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Procedure : 2005/2134(INI)
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Document selected : A6-0389/2005

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PV 01/02/2006 - 11
CRE 01/02/2006 - 11

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PV 02/02/2006 - 8.4
CRE 02/02/2006 - 8.4
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Thursday, 2 February 2006 - Brussels
Common foreign and security policy - 2004

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 Union - 2004 (2005/2134(INI))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the annual report from the Council (7961/2005 PESC 272 FIN 117 PE 70),

–   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 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), and in particular paragraph 40 thereof,

–   having regard to Article 21 of the EU Treaty,

–   having regard to the Presidency Conclusions of the Brussels European Council of 16-17 June 2005 and in particular to its declaration on ratification of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe,

–   having regard to the Presidency Conclusions of the European Council of 15-16 December 2005 on the Financial Perspective 2007-2013,

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

–   having regard to its resolution of 14 April 2005 on the Common Foreign and Security Policy (2003)(3),

–   having regard to its resolution of 14 April 2005 on the European Security Strategy(4),

–   having regard to its resolution of 9 June 2005 on the reform of the United Nations(5),

–   having regard to its resolution of 6 July 2005 on the Global Call to Action: Making Poverty History(6),

–   having regard to its resolution of 26 May 2005 on EU-Russia relations(7),

–   having regard to its resolution of 9 June 2005 on Transatlantic relations(8) and to the eight joint declarations resulting from the last EU-US Summit in Washington DC on 20 June 2005,

–   having regard to its resolution of 23 October 2003 on peace and dignity in the Middle East (9),

–   having regard to its resolution of 27 January 2005 on the situation in the Middle East(10),

–   having regard to its resolution of 6 July 2005 on the European Union and Iraq - A framework for engagement(11),

–   having regard to its resolution of 28 April 2005 on the Annual Report on Human Rights in the World 2004 and the EU's policy on the matter (12),

–   having regard to Rule 112(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A6-0389/2005),

A.   whereas the Council continues to maintain the a posteriori approach of merely submitting a descriptive list of Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) activities carried out in the previous year, instead of consulting Parliament beforehand as provided for in Article 21 of the Treaty on European Union and the Interinstitutional Agreement of 6 May 1999,

B.   whereas Parliament has repeatedly asked the Council to replace this practice with a genuine consultation of Parliament in order to ensure that Parliament's views have a real impact on the choices made for the following year,

C.   whereas the period of reflection on the process of ratification of the Constitutional Treaty, as decided on by the Brussels European Council of 16-17 June 2005, should now go hand in hand with optimum implementation of the existing treaties in order to achieve a CFSP capable of facing up to the global responsibilities, threats and challenges of today's world,

D.   whereas Parliament has repeatedly expressed its view that the Union's relations with each third country and region should be at an appropriate level, taking into account the interests of the Union, the closeness of each third country and region to the European model and values and the fact that the Union is becoming one of the major geopolitical actors on the world stage and therefore needs strong and reliable political and economic partners,

E.   whereas developing and consolidating democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms are general objectives of the CFSP,

F.   whereas, in order to be credible, the CFSP and the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) must be allocated budgets which are commensurate with their ambitions, and deploring the fact that, at present, the financial resources allocated to those two policies remain insufficient; regretting, finally, the fact that the funding of military operations by the European Union is still too frequently outside democratic control,

1.  Takes note of the exhaustive annual report submitted by the Council in mid-April 2005 on the main aspects and basic choices of CFSP for 2004; as a result, considers itself to be well informed on past events in 2004; reiterates however its call to be fully involved and its right to be consulted annually 'ex ante' on forthcoming aspects and choices as provided for in the existing treaties;

2.  Therefore asks its Committee on Legal Affairs to examine the appropriateness of referring to the European Court of Justice the Council's practice of merely informing Parliament and submitting a descriptive list of CFSP activities carried out in the previous year, instead of really consulting Parliament at the beginning of each year on the main aspects and basic choices to be made for that year and subsequently reporting to Parliament whether – and, if so, how – Parliament's contribution has been taken into account as provided for in Article 21 of the EU Treaty and in the Interinstitutional Agreement of 6 May 1999;

3.  Strongly urges the Council to promote a much more open, transparent and accountable CFSP by undertaking to appear before the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament in order to report on every General Affairs and External Relations Council and every high-level summit held with key international partners;

Impact on the main aspects and basic choices of CFSP for 2006 of the period of reflection on the process of ratification of the Constitutional Treaty

4.  Recalls the steps already taken to anticipate the application of some of the provisions of the new Constitutional Treaty regarding CFSP/ESDP, such as the setting up of the European Defence Agency, the development of the "Battlegroup" concept, the establishment of a much more developed European Neighbourhood Policy and the application of the Solidarity Clause to counter terrorist threats or attacks;

5.  In the framework of the existing treaties, reiterates its call on the Council and the High Representative/Secretary-General of the Council to participate actively in an annual debate on the main aspects and basic choices of CFSP for the following year as well as on the European Security Strategy with both the European Parliament and the national parliaments;

6.  Is of the view that the period of reflection on the process of ratification of the Constitutional Treaty, as decided on by the Brussels European Council of 16–17 June 2005, presents an excellent occasion to further identify and examine any existing shortcomings in the CFSP/ESDP fields and ways in which those shortcomings could be appropriately addressed, first by making the most of the existing treaties, and second, when the time comes, by applying the new constitutional provisions;

7.  Regrets, in this respect, the attitude of certain Member States which, in spite of the adoption of the Constitution by the European Council, have for domestic reasons used the right of veto in important foreign affairs matters; points out that the CFSP cannot be reduced to a mere adjunct to the foreign policies of individual Member States and calls, therefore, on all Member States to act in a constructive manner in line with the spirit of the Constitution so as to enable the EU to play an effective role on the world stage;

Specific proposals on various thematic aspects for 2006

8.  Welcomes the Council's approach of grouping the main developments in the area of CFSP and ESDP under the different thematic aspects contained in the European Union's Security Strategy adopted by the European Council on 12 December 2003;

9.  Requests that the European Union's Security Strategy be updated, maintaining its civil/military dual approach and its crucial concepts of preventive engagement and effective multilateralism, reflecting the 'responsibility to protect' as adopted at the UN Summit of September 2005; is of the view that both climate change and the spread of poverty in the world should now also be seen as major threats to the Union's security, requiring decisive action, tangible compromises and a strict timetable; takes the view, however, that the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) should be regarded as the most dangerous threat to international security;

10.  Emphasises the important foreign policy dimension of energy security issues; recommends that an update of the European Security Policies should pay special attention to addressing the Union's increasing dependence on energy and other strategic supplies from countries and regions that are ever more unstable, highlighting possible future scenarios and the question of access to and the development of alternative sources; believes that the recent unilateral gas delivery suspensions by Russia call for a strategic response from the EU; asks the Commission to present a communication on the foreign and neighbourhood policy aspects of the energy policy;

11.  Therefore regards home defence as a vital part of the European Union's security strategy, since it concerns the external borders and essential infrastructure;

12.  Reiterates, in this respect, its view that security is an all-encompassing collective concept that cannot be tailored only to the interests and requirements of one country and must be pursued in a multilateral framework;

13.  Underlines the importance of NATO's role in conjunction with the European Union's foreign and security policy;

14.  Underlines the vital interest of the European Union in strengthening global governance, international institutions and the value of international law; is of the view that one of the key aims of the CFSP should be to involve China and India, as emerging powers, as well as Russia, in responsibility for the state of global governance and for solutions to global challenges; emphasises the irreplaceable role which the transatlantic partners should jointly play in this context;

15.  Strongly condemns the large-scale terrorist attacks in London on 7 July 2005; expresses its solidarity with the British people and in particular conveys its condolences to the victims of those brutal attacks and their families;

16.  Reiterates once more that the fight against terrorism must be seen as one of the priorities of the Union and a key part of its external action, while reaffirming the importance of respecting human rights and civil liberties; considers that the demarcation between internal and external security should be seen as becoming more fluid; insists that it is essential to make this internal and external priority absolutely clear in all its dealings with third countries and regions and that much more should be done to strengthen international cooperation in the fight against terrorism; calls once more 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;

17.  Stresses the urgent need to halt the spread of poverty in the world, to fight against stigmatisation and discrimination and to combat major diseases, and reaffirms the importance of maintaining the Union's commitments to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals;

18.  Recognises the decisive importance of the Union's actions in conflict prevention and peace-building efforts and reiterates its commitment to fighting against impunity for war crimes, crimes against humanity and other serious human rights violations, including by strengthening the role of the International Criminal Court;

19.  Insists on the need to continue to promote implementation of the EU's WMD Strategy at international level in a coherent manner, to place greater emphasis on disarmament initiatives and non-proliferation issues, to strengthen the multilateral treaties making up the non-proliferation regimes and to provide the necessary financial resources to implement the EU's WMD Strategy; expresses its regret at the inability of the leading states and governments to reach a new and comprehensive agreement within the UN on the signature of a Treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons;

20.  Believes that migration issues, including tackling the issue of illegal immigration, should form a very prominent part of the Union's external action, in its relations both with countries of origin and with countries of transit; requests that the Council and the Commission report regularly to Parliament on this subject, via the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the Committee on Foreign Affairs;

21.  Considers that home defence merits greater prominence in European strategic thinking and that the protection of the external borders of the Union should be an important element; considers that joint management of the external borders should become an essential part of the European Neighbourhood Policy; is of the view that the Union should acquire common equipment for the protection of its external borders;

22.  Calls for the taking into account of certain Member States' concerns regarding their energy supplies, given that energy supplies can be treated as political instruments;

Parliament's priorities in the different geographical areas for 2006

23.  Is of the view that the successive enlargements of the Union, as decided by the European Council on 16-17 December 2004, should remain at the top of the Union's political agenda in 2006 together with the development of a genuine European Neighbourhood Policy, including a specifically designed structure such as an European Economic and Political Area for European countries;

24.  Supports the Council's view that, in many ways, the future CFSP priorities for a Union aiming to be a global actor define themselves, and that, in particular, the Mediterranean, the Transatlantic partnership and the Middle East, the Balkans, eastern Europe and conflict situations, the promotion of peace, security in all its aspects and the ongoing fight against terrorism, disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction must remain at the core of CFSP for 2006;

25.  Calls upon the Presidency of the Council to keep Parliament informed on the review of the mandate and planning of the EUFOR mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the way in which the Battlegroups initiative develops; is of the view that cooperation with the United Nations should be dramatically enhanced and that cooperation with NATO should be more effective, building on the experience gained in the EU's recent civil and military operations; takes the view that the EU should be ready to take over the police mission in Kosovo;

26.  Calls on the Council and the Commission to play an active role in the ongoing process of constitutional reform in Bosnia-Herzegovina with a view to reaching an agreement among the political forces and in public opinion about going beyond the institutional framework as set out in the Dayton accords, to streamline and rationalise the present institutional architecture in order to create a more efficient and self-sustainable state, also with a view to future European integration, and in order to lay down the conditions for a representative democracy that eliminates the current ethnic divisions;

27.  Calls on the Council to play an active role in order that a constructive solution can be found on the basis of international law and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions to address the issue of the future status of Kosovo whilst respecting its territorial integrity, adequately upholding minority rights, not endangering the Union's entire policy towards the Balkans and helping to consolidate peace, stability and security in the area; calls on the Council, the Commission and the Member States to formulate a joint strategy, to participate actively in negotiations and contact groups and to cooperate closely with the UN; welcomes the progress made in relations with Serbia-Montenegro which led to the opening of the negotiations on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement;

28.  Urges the Council to make the EU perspective for the Balkans a top priority despite the current internal crisis with regard to the process of ratification of the Constitution; takes the view that the future accession of the western Balkan countries will constitute a further step towards the reunification of Europe;

29.  Calls on the Council and the Commission to step up efforts to conclude the negotiation of stabilisation and partnership agreements with the western Balkan countries and reiterates its support for the European perspective of the western Balkan countries under the 'Thessaloniki Agenda';

30.  Reiterates that the development of Africa must be a priority for the external action of the Union on the basis of the essential principle of solidarity and that to this end the Union must play a leading role in addressing the enormous needs of Africa, with the ultimate aim of promoting peace, stability, prosperity, good governance (particularly by combating corruption) and respect for human rights in the region; in this respect, calls for a strengthening of political dialogue; welcomes the Commission initiative for a joint strategy for Africa going beyond traditional development aid policies and seeking the economic and social reconstruction of the countries of the African continent; expects African governments to live up to their commitments to democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights;

31.  Acknowledges that the United Nations has asked the European Union to contribute to the security of the upcoming elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo by means of a military mission; asks the Council to carefully examine the existing possibilities;

32.  Stresses that conflict prevention, management, peacekeeping, operational support and local capacity-building in accordance with the principle of 'African ownership' are indeed of the utmost importance whilst hunger and poverty, inequality in economic terms, political injustice, the escalation of conflicts through violence, forcible expulsions, epidemics, scarcity of resources and numerous ecological hazards remain the most acute problems for the African population; is deeply concerned about the fact that the international community is not able to react adequately to the massive war crimes and human rights violations which can be construed as genocide in Darfur;

33.  Calls on the Council and the Commission to undertake together with Parliament, as soon as possible, an overall assessment of the EU Summits with India, China (September 2005), Russia (October 2005), Ukraine and Canada (November 2005), bearing in mind that the concept of "strategic partnerships" must be based on the sharing and promotion of common values and that Parliament must in any event be fully associated;

34.  Stresses that the present partnership with Russia is more pragmatic than strategic since it reflects common economic interests without achieving any progress as regards human rights and the rule of law; expects, in this respect, concrete results from the recently set up bilateral human rights consultation; is of the view that a genuine partnership should inspire a friendly and just solution to the issue of border treaties with certain neighbours, and trigger a real peace process in Chechnya involving all the democratic components of society so as to find a peaceful solution to the conflict there; stresses the importance of EU-Russia dialogue on issues relating to their common neighbourhood and hopes that Russia will take a more transparent and even-handed approach towards their common neighbours; asks for the EU-Russia Four Common Spaces Agreement to be implemented without delay; supports the work being jointly undertaken by both partners regarding crisis management;

35.  Calls for arms reduction in the Kaliningrad region;

36.  Considers that the policy on Belarus implemented by the European Union has achieved few results, and therefore proposes the development of new measures designed to strengthen links with the people of Belarus and to enable them to enjoy the benefits provided by democracy;

37.  Underlines the need to improve relations with China in such a way that progress is made not only in trade and economic fields but also on human rights and democracy issues; to that end, reiterates its demand for a binding EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports and calls on the Council not to lift the arms embargo until greater progress is made in the field of human rights and arms exports controls in China and on cross-Straits relations; supports the UK Council Presidency proposal to ensure closer EU-China cooperation on energy security and climate change; stresses the need for closer cooperation within the WTO to resolve the serious bilateral trade problems and ensure compliance by China with that organisation's international standards;

38.  Calls on the Council to renew any efforts, within the framework of the Middle East Quartet (USA, Russian Federation, EU and UN), to revive negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, and considers that a comprehensive strategy should be set up for the broader region of the Middle East with the aim of reinforcing peace, security and democracy;

39.  Underlines the need to give the Barcelona Process a new impetus with the aim of enhancing balanced economic, social and democratic development of the countries concerned;

40.  Takes the view that, according to the relevant EU guidelines, human rights dialogues are an acceptable option only if there is sufficient commitment in the partner country to improve the human rights situation on the ground; therefore calls on the Council to evaluate the results of such dialogues at regular intervals in order to determine the extent to which its expectations have been met; reiterates its request to be further involved in such process;

41.  Is of the view that the Union must do its utmost to work with the Iraqi authorities, the United Nations and other relevant regional actors to contribute to Iraq's constitutional process in the wake of the general elections held on 15 December 2005; welcomes the CFSP joint action on the European Union Integrated Rule of Law Mission for Iraq and asks for further actions to be financed under the EU's budget; supports the opening of a Commission delegation in Baghdad in the coming months;

42.  Is of the view that promotion of national solidarity, stability, peace and democratic and economic development which no longer depends on opium production must remain at the forefront of the Union's policy towards Afghanistan in the coming years; supports the expansion of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), under NATO command, in order to enhance the role of the newly elected national parliament, but stresses that the current priority is to fight terrorism and to ensure the security of borders, and with that in mind urges that this assignment be placed under a clear UN mandate; is of the opinion that the Enduring Freedom operation carried out by the US should not be merged with ISAF's reconstruction mission; considers it necessary for the European Union to give particular support for the development of strong national state institutions, the economic, social and cultural development of the country, the disarming of private militias and measures to combat drugs cultivation and trade;

43.  Recalls its longstanding support for a negotiated solution whereby Iran would become an active partner in the region, respectful of human rights; reiterates its call on Iran to take all necessary steps to restore the international community's confidence in line with Parliament's proposals in paragraph 46 of its resolution of 17 November 2005(13); strongly supports the view of the International Atomic Energy Agency that at this stage robust verification by the Agency, combined with active dialogue among all parties concerned, is the best way to move forward; underlines the need for the Union and the United States to work closely on this issue and to sustain a coherent policy towards the region as a whole, focusing both on the Iranian people and the regime as well as on the final aim of democratisation of the country; hopes that the negotiations between the EU-3 (Germany, France and the UK) and Iran can resume as soon as possible, incorporating the Russian proposal for the transfer by Iran to Russia of its uranium enrichment activities; recommends the regular updating of, and close dialogue on, these issues with other international actors such as China, Russia and developing countries;

44.  Underlines that making a real success of the IVth EU-LAC (Latin America and the Caribbean) Summit to be held in Vienna in May 2006 is a decisive challenge for both partners, and indeed that the Summit represents a good occasion to give specific substance to their Strategic Association in order to get the most from its immense potential; is of the view that care should be taken to avoid sending any negative financial signal in the Summit year;

45.  Regrets that, often, its resolutions and reports concerning the different geographical areas of interest to the Union have not been taken into account by the Council and the Commission; stresses that they contain valuable contributions to the debate on the way in which the Union's policy vis-à-vis those geographical areas should evolve; calls for the human rights and democracy clause to be extended to all new agreements between the European Union and third countries and considers that there is a need for greater involvement of the European Parliament in the drawing-up of the respective negotiating mandates for such agreements;

The financing of CFSP

46.  Pending ratification of the Constitutional Treaty, is of the view that the Interinstitutional Agreement of 6 May 1999 should be revised as soon as possible in order to adjust it to the new political, institutional and financial situation of the Union;

47.  Proposes that the structure of the revised Interinstitutional Agreement should take into account the actions to be undertaken by the Union in accordance with the European Security Strategy and the budgetary compromises to that end contained in the Financial Perspectives;

48.  Considers that the Council's position on the financial perspective 2007-2013 does not reflect the ambitions of the EU as a global partner; deplores the proposed reductions in the levels of spending on external actions and policies, both in themselves and as a proportion of total spending; believes that this sends out the wrong signal with regard to the EU's policy priorities and its preparedness to deliver the results in the field of the CSFP;

49.  Recommends that the revised Interinstitutional Agreement should take a step forward and provide for the joint costs of military operations in the framework of the ESDP to be financed from the Community budget, thereby discontinuing the existing practice of Member States' subsidiary budgets or start-up funds;

50.  Suggests that the revised Interinstitutional Agreement should also provide that in the event of any future ESDP operations, 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 joint costs of such operations should also be financed from the EU's budget;

o   o

51.  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 President of the Assembly of the Council of Europe.

(1) OJ C 172, 18.6.1999, p.1.
(2) OJ C 247 E, 6.10.2005, p. 88.
(3) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2005)0132.
(4) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2005)0133.
(5) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2005)0237.
(6) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2005)0289.
(7) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2005)0207.
(8) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2005)0238.
(9) OJ C 82 E, 1.4.2004, p. 610.
(10) OJ C 253 E, 13.10.2005, p. 35.
(11) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2005)0288.
(12) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2005)0150.
(13) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2005)0439.

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