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Procedure : 2004/2172(INI)
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Document selected : A6-0062/2005

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PV 14/04/2005 - 10.5

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Thursday, 14 April 2005 - Strasbourg Final edition
Common Foreign and Security Policy (2003)

European Parliament resolution on the annual report from the Council to the European Parliament on the main aspects and basic choices of CFSP, including the financial implications for the general budget of the European Communities - 2003 (8412/2004 - 2004/2172(INI))

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, signed in Rome on 29 October 2004,

–   having regard to the European Security Strategy adopted by the European Council on 12 December 2003,

–   having regard to the 2003 Annual Report from the Council to the European Parliament on the main aspects and basic choices of CFSP, including the financial implications for the general budget of the European Communities (8412/2004),

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

–   having regard to Article 21 of the EU Treaty,

–   having regard to its resolution of 12 January 2005 on the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe(2) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 23 October 2003 on the progress achieved in the implementation of the common foreign and security policy(3) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 29 January 2004 on the relations between the European Union and the United Nations(4) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 20 November 2003 on 'Wider Europe - Neighbourhood: A New Framework for Relations with our Eastern and Southern Neighbours(5) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 10 April 2003 on the new European security and defence architecture - priorities and deficiencies(6) ,

–   having regard to its recommendation to the Council of 26 February 2004 on EU-Russia relations(7) ,

–   having regard to its resolutions of 22 April 2004 on the state of the Transatlantic Partnership on the eve of the EU-US Summit in Dublin on 25-26 June 2004(8) and of 13 January 2005 on transatlantic relations(9) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 23 October 2003 on peace and dignity in the Middle East(10) ,

–   having regard to its recommendation to the Council of 24 September 2003 on the situation in Iraq(11) ,

–   having regard to is resolution of 12 February 2004 on Afghanistan: challenges and prospects for the future(12) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 15 November 2001 on a global partnership and a common strategy for relations between the European Union and Latin America(13) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 13 January 2005 on the recent tsunami disaster in the Indian Ocean(14) ,

–   having regard to the Presidency Conclusions of the Brussels European Council of 16-17 December 2004 and in particular to its decisions on terrorism and external affairs,

–   having regard to Rule 112(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 (A6-0062/2005),

A.   whereas Parliament does not consider itself adequately consulted as provided for by Article 21 of the Treaty on European Union through the Council's current practice of simply transmitting a descriptive list of actions for the preceding year rather than consulting Parliament on the main aspects and basic choices for the following year,

B.   whereas the existing practice should therefore be discontinued and replaced by another one providing for real consultation of the Parliament as referred to above, leading to its deeper involvement,

C.   whereas the spirit and the substance of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe signed in Rome on 29 October 2004, even pending ratification, should already have important implications as regards implementation of the EU's CFSP policy for 2005 and afterwards,

D.   whereas Parliament has repeatedly expressed its views concerning the way in which the relationship with certain regions and countries should be organised and given better balance in order to enhance the global character of the external action of the Union,

E.   whereas the existing financing of CFSP and ESDP policies is totally inadequate, both in quantitative and qualitative terms and as far as its democratic accountability is concerned,

1.  Although satisfied with the manner in which the High Representative/Secretary General of the Council has indeed kept Parliament fully informed of progress regarding the main CFSP issues, emphatically rejects the a posteriori approach followed by the Council so far of merely submitting a descriptive list of CFSP activities carried out in the previous year, and considers such a practice as clearly infringing Article 21 of the Treaty on European Union and the Interinstitutional Agreement of 6 May 1999 as far as prior consultation of the European Parliament is concerned;

2.  Therefore requests the Council to discontinue the existing practice and to replace it with an a priori approach whereby Parliament is consulted at the beginning of each year on the main aspects and basic choices envisaged by the Council for that year both on global and horizontal issues, as well as on the priorities planned for the different geographical areas; further asks the Council to subsequently report on whether and, if so, how Parliament's contribution has been taken into account;

3.  Intends to contribute to efforts to increase democratic accountability as regards CFSP issues by holding regular discussions with national parliaments within the framework of the quarterly exchange of views with the High Representative/Secretary General of the Council and the Commissioner for External Relations, including discussion concerning amendments proposed by national parliaments to Parliament's Annual Report on CFSP;

4.  Invites the Council and the High Representative/Secretary General of the Council to actively participate in an annual debate on the European Security Strategy with the European Parliament and the national parliaments;

5.  Encourages both the Council and the Member States to further increase parliamentary scrutiny of the ESDP, at national level, by enhancing the role played by national parliaments in the authorisation of ESDP operations, and, at European level, by giving Parliament a major role in the scrutiny of the entire CFSP budget;

6.  Urges the Council to ensure that its policy instruments, such as sanctions policy, are implemented with greater rigour and political commitment;

Main aspects and basic choices of CFSP for 2005 in the aftermath of the signing of the Constitutional Treaty

7.  Expresses the view that the spirit (and substance) of the provisions of the new Treaty regarding CFSP should be applied as of now, as has already been done with the setting-up of the European Defence Agency, the "Battle Group" concept, the establishment of the developed EU Neighbourhood Policy, which should be far more significant than the present Neighbourhood Policy, and the application of the Solidarity Clause to counter terrorist threats or attacks; the consequences thereof should be dealt with by effectively coordinating relevant actions, including both present and future means of civil protection, as well as the mutual solidarity obligation to provide aid and assistance in the event of an armed aggression against any Member State of the European Union;

8.  Consequently asks to be informed on a par with the Council about, and more deeply involved in, any future proposal presented by the Vice-President of the Commission/EU Minister for Foreign Affairs regarding the preparation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy for 2005;

9.  Expresses the desire that the future European External Action Service should play a key role in the field of external action, assisting the EU Minister for Foreign Affairs/Vice-President of the Commission; in any event, recalls the need to preserve Parliament's competencies and to maintain the accountability of the new Service as a whole vis-à-vis Parliament, in particular as regards the integration of parts of the Commission into the new Service (DG Relex, EC Delegations, etc.); asks for a perspective of further developments in the intergovernmental elements (to be provided, in particular, by Member States), so that the future Service can follow an integrated Community model as part of the Commission whilst remaining wholeheartedly loyal to the Council in intergovernmental issues;

10.  Asks the Council to make every effort to give real substance to the Solidarity Clause for Defence provided for in the Constitutional Treaty as soon as that Treaty enters into force and a genuine and effective common foreign and security policy is in place;

11.  Considers it necessary that the Commissioner for External Relations and the High Representative for CFSP, now that the Constitutional Treaty has been signed, should apply new standards by fully informing, consulting and further involving Parliament on all CFSP and ESDP issues; stresses the need to ensure, in particular, the democratic accountability and transparency of all activities undertaken by the European Defence Agency;

12.  Welcomes the creation of the European Defence Agency and the Commission's preparatory measures on security research; considers that an appropriate amount per year should be allocated to security research in the medium-term financial plan, including the civilian aspects;

13.  Asks the Council to also regularly consult and involve Parliament on the main aspects and basic choices made on ESDP and to keep Parliament informed of the way in which it develops, in line with Article I-41, paragraph 8 of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe; such consultation should take place in the same way as requested above for CFSP;

Specific proposals on global and horizontal issues for 2005

14.  Welcomes the European Union Security Strategy adopted by the European Council on 12 December 2003; fully adheres to its civil-military holistic approach and to its crucial concepts of preventive engagement and effective multilateralism, which must also characterise both the CFSP and ESDP, and refers to the report currently being drawn up by its Committee on Foreign Affairs on the strategy; emphasises the need to develop capabilities for rapid response in the event of humanitarian disasters and catastrophes;

15.  Emphasises, in this context, as set out in the Security Strategy, the need to develop a corresponding security culture and therefore supports unreservedly the work now under way on implementing the EU training concept in the ESDP sphere; the development and setting-up of a European Security and Defence College must in future provide the institutions of the European Union and the Member States with well-trained staff who are capable of operating effectively in the ESDP sphere; to this end, the College must be organised on a viable basis and appropriately funded;

16.  Fully supports the joint efforts currently being made to implement the EU Strategy against the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, bearing in mind the revision in 2005 of the United Nations Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT Treaty) and the active role that the EU should play in this context and in the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004); refers to its previous positions on small arms and to its resolution of 22 April 2004 on the review of the Ottawa Convention on anti-personnel mines(15) ; reiterates its support for strengthening the EU Code of Conduct on arms exports with a view to making it binding and for EU advocacy in favour of an International Arms Trade Treaty;

17.  Stresses its strong belief that nuclear disarmament will contribute significantly to international security and strategic stability and reduce the risk of nuclear proliferation; calls on those Member States which have an arsenal of nuclear weapons to implement their obligations under Article 6 of the NPT Treaty; urges the Member States at the forthcoming NPT Review Conference to support the fresh initiative at international level on new nuclear dangers as proposed by Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General, and by Mohammed El Baradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, on nuclear disarmament and the revitalisation of the UN Conference on Disarmament;

18.  Shares the view of the European Council that the fight against terrorism will continue to be a priority of the EU and a key element of its external relations policy while stressing once more that this cannot be pursued at the expense of human rights and civil liberties, and proposes greater coherence and decisiveness in the Union's counter-terrorism policy vis-à-vis third countries by:

   a) enhancing the political dialogue on terrorism with third partners,
   b) strengthening cooperation with international and regional organisations (in particular with the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee and with NATO) and, in particular, restoring the authority of the UN system,
   c) implementing the 2004 EU-US Declaration on Combating Terrorism,
   d) supporting the Commission's targeted assistance strategy, already set out in programmes such as CARDS, TACIS, MEDA, etc., and from now on characterised by a collaborative approach covering the priority areas identified in UN Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001),
   e) reinforcing the use of the Rapid Civil/Military Reaction Mechanisms,
   f) strictly applying the anti-terrorist clause inserted in agreements with countries where there is evidence of terrorist threats or specific terrorist activities, such as recruitment, training or financing, or with any other country representing a potential threat to the Union; considers that attention therefore should be given to Parliament's 2002 proposal for an Interinstitutional Code of Conduct for the Union's external relations policy,
   g) making full use when necessary of specific ESDP operations,
   h) ensuring compliance with international humanitarian and human rights law in respect of all actions taken,
   i) ensuring the active contribution of the European Union to the peaceful and equitable settlement of long-standing regional issues, with due regard to decisions of the UN and its internationally recognised role, and tackling crucial social problems (poverty, social exclusion) that fuel violence and terrorism;

19.  Attaches the utmost importance to its own contribution to the fight against terrorism; therefore urges its Committees on Foreign Affairs and on Civil Liberties to find an appropriate procedure for preparing recommendations on the matter to be addressed to both the Council and the Commission; calls, in this respect, on the Council to fully inform and consult the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs on the question of the EU list of terrorist organisations; welcomes, in this regard, the positive reaction of the Luxembourg Presidency;

20.  Considers it essential that in the event of natural disasters recourse should be had to the capabilities developed by the Council and Commission in the civil/military sphere, including the civil/military planning unit and facilities such as GALILEO and GMES;

Parliament's priorities in the different geographical areas for 2005

21.  Asks the Council to take immediate steps to correct the existing imbalance in geographical terms among the CFSP acts adopted in the last ten years, so that a fairer balance between the different regions can be achieved in accordance with the global ambitions of the Union; asks the Council in particular to strike a geographical balance between the efforts made so far eastwards due to enlargement and renewed efforts towards the south of the Mediterranean; stresses, nevertheless, that it should avoid any cool gesture of diminished interest on the part of the EU for progress in the western Balkans, Ukraine and the southern Caucasus, at least;

22.  Recommends, therefore, that the necessary steps be taken by the Council to enable the EU to take advantage of the privileged relationships existing with certain geographical areas (via bi-regional, multilateral or bilateral association agreements, etc.), in order to reinforce its multilateral strength when dealing with other emerging countries and regions with which no such privileged relationships have yet been established; furthermore stresses that increased priority must not be given to the EU's neighbourhood at the expense of crucial relations and solidarity between the EU and developing countries in the world;

23.  Attaches, however, the utmost importance, first of all, to the successive enlargements of the Union as decided by the European Council on 16-17 December 2004, and second, to the development of the European Neighbourhood Policy, as the Union's highest priorities in the political agenda for 2005, including a European Economic Area for European countries; insists on the crucial importance of making every effort to achieve a solution through peace and dignity to the Middle East conflict on the basis of the Quartet Road Map and the implementation of the Strategic Partnership with the Mediterranean and the Middle East decided by the European Council in June 2004; welcomes, to that end, the recent summit at Sharm el-Sheik between Ariel Sharon and Abu Mazen; insists equally on the utmost effort being made to contribute to the resolution of other existing or foreseeable conflicts and crises, such as those in Kosovo, Chechnya, Darfur, Somalia, the Great Lakes region, Iran and North Korea (DPRK), and to the pursuit of social progress in the world in line with the UN Millennium Development Goals;

24.  Also attaches the utmost importance to the continuation and further development of the European Strategy for the western Balkans with a view to the gradual integration of the countries in the region into the European institutions, particularly in the light of the crucial decisions to be taken in the second half of 2005 on the final status of Kosovo;

25.  Is prepared to work with the Council and Commission on a long-term strategic reorganisation of Serbia and Montenegro, including Kosovo, with the objective of facilitating a common peaceful future in the European Union for all people of this region;

26.  Expects close cooperation with the Council and Commission to underpin, politically and economically, the ongoing Middle East peace process;

27.  Considers it important for the EU and the USA to have a constructive relationship and for NATO to become once again more of a forum for political debate on an equal footing, in which a sensible balance must be struck between the instruments of prevention, crisis management and military capability; considers it vital to adopt common positions (EP-US Congress) on certain global issues of common interest (the fight against terrorism, regional conflicts, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, disarmament, international law, effective multilateralism, energy cooperation, climate change, etc) and considers that, especially in 2005, the tenth anniversary of the Madrid Declaration, new impetus should be given to transatlantic relations - completion of the transatlantic market by 2015, updating of the New Transatlantic Agenda with a Transatlantic Partnership Agreement to enter into force as soon as possible and in any case within two years;

28.  Stresses the need for close cooperation between the EU and the USA in addressing global economic, political and security problems; calls for the drafting of a new transatlantic programme to structure dialogue on global issues;

29.  Urges the Council to discuss with the European Parliament the concept of "strategic partnerships" with third countries which must be based on the sharing and promotion of common values; calls, in this regard, for an overall assessment of the strategic partnerships with the Russian Federation and China;

30.  Asks both the Council and the Commission to make every effort to ensure a close relationship with Russia, reflecting our common interests and values and on the basis of full respect for human rights, the rule of law and democracy;

31.  Supports, in this regard, the proposal of the Council for joint EU/Russia crisis management of the conflicts in Transnistria and South Caucasus; points out that the war in Chechnya complicates the development of a genuine partnership and reiterates its call for a political solution of the conflict with the involvement of all the democratic components of Chechnyan society;

32.  Regrets that relations with China have made progress only in the trade and economic fields, without any substantial achievement as regards human rights and democracy issues; reiterates   its demand  for a binding EU code governing arms exports and calls, in this respect, on the Council not to lift the arms embargo and to find ways to facilitate dialogue, defuse tension and encourage disarmament in cross-strait relations, supporting Taiwan as a model of democracy for the whole of China;

33.  Expresses its deepest concern at the large number of missiles in southern China aimed across the Taiwan Straits and at the so-called "anti-secession law" of the People's Republic of China that in an unjustified way aggravates the situation across the Straits; calls on the People's Republic of China and on the R.O.C. in Taiwan to resume political talks on the basis of mutual understanding and recognition in order to promote stability, democracy, human rights and the rule of law in east Asia;

34.  Supports the efforts made by Britain, France and Germany and by the Council and the Commission to encourage Iran to become an active and benign partner in the region, showing full respect for human rights issues, and to ensure that it does not develop nuclear weapons; and emphasises that evidence of continued development of such weapons would have the most serious consequences for any relationship between the EU and Iran;

35.  Supports further consolidation of the European commitment in Afghanistan and advocates reliable and viable medium-term financing of this task; is in favour of increased efforts to rebuild the international community; in this context attaches particular importance to development of the education system, improving the position of women, girls and children, disarmament and reintegration measures and the development and implementation of economic alternatives to opium cultivation;

36.  Calls on the Council to start as soon as possible a procedure in order to adopt a CFSP common position on Iraq;

37.  Expresses, in that context, its deep concern regarding the statement of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, dated 10 February 2005, declaring its intention to suspend for an indefinite period of time its participation in the multilateral talks on its nuclear programme;

38.  Refers to its numerous resolutions and reports concerning the different geographical areas, which contain valuable contributions to the debate on the way in which the Union's policy vis-à-vis those geographical areas should evolve with a view to achieving the fair balance referred to above;

39.  Underlines once more the active role that the Union must play in its relations with third countries in promoting human rights and ensuring the fulfilment of the Millennium Development Goals, as important and integral elements of both CFSP and ESDP;

40.  Points to the concerted action taken by the EU during the recent Ukrainian elections as a good example of the way in which the different European institutions, acting in tandem with the Member States, should react and take a leading role when common European interests and values are at stake; undertakes to support further steps as far as Ukraine is concerned, since the recent developments clearly represent major challenges also for the Union;

41.  Calls on the Council, the Commission and the Member States to consider, besides the measures envisaged by the Action Plan within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy, other forms of association with Ukraine, giving a clear European perspective for the country and responding to the demonstrated aspirations of the vast majority of the Ukrainian people, possibly leading ultimately to the country's accession to the EU;

Parliament's view on the Union's role in certain multilateral organisations

42.  Pending the entry into force of the new Constitutional Treaty, which expressly confers legal personality on the Union, recommends that the necessary steps be taken in order to increase the representation of the Union as a whole in the different international multilateral organisations, including in particular the United Nations, the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Council of Europe and all other relevant fora; calls on the Council and the Commission to involve Members of the European Parliament, where appropriate, in achieving this aim; emphasises in particular the need to enhance EU relations with the OSCE and the Council of Europe as well as with the United Nations; asks that Parliament be assigned a role in line with the high level of parliamentary diplomacy with which it contributes to the development of CFSP;

43.  Expresses the view that the Union as a whole should, in particular, play a major role within the United Nations system, that the EU should in the future be guaranteed a seat in the UN's Security Council, as the most genuine expression of a true and effective common foreign policy, and that the Union should support United Nations reform alongside the proposals included in the report from the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change;

44.  Welcomes the historic decision of the UN Security Council to refer the crimes committed in Darfur to the Prosecutor of the ICC on the initiative of certain EU Member States; takes the view that this is a decisive step toward bringing impartial justice to victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity; regrets nevertheless the exemption granted to nationals from states that are not party to the Rome Statute from the jurisdiction of the ICC and calls on the Council to continue its firm support for the ICC;

Parliament's view on the financing of CFSP for 2005

45.  Reiterates that responding to the five main threats to European security, as set out in the European Security Strategy (terrorism, WMD proliferation, regional conflicts, State failure, organised crime), will require long-term external commitment using all available instruments, including a serious investment in security research and conflict prevention, involving the identification of concrete, sustained budgetary compromises to be explicitly made in the future Financial Perspectives for 2007-2013;

46.  Insists it is no longer possible to distinguish between the financing of civil or military expenses in the context, in particular, of ESDP operations, and more specifically those undertaken solely by the Union and planned and conducted through its Civil/Military Cell;

47.  Stresses once again, therefore, that joint costs for military operations within the framework of ESDP should be funded from the Community budget (as already occurs in the civil sphere in the case of police operations) and not from a subsidiary budget or a start-up fund of the Member States, as currently provided for;

48.  To that end, recalls the new possibilities offered by the financing of future interventions by the planned "Humanitarian Battle Groups" in cases of natural disasters in which a mixture of military and civil means of assistance are necessary, as was recently the case with the tsunami disaster in South Asia; calls, in this regard, on the Council and the Commission to draw up a new proposal which also takes into account the proposal of the European Parliament for a European Civil Peace Corps and the setting-up of a European Voluntary Aid Corps as provided for in Article III-321 of the Constitution;

49.  Asks the Council to consider, in the event of any future ESDP operation in the fight against terrorism, and in opposition to existing rules such as the principle that "costs lie where they fall" or any other ad hoc arrangements such as the so-called "ATHENA mechanism", the possibility of funding the joint cost of such operations from the Community budget;

o   o

50.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the parliaments of the Member States, the Secretary-General of the UN, the Secretary General of NATO and the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

(1) OJ C 172, 18.6.1999, p. 1.
(2) P6_TA(2005)0004.
(3) OJ C 82 E, 1.4.2004, p. 599.
(4) OJ C 96 E, 21.4.2004, p. 79.
(5) OJ C 87 E, 7.4.2004, p. 506.
(6) OJ C 64 E, 12.3.2004, p. 599.
(7) OJ C 98 E, 23.4.2004, p. 182.
(8) OJ C 104 E, 30.4.2004, p. 1043.
(9) Texts Adopted of that date, P6_TA(2005)0007.
(10) OJ C 82 E, 1.4.2004, p. 610.
(11) OJ C 77 E, 26.3.2004, p. 226.
(12) OJ C 97 E, 22.4.2004, p. 647.
(13) OJ C 140 E, 13.6.2002, p. 569.
(14) P6_TA(2005)0006.
(15) OJC 104 E, 30.4.2004, p. 1075.

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