Procedure : 2015/3034(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0057/2016

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 21/01/2016 - 8.4
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

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to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the mutual defence clause (Article 42(7) TEU) (2015/3034(RSP))

Sabine Lösing, Neoklis Sylikiotis, Rina Ronja Kari, Fabio De Masi, Marina Albiol Guzmán, Martina Anderson, Sofia Sakorafa, Lynn Boylan, Matt Carthy, Liadh Ní Riada, Kostas Chrysogonos, Stelios Kouloglou, Kostadinka Kuneva, Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Javier Couso Permuy on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

European Parliament resolution on the mutual defence clause (Article 42(7) TEU) (2015/3034(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 42(7) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU),

–  having regard to the Charter of the United Nations,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas on 13 November 2015, Paris was the theatre for a number of terrorist attacks committed by ‘Islamic State / Daesh’ that left 130 dead, 352 injured, including many permanently maimed, and many people needing psychological support;

B.  whereas in the aftermath of these attacks, France requested activation of Article 42(7) TEU during the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting of 17 November 2015; whereas this was the first time that Article 42(7) had been activated;

C.  whereas the EU Defence Ministers expressed their unanimous and full support to France and their readiness to provide all the necessary aid and assistance under Article 42(7), noting that no formal decision or conclusion by the Council was legally required to activate mutual assistance;

D.  whereas the follow-up was undertaken on the level of bilateral intergovernmental cooperation not requiring the involvement of either the Council or the Commission; whereas some Member States have made commitments to assist France, some others require parliamentary approval to proceed, and others have not moved in this direction;

E.  whereas, as demonstrated by the so-called ‘war on terror’ waged by the US, NATO and their allies since 2001, wars only lead to more terrorism, destruction of states and human losses;

F.  whereas Parliament legally has no way of exercising parliamentary control over the Article 42(7) activation process;

G.  whereas France requested, on the one hand, support by pooling and sharing capabilities for its operations in Iraq and Syria and, on the other, support in other areas where French troops are deployed in order to allow redeployment;

H.  whereas Article 42(7) TEU stipulates that Member States will have an obligation to assist a Member State if it is a victim of armed aggression on its territory; whereas this is done on the level of intergovernmental bilateral cooperation and should be in compliance with the UN Charter;

I.  whereas Article 42(7) TEU bears no title, therefore the term ‘mutual assistance clause is not a legal term;

J.  whereas Article 42(7) originates from Article 5 of the Western European Union’s Treaty of Brussels, and was first incorporated into the TEU in 2009 through the Lisbon Treaty;

1.  Rejects the activation of Article 42(7) TEU and denounces the fact that this move converts the European Union to a military alliance; warns that this should not set a precedent for future cases;

2.  Strongly disagrees with the interpretation of the Article as an obligation to support France militarily, in military operations, or to justify and legitimise ongoing or already planned military actions; further rejects the presentation of the attacks in Paris as acts of war in order to legitimise a military response, and stresses that according to international law the so-called ‘Islamic State / Daesh’ is not a state;

3.  Underlines that military operations have never contained or stopped terrorism, but on the contrary have caused more victims and distractions, and worsened the situation of the peoples affected; demands the cessation of the so-called ‘war on terror’ and insists that terrorist activities be treated within the rule of law by means of police investigation and enforcement; underlines the fact that the fight against terrorism should in no case serve as a pretext to limit individual freedoms and fundamental rights, and denounces all policies aimed at discriminating against parts of the population on the basis of their origin or religion;

4.  Calls for strict compliance with international law, for no military or other intervention in the internal affairs of states and for peaceful resolution of conflicts;

5.  Demands an overall review of the EU policy regarding external affairs, which should totally exclude military interventions and measures and should be exclusively directed towards civilian measures, poverty alleviation and fighting its root causes, social and economic development and symmetric cooperation;

6.  Calls for an end to the EU arms trade and the export of arms and military equipment to conflict zones;

7.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Council and the Commission.

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