The Parliament recognises the need for the EU to develop its strategic autonomy through multilateral cooperation in international organisations, above all the United Nations, and through partnerships with other key actors, according to the report on the European Security Strategy (ESS) and European security and defence policy (ESDP), drafted by Karl Von Wogau (EPP-ED, DE).
MEPs reiterate the need for a reform of the United Nations Organization in order to make it capable of fully meeting its responsibilities and acting effectively in providing solutions to global challenges and responding to key threats. The resolution embraces the concept of the “responsibility to protect”, adopted by the UN in 2005, and the concept of "human security", which is based on the primacy of the individual and not of the state (AM 7).
Parliament calls for the setting-up of an autonomous and permanent EU Operational Headquarters with the capacity to undertake strategic planning and to conduct ESDP operations and missions. The report also supports the idea of creating a Council of Defence Ministers.
"SAFE” – Synchronised Armed Forces Europe
The cooperation between national armed forces should increasingly synchronised and called “SAFE” – Synchronised Armed Forces Europe. The European Parliament notes that a common defence policy in Europe requires an integrated European Armed Force which needs to be equipped with common weapon systems so as to guarantee commonality and interoperability.
European Security Strategy
MEPs note that the 2003 ESS highlights the main threats faced by the European Union: terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, regional conflicts, state failure and organised crime.
Otherwise, according to MEPs, the security interests of the Union also include the protection of its citizens and its interests inside the EU as well as abroad, the security of its neighbourhood and the protection of its external borders and critical infrastructure. Furthermore, it includes the improvement of its cyber security, the security of energy supply and sea lanes, the protection of its space assets and protection against the consequences of climate change.
Parliament stresses that the European Union gives priority to crisis prevention in the ESDP. It suggests that the ESS should be reviewed every five years at the beginning of a new EU legislative period.
MEPs strongly request that the European Union and its Member States focus their efforts on common capabilities which can be used for both defence and security purposes. In this context, they consider satellite-based intelligence, surveillance and warning equipment, unmanned air vehicles, helicopters and telecommunication equipment and air and sea transport to be crucial. MEPs also demand a common technical standard for protected telecommunications and ways of protecting critical infrastructure.
Civilian and military operations
MEPs also call for further initiatives concerning common training for personnel who are to work together in civilian and military operations. They ask for increased interaction between the armed forces and civilian personnel of EU Member States, coordination of crisis-related training, exchange programmes among armed forces in Europe and the opening-up of armies to citizens of other EU Member States.