framework of national security architecture and NSC competencies.
According to the new Constitution:
The President. Even though President is no longer responsible for conducting country’s domestic and foreign policy, he/she retains important constitutional powers related to the national security. President remains to be the Head of State is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, as well as the guarantor of country’s territorial integrity and national independence. Together with the government, President carries out important functions in the foreign relations (conduction of negotiations, appointment of ambassadors, initiation of ratification and denouncement of the international treaties and agreements), defense and crises management fields. Even though President no longer has the right to initiate the legislation, he/she still has the power of promulgating the laws adopted by the Parliament or vetoing them.
President also is empowered to initiate a discussion of specific issues at the meeting of the government and participate in this discussion. Such meeting of the government would also be attended by the Secretary of the National Security Council and its other members.
President also retains an exclusive right to appoint the members of the NSC.
The Government. The government has a considerably increased authority. Together with becoming a sole branch of executive power responsible for carrying out country’s domestic and foreign policy, the government has acquired new rights and responsibilities related to the national security .
The most significant change envisages the transfer of the authority on conducting the foreign and security policy from President to the Government.
President is required to seek government’s approval on all important issues related to foreign policy, as well as military sphere, such as:
- Conduction of international negotiations;
- Appointment of ambassadors;
- Initiation of ratification and denouncement of the international treaties and agreements;
- Issuing decrees during the state of emergency; Appointment of the chief military leadership.
On all these questions, the decision is taken as a result of the consensus between President and the Government.
The Parliament. While the new Constitution has not altered significantly the powers vested in the Parliament, with new distribution of powers between the President and the Government, the role of the Parliament has increased. In light of the new balance of power, Parliamentary authority to define the main directions of country’s domestic and foreign policy has acquired increased significance. Parliament also continues to hold the power to:
- Ratify international agreements and treaties, as well as to denounce or revoke them;
- Approve for introduction of the State of Emergency or State of War;
- Casting a vote of confidence for the government program, as well as the government;
- Declare no confidence to the government and start impeachment procedures. Approve the budget and caste a decision on budget execution;
But the security sector related main power of Parliament rests with its authority to legislate and define the new architecture of the national security system.
New Constitutional amendments have not changed the role and functions of the NSC, as defined by the Constitution. As for the NSC related organic laws, the new legislative changes have not been adopted yet.
Recent Legislative Amendments
Since the last Parliamentary elections of 2012, the Georgian Parliament has adopted a number of important legislative changes related to the national security sector. Draft amendments to the organic law on National Security Council of Georgia have been initiated as well. The proposed legislative changes limit the presidential powers related to the military and defense sector, even though President remains the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.
Adopted amendments to the “Law on Defense Planning” (articles 9.2 and 9.3) transfer important competencies related to the armed forces and defense from the President to the Government. Government will be now responsible for producing both, the National Military Strategy and Threat Assessment Document. While the Threat Assessment Document will be presented by government to President for approval, the National Military Strategy will be approved by the government, rather than the President.
The law on “Foreign Intelligence Service,” is also being amended, The Foreign Intelligence Service has become subordinated to the Prime-Minister, rather than the President. It should be noted that this agency has certain competencies related to the armed forces.
According to the Freedom Charter, NSC will retain its competence as a coordinator of the activities in fight against the terrorism. The Ministry of Internal Affairs is responsible to present its report to NSC in this field.
The latest amendments to the law on “Military Duty and Military Service” transfer the powers on defining important issues of conscription and military service in the armed forces from the President to the Cabinet. According to the constitution, the President remains to be the supreme commander-in-chief of Georgian Armed Forces and, therefore, these changes can be considered as a contradiction to the constitutional functions of the President.
Identical decision was made concerning the “Law on Military Reserve”. The President’s competence to define the terms of conscription is transferred to the Government.
The changes proposed to the Law on State of Emergency, as well as the Law on the State of War are also diminishing the Presidential powers. According to the new Constitutional amendments, the President keeps an exclusive right to introduce the state of emergency and is not obliged to obtain the countersignature of government for this. However, the latest amendments to the Law on State of Emergency are changing the situation and introduce such a requirement. According to the Constitution, only Presidential decrees issued after the declaration of the State of Emergency require a countersignature, and President is authorized to introduce a state of emergency on his own.
Latest amendments to the Law on State of War will cancel a provision, according to which, in case of declaration of the State of War, President, as the Commander in Chief, takes over the functions related to national defense, public order and national security. It is unclear, who will be taking over these functions during the State of War.
The amendment to the Law on State Secrecy gives the responsibility and authority to decide on the matters of classified information to the government and Prime-Minister. The President’s (as Supreme Commander-in-Chief) role and participation in decision making process is disappearing with these amendments.
According to the law on “Participation of Georgian Armed Forces in Peace-keeping Operations”, the decision on the participation in peacekeeping operations is made by the government, rather than the President.
In case of adoption of the draft amendments to the organic law on National Security Council, they will introduce important changes to the legal framework of the national security sector. Proposed amendments change the competences of the NSC and limit them from national security, to exclusively defense issues. In case of adoption of the proposed amendments, NSC will no longer carry a responsibility for coordination of the development of the state security concept, the strategic document of national security architecture. NSC will be responsible only for drafting recommendations for the national security concept. It remains unclear which agency will be responsible for the coordination of the process of development of the document.
Another change introduced by the proposed amendments is that the NSC will no longer have the right to create interagency commissions as the effective tool for the policy development and coordination.
Proposed legislative amendments also do not define which agencies will be responsible for internal and external threat assessment and identification, coordination and planning of the necessary steps for preventing and neutralizing the identified threats. Neither is clear who will be responsible for coordination of crises management on highest political level.
According to the proposed draft, the members of NSC should be selected exclusively from the members of the Cabinet. 5 ex-officio members are defined by the Law, but the selection criteria of appointing 3 other members of NSC may need more clarification. Proposed amendments introduce a quorum for the decisions in the NSC – the majority of votes for the matters of military development and organization of the state defense system, and 2/3 majority for the approval of the numbers of the military personnel. Constitution defines the NSC as a consultative body of the President, not a decision-making institution; therefore, the logic of introducing the quorum for the decisions of NSC remains unclear.
Part 2. The National Security Architecture – Institutional Settings of the National Security System
The National Security Architecture is the legislatively regulated set of institutions providing the framework for enabling and organization of the national security policy making, implementation, review and oversight.
These institutions ensure proper functioning of the national security system through managing and supporting the processes of definition of national security interests, identification of security threats, risks and challenges, current issues of national security and their effective addressing through coordinated national effort carried out under proper democratic oversight.
National security architecture of every country is supposed to be designed with the aim of ensuring the adequate distribution of security sector competencies, effective agency and national level policy-making and implementation, proper institutional checks and balances, viable interagency coordination and democratic oversight.
In particular, the relevant institutional arrangements should provide framework and capacities for:
- Definition of national security interests and priorities, comprehensive analysis of the security environment and issues at hand, identification of national security interests at stake;
- Timely collection, analysis and sharing of the valuable national security related information to the decision-makers on agency and national level, as well as provision of substantiated alternative policy options and strategies for their implementation;
- Viable mechanisms of monitoring the policy implementation, policy review and correction, inter-agency cooperation and coordination; – Effective democratic and civic oversight.
The key agencies of the national security sector are: The Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Finance and the National Security Council. Each of them has legislatively defined competencies within the security sector, as well as departments/structural units that are responsible for their part of security sector related analysis, policy planning, review and implementation.
The National Security Council has been in charge of coordinating the interagency work in the security sector since its re-establishment in 1996 (its short lived predecessor was established by the decree of President Zviad Gamsakhurdia on September 24, 1991, and ceased functioning after his exile in January of 1992).
According to the Georgian Constitution, adopted in 1995, the main task of the National Security Council is building of the armed forces and organization of national defense. The Organic Law on National Security Council, adopted in 1996, specified its functions and granted the Council a broad range of authorities including: coordination and control of defense and security activities of relevant Georgian agencies; drafting of the national security concept and security sector related laws; and control over the implementation of national security related normative acts issued by the President.
The Council is an advisory institution to the President of Georgia that is chaired by the President of Georgia and has the following statutory members: Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Defense Minister, Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister of Finances and Secretary of the National Security Council. Speaker of the Parliament attends NSC meetings on a regular basis.
Council’s powers have been further broadened by relevant amendments to include the authorities for all-type crisis management at highest political level, assessment and forecasting of internal and external security threats, and organization of the elaboration of different national concepts and strategies falling within the scope of security sector. Today, National Security Council remains the highest political decision-making body on security matters (including national security and relevant foreign and domestic policy issues).
Before the entry into force on November 17, 2013, of the new Constitutional amendments, President of Georgia was the Head of State, as well as the Head of the Government, responsible for elaboration as well as the conduct of the National Security, foreign and defense policies. Major functions of NSC were defined as advising the President on the issues of Security Policy planning and formulation, ensuring the elaboration of the National Security Concept, discussion of major security related issues on domestic and foreign policy, coordination of process of military and defense establishment development, organization of the process of elaboration of strategic level documents related to defense, security, law enforcement, anti corruption and foreign policy, elaboration recommendations on legal framework on security sector and provide crisis management on top political level.
To support the work of NSC, acting under the President’s authority, functions and practices of the NSC staff were including certain supportive and executive tasks related to the development and implementation of the national security policy, specifically:
- Development of Conceptual and strategic documents (Threat assessment, National Security Concept, Strategic reviews and etc.);
- To support the Crisis management coordination;
- Supporting the institutional multi-layer interagency coordination mechanisms based on whole-of-the Government approach for effective and credible policy making and implementation;
- Monitoring the implementation of the political decisions;
- Elaboration of the policy directives, guidelines and recommendations and monitoring of its implementation;
- Ensuring transparency and supporting the inclusiveness of non-governmental actors in the defense and security policy planning process.
Several interagency commissions created under the Council that provided frames for coordinating the security sector related activities of different agencies. For proper organisation of interagency cooperation and institutionalising the whole of government approach,
Presidential Decree provided for the establishment of the Permanent Inter-Agency Commission, under the Auspices of the National Security Council of Georgia, Co-coordinating the Composition of the National Security Strategic Documents. The head of NSC was appointed as its chair.
The Commission comprised of the deputy ministers of the relevant agencies. It coordinated the development of the National Security Concept and the National Threat Assessment Document, as well as assisted the MOD in finalising the draft of National Military Strategy through bringing it for interagency discussion on its meetings. The National Threat Assessment, National Military Strategy, Intelligence Concept, Cyber Security Strategy and Action Plan, Bio-Security Strategy were revised through the interagency cooperation within the NSC Commission as well.
If the recently proposed changes to the Organic Law on National Security Council enter into force, they will significantly curtail the Council’s powers including, the crisis management, interagency coordination and strategic document elaboration.
The First National Security Review Process (NSR)
After the August 2008 war with Russia, the NSC has identified gaps in the National Security Architecture. Main problems identified were weak interagency cooperation and reactive mode in crisis management. To bridge these gaps, the NSC has started the National Security Review process aimed at further institutionalization of the Security Policy Planning and strengthening of national security system. The goals of the NSR process were to assess the state of the country’s security policy planning system, capability gaps and strength in each component of Georgia’s Security System. It had to ensure the coordinated definition of the policies country should pursue and identification of the capabilities it needs to develop. NSR process focused on the following:
- Institutionalization of Whole-of-Government Approach in the National Security Planning. The Whole-of-Government approach was planned to be used as the key concept in designing the current security sector architecture. The particularities of this approach were being crafted with bearing in mind the local political system and specificities, the final goal being the development of proper strategies and concepts through combined national effort that would ensure informed strategic analysis and planning, efficient implementation, adequate transparency and oversight.
- Deepening the interagency cooperation during the security policy planning process. To ensure a holistic approach and improve the interagency coordination in the field of security policy planning and implementation, the relevant institutional framework was being developed that comprised of three levels: (i) Political Level – Interagency Commission (deputy ministers Level); (ii) Department level – interagency working groups; (iii) Operational level – daily interagency cooperation work coordinated, supported and supervised by the NSC staff;
- Capacity building for the agencies involved in the NSR process. The training provided and the practical experience acquired during the NSR process contributed to the capacity building of the staff of the agencies involved ;
- Ensuring transparent, open and inclusive process for the security planning. The process was designed to ensure communication with and input from the parliament, non-governmental organizations, partner countries and academia, as well as wider public awareness in the process of security policy planning.
Part 3. Strategic Documents – Hierarchy of the Planning Documents, Process of Development
Georgian national security system has been rapidly developing and institutionalizing during the last ten years. The creation of the appropriate national legislation, establishment of the relevant structures and the capacity building were the processes that went in parallel with each other. Though neither of these processes is completed, today, Georgia already has a functional security system capable of reacting to the changing security environment and adjusting within its capability limits to efficiently respond to the old and emerging security threats and challenges.
Georgian Constitution defines in general the rights and responsibilities of the President, Government and the Parliament pertaining to the national security of the country. A number of legislative acts further regulate the functioning of the Georgian security sector. They delimit the security competencies and distribute them among the national agencies, establish interagency mechanisms for coordinated policy making and policy implementation, as well as provide for appropriate democratic checks and balances within the security sector.
Georgian has two fundamental strategic documents that constitute a basis and provide national level guidance and strategic framework for the security sector related work of all pertinent agencies.
These two documents are the National Security Concept of Georgia and the National Threat Assessment Document.
The National Security Concept is on the top of the hierarchy of guiding documents for the national security policy making. It identifies the fundamental national values and interests, the vision of the nation’s sustainable development, threats, risks and challenges, and establishes the main directions for national security policy. It serves as a basis for the development of National Security Strategy and agency level strategies.
The National Security Concept is designed by NSC staff in cooperation with relevant ministries and then presented by the President to Parliament, which approves it by the majority of members of the parliament.
The National Threat Assessment Document reviews the strategic environment for upcoming several years and identifies the threats and challenges to the national security of Georgia. This fundamental conceptual document also analyzes the scenarios of possible development of threats, their likelihoods and results. The threats and challenges identified in the Document are not only of military nature, but also foreign policy related, socio-economic, transnational, and of natural and technogenic origin. Together with the National Security Concept, the National Threat Assessment Document serves as the guidance for the agency level strategies and security policy making. Due to its importance, the Document goes through vigorous analysis process annually.
Before the recent legislative changes, the National Threat Assessment Document was worked out by the NSC in cooperation with relevant ministries and approved by the presidential decree. Recently adopted amendments to the Law on Defence Planning though change this and provide the government a right to propose this document to the President for approval. These changes also imply that government will be in charge of drafting the National Threat Assessment Document.
The National Security Review (NSR) represents a process of development of package of conceptual and strategic documents. It was launched in 2009 and yet remains to be regulated by the Georgian legislation. NSR should have streamlined the roles and responsibilities of relevant state agencies on the matters of defence and security.
NSR was planned to be carried out in three stages: first one being the adaptation of the National Security Concept and the National Threat Assessment Document; second, encompassing the development of the agency level strategies; and third, the elaboration of the National Security Strategy that would define the main priorities of the national security policy and overarching national strategy for its development and implementation.
National Security Review by its nature is an interagency process that also aims at institutionalizing the whole-of-government approach for the development and implementation of Georgia’s national security policy.
All documents developed within its frames would have together served as the foundation for comprehensive strategy to secure Georgia’s security and sovereignty. As planned, the NSR process would have served as a framework for public discussion of security policy planning and the capacity building of the participating agencies.
National Security Strategy (NSS) was planned to be the last document elaborated within the National Security Review process. It is a fundamental strategic document by its nature that is yet to be recognized and regulated by the Georgian legislation.
Being the final product of the National Security Review Process, NSS would have addressed the shortcomings in Georgian Security system and provided strategic guidance for national security policy planning and implementation.
NSS was planned to be adopted at the end of the 2012, but its development process is still not completed.
The other strategic documents regulating the security sector are the National Military Strategy and the Strategic Defense Review Document (SDR Document is yet to be recognized as such and regulated by the Georgian legislation).
National Military Strategy
Based on political directives provided by the National Security Concept and the threats and challenges identified in the National Threat Assessment Document, the National Military Strategy determines the military objectives and missions of the Armed Forces, as well as principles of defense and required military capabilities.
The National Military Strategy serves as a further guidance for the defense sector policy planning. The Strategy is analyzed annually vis-à-vis the developing security environment and is amended if necessary. According to recently adopted amendments to the Law on Defense Planning, and despite the fact that President retains the position of commander-in-chief, the approval authority of the National Military Strategy is transferred from the President to the government.
Strategic Defence Review (SDR)
Strategic Defense Review process is led by the MoD. The final product of this process, the SDR document gives a comprehensive analysis of ways and means for adapting the capabilities of the Georgian Armed Forces (GAF) to meet future security needs. It provides a detailed assessment of current Armed Forces’ capabilities and identifies deficiencies that need to be addressed in future defense planning in order to meet national and international requirements.
Current SDR Document defines the near and mid-term period force structure that meets the requirements of national defense and provides for fulfillment of international obligations. It serves as guidance for the different defense agency level concepts, doctrines, programs and manuals.
The SDR Document was a product of the interagency cooperation, with civil society involved in the process. The advices of the NATO experts were also considered and integrated in the text. SDR Document is approved by the President.
Apart from above strategic documents, a number of agency level planning documents (strategies) are to be developed including, Foreign Policy Strategy, Border Management Strategy, Intelligence Concept and a Cyber-security Strategy. According to acting legislation, NSC is tasked to organize this work.
Part 4. Crisis Management System
Under national security architecture of Georgia, National Security Council was designed to be a major player to handle the political level crisis management.
This system has been in place since 1995. Most common practice in political crisis management in Georgia would have NSC to discuss and analyze political level cresses, based on outcomes of discussions to identify measures necessary for crisis management and then task relevant agencies to implement them.
NSC was considered as a major player during the crisis management; however there was no strategic vision or guidance to establish system and institutionalize it. Level of involvement of NSC in crisis management would depend on presidents will to employ it, based on his personal considerations.
NSC staff was playing major support role for NSC in crisis management. It would conduct preliminary analyzes and provide NSC members with proper analyzes for decision making process. After decisions were made it would coordinate its implementation on interagency level.
However it had no strategic concept or policy guidance how to fulfill its role. Additionally it lacked institutional setup for effective interagency coordination. Interagency coordination mechanisms introduced in 2010, were employed in drafting and discussion of strategic level documents but had almost no role in crisis management
Since 2009 Georgia has ongoing bilateral cooperation on the crisis management program with U.K., which considered providing operational tools of crisis management for NSC staff. This would enable NSC staff to produce more effective pattern for interagency crisis management.
As a system, crisis management system had practice of functioning and producing the limited outcomes for political level crisis management but has very little strategic framework on political level. One of the major shortfalls of current system is the absence of strategic concept on crisis management, as well as planning documents.
There is a presidential decree which identifies types of crisis and responsible agencies during the national crisis. It sets major rules of engagement on interagency level during the crisis management and provides general guidance on operational level.
Number of ministries such as the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Healthcare, Ministry of Regional Development, Ministry of Defense (national guard department, has only support role in most of crisis) has major or supporting role during the crisis management.
In most crisis cases Major responsible body on operational level is Ministry of Interior. Special Emergency Situations Management Center (updated name and functions since 2013) is responsible for handling the nationwide crisis management on operational level.
Its functions are identified as following on MOIA official web-site (police.ge):
Special and Emergency Measures Centre ensures protection of safety, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state, conventional borders, public order, objects of the Ministry, strategic pipeline crossing the territory of Georgia as well as provides operative units of the Ministry with the relevant resources, prevents emergency situations throughout the country, controls legal shipments of nuclear and radioactive substances, reveals, avoids and prevents any illegal transportation of the mentioned substances and participates in implementation of security measures.
For comparison here is the major functions listed on Estonian emergency and rescue center (rescue.ee)
The Estonian Rescue Board is a government institution under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior, which has the leading role in planning preparedness for emergencies and the operational management of Regional Rescue Centers. It is also responsible for the development and implementation of national rescue policies.
The main areas of activity for the Estonian rescue service are:
National fire safety supervision
Explosive ordnance disposal
Handling emergency calls
The Rescue Board represents Estonia in bilateral and multilateral relations related to civil protection and cooperates with the emergency management and civil protection bodies of UN, EU, NATO, and other relevant organizations.
As basic comparison shows that the functions of Georgian Center goes beyond crisis management and has additional roles. However, they are not defined in any available document and it is unclear what does it mean from the functional perspective of Crisis Management to state that the Center “ensures protection of safety, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state, conventional borders, public order”. Especially considering that there are separate departments for public safety and border security and management.
There are number of bilateral and multilateral trainings conducted in Georgia on operational level of national crisis management. They cover a variety of issues including search and rescue and interagency co-operation on operational level. In accordance with official statements and outcomes of those trainings, international partners are satisfied with level of progress of Georgian national crisis management system. However there is no formal national or international assessment available for more substantive analyzes regarding the capabilities and functionality of Georgian National Crisis Management System.
Part 5. Checks and balances and civic engagement
The Parliament, as the highest representative body of the state, represents legislative branch of the government, Parliamentary oversight over the security and defense sector begins with the legislative’s authority to make laws, approve government’s policies and oversee how these are put into practice. The power and capacity of Georgian parliament to accomplish its oversight functions, in particularmeans its capacity to exercise parliamentary control of the security sector institutions.It cover the three levels of parliamentary action: plenary sessions, committees and individual actions taken by members of the parliament. It is essential to ensure the parliamentary power to oversee security sector institutions and National Security Council among them, if later (National Security Council) retains its executive functions after the new Constitutional arrangements are enacted.
The legislation ensures that during the plenary sessions parliament enacts laws, endorses government’s proposed policies and evaluates the government’s actions. In Particular, according to the Georgian Constitution MPs hold the authority to address questions to the government, its members, heads of local government, state agencies and request an answer from them.
Georgian parliament defines and endorses main directions of the state’s domestic and foreign policies, adopts new laws and regulations including adoption of the state budget, conducts oversight functions over the government through its right to cast or not vote of the confidence and impeachment procedures. In the security related areas, where the parliament retains its lawmaking power, relating to the ratification of every international agreement or treaty signed by the government in security/military spheres, or signed by the president (needing countersignature of the Prime Minister). The decisions on use and deploy foreign troops on the Georgian territory, introduction of the state of emergency or State of war also must be approved by the parliament within 48 hours of its enactment. The parliament also defines the strength of the armed forces and enjoys the right to initiate a vote of non-confidence to the government, with one-third majority of votes. Member of the parliament, parliamentary fraction, committee has the right to initiate the legislative act.
in addition, according to the law on Defense the Parliament is also responsible for :
- Defining state policy in the defense sphere;
- Approving Georgia’s Military Doctrine and the GAF Development Concept;
- Adopting defense related laws;
- Examining and approving defense budget as part of the state budget;
- Approving size and strength of the GAF
- Ratifying, denouncing and abolishing international agreements and treaties of military type and exercising oversight and control over defense sphere,
According to the law on Defense Planning Georgian parliament scrutinizes and formally approves proposed drafts of national security documents. Those documents shape national security policy in a long run and are elaborated by the national Security Council (according to the law on NSC 2004) .The law on defense Planning (2006) established the hierarchy of these strategic documents. The past experience shows that the Georgian parliament debated and gave a consent to the National Security Concept in 2005 without prolonged debates and complications. The next review of the document was launched in April 2010 and parliament of Georgia approved the new edition of the National Security Concept on 23 December 2011. So, the fact that executive structures submit such documents to parliamentary debate is essential for the democratic accountability of the security sector, this is an opportunity of the parliament to influence future policy formulation and build public support.
According to the law on Parliamentary Rules on Procedures, Special Group of Confidence is established in the parliament in order to improve oversightin function of the parliament. The law on the Group on Confidence defines mechanisms of parliamentary oversight over the defense and security sector and states that the Group consists of members of the parliamentary Committee on Defence and Security and holds the authority to scrutinise spending on the secret activities or special programmes of executive government bodies.
In addition, the group of Confidence is made up of five members, one of which is the chairman of the parliamentary Committee on Defence and Security, two of which are from the parliamentary majority, one from a majoritarian single mandate constituency and one elected from the biggest minority bloc or political party. It must be noted that in 1998 – 2008 according to the law on the Group of Confidence the Group was consisted of just three MPs. Later it became necessary to amend the law as during 2004-2008 the Group of Confidence functioned only with Majority party’s representatives, because opposition MP member was not accepted by the majority members. The opposition then refused to nominate another candidate. The law was amended in 2008 which increased the number of members of the Group of Confidence to five. Though the increase of the number of the Group members was not reflected into the increase of efficiency of this institution. This problem was inherited by the recent Parliament, too. The amendments of the law on the Group of Confidence from 2008 stipulated that the Group of Confidence sessions were due to be held at least twice in a year.
The engagement of parliament members in the review of the bill of the budget law and review planned budget figures for the defense and security institutions represent one of the most important aspects of parliamentary oversight. According to the Parliamentary Regulations on Procedures members of Georgian parliament may not make changes in a draft bill of the budget the government submits to the parliament but approve or reject the draft budget as a whole. Lack of power of the parliament to be more actively involved in budgetary planning cycle might be compensated by increasing the role of the legislative institution in its implementation and evaluation processes. Till now Audit Chamber of Georgia could not manage to become an important lever through which parliament could exercise efficient oversight of defense and security sector spending. Its financial audit reports on spending of MOD and relevant security institutions have not been made public. It seems essential parliament supports the initiative to increase of the capacity of the Audit Chamber, which is an independent agency whose head is elected by the parliament. Recently parliament undertook several steps in order to increase the role of the legislator in overseeing MOD procurement decisions. In particular, in 2013 MOD initiated and parliament adopted amendments in the laws on Defense and Group of Confidence (Trust Group), by which the MOD becomes obliged to send information on major procurements (classified procurements amount should be 2 million GEL, and for procurement of construction works – 4 million GEL).
In sum, Georgian parliament holds legal measures to exercise efficient control over the security institutions on plenary, as well as committee level, but compared to the experience of other democratic countries (the US and some NATO members states) there is potential for the parliament to increase its institutional and legislative capacity to fully exercise its functions.
Civil Sector Engagement -Mechanisms and Practices
Involvement of the civil sector in development of the strategic documents has started in 2005, National Security Concept being the first document that was discussed. The renewed National Security Concept (2011) in its introduction gives a special recognition to the contribution of the civil society and political parties in drafting the Concept.
A consultative body – Civil Council on Defense and Security was created in 2004 by the decree of the Minister of Defense to formalize the civic engagement practice. The purpose of the Council was to give recommendations to the Ministry of Defense and support relationships between the armed forces and the society. The Council brought together almost all NGOs, academicians and journalists, covering the defense sector. In 2005, the MoD and the Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding and conducted regular meetings for discussion of the strategic documents that stimulated the generation of the appropriate recommendations. Requirements for cooperation with the civil sector were incorporated in the Minister’s Vision Document since 2009 and in SDR since 2007.
The State Minister for Euro-Atlantic Integration has also created a forum for cooperation with the civil sector in 2005. The matters related to the national security, including NATO and EU integration were discussed within this forum.
After the election of 2012, a number of new formats for cooperation with the civil sector have been created. In 2013 Memorandum of Understanding between the civil sector and the Parliamentary Committee on Defense and Security was signed. MOD has created three working groups for conducting the consultations on the agency level documents. Consultative body – Advisory Council has been established for cooperation with the Ministry of Euro-Atlantic Integration. Though it should be noted that with the exception of the Parliament, there is no other agreement/memorandum on cooperation that formalizes framework for such cooperation with civil sector.
Part 6. Challenges Posed by the New Constitutional Arrangement and Recommendations:
As the amendments to the Constitution enter into force, the executive powers of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet increase at the expense of the Presidential competencies, which are curtailed significantly.
In the process of forthcoming institutional reshuffling of the security sector, the main challenge is a proper redistribution of those NSC functions and capabilities, which provided wellfunctioning framework for efficient coordination of the interagency work, facilitating institutionalization of the whole-of-the-government approach. A renewed institutional architecture should capture all those NSC functions and define the agencies, which will be in charge of each of these functions.
First of all, recently initiated Amendments to the Organic Law on NSC, propose that the NSC should be authorised to elaborate only its proposals regarding the National Security Concept, rather than be the agency in charge of development of this strategic document.
According to the same amendments the NSC is also stripped of the function of organising the necessary work for development of other strategic documents. It can no longer establish interagency commissions or coordinate their work. The NSC is entitled to coordinate the activities of unspecified “working groups.”
The proposed amendments also take away from the NSC its right to elaborate the National Threat Assessment Document and notwithstanding of his position of the Commander-in-Chief, the right of approving the National Military Strategy is transferred from the President to the Government.
The process of the National Security Review and the Strategic Defense Review lack the appropriate legislative basis, as there is no legislative provision which defines how these processes should be conducted. Based on the available information, the present practices in this respect allow for certain engagement of the civil society and Parliament in the process of elaboration of the relevant strategic and conceptual documents, though the process is not institutionalized.
- While the Organic Law on NSC regulates the functions of the NSC, there is a need for the broader legislative act, bringing coherence to the legislative framework regulating security sector at large. Such National Security Regulating Legislative Act would define the competencies between the agencies, ensure the proper checks and balances in security sector, and provide the legislative basis for interagency coordination and institutionalization of the whole-of-government approach. The Act can be a legislative tool for systematization of the relevant legislative framework and filling in the gaps with respect to security policy planning, elaboration of the strategic documents, interagency cooperation, crises management and securing policy-response to the emerging security challenges. Adoption of such Act might mandate amendments to the existing legislative framework in order to bring greater consistency and coherence to the whole system.
- As the concept of the National Security often encompasses the issues beyond defence, intelligence and foreign affairs, the institutional settings of the NSC should allow inclusion of the relevant line Ministries in the discussions of the national security issues, which concern the relevant policy field. For example, if the energy, environmental or social issues are elevated to the level of the national security concerns, the relevant Ministers should be included in the process of strategic planning and policymaking as non-statutory members of the NSC. Corresponding lower level officials from the same Ministries should participate in the working process of multilayer coordination mechanism, as described in point (h) of the recommendations.
- As Prime Minister’s office undertakes the implementation of the increased responsibilities of the government in the security sector, including interagency coordination duties and elaboration of strategic level documents such as National Security Concept and Threat Assessment, the appropriate institutional capacity will be needed to support the increased level of responsibilities.
- The National Security Strategy, agency level strategies/concepts, as well as the National Security Review and the Strategic Defense Review processes should be appropriately legislated within the proposed Security Sector Regulating Act.
- Parliament should ensure the civil society involvement in the process of elaboration and review of National Security Concept. It should also strengthen the mechanisms of oversight of the implementation of national security policy and foster civil society engagement in this process.
- Existing useful practices for involvement of the civil society organizations in development of national and agency level guiding policy documents should also be institutionalized to ensure the inclusive policy-making process in the security sector.
- Streamlining the operation of the national defense and security system will also require a design of the adequate mechanisms for cooperation between structural units of the National Security Council and PM’s office. Shared responsibility and authority on certain issues of the national defense and security policy that fall within the scope of competencies of both, the President and PM, will contribute to more informed and qualified decision making in the defense and security sector.
- The multi-layer institutional mechanisms for interagency work coordination should be maintained to ensure the proper functioning of the security sector. The coordination layers should include the political (interagency bodies consisting of top leadership of the ministries/agencies), working group (mid level interagency groups) and routine management levels (daily coordination, supervision, management, analysis and data base maintenance).
Practices from other Countries
President’s, PM’s and Parliament’s National Security Competencies
In 1997, New Constitution transformed Poland into the parliamentary republic. Prime Minister
(PM) is a Chief Executive and Chair of the Council of Ministers, while President is a Head of the State. Being in charge of the executive branch, PM appoints and controls the work of all ministers, including the ministers for foreign affairs, internal affairs and defense. Council of Ministers conducts the foreign and internal affairs of the country, and ensures its internal and external security. It also carries out general control in the field of national defense.
According to the Constitution, President is responsible for guaranteeing State’s sovereignty, security, territorial integrity and observance of the Constitution. Being the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, President appoints the Chief of General Staff, commanders of branches of the armed forces.
National Security Council
President is free to decide on the composition and agenda of the National Security Council of Poland (NSCP), which is the advisory body to the President on the matters of state’s internal and external security. NSCP’s main function is to investigate issues and form opinions relating to State’s security, including its internal and external security, general guidelines for State’s security, principles and directions of foreign policy, and directions of armed forces development.
Currently the members of the NSCP are: the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister which is also the Minister of Economy, speakers of lower and upper houses of Polish Parliament, Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Defense, Internal Affairs, Administration and Digitization, Head of the National Security Council, and Chairmen of three political parties.
National Security Bureau
NSCG’s work, as well as execution of President’s security and defense tasks is supported by the National Security Bureau (NSB). The Head of NSB is appointed by the president and has a rank of Secretary of State. Among NSB’s functions are monitoring and analysis of strategic security environment (both, national and international) to identify threats, risks, challenges and opportunities, preparation of relevant reports in this respect, provision of opinions on drafts of the strategic documents issued or approved by the President. Through its departments, Bureau also assists President in monitoring the implementation of Armed Forces functions and writes reports on these matters. It cooperates with state agencies and social organizations working on issues related to the state’s defenses.
The Bureau’s competencies also include collection of the information on non-military threats to national security, such as threats to social, public and economic security, and preparation of assessments in this regard. In absence of a state level strategic centre, it is also responsible for monitoring the enterprises that influence state’s security and defense level. NSB monitors, analyses and evaluates the work of state authorities, private and social organizations within the non-military spheres of national security, as well as their operation plans for the war and crisis situations.
President and the Government
President and the Government cooperate in the national security and defense policy making and policy implementation through uniquely designed system of checks and balances. Cabinet
Council is constitutionally established body that serves as a forum for cooperation between President and the Government, but it does not hold any power competences.
On the request of the Prime Minister, President approves National Security Strategy, issues the
Political and Strategic Defense Directive of the Republic of Poland and other executive documents for the National Security Strategy. He may, on the request of the Prime Minister, order mobilization and use of Armed Forces for the defense of the country.
President, on the request of the Minister of National Defense, describes main directions of
Armed Forces’ development and their readiness to defend the state. On the request of the Council of Ministers, he decides to send the Armed Forces abroad.
President has special executive and legislative authorities during the times of crisis. When external threats to the State arise, armed aggression is carried out against it or the common defense obligation based on international agreement should be honored, President, on request of the Council of Ministers, may declare a state of martial law. During the martial law period, President is in charge of the defense in cooperation with the Council of Ministers.
According to the Constitution, Sejm, the lower chamber of Polish parliament, has the right to declare a state of war and conclude the peace.Only if Sejm cannot convene, the President is allowed to declare a state of war.
If Sejm is unable to convene during the period of martial law, President, on application of the Council of Ministers, within the constitutionally defined limits, may issue regulations that have the force of statute. These regulations must be approved by the Sejm at its next sitting.
President has also special authorities to support the internal security of the country. If constitutional order, security of citizens or public order is threatened, President, on request of the Council of Ministers, may introduce a state of emergency for a period of no longer than 90 days. During the state of emergency, President, on request of the Prime Minister, may decide to use the Armed Forces units for restoring the order in the country, if other efforts applied for this purpose have been already exhausted.
National Security Strategic Review 2010-2012
In 2010, Poland started the first ever National Security Strategic Review (NSSR). Its goal was to review and evaluate the current state of overall Polish security and national security system visa-vis the future security trends. Initiated by the President (Presidential Directive N4 of November 24, 2010), and started by the National Security Bureau, NSSR’s ambition was to cover all aspects of security and thus develop the comprehensive approach towards the national security.
NSSR aimed at evaluating the coherence of national security policy and practice, as well as identifying any possible overlaps in the competencies and areas left uncovered. It was to recommend the measures that would ensure proper transformation of national security system for the coming 20 years period.
NSSR’s main areas of analysis included: national interests and strategic goals, security environment within 20-year perspective, operational strategy, and preparedness strategy. It was carried out by the specially created NSSR Commission, chaired by the Head of the NSB. Commission’s structure included the Advisory and Consultation Team (President’s ministers and advisers, MPs, members of government, former heads of NSB, eminent experts), supporting Staff and four working groups each specializing on following areas: National Interests and Strategic Goals, Security Environment Evaluation, Concept of Action, and Security Sector Transformation.
Among others, NSSR recommended publishing of a new National Security Strategy in 2013, which should be followed by a Political and Strategic Defence Directive (secret document), and launching of a second NSSR already in 2015. It also recommended establishment of the Council of Ministers’ committee for national security issues.
Results of the NSSR were unanimously accepted by the National Security Council and have been published in the Report of the NSSR Commission, which is a restricted document. Adapted version of this Report was made publicly available in the form of the White Book (May 24, 2013). White Book aims at increasing national security issues awareness in the society and within the institutions working in this field.
National Security Strategy (NSS)
According to the most recent version of this Document (2007), the National Security Strategy of Poland provides “official interpretation of the Polish national interests, identifies the Republic of Poland’s strategic goals in the area of security and sets out how it plans to achieve them, taking into account tasks allocated to different executive subsystems. The National Security Strategy also describes ways in which the national security system will be maintained and the directions of transformation of the national security system”.
NSS serves as guiding document for both, national and regional level state authorities, as well as other entities with national security responsibilities, which all are obliged to implement its decisions.
All respective governmental strategies and action strategies of the institutions having the national security tasks should be developed or adjusted in accordance with National Security Strategy. NSS serves as a basis for development of executive strategic directives, including the Political and Strategic Defense Directive, strategies for different fields of national security, strategic plans of defense response and crisis management and long-term state security system transformation programs, including non-military defense preparation programs and armed forces development programs.
NSS is adopted by the Council of Ministers and approved by the President.
The Defense Strategy is a sector strategy of the National Security Strategy of Poland. According to its most recent version (2009), the Defense Strategy “outlines assumptions underlying the operation of the state’s defense. It identifies the functions and structure of the state’s defense system and maps out the main directions of the development of its subsystems”.
The Defense Strategy elaborates further and develops the defense provisions included in the National Security Strategy. It provides guidelines for working out of lower level documents in the defense sector. All governmental agencies, as well as private and other entities assigned to discharge the defense related tasks are obliged to implement its provisions.
Crisis Management and Threat Assessment
The Crisis Management Act defines authorities responsible for crisis management, their tasks and operation rules, and funding of crisis management operations.
The Council of Ministers is in charge of crisis management on national level (in urgent cases minister for internal affairs takes the lead, but keeps the PM informed on his actions), while the ministers, voivodes (in voivodeships – regional territorial units), and local government authorities (in counties, cities or communes) are responsible for crisis management at their level.
Crisis management teams and crisis management centers are established at different levels, including government level (the Government Crisis Management Team and the Government Centre for Security), the ministerial and voivodeship levels, and the county and commune levels.
Government Crisis Management Team functions under the Council of Ministers and issues advices and opinions regarding the crisis management activities. PM is the Chair of the Team and the members of the Team are the Ministers for Defense, Internal Affairs, Foreign Affairs and the Minister Coordinating Special Services. In case of need, other state authorities also participate in its work. President has the right to appoint his representative as a member of the Team. The Director of the Governmental Center for Security serves as a secretary of the Team.
Governmental Centre for Security
Government Centre for Security assists in organizing the functioning of the units responsible for crisis management. It supports the Council of Ministers, PM, the Government Crisis Management Team and a Minister of internal Affairs in carrying out their crisis management responsibilities, and serves as a national centre for crisis management.
Government Centre for Security is a supra-ministerial structure subordinated to the PM that aims at optimizing and standardizing the perception of threats by individual government departments. The Centre launches the crisis management procedures at the national level, as well as implements the planning and programming tasks in the field of crisis management and critical infrastructure protection.
The main task of the Centre is to carry out comprehensive risk analysis based on the information provided by all crisis management centers and foreign partners. Its additional tasks are working out of adequate solutions to the crisis situations and coordination of the information flaw regarding the threats.
Director of the Government Centre for Security is responsible for coordination of the preparation of the Report on Threats to National Security. It compiles the catalogue of threats and monitors the potential threats. The Head of the Internal Security Agency is entrusted with preparation of the part of the Report concerning the terrorist threats.
The Report on Threats to National Security is adopted by the Council of Ministers.
Given their recent experience with Soviet rule and subsequent democratization, the experience of the Baltic countries is particularly relevant for developing of the blueprint of the recommendations for reform of the Georgian security and defense sector. Lithuania, since its Supreme Court established in 1998 that the country is a parliamentary democracy, rather than presidential one, presents the constitutional model, similar to the Georgian one, as defined by the new constitutional framework. Therefore it can serve as a very interesting case study. Democratic control over the military and security sector has been a chief concern of the architects of the new constitutional system of Lithuania, following the fall of the USSR and reestablishment of the independence. A democratic control over the defense and security sector in Lithuania is exercised through a tripartite structure, consisting of the president, the cabinet, and the parliament. The respective authority of these institutional depends on the specific context (Peacetime or wartime) and the issue (such as defense planning or force deployment decision).
The Constitution stipulates that the main issues of national defense shall be considered and coordinated by the State Defense Council and that the government, the minister of defense and the commander of the armed forces shall all be responsible to parliament, thus establishing the formal supremacy of parliament in defense matters. According to the Lithuanian Constitution, the main issues of State defense shall be considered and coordinated by the State Defense Council which consists of the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, and the Speaker of the Seimas, the Minister of National Defense, and the Commander of the Armed Forces. The State Defense Council shall be headed by the President of the Republic. The President of the Republic shall be the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the State. The Government, the Minister of National Defense, and the Commander of the Armed Forces shall be responsible to the Seimas for the administration and command of the armed forces of the State. The Minister of National Defense may not be a serviceman who has not yet retired to the reserve. Thus, the constitutional also stipulated the minister of defense must be a civilian.
Constitution also provides that the Seimas shall impose martial law, announce mobilization or demobilization, adopt a decision to use the armed forces when a need arises to defend the
Homeland or to fulfill the international obligations of the State of Lithuania. In the event of an armed attack which threatens the sovereignty of the State or its territorial integrity, the President of the Republic shall immediately adopt a decision on the defense against the armed aggression, impose martial law throughout the State or in its separate part, announce mobilization, and submit these decisions to the next sitting of the Seimas for approval, while in the period between sessions of the Seimas he shall immediately convene an extraordinary session of the Seimas. The Seimas shall approve or overrule the decision of the President of the Republic
It is to be noted, that the given its history, political and security environment, Lithuanian Constitution, uncharacteristically, defines a lot of details related to the arrangements of its national defense and security system in the Constitution. However, the Constitution itself does not define fully the national defense planning system, or the structure of the civilian control over it. Therefore there are several important laws, which in conjunction with the Constitution define how the system operates. Amongst those are the Law on the Organization of the National Defense System and Military Service of May, 1998, which codifies the basic principles of the Lithuanian national defense system as set out in the constitution. It stresses Lithuania’s desire to participate in Western defense structures and specified the role and responsibilities of the armed forces and paramilitary forces. It also provides for the political neutrality of the armed forces, decreeing that servicemen cannot be member of the political parties and organization, that they cannot engage in political activities and they cannot publicly disagree with official policies adopted by parliament, the president or the government. Another important legislative act is the Law on the Fundamentals of the National Security of December 1996, which sets out the functions of a democratically elected civilian government with respect to defense and the armed forces.
In accordance with the constitution and the 1996 Law on the Fundamentals of National Security, the president, and the Seimas take decision on mobilization, declaration of war and deployment of armed forces in the event of armed aggression. The president or the minister of defense may issue orders to the armed forces to assist in domestic rescue operation or natural disaster relief. Only parliament has the right to decide on the deployment or use of armed forces outside Lithuania-as for example in peacekeeping missions.
Even if the Lithuanian Constitutional model is considered as a parliamentary system, the fact that the Supreme Court had to rule on this question, demonstrates that the constitutional system, still is similar to the “hybrid” model. Therefore, there is a certain tension and rivalry in President-Government relations, regarding defense and matter of national security. In this sense, what are the real powers, given, that the Lithuanian State Defense Council is important. And they are substantial. According to the available research on this subject, it is the State Defense Council rather than the cabinet that in reality draws up the state defense budget and handles most of the principle defense-related decisions. Powers of the State Defense Council in their turn translate in greater powers of the President in defining the matters of defense and security policy. In this respect, amongst the three Baltic States, Lithuania is considered as the model of stronger Presidential institute.
Unlike Lithuanian model, the Finnish constitution does not define the defense and security sector to such as detail, even though; it is also a country, facing specific external security threats. It is important to note, that since Finland is not a member of NATO, its approach to the national defense and security policy is defined chiefly by Finland’s commitment to its participation in the EU frameworks for cooperation on defense and security issues-Common Foreign and Security Policy, and Common Security and Defense Policy.
According to the Finnish Constitution the President makes decisions on matters relating to military orders in conjunction with a Minister, as well as military appointments and matters pertaining to the Office of the President of the Republic. Decisions on Finland’s participation in military crisis management are made as specifically provided by an Act. (1112/2011, Entry into force 1.3.2012) the foreign policy of Finland is directed by the President of the Republic in cooperation with the Government. The President decides on matters of war and peace, with the consent of the Parliament. The Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament shall receive from the Government, upon request and when otherwise necessary, reports of matters pertaining to foreign and security policy. Correspondingly, the Grand Committee of the Parliament shall receive reports on the preparation of other matters in the European Union. The President of the Republic is the commander-in-chief of the defense forces. On the proposal of the
Government in situations of emergency, the President may relinquish this task to another Finnish citizen. The President appoints the officers of the defense forces. On the proposal of the Government, the President of the Republic decides on the mobilization of the defense forces. If the Parliament is not in session at that moment, it shall be convened at once.
- The foreign and security policy of Finland is directed by the President of the Republic in cooperation with the Government. The Prime Minister takes principal responsibility for matters relating to the European Union. The Constitution of Finland determines their respective competences.
- In the Government, the key actors in foreign and security policy issues are the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Defense and, increasingly also the Minister of the Interior, since issues with an influence on the external and internal security are increasingly linked with each other. Since the accession to the EU, different administrative branches’ direct responsibility for international cooperation in their own line of activities has increased.
- In the Government, matters are prepared by the Foreign and Security Policy Committee, and the Security and Defense Committee at the state secretary level. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defense prepare and implement Finland’s foreign, security and defenses policy.
- Parliament takes responsibility for legislative matters related to international relations and for the control of the implementation of foreign and security policy. The Foreign Affairs Committee prepares international issues that have been dealt with in Parliament, the Grand Committee prepares EU issues, and the Defense Committee prepares defenses policy issues.
- Finland maintains a credible national defense capability, which relies on general conscription and a territorial defense system, designed to cover the whole country. This takes place by ensuring that Finland has sufficient war-time troop strength. Finland develops its defense capability as a country not belonging to any military alliance and follows militarypolitical developments, the evolution of the EU’s defense dimension, and the changes taking place within NATO as well as the security political situation especially in the neighboring areas.