Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο

Choisissez la langue de votre document :

  • bg - български
  • es - español
  • cs - čeština
  • da - dansk
  • de - Deutsch
  • et - eesti keel
  • el - ελληνικά
  • en - English (επιλεγμένο)
  • fr - français
  • ga - Gaeilge
  • hr - hrvatski
  • it - italiano
  • lv - latviešu valoda
  • lt - lietuvių kalba
  • hu - magyar
  • mt - Malti
  • nl - Nederlands
  • pl - polski
  • pt - português
  • ro - română
  • sk - slovenčina
  • sl - slovenščina
  • fi - suomi
  • sv - svenska
Το έγγραφο αυτό δεν είναι διαθέσιμο στη γλώσσα σας και σας προτείνεται σε μία άλλη γλώσσα εξ αυτών που εμφαίνονται στο εργαλείο επιλογής γλωσσών.

Press release
 

Member States should commit more political will to EU security policy, MEPs hear

Security and defence - 14-07-2006 - 12:54
Share / Save
Social networking sites
Favorites
 

The major obstacle to the EU fledgling security and defence policy of the Union is a lack of political will by Member State governments. This view was shared by many of the MEPs and experts taking part in a hearing on the policy organised on Thursday by Parliament's Security and Defence Subcommittee.

The hearing took place as part of the preparation for an own-initiative report on the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP), which is being drawn up by the subcommittee's chairman, Karl von Wogau (EPP-ED, DE).   
 
Strengthening the ESDP -- an uphill battle against Member States?
 
Claude-France Arnauld, Director for Defence at the Council, pointed out that "the EU can help out when an earthquake strikes in Rabat, but not when it strikes Nice." She argued that existing capabilities were not used as effectively as they could be, especially inside the Union. The reason, said Bogdan Klich (EPP-ED, PL) is "the lack of political will by the Member States, which then leads to capability and budget shortages, as well."  Ms Arnauld agreed, saying that although there was general support for ESDP, "there is political resistance whenever it comes to risking soldiers' lives."
 
In order to sell EU operations to the public, said Professor Michael Cox of the London School of Economics, the benefit to citizens needed to be explained. The question "What is the European interest?" in any given intervention needs to be answered, he said: "Policy cannot be led by a series of symbolic, tokenistic actions that are undertaken for the sole purpose of showing that the Union is doing something. The desire to do something is not a strategy." One answer would be for the EU would bear the responsibility of providing for Europe's common defence, but most participants agreed was currently politically unfeasible.
 
Solution: constitution and institutions
 
How to solve the problem of achieving a unified European strategy and the requisite political will to follow it? Nicole Gnesotto, the Director of the EU Institute for Security Studies, suggested "the Monnet method." "Let's create institutions, so that they can slowly create communal policies. We just have to be careful that these institutions do not dissuade Member States from action." The financing of operations should be rethought, she said, so as not to penalise those states that contribute troops by also making them pay for their costs.
 
Similarly, all participants agreed that a more visible face was needed to lead, and take responsibility for, the EU's actions abroad. "We need a constitution, a foreign minister with a foreign service, and a telephone number for Europe," said Elmar Brok (EPP-ED, DE), Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.
 
The issue of NATO-ESDP relations was also discussed. Janusz Onyszkiewicz (ALDE, PL) said that neither the European Security Strategy, nor the US's National Security Strategy makes much mention of NATO, which shows the declining importance of the alliance to both sides. Simon Lunn, Secretary General of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, on the other hand, said that "lots of good cooperation was taking place," and that both the EU and NATO possessed comparative advantages that were vital to support.
 
ESDP a success story
 
Despite various concerns about for the ESDP's future, participants urged Members to keep things in perspective. "Let's not forget that the ESDP is a success story of the Union," said Ms Gnesotto.  As a whole, "it is one of the most popular policies" of the EU. Even in the case of specific action taken under ESDP auspices, "judging by its own objectives, the previous EU missions have been quite successful," said General Jean-Paul Perruche, the Director of the EU Military Staff in the Council.
 
Mr von Wogau's report is due to be put to the vote in the Foreign Affairs committee in October, and then debated at the November plenary.
13/07/2006
Subcommittee on Security and Defence
Chair : Karl von Wogau (EPP-ED, DE)
Hearing on European Security Strategy and the Future of the European Security And Defence Policy
 
REF.: 20060707IPR09703