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Procedure : 2012/2138(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0357/2012

Texts tabled :

A7-0357/2012

Debates :

PV 21/11/2012 - 13

Votes :

PV 22/11/2012 - 13.10
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2012)0455

Texts adopted
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Thursday, 22 November 2012 - Strasbourg Final edition
Implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy
P7_TA(2012)0455A7-0357/2012

European Parliament resolution of 22 November 2012 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) (12562/2011 – 2012/2138(INI))

The European Parliament ,

–  having regard to the Annual Report from the Council to the European Parliament on the Common Foreign and Security Policy, in particular the part concerning the European Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) (12562/2011),

–  having regard to the report of the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) to the Council of 23 July 2012 on the CSDP,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 23 July 2012 on the CSDP,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 1 December 2011 on the CSDP,

–  having regard to the Ghent Initiative on military capabilities launched at the informal meeting of EU defence ministers in September 2010,

–  having regard to Articles 2, 3, 24 and 36 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU),

–  having regard to paragraph 43 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management(1) ;

–  having regard to Title V TEU and to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the EU Strategy against the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, as endorsed by the Council on 9 December 2003,

–   having regard to the Charter of the United Nations,

–  having regard to the European Security Strategy entitled ‘A Secure Europe in a Better World’, adopted by the European Council on 12 December 2003, and to the report on its implementation entitled ’Providing Security in a Changing World’, endorsed by the European Council on 11-12 December 2008,

–  having regard to its resolution of 10 March 2010 on the implementation of the European Security Strategy and the Common Security and Defence Policy(2) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 23 November 2010 on civilian-military cooperation and the development of civilian-military capabilities(3) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 11 May 2011 on the development of the common security and defence policy following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty(4) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 December 2011 on the impact of the financial crisis on the defence sector in the EU Member States(5) ,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 15 October 2012 on the situation in Mali,

–  having regard to Rule 119(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A7-0357/2012),

A.  whereas significant changes are taking place in the geostrategic context in which the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the CSDP operate, owing in particular to the upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa (including revolutions, conflicts and/or regime change in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and Syria), the emergence on the international scene of new players with regional or even global ambitions and the reorientation of US defence policy priorities towards the Asia-Pacific area;

B.  whereas, at the same time, threats and challenges to global security are growing because of uncertainties linked to the attitudes of states and non-state actors (such as terrorist organisations) engaged in programmes which dangerously encourage proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (including nuclear weapons), the escalation of local crises in the EU’s neighbourhood with major regional implications (such as the current Syrian conflict), the vagaries of the transition process in the Arab countries and its security dimension (for instance in Libya and the Sinai Peninsula), the evolution of the Afghan-Pakistan area in the light of the prospective withdrawal of NATO troops, and increased terrorist threats in Africa, in particular in the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and Nigeria;

C.  whereas climate change is widely recognised as being an essential driver and threat multiplier for global security, peace and stability;

D.  whereas the European Union must respond to these threats and challenges by speaking with one voice, thereby ensuring consistency, by acting in a spirit of solidarity between Member States and by making use of all the means and instruments at its disposal to secure peace and security for its citizens;

E.  whereas the CSDP, which forms an integral part of the CFSP, whose aims are set out in Article 21 TEU, endows the Union with an operational capability based on civilian and military means;

F.  whereas the CSDP needs to consolidate its contribution to peace and stability in the world through its missions and operations that form part of the EU’s comprehensive approach to a country or region, including through multilateral cooperation in and with international organisations – in particular the United Nations – and regional organisations, in compliance with the UN Charter;

G.  whereas disarmament and non-proliferation are integral parts of the CSDP, which must be emphasised in the EU’s political dialogue with third countries and international institutions, and constitute an obligation for EU Member States under international conventions and agreements; whereas such a commitment is fully in keeping with the CSDP’s goal of civil and military capacity-building;

H.  whereas the Lisbon Treaty has introduced major innovations which require the CSDP to be strengthened, but whereas these are still far from being fully exploited;

I.  whereas, since 2003, the EU has launched 19 civilian missions and 7 military operations under the European Security and Defence Policy and then the CSDP, and whereas 11 civilian and 3 military operations are currently under way;

A Strategic framework for the CSDP
A new strategic framework

1.  Stresses that the EU should be a global political player on the international scene in order to promote international peace and security, to protect its interests in the world and to ensure the security of its citizens; believes that the EU should be able to assume its responsibilities when confronted with international threats, crises and conflicts, especially in its neighbourhood; underlines, in this connection, the need for the EU to be consistent in its policies and faster and more efficient in taking up the aforementioned responsibilities;

2.  Emphasises, in this connection, the need for the EU to assert its strategic autonomy through a strong and effective foreign, security and defence policy enabling it to act alone if necessary; emphasises that this strategic autonomy will remain illusory without credible civilian and military capabilities; recalls that this strategic autonomy is being built with due respect for existing alliances, notably with regard to NATO, while maintaining a strong transatlantic link, as stressed in Article 42 TEU, and duly observing and reinforcing genuine multilateralism as a guiding principle of EU international crisis management operations;

3.  Is concerned about the prospect of the strategic decline facing the EU, not only through the downward trend in defence budgets due to the global and European financial and economic crisis, but also because of the relative and progressive marginalisation of its crisis management instruments and capabilities, in particular the military ones; notes also the negative impact of Member States’ lack of commitment in this regard;

4.  Believes that the Union has an important role to play as security provider for the Member States and its citizens; is convinced that it should seek to strengthen its security and that of its neighbourhood in order not to delegate it to others; insists that the EU must be able to contribute meaningfully to peacekeeping operations around the globe;

5.  Notes that, despite the continuing validity of its assertions and analyses, the European Security Strategy, which was drawn up in 2003 and reviewed in 2008, is beginning to be overtaken by events and is no longer sufficient to understand today’s world;

6.  Calls therefore, once more, on the European Council to commission from the VP/HR a White Paper on the security and defence of the EU, which will define the EU’s strategic interests in a context of changing threats, in the light of the Member States’ security capabilities, the capacity of EU institutions to act effectively in security and defence policy, and the EU’s partnerships, in particular with its neighbours and NATO, and which will take account of the changing threats and the development of relations with our allies and partners, but also with emerging countries;

7.  Stresses the importance of such a strategic framework, which will guide the EU’s external action and formulate clear priorities for its security policy;

8.  Notes that the White Paper should be based both on the concepts introduced by the 2003 and 2008 European Security Strategies and on the new security concepts that have emerged in recent years, such as the ‘responsibility to protect’, human security and effective multilateralism;

9.  Stresses the importance of conducting, within the European Defence Agency (EDA) and in cooperation with NATO, a technical review of the military strengths and weaknesses of the EU Member States; believes that the White Paper will form the basis of the EU’s future strategic approach and provide guidance on its medium- and long-term strategic planning of both the civilian and military capabilities to be developed and acquired from a CSDP perspective;

10.  Welcomes the Council conclusions of 23 July 2012 on the CSDP and the announcement of a European Council on defence issues to be held in the course of 2013; encourages the Member States and the President of the European Council to involve Parliament in the preparation of that Council meeting;

11.  Welcomes the report of the VP/HR on the main aspects and basic choices of the CFSP, which is partly devoted to security and defence issues; insists, however, on the need for a more ambitious vision of the future of the CSDP; calls on the Member States, with the support of the VP/HR, to use this instrument – enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty – to its full potential in a context in which many crises persist, including on Europe’s doorstep, and in which US-redefined engagement is increasingly evident;

12.  Welcomes the contribution made by the Weimar initiative, which was supported by Spain and Italy, to revitalising the agenda of the CSDP, along with the impetus it has given in the three key areas, namely institutions, operations and capabilities; calls for these countries to honour the commitment they have made to continue to uphold an ambitious vision of the CSDP, and views their actions as a model to be joined and followed by all other Member States;

The CSDP at the heart of a comprehensive approach

13.  Welcomes the Council conclusions of 23 July 2012 on the CSDP and the announcement that a joint communication on the comprehensive approach would be presented by the Commission and the VP/HR; reminds both the Commission and the VP/HR to engage with Parliament in this endeavour;

14.  Emphasises that the strength of the EU as compared with other organisations lies in its unique potential to mobilise the full range of political, economic, development and humanitarian instruments to support its civilian and military crisis management, missions and operations under the roof of a single political authority – the VP/HR – and that this comprehensive approach gives it a unique and widely appreciated flexibility and efficiency;

15.  Believes, however, that the implementation of the comprehensive approach has to ensure that the Union responds to specific risks with the appropriate civilian and/or military means; insists that the comprehensive approach should rely on the CSDP as much as it does on other external action instruments;

16.  Emphasises that the CSDP, through these operations, is the EU’s main crisis management instrument, lending political credibility and visibility to the Union’s actions while also allowing political control;

Implementation of the Lisbon Treaty

17.  Recalls that the Lisbon Treaty introduced a number of significant innovations in relation to the CSDP that have yet to be implemented; considers regrettable, in this connection, the neglect by the VP/HR of past parliamentary resolutions calling for more active and coherent advances in the implementation of the new instruments introduced under the Lisbon Treaty:

   the Council may entrust a mission to a group of states in order to preserve the Union’s values and serve its interests;
   permanent structured cooperation may be established between Member States that meet higher military capability criteria and have made more binding commitments in this matter in respect of the most demanding missions;
   a mutual defence clause and a solidarity clause were introduced by the Treaty;
   the EDA is entrusted with important tasks in terms of developing the military capabilities of Member States, including strengthening the industrial and technological base of the defence sector, formulating a European capabilities and armaments policy and implementing permanent structured cooperation;
   a start-up fund should be set up for preparatory activities for missions which are not charged to the Union budget;

18.  Urges the VP/HR to provide the necessary impetus to develop the potential of the Lisbon Treaty so that the EU enjoys the full range of possibilities for action on the international scene within the framework of its comprehensive approach, whether through its ‘soft power’ or through more robust actions where necessary, and always in accordance with the UN Charter;

19.  Calls on the Member States to work actively with the VP/HR and the Council to adopt the Lisbon Treaty provisions concerning the CSDP as part of their national defence strategies;

20.  Welcomes the extension of the missions that may be carried out within the framework of the CSDP as compared with the previous ‘Petersberg’ missions, as stipulated in Article 43 TEU; notes, however, that this ambition has not been reflected in the decisions taken since the creation of the EEAS;

Civilian and military operations

21.  Emphasises that so far the CSDP has contributed to crisis management, peacekeeping and the strengthening of international security; insists that the CSDP now needs to be able to intervene in all types of crisis, including in the context of high-intensity conflicts in its own neighbourhood, and to be ambitious enough to have a real impact on the ground;

22.  Notes that 14 operations are currently under way, 11 of which are civilian and 3 military; welcomes the launch of three new civilian operations in the summer of 2012, in the Horn of Africa (EUCAP Nestor), Niger (EUCAP Sahel Niger) and South Sudan (EUAVSEC South Sudan), and the planning of a civilian mission to support border controls in Libya and a training mission in Mali; considers that these missions are a first sign that the CSDP’s agenda is being revitalised; underlines the importance of improving the framework for learning lessons from missions and operations;

23.  Considers it regrettable, however, that the EU does not take full advantage of CSDP military tools, even though a number of crises might have warranted a CSDP intervention, including those in Libya and Mali; stresses the need to consider providing assistance in the field of security sector reform to the Arab Spring countries, especially those in North Africa and the Sahel region; encourages, in this context, the intensification of ongoing planning for possible military operations and, at the same time, calls for a re-evaluation of ongoing missions;

24.  Calls also on the Member States to back up their statements with actions and to use existing means, protocols and accords in order to put their capabilities at the disposal of the CSDP, for example in the form of battlegroups or joint task forces;

The Western Balkans

25.  Recalls and welcomes the political, strategic and symbolic importance of the EU engagement in the Western Balkans, which has contributed to peace and security in the region; points out, however, that this region continues to face a number of challenges that represent a credibility test for the Union; calls on the VP/HR and on the Council to reassess the EU’s security contribution in the Western Balkans, with a particular focus on strengthening the rule of law, protecting minority communities and fighting organised crime and corruption;

26.  Welcomes the results of the first civilian EUPM mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which ended on 30 June 2012 and which, in parallel with the EUFOR Althea operation, has contributed to the dialogue between the constituent entities of the country and to the consolidation of the rule of law;

27.  Notes that the EUFOR Althea operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was launched in 2004, has seen a steady decline in its staff complement; supports, therefore, the closure of this mission and advocates a new type of EU assistance in the field of capacity-building and training for the armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina;

28.  Supports the role played by the EULEX Kosovo mission, which is operating in a difficult political environment, and welcomes the extension of its mandate for another two years, until 14 June 2014;

29.  Highlights its positive role in helping Kosovo to combat organised crime at all levels and to establish the rule of law and a judicial, police and customs apparatus free from all political interference, in line with international and European best practices and standards; takes note of the reconfiguration and downsizing of the mission, considering them to be a clear sign of the progress achieved so far;

30.  Stresses, however, that much remains to be done if EULEX is to accomplish fully the missions assigned to it and enjoy the full confidence of Kosovo’s population, especially the Serb community; calls on the mission to strengthen its activities on the north of Kosovo and to engage more thoroughly in the investigation and prosecution of high-level corruption cases;

31.  Calls on the EULEX Special Investigative Task Force to continue to investigate with the greatest care and rigour the questions raised by the Council of Europe report on the veracity of allegations of organ trafficking; calls on EULEX to implement, with the full support of its contributing states, a witness protection programme – including, for instance, witness relocation measures – so that rigorous judicial proceedings can establish the facts;

32.  Notes that the presence of KFOR remains essential in order to ensure security in Kosovo, and that many questions continue to be raised about the effectiveness and future of coordination between the NATO military mission and the EU civilian mission; calls, therefore, on the VP/HR to report regularly on the progress of the EULEX mission, the extension of whose mandate until 14 June 2014 is welcomed, as well as on the results achieved and relations with the NATO military apparatus;

The Horn of Africa

33.  Welcomes the new EU strategy for the Horn of Africa, which implements the comprehensive approach in order to tackle piracy and its underlying causes, and the leading role played by the Union in relation to security issues in the region, which enhances the EU’s visibility and credibility in crisis management; welcomes the activation of the EU Operations Centre in May 2012 to support the CSDP missions in the Horn of Africa;

34.  Notes that currently three operations (EUNAVFOR Atalanta, EUTM Somalia and EUCAP Nestor) are being deployed for the benefit of the region and stresses the need to continue to coordinate the EU’s intervention with efforts by the international community, first and foremost the African Union (AU), to ensure that Somalia has a functioning and democratic state; considers that the EU Operations Centre leads to more effective coordination in the context of the strategy for the Horn of Africa;

35.  Recommends, in view of the developments in the political and security situation in Somalia, that the Member States and the VP/HR, in consultation with the legitimate authorities of Somalia, the AU, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the US, look into the possibility of launching a process of security sector reform (SSR);

36.  Welcomes the launch of the EUCAP Nestor mission and urges Tanzania to accept that mission, which aims to build up maritime defence capabilities in Djibouti, Kenya and the Seychelles and to support the rule of law in Somalia (initially in Puntland and Somaliland) by developing an accountable coastal police force and a judiciary showing full respect for the rule of law, transparency and human rights;

37.  Demands that the EUCAP Nestor mission be coordinated with other initiatives relating to maritime security, such as MARSIC and MASE, which are financed by the Instrument for Stability and the European Development Fund, respectively; recommends the extension of the EUCAP Nestor mission to other countries as soon as they meet the necessary conditions;

38.  Pays tribute to the vital contribution made by the EUNAVFOR Atalanta operation in combating piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the western Indian Ocean and its humanitarian contribution to ensuring maritime safety by protecting World Food Programme ships and other vulnerable vessels, and approves the extension of its mandate until December 2014; approves also the extension of the scope of this mission to include Somalia’s coastal zone and territorial and inland waters; calls on the Member States to provide adequate air and sea resources for this operation and encourages commercial vessels to continue to apply best navigational practices so as to reduce the risk of attack; welcomes the contribution by the Netherlands to Operation Atalanta in the form of an on-board protection team intended to ensure the safety of humanitarian convoys and encourages other Member States to make this type of contribution;

39.  Declares that piracy is akin to organised crime and that it is important, for the sake of freedom of trade and the protection of an essential maritime passage, to disrupt the economic profitability of this activity and to tackle the root causes of piracy through long-term engagement fostering good governance and self-sustaining, legitimate economic opportunities for the population; calls on the Commission and the Council to take all necessary measures to ensure the traceability of the financial flows generated by this activity and to facilitate exchanges of information between EUNAVFOR Atalanta and Europol;

40.  Highlights the positive role played by the EUTM mission in Somalia, in close cooperation with Uganda, the AU and the US, in training more than 3 000 Somali recruits – some 2 500 of whom have already been reintegrated into the Somali security forces – while also fostering the rule of law; considers that the mission has contributed in particular to improving the situation in and around Mogadishu by strengthening the Somali and AMISOM security forces; urges that the mission’s efforts be concentrated on establishing accountable, transparent command and control structures and a financial framework which would provide for regular payment of salaries, and on minimising the number of defections by trained soldiers;

41.  Approves the extension of the mandate of the EUTM Somalia mission until December 2012 and the focus placed on the command and control capabilities, specialised capabilities and self-training capabilities of the Somali national security forces with a view to transferring responsibility for training to local players; notes that the EU will be obliged to pursue its training efforts beyond 2012 and, in this context, calls on the EEAS to explore the possibility, once the security situation in Somalia allows it, of transferring all or part of this training to those parts of Somalia that are under the control of the authorities, in the light of the improvement in the security situation; recommends that the EUTM Somalia mission be allowed closer involvement in the process of recruiting and integrating personnel who have received this military training;

42.  Emphasises that the EUTM operation model, which, for a relatively modest outlay in terms of funding, material and human resources, has given the EU a major regional role in East Africa, could be replicated in other areas, particularly the Sahel;

The Sahel

43.  Expresses its utmost concern at the development of a zone of instability in the Sahel, characterised by the interconnected nature of criminal activities, particularly the trafficking of drugs, weapons and people, and armed operations by radical terrorist groups which are undermining the territorial integrity of states in the region and whose actions could lead to the establishment of a permanent zone of lawlessness in part of the territory of Mali and to its spreading to neighbouring countries, thereby heightening the threat there to European interests and European nationals, who have already been the victims of murder and kidnapping; stresses, therefore, the need to support a stable government in Mali in order to prevent the disintegration of the country and the wide-ranging spillover effect it could have in terms of the proliferation of crime and conflict;

44.  Emphasises the security threat that this poses for Europe as a whole; calls, in this context, on the VP/HR and on the Council rapidly and fully to implement the EU strategy for the Sahel adopted in March 2011 and to take appropriate security measures, if necessary by having recourse to CSDP missions, to help states in the region strengthen their capabilities in the fight against organised cross-border crime and terrorist groups;

45.  Welcomes the launch of the EUCAP Sahel Niger mission designed specifically to help Niger deal with these security challenges; notes that this mission falls squarely within the framework of the overall strategy for the Sahel, but considers it regrettable that it involves only one country while other countries in the region, especially Mali, have a pressing and vital need to build up their capabilities and respond to threats to their territorial integrity;

46.  Welcomes the unanimous adoption by the UN Security Council, on 12 October 2012, of resolution 2071 on Mali; notes that it directly calls upon regional and international organisations, including the EU, to provide ‘coordinated assistance, expertise, training and capacity-building support to the Armed and Security Forces of Mali in order to restore the authority of the State of Mali’; calls also for the UN Security Council to adopt a further resolution formally authorising the deployment of a new African mission, to be launched with the support of the international community on the same model as the support provided to AMISOM in Somalia;

47.  Welcomes the Council conclusions of 15 October 2012 on the situation in Mali, which request, as a matter of urgency, that work continue on planning a possible CSDP military operation, in particular by developing a crisis management concept relating to the reorganisation and training of the Malian defence forces;

48.  Welcomes the decision taken by the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government on 11 November 2012 to provide a stabilisation force of at least 3 200 troops, with a one-year intervention mandate;

49.  Calls for planning to continue for an operation to support, in conjunction with ECOWAS, the restructuring of the Malian armed forces in order to improve the effectiveness of the country’s security forces and enable it to regain control over its territory;

Libya

50.  Welcomes the past humanitarian aid and civil protection activities of the Commission and the Member States, in support of UN organisations, in Libya and neighbouring countries; believes, however, that the Libyan crisis could have been the appropriate opportunity for the EU to demonstrate its ability to act in a more comprehensive manner, including militarily if necessary, in full compliance with UN Security Council resolutions, when faced with a major crisis in its immediate neighbourhood which directly affects the stability of its environment; considers it regrettable that the lack of common political will among Member States and an ideological reluctance to see the Union deploy its own capabilities have relegated it to playing a secondary role; takes note of the reluctance of some members of the UN Security Council to authorise the EU to launch its humanitarian military operation in Libya;

51.  Calls on the VP/HR to draw all the appropriate lessons from the crisis in Libya, both regarding the decision-making process within the EU and regarding NATO military intervention, in terms of capabilities, but also – and most importantly – of political consistency and solidarity between Member States and the relationship between the EU and its CSDP, on the one hand, and NATO, on the other;

52.  Believes that the EU has an important role to play in the process of institutional transition in Libya, in particular in the demobilisation and integration of members of revolutionary brigades, the reorganisation of the armed forces and assistance in controlling land and sea borders; considers it regrettable that the EU contribution in the security sector is slow to materialise, and that difficulties in planning and implementing this contribution are leaving the field open to bilateral initiatives of doubtful visibility and consistency; supports the acceleration of planning for a civilian mission to assist border controls;

South Sudan

53.  Notes the launch of the EUAVSEC South Sudan mission to strengthen the security of the Juba airport; wonders, however, about the wisdom of having recourse to a CSDP mission to secure that airport, given that such a mission could have been carried out by the Commission through its Instrument for Stability;

Democratic Republic of the Congo

54.  Emphasises the importance of the Democratic Republic of the Congo for peace and stability in Africa and supports the action of MONUSCO to protect the civilian population in the east of the country;

55.  Welcomes the EU’s efforts within the framework of its two missions – EUSEC RD Congo and EUPOL RD Congo – to consolidate the rule of law in this country; notes, however, that the two missions are too small given the magnitude of their respective tasks, and that the active collaboration of the Congolese authorities is needed in order to achieve tangible results;

Afghanistan

56.  Welcomes the EUPOL Afghanistan mission, which aims to establish a civilian police force and a judicial system in order to allow Afghans to shoulder most of the responsibility for these tasks in the context of the reconstruction of the Afghan state; stresses that this mission, which is due to remain there until 31 May 2013 and could be extended until 31 December 2014, forms part of the overall efforts by the international community to allow Afghans to take control of their destiny after the withdrawal of NATO troops in 2014; calls on the VP/HR and on the Council to hold in-depth discussions, also involving Parliament, on the progress of the Union’s comprehensive arrangements and on the EUPOL mission, especially in the context of post-2014 Afghanistan;

The Palestinian Territories

57.  Considers that the EUPOL COPPS Palestinian civilian police training mission, whose purpose is to assist the Palestinian Authority in building the institutions of a future Palestinian state in the fields of law enforcement and criminal justice, under Palestinian management and in accordance with best international standards, is a success; notes that this mission forms part of EU efforts to establish a Palestinian state which co-exists peacefully with Israel;

58.  Deplores the fact that the EUBAM Rafah mission has suspended its operations since Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip, along with the reduction in its staff complement, while stressing that its continued presence in the region demonstrates the willingness of the EU to contribute to any action that might facilitate the dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians; considers it regrettable that the Israeli Government has not authorised the head of the EUPOL COPPS mission also to head the EUBAM Rafah mission and that the headquarters of this mission is located in Tel Aviv and not in East Jerusalem;

Georgia

59.  Emphasises the positive role played by the EUMM Georgia observation mission, particularly in supporting dialogue and the restoration of confidence-building measures between the parties, but considers it regrettable that this mission is still not allowed to visit the occupied territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, where Russia has been recognised as an occupation force by the European Parliament, NATO, the Council of Europe and some Member States;

Iraq

60.  Notes that the EUJUST LEX-Iraq mission, whose mandate has been extended until 31 December 2013, is the first EU integrated ‘rule of law’ mission aimed at contributing to the establishment of a professional criminal justice system in Iraq based on the rule of law; notes, however, that Iraq is still far from being stabilised, as evidenced by the regular attacks in the country, a situation aggravated by a highly uncertain regional context;

Learning from experience

61.  Notes the importance of learning from the experience of missions and operations conducted within the framework of the CSDP and commends the work done in this direction by the Crisis Management Planning Directorate of the EEAS and by the EUMS; calls on the VP/HR to report regularly to Parliament on the results of this work;

62.  Considers the experience gained from civilian missions and operations to be of particular relevance; points out that the EU has undertaken extensive work in this area which has yielded admirable results; believes that the added value of EU civilian operations ought to be taken into consideration in the coordination of efforts with our partners and allies in the context of international crisis management;

Capabilities and structures for conducting operation

63.  Notes that EU military operations still suffer all too often from problems of force generation, and that the credibility of the CSDP is at stake in the absence of credible capabilities; calls, therefore, on the Member States to remain mobilised to provide quality personnel and equipment;

64.  Notes that the crisis management structures within the EEAS remain under-staffed, on both the civilian and the military sides, which affects their ability to respond and contributes to a degree of marginalisation of the CSDP; calls on the VP/HR to address this situation as soon as possible; emphasises the direct link that must exist between the VP/HR and the CSDP crisis management structures;

Civilian personnel and capabilities

65.  Highlights the difficulties faced by the Member States in providing a sufficient number of qualified and trained staff for civilian CSDP missions; calls on the Commission and the EEAS to explore ways of assisting the Member States with regard to increasing the numbers of police, judges and highly specialised personnel in the field of public administration to be deployed with civilian CSDP missions;

66.  Notes the extension of the Civilian Headline Goal 2010 beyond that date and welcomes the adoption of a multiannual civilian capability development programme; calls on the Member States, particularly the ministries concerned, to mobilise in order to implement it;

67.  Underlines the need to develop – complementary to those capacities mentioned in the context of the Civilian Headline Goal which refer to police, judges and highly specialised personnel in the field of administration – more effective mediation guidelines and capacities in order to provide adequate resources for mediation in a timely and coordinated manner;

68.  Notes with concern that in some Member States the identification, coordination and deployment of civilian personnel for CSDP missions still suffers from the use of differing national practices and criteria; calls for more coordination among Member States and the identification of best practices in this regard;

69.  Regrets, in this regard, the neglect by the VP/HR and the Member States of past parliamentary resolutions calling for sufficient and competent civilian personnel and substantial capabilities; recalls, in this connection, the Council conclusions of 21 March 2011 on the priorities regarding civilian CSDP capabilities and considers that they are still just as relevant, namely:

   to draw in sufficient numbers of qualified and trained personnel;
   to develop adequate enablers for missions including a finalised goalkeeper; more flexible preparatory measures; better mechanisms for equipping civilian missions (including the establishment of a permanent warehouse solution);
   to pursue the implementation of preparatory activities for civilian missions, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the TEU;
   to strengthen the assessment of impact and implementation of lessons learned;
   to strengthen cooperation with third countries and international organisations;

Military personnel and capabilities

70.  Notes that the EU is currently facing significant financial constraints and that the Member States, for financial, budgetary and political reasons alike, both related and unrelated to the eurozone crisis, are undergoing a phase of reducing or, at best, maintaining their levels of defence spending; highlights the potential negative impact of these measures on their military capabilities and, therefore, on the ability of the EU to assume its responsibilities effectively in the areas of peacekeeping, conflict prevention and the strengthening of international security;

71.  Takes note of the increasing military and weapons capacities in Asia and especially China; calls for wider-ranging dialogue with the region, stressing security and defence issues;

72.  Emphasises that the proliferation of external operations in recent years, whether in Iraq, Afghanistan or Africa, including Libya, has represented, and continues to represent, a significant financial burden for those states that have participated – or are still participating – in these operations; notes that these costs have a direct impact on the attrition and premature wear and tear of equipment, but also on the willingness of states to engage in CSDP operations, given the constraints on their budgets and capabilities;

73.  Stresses that, in terms of absolute value, spending in the combined European defence budgets of all Member States compares favourably with that of the major emerging powers and that the problem is thus less a budgetary than a political one, ranging from the definition of a European industrial and technological base to the pooling of certain operational capabilities; points out that EU-wide consortia, joint initiatives and proposals for mergers of European businesses could contribute to the development of a European defence industry;

74.  Notes that military action in Libya, which was initiated by France and the United Kingdom with the support of the US and subsequently pursued by NATO, has highlighted the ability of some European states to engage in high-intensity conflicts, but also the problems they face in conducting such activities over a period of time, due in particular to a lack of basic capabilities such as air-to-air refuelling, intelligence-gathering and precision-guided weaponry;

75.  Recalls its resolution of 14 December 2011 on the impact of the financial crisis on the defence sector in the EU Member States and emphasises that its recommendations are relevant for developing the military capabilities of the Member States in a spirit of resource-sharing and -pooling;

76.  Welcomes bilateral agreements such as the Franco-British treaty on military cooperation and calls on other Member States to consider such bilateral or multilateral agreements on military cooperation and integration as an important cost-saving tool that can avoid duplication and constitute a grassroots build-up process for the CSDP and the future of EU security integration;

77.  Welcomes the initial progress made by the EU’s ‘pooling and sharing’ initiative and pays tribute to the work of the EDA, which has identified 11 priority areas for action; stresses in particular the progress achieved in four areas: air-to-air refuelling, maritime surveillance, medical support and training; calls, however, for this initiative to be provided with a strategic framework;

78.  Considers it regrettable, however, that the pooling and sharing initiative has not yet filled any of the gaps identified in the Headline Goal 2010; takes note of the Member States’ reluctance to shoulder the burden to be a lead nation for one of the 300 suggested pooling and sharing projects presented by the EUMS in April 2011;

79.  Calls on the Member States, ahead of the European Council on defence issues scheduled for next year, to take stock of existing capabilities within the EU and to make the initiative ultimately sustainable in order to start a European defence planning process;

80.  Welcomes the EDA’s proposal to develop a voluntary code of conduct on pooling and sharing in order to facilitate cooperation between Member States in the acquisition, use and shared management of military capabilities;

81.  Supports in particular the project for mid-air refuelling, which also has an acquisition component; expresses disappointment in this connection, however, at the expected limited result of the endeavour, in that it will merely renew existing capabilities instead of creating new ones; insists that the Member States should maintain the European character of this initiative and believes that the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) would be well-placed to manage the acquisition component;

82.  Welcomes the agreement signed on 27 July 2012 between the European Defence Agency and the OCCAR, which will allow the institutionalisation of the relationship between the two agencies, the establishment of more integrated cooperation in respect of military capability development programmes, and exchanges of classified information;

83.  Recalls that the war in Libya has also highlighted the lack of reconnaissance drones in the European armed forces and notes that in Europe there are currently two rival MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) drone projects; notes also Franco-British cooperation over UCAVs (Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles), which would benefit from not being exclusive, but open to other European partners;

84.  Considers that the establishment of the European Air Transport Command (EATC) is a concrete example of successful pooling and sharing and stresses that the creation of an A400M fleet within this structure would greatly enhance the projection capabilities of the EU and its Member States; encourages all participating states to contribute all available transport means to the EATC; encourages non-participating Member States to take part in the EATC;

85.  Calls on the Commission, the Council, the Member States and the EDA to consider the adoption of innovative solutions for increasing the EU’s projection capabilities, particularly as part of a twin-track approach: a public-private partnership in the field of air transport, built around a small fleet of A400Ms, would allow both the delivery of humanitarian aid for disaster relief and the transport of equipment and personnel as part of CSDP missions and operations;

86.  Insists that the building-up of European capabilities should also result in the consolidation of the industrial and technological base of Europe’s defence industry; recalls, in this connection, the importance of the principle of European preference and the relevance of a European Buying Act;

87.  Notes that the financial and budgetary crisis facing the EU and its Member States will lead to a loss of expertise unless a major programme is launched at European level on a bilateral or multilateral basis, and may also lead to the disappearance of a highly specialised industrial fabric; stresses that medium-sized European companies in the defence industry have also been affected by the economic and financial crisis, and that they contribute to the economy and provide jobs in some Member States;

88.  Welcomes the Commission’s proposal under Horizon 2020 for future EU-financed civil-military research and procurement in support of CSDP missions; notes with concern the reduction in the appropriations allocated to research and technology, which in the long term will affect the ability of Europeans to maintain a credible defence capability relying on the whole range of armaments and military equipment; reminds the Member States of their commitment to increase the allocation for defence-related research and technology to at least 2% of the defence budget and recalls that investment in research and defence technologies has had important results with civilian applications;

89.  Welcomes the recent initiatives and projects relating to cyber defence; urges the Member States to engage even more closely with the EDA in developing defence capabilities, notably of a cyber nature, especially with a view to trust-building and pooling and sharing; welcomes the fact that cyber defence will be one of the EDA’s priorities in the area of defence research and technology;

90.  Welcomes the EDA’s efforts to maintain a European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB) and the Barnier / Tajani initiative to create a task force within the Commission which will be responsible for preserving and developing this strategic tool, whose function is to ensure the autonomy of the EU and its Member States in the field of defence; asks the Commission to keep Parliament informed of the task force’s ongoing work and calls on it to involve Parliament in future;

91.  Calls on the Member States fully to implement the Defence Procurement Directive (2009/81/EC(6) ) in order to achieve greater interoperability of equipment and to combat market fragmentation, which often benefits third countries;

92.  Welcomes the Commission’s industrial policy communication of 10 October 2012 entitled ‘A Stronger European Industry for Growth and Economic Recovery’, which acknowledges that the defence sector suffers from a strongly national dimension and announces the development of a comprehensive strategy for supporting the competitiveness of the defence industry;

93.  Stresses the relevance of the capability development plan drawn up by the EDA; calls on the Member States better to integrate it into their national planning and to be more willing to buy into EDA projects;

94.  Takes the view that the Council and the Member States should further support those of the Union’s capabilities that could lead to cost savings through pooling, in particular the EDA, the EU Satellite Centre and the European Security and Defence College;

95.  Urges the Council and the Member States to provide the EDA with adequate funds and qualified staff so that it is able to perform all the tasks assigned to it by the Lisbon Treaty; stresses that this must be taken into account in the context of the next multiannual financial framework;

A space policy to underpin the CSDP

96.  Emphasises that, if the EU is to enjoy decision-making and operational autonomy, it must have adequate satellite resources in the fields of space imagery, intelligence-gathering, communications and space surveillance; considers that these areas could be further shared and pooled in comparison with existing agreements, either on a bilateral basis or in conjunction with the EU Satellite Centre in respect of the Helios, Cosmo-SkyMed and SAR-Lupe programmes; hopes that the MUSIS programme, which is due to replace the present generation of observation satellites, will prove to be a model of cooperation both between European countries and with the EEAS and the Union’s political-military bodies;

97.  Calls on the Council and the Commission, in this context, to explore the possibility of an EU financial contribution to fund future space imaging satellite programmes so as to allow the Union’s political-military bodies and the EEAS to ‘task’ satellites and obtain, upon request and according to their own needs, satellite images of regions in crisis or regions in which a CSDP mission is to be deployed;

98.  Reiterates the need for Union funding of the GMES project, which should become a key infrastructure of the EU, like the Galileo programme;

Strengthening the rapid response capability

99.  Notes that, despite the changes made to the ATHENA mechanism, Parliament’s previous resolutions and the EU battlegroup deployment doctrine, as demanded in the Weimar letter for example, none of the battlegroups have so far been deployed, even though they could act as a ‘force of first entry’ until relieved by other forces better equipped for the long haul;

100.  Believes that this undermines the credibility of the battlegroups as an instrument and of the CSDP in general, since they could already have been deployed; encourages the Member States to remain mobilised and to meet their commitments in respect of this instrument, bearing in mind that, given the financial and manpower investment in the battlegroups, their lack of use in the face of several windows of opportunity has become a liability;

101.  Reiterates that the ATHENA mechanism should be further adjusted to increase the proportion of common costs, thus ensuring fairer burden-sharing in military operations and overcoming a disincentive for Member States to take on leadership roles in CSDP missions;

102.  Supports the process of reviewing crisis management procedures, which should be concluded before the end of the year and facilitate the more rapid deployment of civilian and military CSDP operations; believes that the crisis management procedures should be reserved for CSDP operations and not include other instruments, which would risk making those procedures more cumbersome; supports also a review of funding procedures so as to move towards greater flexibility and speed in the mobilisation of funds;

Structures and planning

103.  Believes that the role entrusted to the Operations Centre of coordinating missions in the Horn of Africa is a first step towards the creation of a European planning and operations conduct capability which is properly staffed and endowed with sufficient means of communication and control; considers it regrettable, however, that the Centre is neither permanent nor the central point for planning and conducting civilian missions and military operations;

104.  Reiterates its call for the creation of an EU Operational Headquarters (OHQ) for operational planning and the conduct of civilian missions and military operations within the EEAS, if necessary through permanent structured cooperation;

105.Notes the willingness expressed by the Council in its conclusions of December 2011 to strengthen forward planning capabilities; supports the extension of the powers of the EUMS in this regard; believes that the Operations Centre could also support the EUMS in this task;

106.  Notes with interest the division of the Situation Centre into two new entities, the ‘Situation Room’, on the one hand, and the ’Intelligence Centre’ or INTCEN, on the other, and welcomes the fact that the latter will have to expand if the Member States wish to develop the CFSP and CSDP;

107.  Advocates the creation of posts of temporary or permanent security expert in the most significant EU delegations for the CSDP in order better to relay security issues; calls for consideration of the preventive role such posts could play in security matters and early warning systems;

Partnerships
EU / NATO

108.  Notes that the EU and NATO, which are united by a strategic partnership reaffirmed at the Chicago summit, are both active in a number of theatres, such as Kosovo, Afghanistan and the fight against piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean; recalls, in this context, the importance of good cooperation between the EU and NATO;

109.  Considers that EU civilian and military capacity-building will also benefit NATO and help to create synergies between the two organisations;

110.  Notes that the impasse linked to the dispute between Turkey and Cyprus has not prevented the two organisations from conducting a political dialogue through appropriate channels, working together through ‘staff-to-staff’ contacts or coordinating their activities; calls, nevertheless, for a resolution of this dispute in order to improve cooperation between the two organisations;

111.  Welcomes cooperation between the EU and NATO in the area of military capabilities, particularly in order to avoid any duplication between the initiative of pooling and sharing EU capabilities and NATO‘s Smart Defence initiative;

112.  Underlines the importance of practical cooperation in the area of cyber security and cyber defence, building on the existing complementarity in defence capability development, and emphasises the need for closer coordination in this regard, especially in relation to planning, technology, training and equipment;

113.  Expresses disappointment at the development of civilian crisis management structures within NATO, given that this represents an unnecessary duplication of capabilities already present and well-developed in the EU;

EU / AU

114.  Welcomes the cooperation between the EU and the AU with a view to maintaining peace and stability on the continent of Africa; notes that the EU is contributing to the establishment of a blueprint for peace and security in Africa, and, to this end, supports the peace efforts of the AU and of African regional organisations such as ECOWAS in combating instability, insecurity and the threat of terrorism from the Horn of Africa to the Sahel;

115.  Recalls that the EU remains the largest contributor to AMISOM’s budget and stresses the need for a strategic vision of the future of that operation;

EU / UN

116.  Welcomes the good cooperation that has developed between the EEAS and the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations; notes that the EU, with its battlegroups, could provide a force of first entry for urgent peacekeeping operations until relieved by a UN force;

EU / OSCE

117.  Underlines the importance of the cooperation between the EU and the OSCE in regions of common interest and on issues such as conflict prevention, crisis management, post-conflict rehabilitation, and promotion and strengthening of the rule of law; expresses satisfaction that the scope of this cooperation has broadened and deepened in recent years, but calls for closer coordination and synergy in addressing crises and conflicts, avoiding duplication of efforts and developing cost-efficient approaches;

EU / third countries

118.  Underlines the continued relevance of a strong transatlantic link and welcomes the cooperation between the EU and the US in respect of crisis management operations, including EUTM Somalia, EUNAVFOR Atalanta, EULEX Kosovo and EUPOL Afghanistan;

119.  Welcomes the framework agreements signed so far by the EU with a dozen third countries to enable their participation in civilian and military operations conducted within the framework of the CSDP;

o
o   o

120.  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 Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Secretary-General of NATO, the President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE and the President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.

(1) OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.
(2) OJ C 349 E, 22.12.2010, p. 63.
(3) OJ C 99 E, 3.4.2012, p. 7.
(4) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0228.
(5) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0574.
(6) OJ L 216, 20.8.2009, p. 76.

Last updated: 16 October 2014Legal notice