Procedure : 2014/2567(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B7-0206/2014

Texts tabled :

B7-0206/2014

Debates :

Votes :

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

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2014)0172

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 116kWORD 53k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0201/2014
24.2.2014
PE529.565v01-00
 
B7-0206/2014

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 legal framework for the use of armed drones (2014/2567(RSP))


Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck, Sarah Ludford, Phil Bennion, Marietje Schaake, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Louis Michel, Jelko Kacin, Nathalie Griesbeck on behalf of the ALDE Group

European Parliament resolution on the legal framework for the use of armed drones (2014/2567(RSP))  
B7‑0206/2014

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 the European Council conclusions of 20 December 2013,

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

A.     whereas the automated use of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS, hereinafter ‘drones’) in extraterritorial lethal operations has increased sharply over the past decade;

B.     whereas thousands of civilians have reportedly been killed or seriously injured by drone strikes; whereas these figures are difficult to estimate owing to the lack of transparency regarding the use of armed drones, which represents a significant obstacle to evaluating the full extent of the civilian impact of drone strikes and contributes to the lack of accountability;

C.     whereas the proliferation of armed drone technology is posing unprecedented challenges under international law;

D.     whereas international human rights law prohibits arbitrary killings, including in a situation of armed conflict; whereas international humanitarian law does not permit the targeted killing of persons who are located in non-belligerent states;

E.     whereas in armed conflict, when civilians have been killed by drone strikes, states are under the obligation to conduct prompt, independent and impartial fact-finding inquiries and to provide a detailed public explanation and access to redress;

F.     whereas numerous research and development projects associated with the construction of drones, military and civilian, have been supported with EU funds, and whereas this is expected to continue in the future;

1.      Calls on the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Member States and the Council to:

(a)         oppose and ban the practice of extrajudicial targeted killings;

(b)         ensure that the Member States, in conformity with their legal obligations, do not perpetrate unlawful targeted killings or facilitate such killings by other states;

(c)         include armed drones in relevant European and international disarmament and arms control regimes;

(d)         ban the development, production and use of fully autonomous weapons;

(e)         support investigations into targeted killings and follow up on the recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism;

2.      Calls on the Commission to provide a comprehensive overview of all research and development projects associated with the construction of drones, for both civilian and military use, which have been supported with EU funds; calls further on the Commission to keep Parliament properly informed about the use of EU funds for such projects in the future;

3.      Calls for the mainstreaming of human rights impact assessments as part of technological R&D, including in respect of the further development of drones;

4.      Warns against the proliferation of drone technology and calls for the development of international norms;

5.      Urges the Council to agree to the suggestion of adopting an EU common position on a legal framework for the use of armed drones with a view to preventing the misuse of force and of surveillance and intelligence-gathering capabilities without appropriate democratic oversight, legal frameworks and checks and balances, to be adopted before any further decisions are taken on the development of drone programmes at Member State and EU level; calls for a coordinated EU and Member State initiative at the UN with a view to the adoption of a binding international convention on the use of drones for targeted killings;

6.      Stresses that such a framework must also provide for democratic oversight of the use of armed drones, as with any other military capability, and lay down guidelines for a clear and transparent chain of command so as to ensure accountability;

7.      Calls for greater transparency in the used of armed drones in order to better ascertain the impact on civilians, and as a first step in addressing the ‘accountability vacuum’ surrounding their use;

8.      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 European External Action Service, the Council, the parliaments of the Member States and the Commission.

Last updated: 25 February 2014Legal notice