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Thursday, 23 October 2003 - Strasbourg Final edition
CFSP
P5_TA(2003)0460A5-0348/2003

European Parliament resolution on the annual report from the Council to the European Parliament on the main aspects and basic choices of CFSP, including the financial implications for the general budget of the European Union - 2002 (7038/2003 - C5-0423/2003 - 2003/2141(INI))

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Council's Annual Report for 2002 (7038/2003 - C5-0423/2003),

–   having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 6 May 1999 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and improvement of the budgetary procedure(1) , point H, paragraph 40,

–   having regard to Article 21 of the EU Treaty,

–   having regard to its resolution of 26 September 2002 on the progress achieved in the implementation of the common foreign and security policy(2) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 10 April 2003 on the European security and defence architecture - priorities and deficiencies(3) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 19 June 2003 on a renewed transatlantic relationship for the third millennium(4) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 15 November 2001 on a global partnership and a common strategy for relations between the European Union and Latin America(5) ,

–   having regard to the Presidency's report to the Thessaloniki European Council of 19-20 June 2003 on EU foreign policy action to combat terrorism (CFSP including ESDP), on the implementation of the EU Programme for the Prevention of Violent Conflicts and on European Security and Defence Policy,

–   having regard to the strategy paper submitted by the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy to the Thessaloniki European Council on 20 June 2003 on a secure Europe in a better world,

–   having regard to Rules 47(1) and 103(3) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy and the opinion of the Committee on Budgets (A5-0348/2003),

A.   whereas the dramatic events of the Iraq war have thrown up deep divisions between EU Member States and lastingly and seriously shaken transatlantic relations, as well as damaging other international organisations such as the UN and NATO,

B.   whereas the concern must now be, with the end of the cold war and the abandonment of its methods and philosophy and the forthcoming enlargement of the Union to 25 states, to redefine in the context of political trends and the current international situation Europe's role in the world and to recognise the foreign policy crisis surrounding the Iraq war as an appropriate occasion to establish Europe as a credible and powerful foreign-policy performer,

C.   whereas the discussion paper for a European security doctrine submitted by the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), Javier Solana, to the Heads of State and Government at the Thessaloniki Summit represents a sound basis for an intensified dialogue between the Council, the Commission and the European Parliament on a European security strategy,

D.   whereas an EU security strategy can be developed only on the basis of multilateralism, and within the UN system, in accordance with the historical experience and political interests of its Member States,

E.   convinced of the contribution which the European security strategy, based on a global concept going beyond the strictly military dimension and ensuring the deployment of a package of political, economic, social and inter-cultural measures as well as respect for human rights, can make to prevent, mitigate and resolve conflicts,

F.   whereas non-state international terrorism, the development and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the existence of unstable, undemocratic and misgoverned states are today among the main threats to the entire world,

G.   whereas, in combating the new threats and new security crises, it will be necessary to adopt comprehensive approaches that include policies to combat poverty, protect against climate change and protect the environment, safeguard human rights and promote democracy, the rule of law and good governance, while not excluding military deployment as a last resort and while respecting international law and the rules of the United Nations,

H.   whereas the European Convention has submitted important institutional reform proposals that can facilitate the process of creating greater institutional continuity in the CFSP, in particular by establishing the office of Union Minister for Foreign Affairs, creating the option of strengthened cooperation in the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP), and setting up a European armaments agency to facilitate more efficient use of national defence expenditure,

I.   noting with interest the initiative taken on 29 April 2003 by Germany, France, Luxembourg and Belgium in order to increase the credibility of the ESDP,

J.   whereas a true common foreign policy, characterised by a common approach among Member States to issues of crucial importance for the foreign and security policy, is a sine qua non for the further progress of a credible ESDP,

K.   whereas, with its enlargement, the Union will be brought into closer contact with the crisis areas to the east and in the eastern and southern Mediterranean, and whereas this will increase its responsibilities towards those neighbours,

L.   whereas, despite the dark shadow that the Iraq crisis has cast on the CFSP, some progress has been recorded in operational crisis management and in the spheres of conflict prevention and efforts to combat terrorism,

1.  Considers the Council's annual report for 2002 on the main aspects and basic choices of the CFSP as totally unsuited to serving as a basis for a foreign policy dialogue between the Council and Parliament, since it amounts merely to a book-keeping exercise listing action taken by the Council, without the least political assessment or conceptual setting of priorities and lacking sufficient focus with regard to financial implications;

2.  Points out that the Joint Declaration of 25 November 2002 on the financing of the CFSP provides for Parliament to be sent, within 5 days of the adoption of any decision in the field of the CFSP that entails expenditure, the information indicated in point 40 of the Interinstitutional Agreement: regrets that the Council transmits financial statements only where expenditure is within the EU budget and insists that, for transparency reasons and in order for Parliament to at least have an overall estimate of how much CFSP funding goes to a particular region/crisis, such statements should be provided for all CFSP decisions;

3.  Considers it as urgently necessary, in view of the critical development that the CFSP has undergone during the Iraq conflict, that future annual reports should provide a genuine assessment of the Union's foreign and security policy activities, and that they should be expanded to include a written report by the High Representative or Union Minister for Foreign Affairs on progress in implementing a specifically European approach to security;

4.  Welcomes, against the foregoing background, the abovementioned strategy paper as a long overdue impetus for a debate on the basic principles of a European security doctrine, in which all EU institutions would be expected to take part on an equal footing;

For a European security strategy

5.  Supports the three strategy objectives set out in the abovementioned strategy paper, viz.:

   - creating stability and good governance in the immediate neighbourhood of the EU,
   - contributing to an international order based on effective multilateralism,
   - combating old and new threats with the objective of using conflict prevention to react to any anticipated crisis before it erupts;

6.  Considers that Europe must find its way to a clear prioritisation of its foreign and security policy interests and objectives, jointly define them and also designate them geographically; calls for the debate and the decision on the security strategy of the European Union to be conducted and taken in a transparent way, with the participation of the citizens of Europe, and for the European Parliament's involvement in this process to be on an equal footing with that of the other EU institutions;

7.  Considers it of vital importance for the Union's security interests to identify tensions and if possible prevent potential crises, to resolve in good time conflicts taking shape beyond its external borders, and, by means of a creative good-neighbourly policy, to establish a circle of friendly states;

8.  Considers, consequently, that in terms of creating and extending security zones around Europe, the Union's main interests concern the following neighbouring regions: the western Balkans, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, the southern Caucasus, the southern Mediterranean, west Africa and east Africa, and the Middle East;

9.  Considers that, for the European neighbours of the enlarged European Union, new options for partial integration must be developed which could encompass aspects of the internal market, as well as internal and external security, without ruling out future full membership; regards this as an important starting-point for the debate about the Union's future borders; refers, for the purposes of defining its response to the strategy proposed by the Commission, to the report entitled "Wider Europe - Neighbourhood: a new framework for relations with our eastern and southern neighbours" (COM(2003) 104) currently being drawn up by its Committee on Foreign Affairs;

10.  Considers that a Union of 25 Member States must intensify its commitment to an international order based on effective multilateralism, springing essentially from the United Nations and its member organisations and treaty instruments;

11.  Reaffirms that the UN Charter constitutes the decisive political and legal basis for shaping international relations and the guarantee of peace and international security;

12.  Considers that the urgent and radical reform of the United Nations system, as also requested recently by the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, is necessary in order to combat the new threats and the new security crisis; underlines the fact that the EU - taking into account the national contributions of the current and future Member States - is the largest financial contributor to the UN; reiterates that the EU should take the opportunity and responsibility to make proactive suggestions in the UN reform debate and that international law also stands in urgent need of cautious but rapid and irreversible further development;

13.  Notes that the international system is crucially dependent on the quality, aims and reciprocity of transatlantic relations and considers that one of the Union's primary strategic objectives must be to strengthen them as a partnership of equals;

14.  Considers it therefore necessary for the strategic debate between Europe and the USA to be reinvigorated, with attention being paid urgently to questions as to how reconstruction and nation-building in Iraq are to proceed, and, generally, how proliferation of weapons of mass destruction can best be prevented, how arms exports and the proliferation of conventional arms can be controlled, how the issue of impunity can be addressed seriously (for example, by the International Criminal Court), and how repressive dictatorial regimes and dysfunctional states are to be dealt with, on the basis of a clearly defined European position in the context of the CFSP and international law, and fully respecting UN rules;

15.  Points out that the credibility of Europe's foreign and security policy will also depend on the quality of its military capabilities and on a readiness, in the event of conflict, to deploy them as a last resort, while respecting international law;

Promoting greater coherence and efficiency

16.  Welcomes, consequently, the proposals made by the European Convention for strengthened cooperation in the area of security and defence policy, including a solidarity clause on mutual aid between Member States in the event of terrorist attacks and disasters caused by human action, and a mutual assistance clause in the event of external aggression; regrets, nevertheless, that the mutual assistance clause falls short of the wording used in Article V of the Brussels Treaty of 17 March 1948 as amended by the Paris Agreements of 23 October 1954;

17.  Welcomes the fact that strengthening military capabilities is one of the objectives of the draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, and that a European armaments agency is to promote that process in terms of both research and procurement; considers that the armaments agency should be primarily responsible for coordinating larger-scale joint projects, and that Parliament and the Commission must be involved in its practical organisation, not least as regards decisions on its financing;

18.  Points out, nevertheless, that an active European disarmament and armaments control policy is a key element of conflict prevention, which is one of the common policies of the Union's External Action proposed by the European Convention; calls on the Council, in this regard, to take concrete steps in this direction;

19.  Draws attention to the importance of the constitutional commitment by Member States not to react to international issues on the basis of unilateral national interpretations before the EU, for its part, has had the opportunity to establish a European position;

20.  Welcomes the intention of appointing a Union Minister for Foreign Affairs, who will, however, be able to discharge his or her functions efficiently only if the administrative departments responsible within the Council and the Commission are merged into a single foreign office and if he or she is the Vice-President of the Commission, with the Commission operating in accordance with the Community method, so as to overcome the stumbling-block to efficiency inherent in the pillars structure;

21.  Criticises the intended retention of the principle of unanimity in votes on foreign and security policy matters, which it regards as a serious obstacle to the capacity for action which the Union needs; calls, at least in relation to decisions on proposals by the Union Minister for Foreign Affairs, for majority voting, involving, where appropriate, a reinforced qualified majority;

22.  Regards the status-quo wording in respect of Parliament's rights to be consulted and kept informed as a retrograde step by comparison with the changes relating to the executive, and will seek to ensure that the code of conduct agreed as part of the 2003 budget is effectively implemented;

23.  Regards it as absolutely necessary, in the light of an anticipatory crisis-prevention policy, that it be informed and involved in future in good time during the early-recognition and planning stage of crisis operations in the context of the ESDP, the better to deliver a political opinion based on firm information and thus fulfil its duty of scrutiny;

24.  Points out that only a well-informed Parliament is in a position to take the requisite personnel and budgetary decisions swiftly and efficiently; underlines that, unless it is so informed, such decisions may be rejected;

25.  Proposes, in the above connection, the appointment of Commission members with special foreign policy tasks, under the overall responsibility of the future Union Minister for Foreign Affairs, such tasks to include, not least, the cultivation of ongoing contact with the European Parliament, without thereby diluting the accountability of the said Minister;

26.  Insists that it be consulted in advance of decisions on ESDP missions, be they of a civilian or a military nature, without prejudice to the need for the European Union to act swiftly in crisis situations;

27.  Reiterates its position that the joint costs of ESDP operations, including those of a military nature, must be financed through the Community budget;

28.  Stresses that the credibility of the European Union's foreign policy and defence objectives will depend on its ability to ensure that it has adequate military resources;

29.  Reasserts in this respect the desire for the Union to be able rapidly to mobilise its civilian and military capabilities; to that end, calls for a study to be carried out into a rapid response budgetary mechanism and, ultimately, the creation of a Community defence budget;

Practical progress despite crisis

30.  Notes that, despite dissent concerning the strategy to be adopted in the fight against terrorism and the Iraq conflict, European foreign policy can point to extensive practical progress in crisis management, conflict prevention and the fight against terrorism;

31.  Pays tribute to the first three crisis operations carried out within the framework of the ESDP, viz:

   - the policing mission to Bosnia-Herzegovina, as the first ever civilian crisis operation,
   - the first military peace-keeping operation, code-named 'Concordia', in the Former Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia, with the backing of NATO's planning and command structure,
   - the independently mounted 'Artemis' EU operation in the Congo's Ituri region, by which the EU put to the test its political will and capability to take on independent humanitarian missions under the UN mandate;

32.  Notes that the above operational breakthrough was made possible only by the successful conclusion of EU-NATO negotiations in December 2002 on permanent EU access to NATO planning and command facilities;

33.  Considers that further consolidation of relations between the EU and NATO as mutually complementary organisations constitutes an important factor in the development of a European approach to security;

34.  Calls for a European collective capacity for the planning and management of European operations and a multinational headquarters which can be deployed in the field for such operations in instances where NATO does not take action and the European Union does not ask for NATO resources;

35.  Is aware that, although the EU's present military capabilities are sufficient to conduct operations at the lower end of the Petersberg scale, they do not extend to peace-making operations;

36.  Consequently regards the creation of greater interoperability and deployment capability as an important precondition for providing Europe with a balanced capability for coalition with the USA, both within and outside NATO;

Implementation measures for the EU's Rapid Reaction Force

37.  Repeats the demand made in its abovementioned resolution of 10 April 2003 that the European Union should further develop its capacities in the field of defence in two stages: with effect from 2004, it should have a 5000-man force permanently available for rescue and humanitarian operations. By 2009, the Union should be capable of carrying out within the European geographical area an operation at the level and intensity of the Kosovo conflict, in cooperation with NATO or autonomously;

38.  Considers that, by 2004, the European Union should set up, a standing force of 5 000 men for rescue and humanitarian missions, made up of civilian and military personnel and deployable in a time-frame of less than 10 days (rapid reaction), to be permanently available on a rotation basis;

39.  Considers that the tasks of this force should be to evacuate European citizens in cases of political crises, to take humanitarian action including efforts to prevent massacres and to provide support in the event of natural catastrophes around the globe;

40.  Considers that as a starting point, the Franco-German brigade, to be joined by further nationalities, should become the nucleus of the military part of this force, whereas the civilian part could rely on those assets identified in the conclusions of the Gothenburg European Council for civilian crisis management;

41.  Supports the establishing of an EU Agency for Research and Armament, which should focus on equipping the abovementioned force, particularly in the areas of transport, reconnaissance and command and control; insists that the creation of shadow budgets which are totally outside parliamentary control should be avoided;

42.  Stresses that the identification of the European reaction force should be compatible with the development of the NATO Rapid Response Force;

43.  Welcomes the tendency for conflict prevention increasingly to become the declared central core of European foreign policy, which is being used to try – by combining diplomatic efforts with the deployment of different Community instruments and by making EU external policies more consistent and coherent – to secure regional stabilisation, peace consolidation and the restoration of state authority;

44.  Notes, as a central lesson learned from the experience gained in the assumption of international security missions, whether in the western Balkans or in Afghanistan, that, for the purposes of building a post-war order, the policing function of the ESDP should be significantly strengthened and given its own separate operational status between the 'military ' and the 'civilian' wings;

45.  Stresses that the progress made in the area of military and police operations must now be followed up, as a matter of urgency, by the full practical development of civilian crisis prevention and management capabilities, including the policies and measures needed to mobilise non-state actors, both local and international; with that in mind, reiterates its recommendations for the creation of a European Civil Peace Corps; invites the Council and the Commission to publish regular progress reports on this issue;

46.  Considers that it is urgent for the EU to develop, jointly with the G8 States, a clear and trail-blazing approach to non-proliferation of all weapons of mass destruction; nuclear as well as chemical and biological; commits itself, consequently, in a joint initiative with the Commission, to the holding of an International Parliamentary Conference on disarmament and non-proliferation on 21 and 22 November 2003 in Strasbourg; underlines the need for the EU to take early action to make the 2005 Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference a success;

47.  Welcomes the measures taken by the EU in the international fight against terrorism, including the freezing of terror organisations" sources of financing and the technical assistance provided by the Commission to Indonesia, Pakistan and the Philippines; takes note of the recently concluded mutual extradition agreement between the USA and the EU and the inclusion of standardised anti-terrorism clauses in treaties with third-party states; believes, however, that there is an urgent need to include in the list of tasks to be covered by a European security concept the issue of common European homeland defence;

48.  Calls on all bodies involved to uphold civil rights and freedoms and to treat in a responsible manner the personal data of the persons concerned;

Foreign policy priorities in the context of a European approach to security

49.  Regards as a high priority a rethinking of transatlantic relations, since only the USA and Europe share a special responsibility to stand up jointly and on an equal footing for peace, stability, democracy, tolerance and sustainable development in the world; considers that, if Europe is to be a credible and influential partner, it must, in that connection, develop greater consistency in its actions and extend its capabilities;

50.  Points out that the above partnership cannot be defined only in military and security-policy terms within NATO, but should also incorporate combined aspects of transatlantic economic, trading, environmental and social activities, and be guided by the principle of a 'transatlantic marketplace' as the basis of balanced cooperation;

51.  In this respect, proposes, as an initial practical step, the introduction of mutual measures to make travel easier between the EU Member States and the USA, along the lines of the Schengen Agreement, thereby making the special nature of these relations visible to the public too, with a view to promoting civil and cultural interaction (e.g. parliaments and universities);

52.  Regards as the most important joint responsibility to be shared with the USA that of bringing peace to the Middle East, together with Russia and the United Nations (the quartet);

53.  Reiterates its unanimous support for implementation of the 'road map' for an Israeli-Palestinian peace process, but deeply regrets the recent retrograde steps taken by both parties in the conflict;

54.  Proposes that, building on the comprehensive structural aid from the Mediterranean programme, the trade and cooperation agreements with the countries in the region and financial aid for the Palestinian Authority, the European Union should take the initiative on a comprehensive, substantial development plan for the region which is visible and takes into account American plans, such as the most recent proposals for creating a regional free-trade area between the Arab States and the USA;

55.  Believes it would be useful to consider the deployment of UN troops if there is a further deterioration in security, particularly if terrorism cannot be curbed and a Palestinian state cannot be established in any other way;

56.  Considers that if the parties to the conflict so desire, the EU should be prepared to assume security-policy protection functions at a given point in time;

57.  Advocates a long-term, enduring and sustainable approach to securing peace, reconstruction and nation-building in Iraq, as well as to building a democratic Iraq based on respect for human rights and the rule of law, under which the occupying powers would as soon as possible devolve the leading role to the United Nations; regards that step as a crucial precondition for European participation in building a post-war order in Iraq and in the region, as expressed in Parliament's recommendation to the Council of 24 September 2003(6) ;

58.  Takes the view that the EU and the USA, working within the UN framework, must develop a common strategy capable of achieving de-escalation and disarmament in response to nuclear policy as pursued by states which have not ratified the non-proliferation treaty;

59.  Urges Iran to sign, ratify and implement, without preconditions, the IAEA Additional Protocol on inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency, and to submit its atomic energy programme to comprehensive IAEA inspection;

60.  Urges North Korea to abandon forthwith its atomic weapons programme and to comply immediately with its obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty;

61.  Reiterates the EU's strong interest in, and insistence on, a peaceful resolution of the Taiwan issue through dialogue across the Taiwan Straits; in particular, urges China to withdraw missiles in the coastal provinces adjacent to the Taiwan Straits; underlines the importance of growing economic ties for an improvement in the political climate; also stresses the EU interest in closer links with Taiwan, including in multilateral contexts;

62.  Advocates further consolidation of the European commitment in Afghanistan, and welcomes the takeover of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) command by NATO as a pointer to a robust military commitment by the alliance to supporting the central government and calls for the enlargement of its mandate to cover the rest of the country; proposes a new Petersberg Conference aimed at establishing a balance of power in the country between the various ethnic groups; urges strengthened rebuilding efforts by the international community aimed at improving, inter alia, the situation of women, adolescent girls and children in Afghanistan; considers that economic alternatives to opium growing must be developed immediately; welcomes in this respect the recent decisions taken in order to ensure the security of remote territories in Afghanistan too;

63.  Urges that greater attention be paid to the south Caucasus, which is developing into one of the most unstable regions neighbouring the EU; welcomes, consequently, the appointment of an EU Special Envoy to the region;

64.  Calls for the development of cooperation with the countries of the Black Sea through the establishment of a permanent parliamentary dialogue between the European Parliament and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (PABSEC), in order to promote peace and economic development and eliminate the risk of crises in the area;

65.  Draws attention to the smouldering crisis in Moldova, arising inter alia out of the Transnistria conflict; welcomes the consideration being given, where necessary by way of an ESDP policy mission, to stabilisation in Transnistria, but calls at the same time for economic stabilisation in Moldova by means of the removal of restrictive EU export barriers to products from Moldova;

66.  In this respect, calls furthermore for an intensive dialogue on this topic with the Russian Government, so as to make clear the EU's position and willingness to prevent a major crisis;

67.  Welcomes the EU's sustained commitment to the western Balkans, which remains at the centre of stabilisation and development efforts, and supports the 'European partnership' approach for countries of the western Balkans seeking accession;

68.  Regrets, however, that the EU-Western Balkans summit meeting in Thessaloniki of 21 June 2003 missed the opportunity to incorporate into the enlargement process options for membership in stages – with the possibility of full membership – options which, in the longer-term perspective, could also have been extended to the new neighbouring states of Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus, thereby possibly indicating an initial step towards framing the concept of a 'wider Europe';

69.  Notes that Russia is Europe's most important partner to the east and a decisive factor for any form of regional development; draws attention to the need for more narrowly focused dialogue on Russia's export policy in the areas of armaments and nuclear technology, which, although often only economically motivated, is contributing to serious security crises in other parts of the world;

70.  Takes the view that the problem of Chechnya and of human rights violations being committed there must be firmly addressed by the EU, using among other things the instruments provided for by the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, and that Russia must be pressed to introduce a genuine peace and reconciliation process in which all relevant parties would be expected to participate, so as to contain the influence of extremists and the danger of proliferation of terrorist attacks; considers that the EU should be ready to support reconciliation efforts and to assist the crisis resolution measures;

71.  Draws attention to the new significance of the border between the EU and Russia in the Baltic after enlargement to include the Baltic States and Poland; urges that the northern dimension policy be combined with the EU's "New Neighbourhood" initiative, which represents an important element in the projection of security and stability along Europe's external borders;

72.  Emphasises the importance to be attached to the development of Kaliningrad; in this respect, urges the Commission and the Council to continue to raise the matter with the Russian authorities, recalling Russia's primary responsibility for this integral part of Russia, and bearing in mind that the ever-growing economic and social gap between this enclave of the future EU and the surrounding countries represents a threat to the security of the whole region;

73.  Calls for the Euro-Mediterranean dialogue to be brought more explicitly within the compass of a security-led approach; reaffirms, however, that any such development should not be at the expense of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the region's countries, freedoms the defence and promotion of which remain the European Union's priority in the context of relations with partner countries; looks forward to the establishment in the near future of a Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly in order to provide the Barcelona process with the necessary debating forum and a direct institutional link with civil society in the countries concerned;

74.  Welcomes the strengthening of the political and strategic association between Europe and Latin America, and calls for it to be given practical shape in the form of a Euro-Latin America Charter for Peace which, by analogy with the Charter of the United Nations, would enable political, strategic and security proposals of interest to the two regions to be fleshed out; points out that security and defence cooperation between the Member States of the European Union and the countries of Latin America could cover such issues as str engthen ing international peacekeeping and security efforts, arms control, nuclear non-proliferation, military and technical cooperation in respect of the arms industry and control of arms exports, questions concerning security, the economy, development and the environment, and many other matters concerning common security and defence interests;

75.  Calls for greater efforts to strengthen, develop and support civil societies and democratic forces in our neighbours, particularly in the Islamic countries, which should also contribute to effectively preventing and combating acts of violence and terrorism;

76.  Takes note of the fact that China is referred to as a major strategic partner in the EU's draft Security Strategy document and notes the Commission's new paper on policy towards China; stresses, in this regard, that partnership cannot be enhanced as long as no concrete progress is made in the field of human rights;

77.  Regrets that the call for the appointment of a EU Special Representative for Tibet has not been taken into account; calls on the Council in this regard to make every effort to facilitate the dialogue between the Chinese authorities and the Tibetan representatives;

78.  Recalls that, beyond the direct European neighbourhood, the Kashmir conflict between the nuclear powers of India and Pakistan continues to represent one of the most burning security issues on which the EU must take a position; reiterates that under the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports no military materials should be delivered to any of the countries in this region;

79.  Draws attention to the situation of the republics of central Asia, whose role in the fight against terrorism has become crucial; deplores the silence of the Council and the Commission as regards the massive human rights violations taking place in those countries; emphasises the need to develop a common strategy by bringing together, in a consistent way, all the instruments provided for in the existing Partnership and Cooperation agreements;

80.  Underlines the importance of the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports as a tool to avoid undesirable arms exports; expresses its determination that this Code should be further developed and strengthened; utterly condemns the despicable enlistment and deployment of child soldiers; therefore calls for greater dissuasive action by the Council and the Member States vis-à-vis those governments or warlords that violate fundamental rights or the rights of the child and the relevant international Conventions;

o
o   o

81.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Parliaments of the Member States, the Secretary General of the United Nations and the President of the Council of Europe.

(1) OJ C 172, 18.6.1999, p. 1.
(2) P5_TA(2002)0451.
(3) P5_TA(2003)0188.
(4) P5_TA(2003)0291.
(5) OJ C 140 E, 13.6.2002, p. 569.
(6)1 P5_TA(2003)0401.

Last updated: 1 May 2004Legal notice