Procedure : 2014/2219(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0039/2015

Texts tabled :

A8-0039/2015

Debates :

PV 11/03/2015 - 14
CRE 11/03/2015 - 14

Votes :

PV 12/03/2015 - 8.5
CRE 12/03/2015 - 8.5

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2015)0075

REPORT     
PDF 240kWORD 126k
3 March 2015
PE 544.300v02-00 A8-0039/2015

on the Annual Report from the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to the European Parliament

(2014/2219(INI))

Committee on Foreign Affairs

Rapporteur: Elmar Brok

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 MINORITY OPINION
 OPINION of the Committee on Budgets
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on the Annual Report from the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to the European Parliament

(2014/2219(INI))

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the Annual Report from the Council to the European Parliament on the Common Foreign and Security Policy (12094/14),

–       having regard to Articles 21 and 36 of the Treaty on European Union,

–       having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management,

–       having regard to the declaration by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the Commission (HR/VP) on political accountability,

–       having regard to the commitments made by HR/VP Federica Mogherini during her hearing of 6 October 2014 in the Committee on Foreign Affairs,

–       having regard to Rules 52 and 132(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

–       having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Budgets (A8-0039/2015),

Facing a changed political and security environment

1.      Points to the dramatically aggravated security environment around the EU, especially in its immediate neighbourhood, where the international law-based order and stability and security of Europe are challenged to a degree unprecedented since the beginning of European integration; points to the ongoing transformation of the global political order;

2.      Is concerned that the EU, due also to its internal crisis, has so far not been able to use its full potential to shape the international political and security environment, and that a lack of policy coordination and coherence between EU policies, and financial limitations, pose additional restraints on Europe’s influence in the world and its capacity to be a regional and global security provider contributing to conflict prevention and crisis management;

3.      Takes the view that the priority tasks for EU foreign and security policy are:

   protecting European values and interests and enforcing the political and legal order in Europe, thereby restoring and safeguarding peace and stability;

   improving the EU’s contribution to the territorial defence of its Member States and the security of its citizens by strengthening its ability to defend itself against the threats facing it, including terrorism and arms, drug and human trafficking;

   supporting security, democratisation, the rule of law and economic and social development in the EU’s neighbourhood;

   taking a leading role in the resolution of conflicts, including through peacekeeping and peace enforcement in the context of CSDP;

   strengthening, together with its partners, the rules-based, pluralistic global political, economic and financial order, including respect for the rule of law and human rights; and

   improving the EU’s internal structures and working methods in order to strengthen its resilience and allow it to unleash its full potential as a global player;

The EU as a credible actor

4.      Believes that an ambitious and effective EU foreign policy needs to be based on a shared vision of key European interests, values and objectives in external relations and on a common perception of the threats affecting the EU as a whole; welcomes the commitment of the HR/VP, on the basis of the mandate from the European Council of December 2013, to initiate as a matter of priority a process of strategic reflection on the EU’s foreign and security policy, which should involve a wide range of stakeholders, including Member States, European institutions, and the European public; insists that this reflection should lead to a new European Security Strategy that takes account of the recent geopolitical changes in order to respond to the new threats and challenges;

5.      Underlines the obligation undertaken by the Member States in ratifying the Treaty on European Union to support the Union’s external and security policy actively and unreservedly in a spirit of loyalty and mutual solidarity, in line with Article 24(3) TEU;

6.      Insists that the political, economic, financial and defence resources of the EU and its Member States must be strengthened and combined in order to maximise the EU’s influence in the world, produce synergies and ensure peace and stability in Europe and its neighbourhood; underlines that significant cost savings can be made through better cooperation between Member States in terms of their foreign and security policy;

7.      Stresses that the external financial assistance deployed by the EU and its Member States needs to be refocused and used more efficiently in line with the jointly agreed strategic priorities; calls for more measures to be taken by the EU in order to increase the visibility, coherence and effectiveness of EU assistance; is of the view that all areas of EU assistance, be it development aid or emergency and humanitarian aid, should be coordinated and consistent; calls on the Commission, the EEAS and the Member States to ensure effective oversight over financial assistance, to make sure that targets are met; points to the reports of the European Court of Auditors which have demonstrated problems in the past; emphasises that financial assistance supporting civil society and NGOs on the ground should be increased; calls for faster and less bureaucratic procedures for the approval of projects;

8.      Encourages the EU institutions and the Member States to fully use the toolbox of the Lisbon Treaty to move from what has so far been a mostly reactive approach to a proactive, coherent and strategic EU foreign and security policy, based on common values and deployed in the shared European interest;

9.      Takes the view that the Council and the Commission, with the active cooperation of the Member States, need to ensure the coherence and consistency of:

   internal and external policies pursued by the EU, including the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and the policies relating to neighbourhood, trade, development, humanitarian aid, justice and home affairs, energy, the environment, migration, etc,

   policies pursued by the EU and by its Member States;

10.    Welcomes, in this connection, the organisation of the new Commission in clusters, since this enables the HR/VP to coordinate all relevant Commission policies with an external dimension; supports the HR/VP in her efforts to fully assume her role as Vice-President of the Commission; encourages the HR/VP at the same time to use her role as Chair of the Foreign Affairs Council to bring initiatives into the Council that advance common proactive policies beyond the lowest common denominator, using the whole toolbox of the CFSP and the EU’s external policies;

11.    Reiterates that the internal structures of the EEAS need to be reformed so as to enable it to assist the HR/VP in all her roles and enable her to advance strategic planning and coordinate political processes within the Council and Commission; insists on the need to rationalise the EEAS’s top management structure and to speed up and streamline its decision-making processes; reiterates its call for closer integration of the EU Special Representatives into the EEAS, including by transferring their budget from the CFSP operational budget to the EEAS budget; urges, in this respect, a political and cost-effective evaluation of the role played by these Special Representatives;

12.    Reiterates its call for enhanced cooperation and coordination between the different EU-level monitoring and crisis response capacities; urges, in addition, rationalisation of the existing structures to reduce unnecessary duplications, including by merging overlapping capacities; takes the view that the monitoring centres must be adequately resourced and that the linguistic profiles of their staff should be brought into line with the languages spoken in the most relevant crisis areas, in particular Russian and Arabic; calls for enhanced cooperation and information-sharing between the EU-level monitoring centres and the corresponding services in the Member States;

13.    Calls for the modernisation of the EU delegations network so as to reflect the needs of EU foreign policy in the 21st century, including by adapting staff numbers and expertise; considers, for example, that all delegations located in conflict areas, particularly in countries where a CSDP mission is in place, should include an expert on security and defence matters; asks the HR/VP to strengthen the authority of the head of delegation over all staff, irrespective of their institutional origin, and to simplify the administrative budgets of delegations towards a single funding source; demands that the reporting lines be clarified; regrets that the potential for synergies and economies of scale afforded by the strengthening of cooperation between Member State embassies and EU delegations has yet to be fully exploited; insists that the fair balance between staff seconded from Member States and EU officials laid down in the Council Decision of 26 July 2010 establishing the EEAS should be respected on all levels;

14.    Is concerned at the lack of flexibility within the EU’s financial rules, which often leads to delays in operational disbursement of EU funds and places additional obstacles in the way of the EU’s ability to respond to crises; stresses the need for faster disbursement of financial means, while underlining the need for effective control in order to avoid fraud and misappropriations; asks the Commission to come up in 2015 with a proposal for reform of the relevant legislation, including by allowing the fast-track procedure, currently available for humanitarian assistance, to be used for crisis management while ensuring that spending in reaction to crises is coherent with EU long-term strategic goals; is deeply concerned at the shortage in payments regarding the two major EU budgetary sources for crisis management and conflict prevention, namely the CFSP budget and the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP); is convinced that the current security environment in the east and south of Europe requires synergy effects and additional resources rather than substantial cuts;

15.    Points out that the visibility of the EU’s actions needs to be increased at the level of strategic planning and multilateral fora, as well as at operational level through CSDP missions and all other missions with an external facet;

16.    Recalls that the EU has the obligation under Article 21 of the Treaty on European Union to ensure that its external action is designed and implemented in order to consolidate and support democracy, the rule of law, human rights and the principles of international law, and that this is a joint responsibility of the EU and its Member States; calls on the HR/VP to report regularly on Article 21 compliance and to explore means to improve external policy coherence, notably in relation to human rights and international law; emphasises that the monitoring of external policies regarding Article 21 compliance must be carried out in a more harmonised and stricter way; underlines the need to hold partners to the commitments they have made on human rights in agreements with the EU, and stresses the need to use the human rights conditionality clauses in these agreements when necessary;

17.    Notes the increased demand for international assistance in democracy support and election observation; recognises this as an area in which the EU can play an effective role in supporting democratic processes; calls, therefore, for consistent follow-up on the implementation of the country-specific recommendations and requests for capacity-building support for political parties;

18.    Underlines the vital importance of collective defence guaranteed by NATO for its members; urges the Member States, as a matter of urgency, to step up their ability to contribute to territorial defence, commit more resources and take the Pooling and Sharing methodology seriously by cooperating more closely to build synergies; stresses that all the Member States must enjoy the same level of security, in line with Article 42(7) TEU; stresses that a credible EU foreign policy needs to be underpinned by adequate defence capabilities in the Member States and an effective Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP); takes the view that the CSDP is an important component of European defence and security and contributes to it in many ways, including by promoting the creation of a European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB), by fostering cooperation concerning the development of defence capabilities, and by directly intervening in crisis areas through its civilian missions and military operations; stresses, therefore, that the CSDP should be deepened further in cooperation with NATO; reiterates that the EU is a partner of NATO and that the strategies of both organisations should be complementary; underlines the important role of security and defence cooperation between the EU and partners such as the UN, NATO, the African Union and the OSCE; welcomes the HR/VP’s commitment to actively engage on defence matters, including by chairing meetings of the Foreign Affairs Council in the Defence Ministers configuration;

19.    Emphasises that the potential of several clauses of the Lisbon Treaty, such as Article 44 TEU (entrusting of CSDP missions to a small group of Member States), Article 41 TEU (on the startup fund), Article 46 TEU (on permanent enhanced cooperation), Article 42 TEU (the solidarity clause), and Article 222 TFEU (on the mutual defence clause), has yet to be exploited; calls on the HR/VP to actively promote these instruments and their implementation, and encourages the Member States to make use of them;

20.    Welcomes the holding of a meeting of the European Council on Defence in December 2013, and calls for the implementation of the decisions taken; looks forward to the forthcoming debate in June 2015; calls for ambitious decisions to be taken at this summit, in particular:

–   launching – on the basis of the review of the EU’s strategic framework – a process of strategic reflection on objectives and priorities in the field of security and defence, setting out the required capabilities and options for deepening defence cooperation in order to be able to respond better to the threats facing the countries of the EU;

–   strengthening the European Defence Agency by providing it with the necessary resources and political impetus, so that it can play its full role in coordinating and stimulating armaments cooperation;

–   reviewing the Athena financing mechanism with a view to further increasing common financing in the field of CSDP military operations, so as to prevent financial considerations from compromising the EU’s ability to respond to crises and to encourage Member States to speedily generate forces for CSDP operations and ensure fairer burden-sharing;

–   strengthening the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base, inter alia by coordinating defence budgets, harmonising requirements, reducing inefficiencies and creating synergies;

–   addressing existing problems in the areas of the planning and conduct of military operations, including by establishing a permanent military operational headquarters in close cooperation with the already existing Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability (CPCC);

  increasing the EU Battlegroups’ effectiveness and usability, inter alia by introducing a modular approach, extending common financing through the Athena mechanism, and deploying the Battlegroups in future crisis management scenarios whenever appropriate;

21.    Takes the view that recent terrorist attacks in EU countries demonstrate that it is increasingly difficult to separate internal from external security, and calls on the Member States and the EU institutions to better connect their efforts in these spheres; calls on the Member States to step up the sharing of security-related intelligence, making use of the existing coordination facilities at European level; calls for cooperation on counter-terrorism matters to be reinforced in the EU’s relations with countries in the Middle East and North Africa, including through training and capacity- building in the security sector, information sharing and exchange of best practices; calls on the EU and its Member States to make all efforts to strengthen international cooperation in order to prevent and combat terrorism, and underlines the important role that the UN must play in this endeavour;

22.    Calls for the industrial and technological resources needed to improve cybersecurity to be developed, including by promoting a single market for cybersecurity products; emphasises the need to mainstream cyber defence into external action and the CFSP, and calls for closer coordination on cyber defence with NATO with a view to establishing cyber deterrence in order to effectively face and prevent attacks launched through cyberspace; urges the EU Member States, the EEAS and the Commission to focus on how to strengthen the resilience of relevant infrastructure; welcomes the EU’s Cyber Security Strategy; underlines the need to significantly increase the cyber defence capabilities of Member States; urges the European Defence Agency to strengthen coordination on cyber defence among Member States and calls on the Member States to provide the EDA with the means to achieve this goal; calls on the Commission to update the dual-use regulation in order to avoid the export of systems to those who seek to undermine the EU’s security and critical infrastructure and prevent the export of mass surveillance technology to authoritarian regimes; recalls the importance of maintaining the balance between the safeguarding of digital freedoms and security;

23.    Calls for a renewed and coherent EU migration policy; insists on the need to address the root causes of irregular migration, by strengthening cooperation with countries of transit and origin of migration flows using all policy and assistance instruments, including development and trade policies, humanitarian aid, conflict prevention and crisis management, in combination with the need to strengthen routes of legal migration; reiterates its call for humanitarian support to be stepped up to countries which host refugees and to strengthen the Regional Protection Programmes run in collaboration with UNHCR close to regions of origin; stresses that migration management issues should be mainstreamed into EU external action and should be a high priority in EU cooperation with neighbours in the east and south; emphasises that the loss of life at the EU’s borders has to be avoided;

24.    Points out that energy is increasingly being used as a foreign policy tool, and recalls that energy cooperation lies at the foundation of European integration; emphasises the importance of building a European Energy Union aiming to increase coherence and coordination between foreign policy and energy policy; stresses that energy security should be part of the comprehensive approach to the EU’s external action, and believes that energy policy must be in line with the Union’s other priority policies, including its security, foreign and neighbourhood, trade, and development policies, as well as its policies in defence of human rights; in this regard, underlines the need to significantly reduce dependence on Russia and find alternative sources of energy; calls on the HR/VP and the Commission to monitor and address the control of infrastructures by non-EU entities, notably by state-owned companies, national banks or sovereign funds from third countries, penetrating the EU energy market or hampering diversification, including in the nuclear sector; stresses that non-EU energy companies must also be subject to the competition rules applicable to the EU energy market;

25.    Welcomes the establishment of the post of Vice-President for the Energy Union and the Commission’s communication on a European Energy Security Strategy; calls on the Commission and the Member States to intensify cooperation in order to implement short- and long-term actions listed in this strategy; insists on the need to strengthen the coherence between EU foreign policy and other policies with an external dimension, such as energy policy, and expects the Commission’s new cluster-based structure to deliver results in this regard; urges further steps to bring energy security goals into line with other objectives pursued by the EU; calls on the HR/VP to develop strategic priorities for the external energy policy enshrined in the general foreign policy objectives and to make more systematic use of foreign policy tools in the areas of energy security;

26.    Takes the view that a solidarity mechanism should be put in place in order to deal with possible energy disruptions; believes that an interconnected energy infrastructure should be further developed and that all parts of the EU territory should be integrated into an EU-wide energy grid; emphasises that efforts to diversify the EU’s energy supply should be accelerated in order to strengthen the energy independence of the EU; takes the view that the development of renewables and of energy efficiency will strongly benefit the credibility of EU external action; recalls that a well-functioning internal energy market is essential and that it is in the general interest of the EU to ensure that international energy markets are stable, transparent, and based on international rules; calls on the Commission to bring forward a proposal for a comprehensive strategy to strengthen supply security for resources other than energy resources;

27.    Welcomes HR/VP Federica Mogherini’s cooperative attitude towards Parliament, aimed at strengthening her accountability to the institution; reiterates the need for systematic and proactive consultation with Parliament, and in particular with its Committee on Foreign Affairs, prior to the adoption of foreign policy strategies and CSDP mandates; asks the Council to finalise negotiations with Parliament on replacing the 2002 Interinstitutional Agreement concerning access by the European Parliament to sensitive information of the Council in the field of security and defence policy; is committed to intensifying cooperation with national parliaments, including within the Inter-Parliamentary Conference for the CFSP and the CSDP and COSAC, in order to be better prepared to control the respective resources;

Preserving and strengthening the European political and legal order

28.    Underlines the need to consolidate the EU and to strengthen its integration capacity, which is one of the Copenhagen criteria; reiterates the enlargement perspective for all candidate countries and other potential candidates under the Thessaloniki Declaration of 2003, based on fulfilment of the Copenhagen criteria, and supports the continuation of the enlargement negotiations; supports, in this connection, the Commission’s approach, which consists in addressing fundamental reforms in the area of the rule of law, public administration and economic governance early in the enlargement process; reiterates that each country will be judged by its own merits and believes that in instances where the EU deems a candidate country´s level of alignment with the EU acquis satisfactory, accession negotiations should be opened or continued, as this is crucial for preserving the credibility of the EU as a whole; underlines the importance of cooperation with the candidate countries in the field of external policy and highlights the significance of their alignment with the CSFP;

29.    Takes the view that an overarching political strategy is needed aimed at restoring the European political order under international law, laid down in the Helsinki Final Act of 1975 and binding all European states, including Russia; insists that this order is based on respect for human rights, minority rights and fundamental freedoms, the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of states, and the peaceful resolution of conflicts; sees the development of a constructive dialogue with Russia and other states in the EU’s neighbourhood on cooperation to strengthen this order as an important basis for peace and stability in Europe, provided Russia respects international law and fulfils its commitments regarding Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, including withdrawal from Crimea;

30.    Takes the view that a new approach to the EU’s relations with its eastern neighbours is needed, based on merits, differentiation and the ‘more for more’ principle; believes that supporting those countries that want to draw closer to the EU must be a top priority for EU foreign policy and that an important response for containing Russia’s ambitions in its neighbourhood is to invest in the independence, sovereignty, economic development and further democratisation of these countries; is committed to the European perspective for the EU’s eastern European neighbours and recalls that pursuant to Article 49 TEU they - like any other European state - may apply to become members of the European Union, provided they adhere to the Copenhagen criteria and the principles of democracy, respect fundamental freedoms and human and minority rights, and ensure the rule of law;

31.    Welcomes the signature, the ratification by the European Parliament and the national parliaments of the countries concerned, and the provisional implementation of Association Agreements including Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements with Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, which is a key step in their convergence with the EU; takes the view that the association process should be used by the countries concerned to modernise democratic governance, strengthen the rule of law, reform public administration and undertake economic and structural reforms as a major step in their political, economic, social and environmental convergence with the EU; urges a substantial increase in EU political, financial and technical assistance to support these reforms; insists, however, on strict conditionality and the need to guarantee accountability for resources spent and to achieve significant success in reducing corruption; welcomes the conduct and results of the parliamentary elections held in Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova in October and December 2014 respectively in line with international democratic standards;

32.    Calls for a close engagement with those eastern European neighbours which have not yet concluded Association Agreements with the EU or wish to deepen and strengthen relations in different frameworks, including by promoting bilateral cooperation in areas of mutual interest; recalls, however, that EU assistance can only be effective if there is sufficient ownership of and respect for European values on the part of the partner countries, who have to respect their obligations under international law;

33.    Urges Russia to honour its commitments and legal obligations, including those enshrined in the UN Charter, the Charter of Paris, the OSCE Helsinki Final Act, the Budapest Memorandum and the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Russia and Ukraine; strongly condemns the fact that Russia has broken international law through its direct military aggression and hybrid war against Ukraine, which has resulted in thousands of military and civilian casualties as well as the illegal annexation and occupation of Crimea and actions of similar nature vis-à-vis Abkhazia and South Ossetia, territories of Georgia; highlights the alarming deterioration in respect for human rights, freedom of speech and media freedom in Crimea; urges Russia to de-escalate and to withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory and to re-establish the pre-annexation status quo; welcomes the efforts to reach a comprehensive agreement in Minsk on 12th February 2015, and calls for the immediate and full implementation of the agreement; rejects as illegitimate the presidential and parliamentary elections held in Donetsk and Luhansk on 2 November 2014;

34.    Supports the sanctions adopted by the EU in reaction to the Russian aggression against Ukraine, and stresses that these are scalable and reversible, depending especially on the fulfilment of the Minsk agreements, but could also be strengthened should Russia continue to fail to meet its international obligations; calls on the Commission to watch over their uniform implementation;

35.    Emphasises the need for the EU and its Member States to show solidarity and speak with one voice vis-à-vis Russia; invites candidate countries to align their foreign policy toward Russia with that of the EU; calls on the HR/VP to develop, as a matter of priority, a common EU strategy on Russia, aimed at securing a commitment from Russia on peace and stability in Europe including unconditional respect for its neighbours’ sovereignty and territorial integrity; believes that a good relationship between Russia and the EU, based on respect for international law and other international obligations, would be in the common interest, and hopes that Russia will show itself open to such a development by respecting international law;

36.    Emphasises the need for a coherent European approach towards the misinformation campaigns and propaganda activities pursued by Russia both inside and outside the EU; urges the EEAS and the Commission to present an action plan with concrete measures to counter the Russian propaganda; calls for cooperation with the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence on this matter;

Supporting security and stabilisation in the southern neighbourhood

37.    Insists on the need to substantially revise the EU´s policy towards its southern neighbourhood, which should be characterised by adequate budgetary resources and the development and implementation of a comprehensive strategy focusing the EU’s instruments and resources on support for the building of functioning and inclusive states capable of delivering security for their citizens, promoting democracy, confronting religious extremism, respecting human rights, protecting religious and ethnic minorities and enhancing the rule of law, as a key precondition for investment and economic development; points to the unused potential of cross-border trade within the region; insists on close cooperation with the authorities of the countries concerned on managing migration flows while respecting human rights and international law;

38.    Emphasises that when providing aid and support the EU has to enforce conditionalities, as aid programmes and support for civil society can only be sustained if clear conditions are set at the highest political level;

39.    Insists that the revised approach of the EU towards its southern neighbours should be based on differentiation and the ‘more for more’ principle, under which additional EU support should be granted to partner governments which are committed to and make tangible progress towards democratisation and respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights, as is the case with Tunisia, Jordan and Morocco;

40.    Regrets the recent deterioration in relations between the EU and Turkey, and calls for renewed efforts to foster a stronger partnership in order to address shared security and humanitarian challenges in the southern Mediterranean; further urges Turkey to work on reforms that will fully comply with human rights standards, including freedom of the press, democracy, equality, and the rule of law;

41.    Urges the EU leadership to develop, in close coordination with the US and involving major powers (e.g. Russia and China), a strategy encouraging regional actors (including Turkey, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, the Gulf Cooperation Council governments, Iran, the Arab League and Kurdish forces) to unite in order to put an end to proxy wars and halt financial support for fundamentalists, and to develop a solution for peace and stability in the region, particularly with a view to ending the war in Syria and Iraq; emphasises the need to preserve the territorial integrity and national unity of Libya, and urges the HR/VP to provide impetus for a stronger engagement of regional actors on mediation and conflict resolution, in close coordination with the UN; welcomes the ongoing negotiations of E3+3 with Iran, and hopes that they will lead to a mutually acceptable agreement, ensuring the exclusively peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear programme and offering the long-term prospect of Iran’s full reintegration into the international community; supports the engagement of the HR/VP and all parties involved in the Middle East peace process in finding a comprehensive, constructive, and sustainable solution to the Middle East conflict that is viable for both sides; stresses that the lack of progress towards a negotiated two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 borders is leading only to further violence and bloodshed;

42.    Welcomes the statement by the HR/VP concerning the opening of an office in Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan, and urges the HR/VP and EEAS to open such an office as soon as possible; emphasises that this would enable the EU to gather information on the ground, improve its engagement with local actors, ensure the better assessment and coordination of humanitarian and military responses, and improve the EU’s visibility in the region;

43.    Calls for the appointment of a special adviser to assess the merits of opening a permanent EU diplomatic representation in Iran;

44.    Takes the view that the criminal activities and barbaric violence by terrorist jihadists groups engaged in and associated with the so-called Islamic State (IS) represent a major threat to the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, to Europe, and potentially to global peace and stability; supports the global coalition against IS and its efforts to combat IS militarily; welcomes the contributions of EU Member States in this context and encourages closer and efficient global cooperation and dialogue in order to reach a common threat assessment; urges the stepping-up of resolute global regulatory pressure to deprive jihadists of oil revenues and to apply strict global sanctions against financial transactions in their favour; points out in this connection that jihadist groups are also receiving funding from some Arab countries and that the EU should ask those countries to show greater consistency; points to the urgent need to counter jihadist groups’ use of the internet for recruitment and propaganda; insist on the need to step up international as well as intra-EU cooperation, focused on preventing extremists from travelling to Syria and Iraq to join the jihadist fight, including investment in national radicalisation prevention and de-radicalisation programmes in Member States; calls on the Member States to enact ways to bring those returning European fighters to justice, within the remit of their domestic criminal law systems; recalls the need for closer cooperation and coordination between Turkey and the EU;

45.    Urges the countries of the region to remain committed to the war on terrorism and to refrain from actions that may cause tension, friction or crisis between them or create additional problems for the struggle of the international community against IS;

46.    Condemns the brutal violence used by the Assad regime against Syrian citizens, and calls for the stepping-up of pressure to bring about a genuine political transition in Syria, including by increasing support to the moderate Syrian opposition;

47.    Highlights the fact that in many fields the Union’s external policy toward its southern neighbourhood must also make the link with Africa; considers that Africa, in particular the Sahel-Sahara region, is under a strategic threat, and calls for an adequate EU response to this threat, including measures in the areas of economic development, democracy, the rule of law, education and security; notes the steady increase in the criminal activity of the terrorists of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) and Boko Haram; stresses that the recommendations of the European Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel need to be implemented, and calls on the Commission to conduct an evaluation of the strategy;

48.    Emphasises the importance of Jordan and Lebanon as stable partners in the Middle East; recalls that these two countries are facing an increasing wave of refugees which poses huge socio-economic challenges; commends the continued assistance of neighbouring countries to refugees from Iraq and Syria; urges the EU leadership to initiate a global effort, including on the part of regional powers, to massively increase humanitarian assistance for civilians affected by the conflict in Syria and Iraq and IS violence, in particular with a view to supporting refugees and providing direct financial support to all countries in the region which host refugees in order to foster social integration and avoid marginalisation;

49.    Urges the EU to ensure that counter-terrorism cooperation with third countries goes hand in hand with respect for the rule of law and universal human rights;

Strengthening a cooperative, rule-based global order

50.    Believes that the US is the EU’s key strategic partner, and encourages closer coordination, on an equal footing, with the US on EU foreign policy in support of international law and pursuing common approaches to challenges in the EU neighbourhood and at global level; underlines the strategic nature of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which has the potential to enable the transatlantic partners to set global standards on labour, health, the environment and intellectual property and strengthen global governance; believes that Latin America is an important partner for the EU and that various modalities of triangular transatlantic cooperation should be developed;

51.    Underlines the need to engage in strategic cooperation and partnership with various countries, with a clear agenda, and to review current strategic partnerships in light of the impact of their policies;

52.    Welcomes the conclusions of the NATO summit held in Wales in September 2014, and calls for their implementation; believes that EU-NATO cooperation should be strengthened and closer planning and coordination undertaken between NATO’s smart defence and the EU’s pooling and sharing, in order to avoid duplication and make best use of the scarce resources available; reiterates the need to respect the security policies of those EU Member States which are not NATO members;

53.    Underlines the need for an EU strategy, in coordination with the US, on how to share with Russia, China, India and other major powers the responsibility for the peace and stability of the global political and economic order; points out the importance of enhancing relations with pivotal states in Asia as well as regional organisations such as ASEAN in the context of this strategy;

54.    Calls on the HR/VP to strengthen the EU’s foreign policy towards Asia, especially China and India; urges the HR/VP to ensure that bilateral summits with China and India are held on a yearly basis and yield tangible results;

55.    Stresses that peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific Region, and in the East and South China Sea in particular, are of substantial importance to the EU; urges all parties concerned in the region to solve differences in a peaceful way, in line with international law, and to cooperate with each other to exploit natural and marine resources; advocates developing and advancing European policies on the basis of supporting active conflict prevention and peaceful conflict resolution strategies; takes the view that the EU has a substantial interest in East Asia’s continued growth and prosperity; underlines the need to strengthen the EU’s economic partnership with Asia-Pacific countries in an inclusive manner so as to maintain sustainable peace, stability and prosperity; welcomes the encouraging improvements in cross-Strait relations over the past six years and calls upon all parties to take further measures to facilitate their peaceful development;

56.    Calls on the HR/VP and the EU Member States to give negotiated nuclear disarmament and arms control policy a new and strong impetus; welcomes the forthcoming UN review of the Non-Proliferation Treaty as a major step towards international peace and security, and urges the Member States to take a coordinated and proactive position in the negotiations; welcomes the entry into force of the Arms Trade Treaty and calls for its effective and full implementation; calls for the creation of an EU authority for arms trade to assist Member States in the interpretation of, and ensure consistent and strict compliance with, the norms established by the EU’s Common Position on arms exports; stresses the need for better ex post checks on the use of exported weapons;

57.    Declares that the EU, which has in the past been successful in fighting the death penalty in specific cases, should take a more decisive stand; calls for the institutions and the Member States to maintain and step up their commitment to this cause and their political will, in order to see the death penalty finally abolished worldwide;

58.    Reasserts the need for a reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), for it to better reflect today´s global realities; urges the HR/VP to make this a priority and to kick off a Europe-wide debate on the reform of the UNSC; stresses, in this respect, that the EU should become a full member of the UN;

59.    Reiterates the need for the EU to play a leading role in promoting the universal signature and ratification of the Rome Statute and to further strengthen and support the International Criminal Court;

60.    Calls for the development of a coherent climate security strategy at EU level that addresses the strategic and political consequences of climate change, allowing the EU to respond to and prepare for climate-induced geopolitical instability and paying particular attention to cooperation with developing countries and countries most afflicted by the impacts of climate change; acknowledges the importance of the upcoming Paris Summit on climate change; calls on the EEAS to prioritise diplomacy on climate change goals in order to build support for a strong and comprehensive agreement; calls for a debate on a forward-looking strategy to address migration occurring as a result of climate change;

61.    Calls for the EU and its Member States to contribute positively and in a coordinated manner to the conception of the Post-2015 Development Agenda, and points to the important role of the HR/VP in ensuring EU leadership in the negotiations; stresses that the new framework should address the structural causes of poverty, inequality and violence by strengthening effective, inclusive and democratic institutions, good governance and the rule of law;

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62.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the Commission, the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Secretary-General of NATO, the President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the Chairperson-in-Office of the OSCE, the President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, and the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.


MINORITY OPINION (25.2.2015)

pursuant to Rule 56(3) of the Rules of Procedure

Sabine Lösing and Javier Couso

The report insists that political, economic, financial and defence resources of EU and Member States must be combined in order to maximise EU’s geostrategic influence and unleash its full potential as a global player. It promotes the subordination of all strategic policy areas under CFSP/CSDP and demands increased resources for defence and military. The report advocates further militarisation of the EU, stronger EU-NATO cooperation, supports the merge of internal and external security.

We object to the report since it:

•   It does not reflect EU’s negative and escalating role regarding the current conflicts in the southern and eastern EU- neighbourhood.

•   Speaks of peaceful conflict solution but focuses at the same time on boosting permanent structured cooperation, deepening defence cooperation, the use of battle-groups, further military cooperation and integration via European Defence Agency (EDA) and EU-Operational Headquarter (OHQ).

•   Supports and promotes the extension of ATHENA mechanism beyond parliamentary control and opts for military funding from EU-Budget (start-up-funds).

•   Strengthens the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB) and the Military Industrial Complex (MIC).

•   Promotes TTIP and its geopolitical character.

We demand:

-    Complete (including nuclear) disarmament on EU and global levels;

-    No military funding from EU-budget;

-    All activities strictly within UN Charter, International Law;

-    Civilian EU, strict civil peaceful approaches to conflict solutions, separation of civil and military actions;

-    Strict separation of EU from NATO.


OPINION of the Committee on Budgets (22.1.2015)

for the Committee on Foreign Affairs

on the annual report from the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to the European Parliament

(2014/2219(INI))

Rapporteur: Indrek Tarand

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Budgets calls on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Notes that CFSP budgetary appropriations in 2013 amounted to EUR 396 million in commitments and EUR 316 million in payments, with respective increases of 9.5 % and 4.6 % compared to 2012; notes, however, that CFSP expenditure remains at 4 % of commitments and 4.9 % of payments for the whole of Heading 4 in 2013;

2.  Underlines the negative consequences of the generalised payments shortfalls of the EU budget for the CFSP, especially for civilian missions and the Instrument for Stability; highlights, furthermore, the fact that the lack of payments is also affecting other external financing instruments, including humanitarian aid, thus seriously undermining their implementation;

3.  Recalls that the Lisbon Treaty has provided for new instruments for raising CFSP funds, notably Permanent Structured Cooperation (Article 46 TEU) and the start-up fund for the initial phase of missions, which cannot be financed otherwise (Article 41 TEU); regrets that such tools have never been used;

4.  Stresses the importance of improving the fast response capability of EU battle groups by increasing the proportion of common costs within the Athena mechanism, thereby balancing burden sharing among participating states; notices that the ‘costs lie where they fall’ criterion impedes the fast implementation of CFSP military missions, since Member States are extremely reluctant to take the lead in operations under such conditions;

5.  Reiterates the importance of transparent information on costs for CFSP missions; stresses that Athena does not provide a full overview of military expenses; welcomes the idea of reviewing the Athena financing mechanism, as proposed in the European Council’s conclusions of December 2013, with a view to rendering it more transparent and efficient;

6.  Recalls the need to foster synergies between Member States in order to raise cost efficiency and, thus, the added value of EU action; stresses the importance of pooling and sharing capabilities such as transportation, cyber defence, medical support and training; recalls that this could save billions of euros annually, as 80 % of defence expenditure is still made at national level only;

7.  Insists that more flexibility is needed in managing the EU’s financial rules in order to enable faster and more efficient response by the Union to crises, as well as with a view to the efficient and timely conduct of the CSDP missions such as those in Libya, Mali, Ukraine, Georgia and Kosovo; welcomes, in this context, the transfer of ‘common administrative costs’ relating to Commission delegation staff from Section III (Commission) to Section X (EEAS) in the 2015 budget, the aim being simplification of the management of the EU delegations;

8.  Stresses the need for better organisation and rationalisation of the senior EEAS management and for streamlining the work of the EU delegations network; calls for further improvements in coordination between EU delegations and diplomatic representations of Member States;

9.  Insists on adoption of the transfer of the budget lines for European Union Special Representatives from Section III (Commission) to Section X (EEAS) in the 2016 budget procedure, in accordance with the proposal made by the High Representative and supported by Parliament.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

20.1.2015

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

27

2

3

Members present for the final vote

Jean Arthuis, Reimer Böge, Lefteris Christoforou, Jean-Paul Denanot, José Manuel Fernandes, Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Jens Geier, Ingeborg Gräßle, Monika Hohlmeier, Bernd Kölmel, Zbigniew Kuźmiuk, Vladimír Maňka, Ernest Maragall, Clare Moody, Siegfried Mureșan, Victor Negrescu, Liadh Ní Riada, Pina Picierno, Patricija Šulin, Paul Tang, Indrek Tarand, Isabelle Thomas, Marco Valli, Monika Vana, Daniele Viotti, Marco Zanni

Substitutes present for the final vote

Tamás Deutsch, Anneli Jäätteenmäki, Georgios Kyrtsos, Andrey Novakov, Andrej Plenković, Ivan Štefanec


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

24.2.2015

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

47

8

6

Members present for the final vote

Lars Adaktusson, Nikos Androulakis, Petras Auštrevičius, Elmar Brok, Klaus Buchner, James Carver, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Aymeric Chauprade, Arnaud Danjean, Mark Demesmaeker, Georgios Epitideios, Knut Fleckenstein, Eugen Freund, Michael Gahler, Iveta Grigule, Richard Howitt, Sandra Kalniete, Manolis Kefalogiannis, Afzal Khan, Andrey Kovatchev, Eduard Kukan, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Arne Lietz, Barbara Lochbihler, Ulrike Lunacek, Andrejs Mamikins, Ramona Nicole Mănescu, David McAllister, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Tamás Meszerics, Francisco José Millán Mon, Javier Nart, Pier Antonio Panzeri, Demetris Papadakis, Ioan Mircea Pașcu, Vincent Peillon, Alojz Peterle, Tonino Picula, Kati Piri, Andrej Plenković, Cristian Dan Preda, Jozo Radoš, Sofia Sakorafa, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Jaromír Štětina, Charles Tannock, Eleni Theocharous, László Tőkés, Ivo Vajgl, Johannes Cornelis van Baalen, Geoffrey Van Orden, Hilde Vautmans

Substitutes present for the final vote

Angel Dzhambazki, Marek Jurek, Gabrielius Landsbergis, Jo Leinen, Javi López, Antonio López-Istúriz White, Igor Šoltes, Marie-Christine Vergiat

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