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 Full text 
Tuesday, 14 January 2020 - Strasbourg Provisional edition

Annual report on the implementation of the common foreign and security policy - Annual report on the implementation of the common security and defence policy (debate)

  David McAllister, Rapporteur. – Madam President, with this year’s annual report on the common foreign and security policy, I believe that we have once again identified the major issues our European Union is facing, and we also outline a possible way forward. The first two weeks of this new year have reminded us that the European Union’s security environment is today more volatile, more unpredictable, more complex and more ambiguous than at any time since the end of the Cold War. Let me underline the three main findings of my annual CFSP report.

Firstly, multilateralism is at stake. In such challenging times, where multilateralism is increasingly called into question, we – as a European Union – must take a firm stand against this trend, putting multilateralism at the core of our efforts to prevent and resolve conflicts. In the current setting, the CFSP must effectively promote our interests and values in our neighbourhood and around the whole world. We should take advantage of the new political cycle of our institutions to build a stronger, more proactive and strategic European Union.

Secondly, reinforcing the European Parliament as a pillar of the CFSP: during the past legislature, this European Parliament has played a prominent role in mediation in the peaceful resolution of protracted conflicts. Our efforts were successful, for instance, in Ukraine and in North Macedonia. These efforts, especially in the framework of the Jean Monnet Dialogue, should remain a priority in the upcoming years. We should also strengthen our role and oversight and scrutiny of the CFSP – but also, of course, of the EU external instruments. In this context, we must aim for a more strategic approach and greater coherence, consistency and complementarity between the external financial instruments and the common foreign and security policy.

Thirdly, strengthening the CFSP to counter global threats: I am, for example, convinced that qualified majority voting would make the EU’s foreign and security policy more effective and speed up the decision—making process. The need for unanimity is keeping us from being able to act credibly on the global stage. On the EU’s common security and defence policy, we need to strengthen capacity on EU— and Member State—level to act autonomously, as well as to foster partnerships with regional organisations. The announcement by the Commission President to build a genuine and operational European defence union within the next five years is welcome.

Finally, no single EU Member State can respond effectively to today’s global challenges on its own. We must continue to promote our European values whilst staying committed to a rules-based international order and economic cooperation. The European Union is a major player when it comes to diplomacy, trade, development cooperation, humanitarian aid and – step by step – also in the field of security and defence. Our European Union should act strategically by using its wide array of policies and instruments to respond to the challenges in our direct neighbourhood and beyond. The time has come, as the EU, to take our destiny into our own hands and embrace our role as a fully-fledged sovereign political and economic power in international relations, and I can only commend what the High Representative/Vice President has announced in the first weeks in office. I think he has a huge support here in the European Parliament. Finally, I would like to thank all our colleagues for their good contributions – especially, of course, the shadow rapporteurs – for a very good and fruitful cooperation.

Last updated: 27 January 2020Legal notice