Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B7-0205/2014

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 27/02/2014 - 10.9
CRE 27/02/2014 - 10.9

Texts adopted :

PDF 110kWORD 51k

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the use of armed drones (2014/2567(RSP))

Charles Tannock, Geoffrey Van Orden, Sajjad Karim on behalf of the ECR Group

European Parliament resolution on the use of armed drones (2014/2567(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the reports on the use of armed drones by the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions of 28 May 2010 and 13 September 2013, and by the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism of 18 September 2013,

–       having regard to the statement made by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 13 August 2013 on the use of armed drones,

–       having regard to the hearing of 25 April 2013 on the human rights implications of the use of drones, organised by Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights jointly with its Subcommittee on Security and Defence,

–       having regard to its study of 3 May 2013 on the ‘Human rights implications of the usage of drones and unmanned robots in warfare’,

–       having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.     whereas the use of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS, hereafter ‘drones’) in military operations has increased in recent years as their technology and capability have improved;

B.     whereas drones have many uses and can be employed as a weapons platform, precisely targeting enemy forces operating amongst civilian populations and thereby minimising innocent civilian casualties;

C.     whereas drones are particularly useful in combating the threats faced in the fight against terrorism while reducing the risk of own military casualties;

D.     whereas the very effectiveness of drones has typically provoked opposition from those not well-disposed to Western military operations in general or to particular campaigns, and from those that lack such capabilities;

E.     whereas drones, like other weapon systems, must be used in accordance with relevant principles of international law, taking account of the need to minimise the possibility of collateral civilian casualties from military operations;

F.     whereas the Western powers, often faced with terrorist and insurgent enemies that have no regard for human life and which deliberately abuse and exploit non-combatants, are exceptional in their concern to protect civilian populations and minimise civilian casualties;

1.      Exhorts European countries, together with their allies, to persevere in the fight against terrorism, using all possible legitimate resources; encourages those using or developing drones to be particularly cognisant of international law in relation to armed combat;

2.      Believes that the use of drones will continue to increase in the future; welcomes the respective initiatives of the Member States which invest in research into and development of the new RPAS and invites them to cooperate in areas which enable them to extend the possible use thereof;

3.      Notes that there is a collaborative programme on the development of remotely piloted aircraft systems which involves several Member States; encourages the European Defence Agency, in consequence, to act in a way that might add value, finding ways that genuinely reduce development costs, such as certification, air traffic insertion and sharing of best practices;

4.      Expresses deep regret about the impact drone strikes can have on civilian populations; welcomes the efforts to find technological solutions to operational problems and to minimise the risk of collateral damage and the risk to innocent life posed by remote drone attacks; believes that all countries should exercise due restraint when considering the use of drone strikes, which should be precisely targeted based on current and accurate intelligence;

5.      Expresses support for Western armed forces engaged in the difficult and dangerous tasks of combating terrorism and fanaticism;

6.      Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the EEAS, the Council, the parliaments of the Member States and the Commission.

Last updated: 25 February 2014Legal notice