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Debates
Wednesday, 21 November 2012 - Strasbourg OJ edition

13. Implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy - EU mutual defence and solidarity clauses: political and operational dimensions - Cyber security and defence - Role of the Common Security and Defence Policy in cases of climate-driven crises and natural disasters (debate)
Video of the speeches
PV
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  President. − The next item is the joint debate on the following reports:

- A7-0357/2012 by Arnaud Danjean, on behalf of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, on the implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy (based on the Annual Report from the Council to the European Parliament on the Common Foreign and Security Policy) (2012/2138(INI));

- A7-0356/2012 by Ioan Mircea Paşcu, on behalf of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, on the EU’s mutual defence and solidarity clauses: political and operational dimensions (2012/2223(INI));

- A7-0335/2012 by Tunne Kelam, on behalf of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, on Cyber Security and Defence (2012/2096(INI));

- A7-0349/2012 by Indrek Tarand, on behalf of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, on the role of the Common Security and Defence Policy in case of climate-driven crises and natural disasters (2012/2095(INI)).

 
  
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  Arnaud Danjean, rapporteur. (FR) Mr President, Minister, ladies and gentlemen, I do not need to list today all of the crises and threats that affect our security and the stability of our continent and its neighbours. Every day – as we have just heard – we hear new reasons that lead us to believe that this multipolar world at the start of the 21st century is in many regards more dangerous than the world we had become used to because it is less predictable and less organised: civil war in Syria, Israeli-Arab tensions, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, clashes and crime in the Sahel, piracy off the coast of Somalia and continued fighting in Congo, to list just today’s dangers.

In light of this situation, it would be irresponsible to think of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) as a luxury or a bit of an aside. It is a policy that is undoubtedly recent and still being formed. More than any other policy at EU level, it is a policy that is based on the Member States, on their material and human capacities, on their traditions and on their political desire to share, or not, as the case may be, their almost absolute sovereignty in diplomatic and military matters.

This leads too many observers – and too many Members here – to believe that the CSDP is negligible or a pointless illusion. On the contrary, we believe – without any naivety or excess illusions – that the CSDP is a strategic necessity for the European Union. That is also why it appears in full in the Treaty of Lisbon.

The European Union simply cannot continue just to systematically delegate its security and that of its neighbours. Of course, NATO, which brings together 21 of the 27 Member States, is still the cornerstone of the continent’s common defence, and we should be pleased about that. In addition, we must reaffirm the transatlantic partnership, which is irreplaceable, but it does not exclude efforts and ambitions on the part of the European countries themselves; on the contrary. Indeed, the United States, which has begun a real strategic shift towards Asia and the Pacific is calling on us in Europe to be more active, more robust, more sure of ourselves when it comes to security and defence.

Those who call into question the CSDP and say that it duplicates work must realise that it offers pragmatic and intelligent complementarity when it comes to NATO, a military organisation, and the European Union. There are some crises that affect our security and in which NATO cannot intervene; Georgia was one example, and the same applies generally to the African conflicts, where the United States does not feel obliged to intervene, as we saw with the recent example of Libya. Unfortunately, these examples could increase in the future.

Action by the European Union is often completely legitimate because its actions comply fully with international law, and there are few third countries that do not acknowledge its balanced role without any ambiguous, unilateral ambitions. It has many ways to act; it has the excellent civilian/military global approach and it is the only body to have this.

All too often, unfortunately, what we are missing is political will – above all, on the part of the Member States: a lack of political will – and we have to emphasise this, too – or motivation on the part of certain Brussels institutions that are in charge of the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the CSDP, a lack of vision at times, a reluctance to act in the Council, an ideological reluctance because we believe that soft power is more effective that the use of an armed force, and an absence of clear priorities that, too often, give the impression that we are making it up as we go along.

The strategic challenges that we face are enormous and unprecedented: a structural and sustainable reduction in the defence budgets of European countries, the reorientation of US priorities, volatility and an extremely diverse range of threats. Therefore, the Member States either have to undergo a major and collective strategic downgrade, or pick themselves up and exploit as best they can, the potential of the CSDP, modest as it still may be.

There is no doubt that most of our efforts today should focus on capacity-building, and in this regard we emphasise in the report the virtues of the pooling and sharing initiative promoted by the European Defence Agency, which is a step in the right direction.

The economic and strategic crises must not be used as an excuse – and this is important, Mr President – to turn our backs, but should instead be an opportunity to strengthen our common ambition.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Ioan Mircea Paşcu, rapporteur. Mr President, Europe has never been so prosperous, so secure, nor so free. Words written in the European Security Strategy of 2003 are questionable today, confronted with increasingly complex risks and threats moving closer and closer to home. To those, we answer with a rush to slash our defence budgets, making life miserable for the defence planners, be they from NATO or the EU.

Moreover, NATO, responsible for the security of 21 of the 27 EU Member States, is confronted with the American reorientation towards Asia, forcing Europe to manage the consequences through increasing their contribution to NATO and strengthening the EU security and defence dimension.

This report is a step in that latter direction. To that effect, under the existing legal reality, the report does not ask for new instruments or new powers for the EU but argues for a more coherent and efficient interaction of the existing instruments, pointing to what the Union should do in case either one or both clauses are invoked, apart from and until the national mechanisms are activated. This way, the EU mechanisms do not substitute for the national ones. They only support and amend them, helping the Member States to deal successfully with a situation invoking the clauses.

In other words, the report is about solidarity. Any member of the EU, including those not in NATO, is entitled to respect from their organisation because solidarity is indispensable to the cohesion of the EU, acting as a deterrent of aggression too; particularly at a time when, due to the current crisis, centrifugal forces are getting stronger.

Although in practice the two clauses, mutual defence and solidarity, could be interconnected, the report takes them separately for reasons of clarity.

What the report names the mutual defence clause – because in the Treaty on European Union it is nameless – although it deals with measures in case of external armed aggression is a provision imported from the Treaty of Brussels establishing the Western European Union, which after Lisbon has been embedded into the EU’s legal basis. On the other hand, the solidarity clause is an addition following the multiplication of natural and man-made disasters both within and outside the EU.

Since Article 42(7) states that the EU NATO members rely for their security on the North Atlantic Treaty, the report underlines the importance of the relationship between the EU and NATO which should be seen as cooperative and not competitive, being instead organisations complementary to one another. To that effect, the report advocates the cohesion of the EU’s pooling and sharing and NATO’s smart defence initiatives; the creation in time of an EU headquarters; and defining today’s risks and threats in a modern way, adapted to reality.

In turn, the solidarity clause is meant to address the situations where the national capacities of a state to deal with a certain disaster are overwhelmed, to maintain a balance between preparedness and flexibility and to avoid the phenomenon of free riding when one prefers to rely more on others than on oneself.

The report, arguing for the best use of such instruments like the civil protection mechanism, the internal security strategy and the capacities of the External Action Service, supports the ongoing review of the emergency and crisis coordination arrangement and the development of an integrated situational awareness.

In conclusion, the report asks the High Representative to propose practical arrangements and guidelines for ensuring a rapid and coherent response in the event of a Member State invoking the mutual defence clause.

We also call on the Commission and the High Representative before the end of 2012 to make the joint proposal for a Council Decision, defining the arrangements for the implementation of the solidarity clause, clarifying in particular the roles and competences of different actors.

 
  
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  Tunne Kelam, rapporteur. Mr President, this is to be seen as a first comprehensive message from the European Parliament to address both cyber security and cyber defence. Since the first politically motivated cyber attacks against the state in 2007, cyber challenges and attacks have been growing at a dramatic pace and constitute a serious threat to security, stability and also to the competitiveness of different societies. The have the potential to do genuine damage.

Cyber threats and attacks have become a constant, let us say, collateral element of our everyday lives. There is still no internationally agreed model on how to respond to state-backed cyber attacks against a Member State. The report therefore urges the Commission, and especially the High Representative, to consider implementation of Article 222, the solidarity clause, or in the absence of common terminology, at least a mutual defence clause, in the case of a serious cyber attack against a Member State.

Our main message to the Commission is to come forward with a comprehensive EU cyber security strategy providing a common definition of cyber security and defence, as well as a common operating vision to enhance horizontal cooperation and coordination of cyber security and to create synergies at the EU levels. There are signals that the Commission is in the course of preparations and I hope that today’s report will encourage the Commission to complete its preparations.

Cyber security policies should not be implemented at the expense of digital freedoms which are in fact a prerequisite for fully enjoying human rights. Therefore, we call for caution while applying restrictions on citizens’ free use of cyber space, which has two billion globally connected users. It is a powerful instrument for mediating freedom and also fighting dictatorships.

At the same time, we realise that security and defence problems ultimately have to be addressed by the national governments. What do we see? We see dramatically different levels of preparedness among Member States. Only ten Member States have completed their national cyber security defence strategies, while 17 are still expected follow suit.

Some important points were made in this report. We need a coordinated assessment of cyber attacks on the EU level. We call on all EU institutions to include in their risk analysis and crisis management plans the issue of cyber crisis management. And there is a call for a back to basics. Cyber security depends not only on modern technology, but starts with elementary cyber hygiene. The great majority of cyber attacks can be prevented by providing citizens as well as civil servants with adequate education. It is high time to introduce cyber security in education, in school curricula, from the earliest possible age. Private-public cooperation is a key factor. The private sector is an important actor and we call for creation of frameworks and instruments for a rapid information change system that could guarantee anonymity of private firms when reporting cyber attacks.

 
  
  

IN THE CHAIR: OTHMAR KARAS
Vice-President

 
  
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  Indrek Tarand, rapporteur. Mr President, as a rapporteur I have discovered huge resources in the results of the work of previous European generations in the same area and topic, namely CSDP and climate change. One is of the utmost necessity during times of a globally changing security environment and the other is around and happening every day. Hence we must live with that and cope with it.

That is why I believe our debate is very timely. It comes after Hurricane Sandy but, more importantly, it comes simultaneously with a non-paper by the Cyprus Presidency on the need to develop the military capacity of the EU, which aims to have a decision made by the Council during the year 2013.

We began the work on this report by convening a meeting of different stakeholders – with External Action Service staff, with the Commission DGs CLIMA, ECHO and DEVCO, EU military staff, the EDA and people from various other institutions. I learned a lot from those people. May I use the opportunity to thank them for their help and guidance.

Besides that, I pushed two other issues. Firstly, to appoint an EU climate security envoy within the External Action Service, following the British Government’s example – Admiral Neil Morisetti has been very successfully working for three years in this function. We also believe that this could support the German Government initiative to give an impulse to a similar function with the United Nations system. Secondly, another idea was to use the generally acknowledged perception that climate change is a threat multiplier and to use it as a platform to introduce more cooperation between Member States and the respective military in particular, up to forming a joint engineering corps for the European Union.

The shadow rapporteurs from all the political groups worked hard and many succeeded in convincing their political groups to support these ideas, whereas others disagreed and gave substantial reasons for their objections. We ended up with 17 compromises out of 150 amendments. I would like to thank all the shadows for their contributions, which made the report clearer and better, sometimes less ambitious but at the same time more pragmatic and closer to the democratic consensus which we cherish in this House.

Colleagues, thank you. I have learned a lot from you. To give just one example, Mr Van Orden asked me to be specific on the engineering corps and I was in some difficulty. Only later I discovered that this might have happened because I am only a former Soviet sergeant, but he has the experience of a brigadier. So we will have to cooperate on that in the future as we were able agree on his other concerns.

I wish to quickly highlight the three important points in this report where we achieved consensus. The Lisbon Treaty creates new provisions for implementing CSDP activities. That is why this report also describes tools which could be used, for example, in policy planning, with a coherent and logical approach to defence adapted to security challenges that we in Europe will have to face in decades to come. Also the mainstreaming of potential effects of climate on security into the most important strategies, policy documents and financial instruments, would be a success in my opinion. In the External Action Service it could also be done in the same way as the recently appointed Special Representative on Human Rights. That could also work with climate and security.

I would like to say a couple of words about duplication. We have been accused, regarding the role of the CSDP in climate-driven security threats, of duplicating the excellent work that has been done by Commissioner Georgieva and her people in the field of the Civil Protection Mechanism. We had a meeting with Commissioner Georgieva, who, as a former professor and author of many books on environmental economics, had no difficulty at all in seeing that this report is complementary to her achievements. I would like to thank her for her participation in making this report. I am excited that today’s debate is taking place and look forward to hearing every comment.

 
  
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  Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, President-in-Office of the Council, on behalf of the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. − Mr President, I am honoured to speak to you today in accordance with the Treaty on the Common and Security and Defence Policy on behalf of the High Representative. The four parliamentary reports we are discussing are timely and relevant; they reflect the world we live in, where an action in a far corner of the world could have an impact in our home town.

They demonstrate that our security is interconnected in various ways. Hence I would like to express my appreciation for the amount of work which lies behind these four reports and for their quality. Your suggestions and recommendations are important to us and we are happy to have Parliament on our side as our partner but also as a fair critic. With three new missions on the ground in the Sahel, South Sudan and Horn of Africa and with two more under preparation, for Mali and Libya, we have seen some dynamic developments over the past year. We have also seen clear results from our efforts.

The number of pirate attacks off the Horn of Africa has shrunk significantly. There have only been five successful attacks this year compared to 25 last year and 47 in 2010. Security inside Somalia has also improved and the government has now extended its power over a great part of its territory previously ruled by Al-Shabaab. EUTM Somalia played an important role in this positive development as 3000 Somali soldiers will be trained by the end of this year and they are taking up their responsibility for Somalia’s security.

But despite these tangible results we must not become complacent. The High Representative has said this on numerous occasions and it is worth repeating: we must continue to resource our missions and operations properly and we must continue working towards the goals we have set out for our ongoing missions and our operations. The people that we send into the field are doing a tremendous job often in very dangerous and difficult environments. We are very grateful for their work and for their dedication. Our missions are effective and their results are sustainable only if they are part of a comprehensive approach. The example of the Horn of Africa is a good illustration of our approach. In the Horn, we employ policies and instruments in a consistent and mutually reinforcing manner. In addition to the three CSP operations and on the basis of a jointly agreed strategic framework for the region, there is strong political engagement, support for AMISOM through the African Peace Facility, development cooperation and humanitarian aid.

We also work very closely with a variety of partners, which increases our impact and also leads to a better use of our resources. The comprehensive approach is about defining a correct policy mix and the proper sequencing of instruments, both at EU level and with Member States. It is about overall consistency in our external relations, about bringing security to populations affected by conflict and alleviating poverty. As we are stepping up operational engagement in new crisis areas such as the Sahel, we must continue working in a comprehensive manner.

Let me now turn to capabilities. The CSDP allows the European Union to act, but to act we must have capabilities. Member States provide these capabilities and we all know that the financial crisis is putting a heavy burden on national budgets. Defence capabilities are particularly affected. This is why our work on pooling and sharing is so important. Synergies with wider European policies, research and development, dual use and the defence industry are also crucial.

These themes are prominent in the report by Mr Danjean. Both topics were on the agenda of the Council of Ministers of Defence on 19 November 2012 and Member States are taking a great interest. You are all aware that the President of the European Council has decided to put defence on the agenda of the European Council at the end of December 2013. This offers a very good opportunity to address these challenges at the highest political level.

There are some common themes in the four reports: the need for comprehensiveness, close coordination in-house, but also with partners, full use of the post-Lisbon set up, better use of resources and the efficiency of our efforts. Indeed, in these trying economic times, these cannot be stressed enough.

Cyber security is a case in point. The report by Mr Kelam sets out the imminent need for stepping up EU-wide preventive measures and to improve horizontal cooperation within the EU institutions and agencies. We also need to bolster public-private partnerships in cyber security. The European External Action Service and the Commission are preparing a joint Commission-EEAS communication on EU cyber security to ensure the adequate level of cyber security preparedness, also looking at cyber defence capabilities and training, as well as a coherent international cyber policy for the European Union. We have already started active international cyber security cooperation, with an emphasis on the United States and on emerging markets as well as NATO, the United Nations, OECD, OSCE and other international organisations. They need to enhance collective knowledge of climate-related security challenges, as set out in the report by Mr Tarand. Indeed, it is necessary to pursue efforts at EU and Member State level, as well as in dialogue with external partners and civil society to identify climate security needs and to further strengthen our understanding of interlinkages between climate change development, environmental degradation, natural resources, migration or conflict. The challenge is to enhance early warning and move to early preventive action.

The European Union and Member States are leading international efforts to enhance climate security by initiating policy dialogue, including at the UN Security Council level and in its bilateral relations and by supporting concrete initiatives in the fields of climate risk management and adaptation. One example is the Global Climate Change Alliance, which has a strong focus on climate adaptation in the most climate vulnerable regions of the world. Another area of work relates to the solidarity clause, which is designed for situations of major emergencies affecting the Member States. The European External Action Service and the Commission are currently working on a joint proposal to implement the clause.

The report presented by Mr Paşcu is again very timely. We concur with the main lines of the report. I would like to underline some points which seem particularly important to us. As far as structures and procedures are concerned, the EU needs to possess crisis response structures with 24/7 monitoring and response capacity, able to provide early warning and up-to-date situation awareness to all relevant actors on all types of hazards and crises or disasters. The European Union situation room and the Commission’s monitoring and information centre are ready to support the process. Also revised EU emergency and crisis coordination arrangements are suitable in this context. Responding at EU political level in a coherent, efficient and timely way to crises of such a scale and nature requires one single set of arrangements.

The four reports at hand today, on a variety of topics, all relate to European security, both internal and external. We look forward to continuing our work with you in our joint efforts to protect the security of our citizens and make the European Union an increasingly effective contributor to global peace and security. I am really looking forward to the forthcoming debate and to your comments.

 
  
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  Andrew Duff, rapporteur for the opinion of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs. Mr President, the constitutional features of these reports are two-fold: firstly, just how do we make core groups, clusters and reinforced cooperation work? – we still have not really mastered that – and, secondly, the treaty-based linkages between the Union and NATO.

Now, just on that second point, the technical cooperation appears to be quite good but we all know that political collaboration is extremely poor or weak. We all know why; it is the old intractable problem of Turkey and Cyprus. So, I think if there is anything that we are able to do to breathe real life into the CSDP, it is to resolve the Cyprus problem as soon as we can.

 
  
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  Marietta Giannakou, on behalf of the PPE Group. (EL) Mr President, it is significant that today, in a time of crisis, the European Parliament is sending a strong message of European solidarity and is proving its will and its determination that the solution to today’s problems can be achieved only through policies with a truly pan-European dimension.

The creation of an integrated Common Security and Defence Policy in Europe has been a vision for decades in the history of European integration. The introduction, in the Treaty of Lisbon, of the two innovative clauses which had been proposed at the European Convention on the Future of Europe is a move precisely in this direction. The final text of the report by Mr Paşcu – whom I would like to congratulate on his work and warmly thank for the cooperation we have had throughout this period – sets out, in a realistic but at the same time ambitious way, specific requirements and guidelines on the measures for enforcing the mutual defence and solidarity clause.

In the process, different viewpoints were very clearly expressed on the character and nature of the two innovative clauses. However, the objections concerning the high cost of the whole enterprise, the possible problems and the question of responsibilities falling under NATO’s jurisdiction are an expression of the fears of certain Member States rather than the reality. The truth is that the progressive building of a genuinely Common Security and Defence Policy could drastically reduce the heavy cost of European defence without in the least compromising the NATO commitments which have been entered into.

Mr President, the Vice-President of the Commission and the High Representative should now, before the end of 2012, submit the joint proposal for a Council decision laying down the provisions for the two clauses. Parliament therefore awaits that proposal.

 
  
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  Maria-Eleni Koppa, on behalf of the S&D Group. (EL) Mr President, I would like to congratulate Mr Danjean and all my other fellow Members for their reports, which are an excellent example of the constructive work which is being done within the European Parliament Subcommittee on Security and Defence.

We, the Socialists and Democrats, wish to underline the importance of strengthening European identity on questions of defence and security. The Union must secure the necessary means and capabilities that will allow it to develop its strategic independence and its ability to provide security for its citizens.

In the context of the current economic crisis, wider cooperation and common actions at European level are essential and operationally useful. However, these must also allow the release of funds at national level, which can be used in crucial sectors of society. On the other hand, we must have the capability to ensure effective defence and security for the citizens of Europe, and this is the great gamble.

 
  
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  Graham Watson, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, I wish to concentrate my remarks particularly on the Tarand report that we have debated in this House. I congratulate Mr Tarand on the work that he has done.

The issue of climate change has been overshadowed in public debate by other security concerns, especially in North Africa. But there have been three reports this week: the World Bank’s estimate of a 4° temperature rise by the end of the century, the United Nations saying action to curb emissions is falling short of what is needed and the European Environment Agency reporting that the effects of climate change are already being felt here in Europe, as I have seen in my constituency in South-West England in the last day or two.

Climate change is not only adding to the costs of government, it is aggravating the threats to peace and security as the greater impact of climate change beyond our borders causes war about water and adds to the number of climate refugees.

This has been acknowledged by High Representative Solana some five years ago, by our foreign ministers last year and again by the Council Presidency today, yet no action has been forthcoming. I call on the Council to reinvigorate the informal Steering Group on Climate Change and to establish a climate envoy because, without that, very little will happen.

 
  
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  Tarja Cronberg, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, I join in the congratulations for the two defence reports. Both reports reflect some of the difficulties and unclear aspects of the European Common Security and Defence Policy. Therefore I strongly underline the need to define the roles and competences of the different actors.

The Danjean report talks about strategic autonomy and strategic decline, which the report assigns to the lack of funds and the reduced defence budgets. The Greens see these more as a result of lack of cooperation, sometimes mismanagement and even a result of wrong priorities. The Paşcu report talks about the mutual defence clause, and mutual assistance clause. At the same time it is very difficult, and I understand the difficulty, to relate these to the NATO defence clause, and in particular for those six EU Member States which remain outside NATO.

Secondly, there is the question of the nuclear umbrella, nuclear weapons. As we know, NATO is a nuclear alliance. What is the role for British and French nukes in the context of European defence?

The management and decision-making structures and procedures for the so-called defence clause are very clear and I hope that the appeal for the High Representative to clarify these issues will be taken seriously.

 
  
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  Geoffrey Van Orden, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, I have a simple question to the Council and the Commission: why does the European Union not concentrate its crisis-management efforts on the civil and humanitarian contributions that it makes, instead of trying to play soldiers? By doing less, better, the EU might have a chance of actually getting something right.

Of course, European countries must do more militarily: they are NATO allies. But we do not need the EU to be involved to bring that about.

I have the greatest respect for my friend Mr Danjean, but his Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) report is just another chapter in the litany of European integration: little to do with practical capability and all about ‘lending political credibility and visibility to the Union’s actions while also allowing political control’.

I come back to my point about getting the civil side right. Even a CSDP enthusiast such as Mr Danjean wonders why the European Union Aviation Security Mission (EUAVSEC) to improve airport security at Juba in South Sudan is categorised as a CSDP mission rather than a straightforward Commission project under the instrument for stability. The same might be said of 10 out of the 13 other so-called CSDP missions which are purely civilian in nature. I go further: the police training mission in Afghanistan has been a catalogue of errors. The EUR 500 million EULEX mission in Kosovo, according to the European Court of Auditors, has achieved more or less nothing.

Few of the EU’s costly and distracting CSDP missions stand up to critical scrutiny. May I just say that I hope other Prime Ministers will support the British Prime Minister tomorrow when he calls for cuts in the EU budget. While some CSDP action is useful, the EU’s External Action Service and its wasteful foreign forays offer immediate scope for savings.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 149(8))

 
  
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  Andrew Duff, Blue-card question. − Mr President, if I could enquire of Mr Van Orden, I read the Court of Auditors’ report on EULEX, exposing the fact that it was poorly resourced and poorly sustained by Member States as being the true cause of its relative – and I stress the word relative – lack of success so far. I am sorry that it is being depleted further because of the present budgetary cuts.

 
  
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  Geoffrey Van Orden (ECR), Blue-card answer – Mr President, all I would say is that I think, as far as the European Court of Auditors is concerned, in that particular instance they had nothing positive to say, and the effect of a lot of the action was to embed a corrupt, predatory elite, allow organised crime to prosper and ruin a customs service that previously seemed to work perfectly well. That seems to be the consequence.

Now we are talking about getting it right. This is my very point. If the European Union actually focused its efforts on these civil missions, to try and get them properly organised and effectively administered, then we might be getting somewhere. My objection is to all this playing around in so-called CSDP and all this sort of military activity using the cloak of civil action in order to justify it.

 
  
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  Sabine Lösing, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group. (DE) Mr President, the EU has won the Nobel Peace Prize, and I would not wish to question its achievements, such as its role in reconciliation after the Second World War. However, the reports before us speak a different language. The mutual defence clause, in effect, turns the EU into a military alliance, and the solidarity clause includes the option of military intervention in Member States in response to man-made disasters.

Let me ask the House this: would a Europe-wide general strike constitute such a man-made disaster? Will soldiers from Germany soon be deployed against striking workers in Greece? The implementation of the demands set out in the Annual Report on the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) would mean a quantum leap in the EU’s military development and an expansion of military intervention worldwide, probably with a robust mandate.

Much of this, including Member States’ obligation to develop their military capabilities, has to do with the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty. Let me say this: the Left in Europe did the right thing by rejecting this Treaty and we will continue their tireless efforts to bring about an amendment of these Treaty provisions.

 
  
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  Nadezhda Neynsky (PPE). (BG) In view of the number of new challenges before the world and European security it is time for the European Union to further develop and enhance its Common Security and Defence Policy. A specific example would be the question of the potential impact of climate change, natural disasters and military crises on European security and of how should the Union be prepared to react? My opinion is that we must build a European military capacity but also that it should not be our first choice and to avail of it firstly in the event of natural disasters. Also, considering the restricted budget available, it is not the increase of administration and the creation of new policies but the enhancement of the already existing instruments which will lead to a more efficient reaction in the event of such crises. Ladies and gentlemen, the power of the European Union lies in being a leader in the provision of humanitarian aid in the event of disaster and in our cooperation with a number of partners to guarantee the security of our citizens and of the people worldwide. The Common Security and Defence Policy may complement but not replace these well functioning Union instruments.

 
  
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  Luis Yáñez-Barnuevo García (S&D). (ES) Mr President, today we are discussing four reports that seek to breathe new life into our Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). This is a clear sign of the conviction that our security and defence have a clear European dimension, contrary to the beliefs of the Eurosceptic minorities, some of whom can be found in this House.

I would like to thank Mr Danjean for his commitment to finding a consensus when preparing his report, which contains other important contributions from the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament. These include the references to effective multilateralism, the principle of the ‘responsibility to protect’ and the concept of human security. We would like to see those aspects included in a future revision of the European defence strategy.

We stressed, too, that a strong CSDP is also important for our transatlantic alliance. I must mention another of the challenges that is assuming significant importance for our global security: cyber security and cyber defence, aspects that are dealt with in a report that we are discussing today as well. We hope that its proposals will be included in the new European cyber security strategy.

Against a backdrop of severe economic and financial crisis, in which the Member States are being forced to cut their defence budgets, it is all the more necessary to implement the European ‘pooling and sharing programmes’. It is therefore more important than ever to strengthen the role of the European Defence Agency, over which there is much debate today.

In conclusion, we can relaunch European security and defence and we can do so with President Van Rompuy’s plan for the December 2013 Council. Thank you, all four rapporteurs.

 
  
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  Norica Nicolai (ALDE). (RO) Mr President, I congratulate the four rapporteurs and would point out that each report deserves a debate. Each report brings added value to our Common Security and Defence Policy. I will address the matter in principle: the Treaty of Lisbon provides the legal basis for this policy. We can no longer doubt that, but we can still doubt our ability to implement it. Though this Treaty came into force a few years ago, and we are talking about a larger and better managed Europe, we are not putting the commitments we have made into practice.

This makes the Union weak in matters of external policy and global security. If we want a stronger Union, a stronger Europe, we must give the Common Security and Defence Policy a chance, and not act individually, as we have done to date, and even today.

 
  
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  David Campbell Bannerman (ECR). – Mr President, this resolution is completely unacceptable. It is the equivalent of sending EU tanks across national borders. There is no acceptable EU role in these vital, strategic and offence responsibilities, and no role for Commission legislation.

Just look at the language. The EU ‘should be a global political player on the international scene’ it says, ‘to protect its interests in the world and to ensure the security of its citizens’. All under the roof of a single political authority. It says, the EU has ‘an important role to play as security provider for the Member States’ and it wants mergers of European businesses to contribute to European defence industry.

Well, here is the real aim of this shameful BAE/EADS merger proposal.

But worst of all, it wants to take the EU to war. It talks of having the ‘full range of possibilities for action on the international scene’, of intervening ‘in all types of crisis, including […] high intensity conflicts’ – and that means war.

No, this resolution must be stopped in its tracks.

 
  
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  Willy Meyer (GUE/NGL). (ES) Mr President, my parliamentary group, with its minority opinions, wishes to call into question the current orientation of the security policy, not only at European Union level, but also at international level.

We believe that the time has come to demilitarise security, and NATO, one of the EU’s defence pillars, is going in the opposite direction.

At the 1999 Washington summit, it approved a Strategic Concept that allowed military intervention outside the United Nations Security Council and a military response to phenomena such as terrorism and organised crime, which had previously warranted a civilian response.

We believe that militarisation is not what the world needs: it is not the response needed by the 70 000 people who die every day of neglect, while the world spends USD 4 billion a day.

It is time for demilitarisation and we therefore want to set out a new orientation in our minority reports.

 
  
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  Elmar Brok (PPE). (DE) Mr President, Commissioner, President-in-Office of the Council, ladies and gentlemen, this last point clearly shows that we need to do things differently. If we abolish parallel structures and make use of synergies in procurement, research and other areas and move towards a system of pooling and sharing, instead of every Member State having to deal with everything, we can achieve more with less money. If we consider that we have armed forces in Europe in which 60, 70 or even 80 % of the members work in administration, and if we consider how many soldiers there are in Europe and what proportion of them is genuinely ready for deployment, it is clear how much money is being wasted here. The Member States are calling for cuts in the European budget, but in the defence sector, we could save so much money through synergies, cooperation and burden-sharing. In fact, the potential savings are several times greater than the sums generated by the austerity measures that we are currently discussing for the main EU budget.

In my view, we do need to talk about some of the national idiosyncrasies, customs and, indeed, vanities. We need to draw on the knowledge of the politicians responsible for the national budgets in order to improve Europe’s presence in the field of security and defence policy as well, with a view to safeguarding our capabilities here.

I was in Moscow last week. They laugh at us there because we cannot manage to get ourselves organised. If we are to be a global player and not just the global payer, we really do need to get organised on this particular issue!

 
  
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  Justas Vincas Paleckis (S&D). (LT) Mr President, I would like to congratulate the rapporteurs on their excellent work, particularly Mr Indrek Tarand.

Four years ago the European Union announced that climate change is the greatest threat to humanity. We have just seven years left to stop climate change doing irreparable damage. Unfortunately, when hit by the crisis, we put this most sensitive problem to one side. In all the most important EU documents we should consider the impact of climate change on global security and establish an international working group which would increase the capacities of the EU and its Member States to forecast and eradicate the natural disasters caused by climate change and their consequences. There needs to be better coordination of cooperation between the EU Member States, the European Commission and the US, as well as China, Russia and Brazil. We require both a European and a global early warning mechanism. The armies of the countries of the world, particularly the large countries, should use energy resources more efficiently and thus contribute to stopping climate change.

 
  
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  Michael Gahler (PPE). (DE) Mr President, Mr Brok has rightly drawn attention to the added value that we could achieve through more security and defence cooperation. Mr Danjean’s report lists a number of examples. For example, we are calling for a greater willingness from Member States to cooperate on pooling and sharing, as reaffirmed in the Council conclusions at the start of this week.

The European Military Staff produced a list of around 300 suitable projects in 2011. Currently, the EU is pursuing only 11 projects. It is worth asking what has happened to all the others. Why are Member States not willing to assume responsibility as lead nations?

Here is another example. At the NATO Summit in Chicago in May 2012, Lady Ashton presented the air-to-air refuelling project as a key contribution to plugging EU and NATO capability gaps. The latest Council conclusions also focus on progress in this field. My question, however, is this: which specific capability gaps have in fact been closed?

It could be argued, could it not, that the steps taken by the Member States so far actually amount to no more than statements of intent and lack any real substance. To the best of my knowledge, France will merely replace its existing air-to-air refuelling capacities, and although Germany supports this initiative, it has not identified any additional requirement for new capacities of this kind at the national level.

Earlier this week, the United Kingdom and Germany did not sign the letter of intent on the implementation of a European strategic air transport and participation initiative. How do the announcements and omissions fit together? I hope that the Council conclusions, which also refer to the defence summit next year, will help to ensure that Parliament’s demands in relation to this area will be reflected in the summit outcome document.

 
  
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  Ana Gomes (S&D). (PT) Mr President, the recession cannot be used as justification for a lack of investment by Member States in security and defence in this world which is becoming increasingly dangerous because of deregulation. It is precisely because of the crisis and the challenges that we face on a global scale that the European Union should coordinate and integrate policies, resources and capabilities in security and defence.

This means making progress with the permanent headquarters, and also pooling and sharing human resources, equipment and also funds. The rule that ‘costs lie where they fall’ prevents some States from contributing more in terms of civilian and military capabilities and forces to Common Security and Defence Policy missions. This Parliament’s recommendations in these reports – implementation of the solidarity clause, cyber defence, security implications in climate change – are essential in order for the European Union to be strategically independent, and can also help the European countries to assume their commitments within the context of NATO, the United Nations and other strategic partnerships, as global security suppliers.

 
  
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  Krzysztof Lisek (PPE). (PL) Thank you, Mr President. I am grateful, finally, to have the floor. Mr President, President-in-Office of the Council, Commissioner, the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) sounds impressive, and rightly so, but I think we all realise – because, from listening to colleagues from different political groups, I have the impression that, in many cases, we share the same view – that the CSDP still presents a huge challenge: firstly, because the world is a dangerous place and, secondly, because the policy has yet to be fully implemented. We must recognise, unfortunately, that not all European Union Member States, including one of the largest, are involved in the development of the CSDP. It is with regret that I must acknowledge that.

Nevertheless, it is good that ministers are meeting and that a European Council on security and defence policy is scheduled for next year. It is good that ministers from almost all the largest European Union Member States are putting forward proposals for the CSDP. These proposals are also ones that we in the European Parliament have made, and I hope that Member State leaders, the Commission and the High Representative will listen carefully to our proposals, as we are one of the bodies which support a Common Security and Defence Policy.

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye procedure

 
  
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  Petru Constantin Luhan (PPE). – Mr President, I am pleased that my amendment on considering the need for the EU to develop a ‘white hat’ strategy was adopted by the committee responsible. With cyber criminals getting better at breaking into protected networks, I strongly believe that the only real way to win the battle is to have people with similar knowledge and expertise fighting against them. I would remind you of some statistics: more than one million people become victims of cyber crime every day, and the cost of cyber crime, as estimated by the Commission, could reach a total of USD 388 billion worldwide. Therefore, as I have stated in all my speeches, I believe ‘white hat’ hackers need to be hired and trained for future cyber warfare.

 
  
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  Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (S&D). (RO) Mr President, I wish to refer to Mr Kelam’s report. The IT and communications infrastructures are critical for a functioning Europe. Many cyber incidents are caused by unreliable and weak private and public infrastructure networks, insecure databases and other critical IT infrastructure failures. We call on the Member States to develop national cyber security and defence strategies, to train specialised engineers in the protection of IT networks and invest in cyber security research and innovation.

The European Network and Information Security Agency supports the Member States through exchanges of best practices of IT security, and by developing, implementing and maintaining national cyber security strategies. We want to see a stronger ENISA and the European Parliament calls for an extended international and operational mandate for this agency. We ask the Council and the Commission to be flexible in this regard, given that ENISA’s current mandate expires in September 2013.

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE). (RO) Mr President, the Treaty of Lisbon gave the Union new external action instruments that helped to consolidate its international profile. The Common Security and Defence Policy provides for military and civilian missions in vulnerable areas. Having intervened in Chad, Congo and Somalia, the Union failed to deal appropriately with the stalled conflicts at its own borders. The best example is the Transnistrian conflict, which has been going on for more than 20 years. Much was expected from the new Tiraspol regime but the latest rounds of negotiations have proved inauspicious and the initial commitment to end the conflict has proven to be disingenuous. That is why I believe that the Union, through its High Representative, should commit itself further to ending the conflict by replacing the military peace-keeping mission with a civilian one.

 
  
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  Janusz Władysław Zemke (S&D). (PL) Mr President, I wanted to say that I agree with the points made in the reports presented to us at the beginning of this debate, but I would also like to point out that Europe is failing to make sufficient progress with its Common Security and Defence Policy.

There are two fundamental reasons for this unwelcome situation. Firstly, there is still unwillingness among a group of Member States to participate in this joint European venture in the field of security and defence. These countries believe that Europe can make do with just NATO. In my opinion, they are wrong.

The second reason is the lack of satisfactory results with regard to the creation of joint capabilities. I am referring here chiefly to the potential in the aviation sector, to air-to-air refuelling and to the need for pilotless aircraft. In this respect, it is a case of too many words and not enough action.

 
  
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  Inês Cristina Zuber (GUE/NGL). (PT) Mr President, these reports which we are now discussing clearly support the reinforcement of the military component, and also the pretensions to imperialism and recolonisation of the planet which were developed in the Treaty of Lisbon. They assert that the Member States should place their civilian and military capabilities at the Union’s disposal in order to contribute to the Council-defined objectives, which are subordinate to the obligation policies stemming from NATO, an interfering politico-military bloc which has occupied countries and massacred people at the behest of major economic interests.

Further steps are now being taken along this road, with the establishment of the misnamed solidarity clause, which provides that States should take military action in a country, not only if this is involved in a military conflict, but also, apparently, if it is the target of cyber attacks or natural disasters.

Yet against whom will they take military action? What will be the objectives? This package of measures simply confirms the European Union as a politico-military bloc which, by centralising and expanding European military equipment, is not only reneging on its values of peace, but also poses a threat to the freedom and sovereignty of the people.

 
  
 

(End of the catch-the-eye procedure)

 
  
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  Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, President-in-Office of the Council. − Mr President, honourable Members, you have come up with a number of suggestions on how to improve our approach and our actions and I consider the report instrumental for our policy debate.

This has been an interesting and I think a very important debate. Not least because, in the context of looking at the economic situation that Member States and institutions find themselves in, it is absolutely vital that we discuss how best to make sure that we are able to respond to some of the crises and security threats we are faced with as individual nations, as parliamentarians and as institutions.

I am very pleased to note the relevance that the conclusions adopted on Monday by the Foreign Affairs/Defence Council chaired by the High Representative/Vice-President have in this respect and that they are in line with the contents of your reports.

Let me just remind you of a couple of key elements which are relevant to our debate today. By this I would like to convince Mr Van Orden to take a more positive view on CSDP.

Monday’s conclusions stressed that capabilities underpin the EU’s ability to act as a security provider in the context of a wider comprehensive approach. Also, the Council underlines the necessity to maximise the effectiveness of Europe’s defence expenditure in times of financial austerity, including through pooling and sharing.

It also stresses the wider impact of the defence sector on innovation, technology and growth and the need for synergies with wider EU policies in these fields

Mr Van Orden says that the EU does not need military means and can leave this to NATO. But is Operation Atalanta not an example that an EU military mission has an effect and is useful? It has an effect on piracy and it has been cooperating very well with NATO. The same can be said about our training mission in Somalia, which has had a positive effect on strengthening the Somalian Government. If I am correct, the British Government is supporting these EU operations.

I would also like to recall that the United States in their strategic review asked for greater responsibility and a greater role for the European Union as a security provider in the world.

On the issue of a special representative dealing with climate security, the European Union is already focussing political attention on climate security challenges through its established structures. The European Union is also sponsoring international debate including at the level of the UN Security Council. The priority appears to be to continue building up awareness and capacities at the multilateral level and in regional fora. In this regard, we take note of the report’s recommendation to work towards the nomination of a special envoy at United Nations level. The European Union is already coordinating its action on climate security aspects with the UN and its agencies. The nomination of a UN envoy would help this ongoing coordination and help maintain political visibility at UN level.

Let me end by saying – as the High Representative/Vice-President constantly does – how proud we are and should be of the servicemen and women who are operating in theatre at the present time. As we move towards Christmas and for us a holiday season, I am very conscious that men and women are serving across the world and especially, as was mentioned, in very dangerous places.

The High Representative/Vice-President and myself are extremely proud of the work that they do and I know that members of this House are too.

 
  
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  Arnaud Danjean, rapporteur. (FR) Mr President, I would like to thank all of my colleagues who were involved in the preparation of this report in all of their groups. It is very pleasing to see such a broad consensus that the European Union has to equip itself with the means to achieve a global, international ambition, including a security and defence policy.

Like the Minister, I am sorry that our British colleagues still have a very ideological and completely unpragmatic position, which is reflected in their actions. They have spoken here as the representatives of a great military nation, but they should not be under any illusions. That great military nation is also going to suffer, and is already suffering, a considerable strategic decline, with defence budget cuts, and problems with materials and human resources, like all European countries.

Of course, NATO is our last resource, but NATO will not be able to intervene always and everywhere to defend European interests. Some Member States are not members of NATO. Some NATO countries will not always be prepared to defend European interests. We have to face up to that possibility.

The European Union must therefore maintain a form of autonomy, which is not rivalry, competition or duplication, but intelligent complementarity. That is already the case across all of the European Union’s missions: more than a dozen missions are being carried out successfully today and are expected – and this is the most important aspect – by the countries that are in crisis. They recognise the European Union’s legitimacy and, undoubtedly, they would not be prepared to do that for any other international actor.

We must be proud of that and we must restate this ambition. I hope that the relatively strong vote tomorrow in favour of this report will help the High Representative and the Council to forge ahead.

 
  
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  Tunne Kelam, rapporteur. Mr President, I am satisfied that there seems to be almost a consensus about the need to create a united EU cyber defence and cyber security strategy.

However, I would like to mention one fact, namely that two years ago we decided to aim for a level of at least 2 % expenditure on defence, research and development from the general defence budget. So far only one Member State has done this, whereas five Member States have spent nothing on R&D so far. In this field there are no smart solutions possible to save more money. Defence and security are costly and we have to meet these expenses.

I would also like to mention the role of the European Defence Agency and ENISA. Their role can, and should, be enhanced in assisting our Member States, in helping to pool and share the existing experience and in developing a good practice guide.

Finally, with regard to international cooperation, I think the role of the EU, and especially the Commission, is to mainstream cyber security aspects in all relations with third countries, to encourage our partners to join the Budapest Convention and to agree on minimum standards on responsible behaviour in cyber space. The EU should also assist third countries, if needed, to build their cyber security facilities.

 
  
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  Ioan Mircea Paşcu, rapporteur. Mr President, I would like to thank all colleagues who participated in this debate for their interest and opinions, including those who were pessimistic, suspicious, or even grossly exaggerating.

Those opinions are valuable, not only to me and my colleagues – Andrew Duff, from the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO), and Simon Busuttil, author of the opinion of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) – but also to the Commission and the Council who prepare to discuss these matters in more detail.

In view of the discussion, I would like to mention one more aspect which has not been touched upon in the report, namely that we should address not only the way we get into a situation triggered by the activation of the two clauses, but also, apart from staying in and being constant in our engagement, when and how we get out of it. Things should be very clear for the exit strategy, as they should be very clear for the strategy for going in.

Finally, I would like to thank publicly all the shadow rapporteurs, the European Commission, the European External Action Service, the Council, as well as NATO who have responded in kind to the open and transparent way this report has been prepared.

 
  
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  Indrek Tarand, rapporteur. Mr President, what Mr Watson said earlier proves that with goodwill and a sense of urgency we can have results, because the end of his speech was absolutely identical to the recent words of Ambassador Telemachou of Cyprus, the country holding the Presidency.

I was a shadow on Mr Kelam’s report and I always follow with interest the activities and writings of Mr Danjean, as well as Mr Paşcu, so I would like to point out that it has been a great pleasure and privilege to be part of the team in the Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE). It is not yet a dream team but it has very devoted players. I hope that our four reports will be supported by majorities tomorrow.

Indeed we need political will and action for the implementation of the recommendations made in my report and in the other three reports. As has been said today by Mr Danjean, Ms Koppa, Mr Watson, Mr Paleckis and others, we urge the Council, the Commission and the External Action Service to act immediately.

I wish everybody a peaceful night before tomorrow’s vote.

 
  
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  President. − The joint debate is closed.

The vote will take place on Thursday at 12.00.

Written statements (Rule 149)

 
  
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  Ágnes Hankiss (PPE), in writing. (HU) I congratulate Mr Kelam on his report, which addresses one of the most important aspects of European security, the issue of cyber security. The concept of cyber security inextricably links the internal and external dimensions of security, whether we are referring to cyber espionage, cyber terrorism or cyber crime. Cyber attacks are global in character and hence effective defence must be global too. We must underline the need to ensure continuous close cooperation and avoid duplication by the European Union institutions, the EU, NATO and the major international actors, Member States, civil and military defence forces, and the public and private sector. The knowledge and skills being built up in the private sector are needed for effective defence whether we are talking about internet security firms, software developers, hardware manufacturers or online systems operators. In future, vital informatics infrastructures could become a key target for cyber terrorism. To protect these we can no longer put off developing a common European system for assessing threats on the one hand, and extending common European practice concerning preparation, prevention, detection and response. International organised crime is transferring its operations to the cyber sphere with astonishing speed, often employing experts who have acquired specialised skills in military organisations or through secret service connections. For example, a notable feature of Russian and Russian-speaking cyber crime is that in many cases the network is run by former KGB officers and supplied with information that can be used with considerable effect for the purpose of blackmail or to exert pressure.

 
  
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  Marc Tarabella (S&D), in writing. (FR) Several countries are actively preparing for the cyber war by setting up cyber defence units, as well as intelligence and IT penetration structures. Numerous public and private bodies are attacked on a daily basis. Far-reaching IT offensives have been launched in recent years around the world. Modern, highly computerised societies are vulnerable to this; companies, public authorities, and vital economic and industrial infrastructures are the future victims.

From a technical perspective, never has a range of technologies impregnated human activity so quickly and deeply.

The development of a safer cyberspace requires the states to be more involved in network regulation and crisis management. It is therefore essential for Europe to present itself as the discussion and regulation platform in this area. On too many occasions recently, we have had before us, here in the European Parliament, texts that have, unfortunately, tended to try to do away with some of our individual freedoms, under various different pretexts. Europe must guarantee for all of its citizens that the line between security and privacy will be constantly maintained and protected as far as possible.

 
  
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  Valdemar Tomaševski (ECR), in writing. (PL) The increase in extreme weather events also means higher costs for the European economy, both for those countries still developing and those deemed to be economically stable. The occurrence of natural disasters is a fact and requires the European Union Member States to act jointly to tackle the devastating effects of these disasters. The EU’s priority in this regard should be to ensure that people have access to fresh water and food following a natural disaster. To that end, a far-sighted crisis response and management policy deployed across 27 Member States must be established. It is also necessary, therefore, to assess which countries or regions are at greatest risk of natural disasters. A list of those countries or regions must then be drawn up and annual reports presented that indicate potential threats and propose measures for mitigating their impact. Of course, the European Union must also work with other regions of the world in this regard, in order to gain a global overview of potential security threats. Furthermore, it is important to continue to provide and to step up EU humanitarian aid, not only within Europe but also beyond it. The Commission should make the successful elimination of risks associated with natural disasters part of its main development strategy measures, so that areas likely to be affected and their authorities can feel secure and certain that they will receive assistance in the event of a natural disaster.

 
Posljednje ažuriranje: 4. ožujka 2013.Pravna napomena