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Procedure : 2016/2067(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0317/2016

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Debates :

PV 22/11/2016 - 12
CRE 22/11/2016 - 12

Votes :

PV 23/11/2016 - 10.5
CRE 23/11/2016 - 10.5
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


Texts adopted
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Wednesday, 23 November 2016 - Strasbourg
Implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy

European Parliament resolution of 23 November 2016 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) (2016/2067(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to 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),

–  having regard to Articles 42(6) and 46 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) on establishing permanent structured cooperation,

–  having regard to the Annual Report from the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) to the European Parliament on the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) (13026/2016), in particular the parts concerning the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP),

–  having regard to Articles 2 and 3 and to Title V of the Treaty on European Union, and in particular to Articles 21, 36, 42(2), 42(3) and 42(7) thereof,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on the Common Security and Defence Policy of 25 November 2013, 18 November 2014, 18 May 2015, 27 June 2016 and 17 October 2016,

–  having regard to the European Council conclusions of 20 December 2013 and 26 June 2015,

–  having regard to its resolutions of 21 May 2015 on the implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy(1), of 21 May 2015 on the impact of developments in European defence markets on the security and defence capabilities in Europe(2), of 11 June 2015 on the strategic military situation in the Black Sea Basin following the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia(3), of 13 April 2016 on the EU in a changing global environment – a more connected, contested and complex world(4), and of 7 June 2016 on Peace Support Operations – EU engagement with the UN and the African Union(5),

–  having regard to the document entitled ‘Shared Vision, Common Action: A Stronger Europe – A Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy’ presented by VP/HR Federica Mogherini on 28 June 2016,

–  having regard to the Implementation Plan on Security and Defence presented by VP/HR Federica Mogherini on 14 November 2016 and to the Council conclusions of 14 November 2016 on implementing the EU global strategy in the area of security and defence,

–  having regard to the Joint Communication by the High Representative and the Commission of 6 April 2016 on countering hybrid threats (JOIN(2016)0018) and the relevant Council conclusions of 19 April 2016,

–  having regard to the Joint Communication by the High Representative and the Commission of 28 April 2015 on capacity building in support of security and development (JOIN(2015)0017) and the Commission’s proposal of 5 July 2016 for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) No 230/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2014 establishing an instrument contributing to stability and peace (COM(2016)0447),

–  having regard to the Joint Communication by the High Representative and the Commission of 5 July 2016 on elements for an EU-wide strategic framework to support security sector reform (JOIN(2016)0031),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on the Mission Support Platform of 18 April 2016,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 28 April 2015 entitled ‘The European Agenda on Security’ (COM(2015)0185),

–  having regard to the ‘Renewed European Union Internal Security Strategy’ for the period 2015-2020 and the related Council conclusions of 15-16 June 2015,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 20 April 2016 entitled ‘Delivering on the European Agenda on Security to fight against terrorism and pave the way towards an effective and genuine Security Union’ (COM(2016)0230),

–  having regard to the Joint Communication by the High Representative and the Commission of 11 December 2013 on the EU’s comprehensive approach to external conflict and crises (JOIN(2013)0030) and the related Council conclusions of 12 May 2014,

–  having regard to its resolution of 22 November 2012 on cyber security and defence(6); having regard to the Joint Communication by the High Representative and the Commission of 7 February 2013 on ‘Cybersecurity Strategy of the European Union: An Open, Safe and Secure Cyberspace’ (JOIN(2013)0001); having regard to the Council’s EU Cyber Defence Policy Framework of 18 November 2014,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 5 July 2016 entitled ‘Strengthening Europe’s Cyber Resilience System and Fostering a Competitive and Innovative Cybersecurity Industry’ (COM(2016)0410),

–  having regard to the Technical Arrangement between the NATO Computer Incident Response Capability (NCIRC) and the Computer Emergency Response Team – European Union (CERT-EU), signed on 10 February 2016, that facilitates increased information sharing on cyber incidents,

–  having regard to the EU-NATO Joint Declaration signed on 8 July 2016 in the context of the NATO Warsaw Summit 2016 (Joint declaration by the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission, and the Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation),

–  having regard to the Warsaw Summit Communiqué issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Warsaw on 8-9 July 2016,

–  having regard to the results shown in Eurobarometer 85.1 of June 2016,

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A8-0317/2016),

The strategic context

1.  Notes that the European security environment has deteriorated considerably, becoming more fluid, more complex, more dangerous and less predictable; notes that threats are both conventional and hybrid, generated by both state and non-state actors, and coming from the south and the east, and that they affect the Member States differently;

2.  Recalls that the security of the EU Member States is deeply interconnected, and notes that they react to common threats and risks in an uncoordinated and fragmented way, thus complicating and often hampering a more common approach; emphasises that this lack of coordination constitutes one of the vulnerabilities of the Union’s action; notes that Europe lacks the resilience to effectively tackle hybrid threats, which often have a cross-border dimension;

3.  Considers that Europe is now compelled to react to an arc of increasingly complex crises: from West Africa, through the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and the Middle East, East Ukraine and to the Caucasus; considers that the EU should increase dialogue and cooperation with third countries from the region, as well as regional and sub-regional organisations; stresses that the EU should be prepared to deal with structural changes in the international security landscape and with challenges that include interstate conflicts, state collapse and cyber-attacks, as well as with the security implications of climate change;

4.  Notes with concern that terrorism carried out by radical Islamist organisations and individuals is targeting Europe on an unprecedented scale, bringing the European way of life under pressure; underlines that, as a consequence, the security of the individual has become paramount, eroding the traditional distinction between its external and internal dimensions;

5.  Calls on the EU to adapt to these security challenges, in particular by using the existing CSDP tools more efficiently, in coherence with other external and internal instruments; calls for better cooperation and coordination between Member States, especially in the field of counter-terrorism;

6.  Calls for a strong preventive policy based on comprehensive deradicalisation programmes; notes that it is also essential to be more active in combating radicalisation and terrorist propaganda, both within the EU and in the EU’s external relations; calls on the Commission to take action to tackle the distribution of extremist content online and to promote more active judicial cooperation between criminal justice systems, including Eurojust, in the fight against radicalisation and terrorism in all Member States;

7.  Notes that for the first time since the World War II borders in Europe have been changed by force; underlines the detrimental impact of military occupation on the security of Europe as a whole; reiterates that any border change in Ukraine brought about by force is inconsistent with the principles of the Helsinki Final Act and the United Nations Charter;

8.  Highlights that according to Eurobarometer 85.1, published in June 2016, approximately two thirds of EU citizens would like to see greater EU engagement in matters of security and defence policy;

9.  Takes the view that a more unified and therefore more effective European Foreign and Security Policy can make a decisive contribution to reducing the intensity of the armed clashes in Iraq and Syria, and to eliminating the self-styled Islamic State;

A revised and more robust CSDP

10.  Is firmly convinced that, as a result, a thorough and substantial revision of the CSDP is needed in order to enable the EU and its Member States to contribute in a decisive way to the security of the Union, to the management of international crises and to asserting the EU’s strategic autonomy; recalls that no country can face the current security challenges on its own;

11.  Believes that a successful revision of the CSDP will have to fully integrate the EU Member States in the process from the very beginning in order to avoid the risk of deadlocks in the future; emphasises the practical and financial benefits of further cooperation for the development of European defence capabilities, and notes the ongoing initiatives, which should be followed through with concrete measures at the December 2016 European Council on Defence; calls also on the Member States and the EU for appropriate investment in security and defence;

12.  Emphasises that the establishment of permanent structured cooperation (Article 42(6) TEU) will make it possible to develop self-defence or a permanent structure for self-defence which can strengthen crisis management operations;

13.  Underlines that, as Europe is no longer in full control of its security environment, choosing the time and place of action, the EU, through CSDP missions and operations as well as other relevant instruments, should be able to intervene across the whole spectrum of crisis management, including crisis prevention and crisis resolution, thus encompassing all stages of the conflict cycle, as well as fully participating in keeping Europe secure and ensuring the common security and defence of the entire area of freedom, security and justice; encourages the European Council to start developing the common security and defence policy into a common defence as provided for in Article 42(2) TEU; is of the opinion that one of the CSDP’s important objectives should be that of strengthening the EU’s resilience;

14.  Welcomes the roadmap on CSDP presented by the VP/HR with a concrete timetable and steps; welcomes the fact that this roadmap complements the forthcoming European Defence Action Plan; underlines the need to reinforce the military component of the CSDP; strongly supports that Member States coordinate investment in security and defence, as well as increasing financial support for defence research at EU level;

15.  Underlines equally that the CSDP should be based on a strong collective defence principle and efficient financing and that it should be implemented in coordination with international institutions in the field of security and defence, and in full complementarity with NATO; considers that the EU should encourage the Member States to meet NATO capacity goals, which require a minimum level of defence spending of 2 % of GDP, as reaffirmed at the Wales and Warsaw Summits;

16.  Recalls that conflicts and crises in Europe and around are happening in both physical and cyber space, and underlines that cyber security and cyber defence must therefore be integrated as the core elements of the CSDP and fully mainstreamed throughout all the EU’s internal and external policies;

17.  Welcomes the presentation by the VP/HR of the Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy (EUGS) as a necessary and positive development for the institutional framework in which the CFSP and the CSDP will operate and develop; regrets the low involvement of Member States in preparing the EUGS;

18.  Stresses that strong commitment, ownership and support on the part of the Member States and national parliaments, in close cooperation with all relevant EU bodies, are needed in order to ensure the rapid and effective implementation of the EUGS’s political level of ambition, priorities and comprehensive approach in the form of an EU White Book on Security and Defence preceded by the Implementation Plan on Security and Defence; highlights the close link of the Implementation Plan with the wider implementation of the EUGS, with the forthcoming Commission European Defence Action Plan and with the implementation of the Joint EU-NATO Declaration signed in Warsaw; welcomes the ongoing work of the VP/HR and of the Member States in the implementation process; underlines the fact that the appropriate resources need to be allocated for the implementation of the EUGS and for an effective and more robust CSDP;

19.  Considers the development of a sectoral strategy a necessary follow-up to the EUGS – to be agreed and presented by the European Council – which should further specify the civil and military levels of ambition, tasks, requirements and capability priorities; reiterates its previous calls for the development of a European Defence White Book and urges the Council to prepare this document without delay; expresses its concern that the suggested implementation plan on security and defence remains far behind parliamentary and public expectations; reiterates the indivisibility of the security of all European Union Member States;

20.  Notes the European Security Compact proposed by the foreign affairs ministers of Germany and France, and supports inter alia the idea of a common analysis of Europe’s strategic environment, making threat assessment a periodical common activity, and thus obtaining respect for each other’s concerns and support for common capabilities and common action; also welcomes other Member States’ recent initiatives on the development of the CSDP; notes with regret, however, the lack of self-assessment of Member States’ inactivity in implementing previous European commitments in the defence area;

21.  Observes that, to this effect, cooperation with similar NATO activities is needed; emphasises that a serious commitment and an increased and more efficient exchange of intelligence and information between the Member States are indispensable;

22.  Notes that, as internal and external security are becoming more and more integrated and the distinction between physical and cyber space harder to define, integration of their respective inventories is also becoming necessary, empowering the EU to act along the entire spectrum of instruments up to the level of Article 42(7) of the Treaty on European Union;

The CSDP and the integrated approach to crises

23.  Stresses the importance of creating a permanent EU headquarters for civilian and military CSDP missions and operations, from where an integrated operational staff would support the entire planning cycle, from the initial political concept to detailed plans; stresses that this would not be a replication of NATO structures, but instead would constitute the necessary institutional arrangement to strengthen CSDP missions and operations planning and conduction capabilities;

24.  Highlights the contribution of CSDP missions and operations, including border assistance, capacity-building, military training missions and naval operations, to international peace and stability;

25.  Finds it regrettable that the CSDP missions and operations have continued to be dogged by structural weaknesses, jeopardising their efficiency; considers that they should be genuine tools and could be better integrated into the EUGS;

26.  Notes in this regard the level of political ambition set by the EUGS for an integrated approach to conflicts and crises as regards the engagement of the Union at all stages of the conflict cycle through prevention, resolution and stabilisation, as well as the commitment to avoid premature disengagement; considers that the EU should coherently support the Member States involved in the coalition against the self-styled Islamic State by setting up a CSDP operation, focused on training, in Iraq;

27.  Welcomes the idea of ‘regionalised’ CSDP missions present in the Sahel, notably because it corresponds to the will of countries in the sub-region to increase cooperation in the field of security through the G5 Sahel platform; is convinced that this could represent an opportunity to strengthen the efficiency and the relevance of the CSDP missions (EUCAP Sahel Mali and EUCAP Sahel Niger) present in the field; strongly believes that this concept of ‘regionalisation’ must rely on field expertise, definite objectives and the means to achieve them, and should not be defined only under the impetus of political considerations;

28.  Underlines that all Council decisions on future missions and operations should prioritise engagement in conflicts directly affecting EU security or the security of partners and regions where the EU has the role of security provider; considers that the decision to engage should be based on a common analysis and understanding of the strategic environment and on shared strategic interests of the Member States, bearing in mind the actions of other allies and organisations such as the UN and NATO; considers that CSDP capacity-building missions must be coordinated with security sector reform and rule of law work by the Commission;

29.  Notes the Commission’s proposal to amend Regulation (EU) No 230/2014 (establishing an Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace) in order to extend the Union’s assistance to equipping military actors in partner countries, considering this an indispensable contribution to their resilience, which will diminish their chances of once again becoming the object of conflict and sanctuaries for hostile activities against the EU; stresses that this should be done in exceptional circumstances, as outlined in Article 3a of the aforementioned proposal to amend Regulation (EU) No 230/2014, in order to contribute to sustainable development, good governance and the rule of law; in this context, encourages the EEAS and the Commission to speed up the implementation of the CBSD initiative to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of CSDP missions;

30.  Underlines the need also to identify other financial instruments to enhance partners’ capacity-building in the security and defence field; calls on the EEAS and the Commission to ensure full coherence and coordination in order to achieve the best results and to avoid duplication on the ground;

31.  Notes, to that end, that the Petersberg tasks should be revised and the Battlegroups should become an employable military instrument as soon as possible through increased modularity and more functional financing; notes that the lack of a constructive attitude among Member States continues to constitute a political and operational impediment to the deployment of Battlegroups; urges the Council to initiate the setting-up of the start-up fund (provided for in Article 41(3) TEU) with a view to urgent financing of the initial phases of military operations;

32.  Calls for more flexibility in the EU’s financial rules, in order to support its ability to respond to crises, and for the implementation of existing Lisbon Treaty provisions; calls for a revision of the Athena mechanism in order to extend its scope to all costs related, first, to rapid reaction operations and deployment of the EU Battlegroups, and then to all military operations;

Collaboration with NATO and other partners

33.  Recalls that NATO and the EU share the same strategic interests and face the same challenges to the east and the south; notes the relevance of the mutual defence clause, Article 42(7), for the EU Member States, whether members of NATO or not; notes that the EU should be able, using its own means, to protect EU non-NATO-members to the same extent; notes the EUSG’s objective of an appropriate level of EU strategic autonomy, and underlines that the two organisations need to have complementarity of their means; considers that the EU’s ‘strategic autonomy’ should reinforce Europe’s capacity to promote security within and beyond its borders, as well as strengthening the partnership with NATO and transatlantic relations;

34.  Considers that the bedrock of close and effective EU-NATO cooperation is provided by the complementarity and compatibility of their missions and, consequently, of their inventories of instruments; stresses that relations between the two organisations should continue to be cooperative and not competitive; considers that the EU should encourage Member States to meet NATO capacity goals, which requires a minimum level of defence spending of 2 % of GDP;

35.  Underlines that NATO is best equipped for deterrence and defence, and is ready to implement collective defence (Article V of the Washington Treaty) in the case of aggression against one of its members, while the CSDP has its current focus on peace-keeping, conflict prevention and strengthening international security (Article 42 TEU) and the EU has additional means to deal with challenges to the internal security of the Member States, including subversion, which are not covered by Article V; reiterates that the ‘solidarity clause’ in Article 222 TFEU is intended to ensure protection of democratic institutions and the civilian population in the event of a terrorist attack;

36.  Welcomes the recent Joint Declaration signed by the EU with NATO in Warsaw and fully supports the fields of collaboration mentioned therein; notes that the declaration describes well-established informal practices rather than bringing EU-NATO cooperation to a new level; underlines the need especially to deepen cooperation and further complement capacity-building with regard to hybrid and cyber threats and research; welcomes the declared goal of the Bratislava Roadmap to start implementing the Joint Declaration immediately;

37.  Fully supports further enhancing cooperation on security and defence with other institutional partners, including the UN, the African Union and the OSCE, as well as strategic bilateral partners, particularly the US, in areas such as hybrid threats, maritime security, rapid reaction, counterterrorism and cyber security;

European defence cooperation

38.  Considers that the development of a stronger defence industry would strengthen the strategic autonomy and technological independence of the EU; is convinced that enhancing the EU’s status as a security provider in Europe’s neighbourhood needs adequate, sufficient capabilities and a competitive, efficient and transparent defence industry ensuring a sustainable supply chain; notes that the European defence sector is characterised by fragmentation and duplication, which need to be gradually eliminated via a process providing incentives and rewards to all national components and taking account of the longer-term perspective of an integrated defence market;

39.  Regrets the fact that the Policy Framework for Systematic and Long-Term Defence Cooperation has not yet been implemented by the Member States with the necessary commitment and that the pooling and sharing initiative has not led to tangible results; calls on the Council to introduce regular biannual defence debates to provide strategic guidance and political impetus for the CSDP and European defence cooperation;

40.  Underlines the need to further deepen cyber defence cooperation and to ensure full cyber-resilience of CSDP missions; urges the Council to incorporate cyber defence as an integral part of its defence debates; sees a strong need for national cyber defence strategies; calls on the Member States to take full use of cyber capacity building measures under the responsibility of the European Defence Agency (EDA) and to make use of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE);

41.  Notes that all Member States have difficulty in maintaining a very broad range of fully operational defensive capabilities, mostly because of financial constraints; calls, therefore, for more coordination and clearer choices about which capabilities to maintain, so that Member States can specialise in certain capabilities;

42.  Believes that interoperability is key if Member States’ forces are to be more compatible and integrated; stresses, therefore, that Member States must explore the possibility of joint procurement of defence resources; notes that the protectionist and closed nature of EU defence markets makes this more difficult;

43.  Recalls that a robust European defence technological and industrial base, which includes facilities for SMEs, is a fundamental underpinning of the CSDP and a prerequisite for a common market, which will allow the EU to build its strategic autonomy;

44.  Notes with regret that Member States apply Directive 2009/81/EC on defence and security procurement and Directive 2009/43/EC on intra-European Union transfers of defence-related products to totally different extents; calls on the Commission in consequence to apply the guidance note on Article 346, and to assume its role as guardian of the Treaties by starting to implement infringement proceedings in the event of violations of the directives; calls on the Member States to improve multinational efforts on the demand side of military procurement, and on European industries on the supplier side to strengthen their global market positions through better coordination and industrial consolidation;

45.  Is concerned at the steady decline in defence research funding across the Member States, which is putting at risk the industrial and technological base and, consequently, Europe’s strategic autonomy; calls on the Member States to supply their armies with equipment manufactured by the European defence industry, rather than by industrial competitors;

46.  Is convinced that enhancing the role of the EDA in coordinating capability-driven programmes, projects and activities, would benefit an efficient CSDP; considers that the EDA should be supported in fulfilling its objectives to the full, including in particular its upcoming priorities and roles in the context of the European Defence Action Plan (EDAP) and the European Defence Research Programme (EDRP); calls, therefore, on the Member States to review the organisation, procedures and activities of the Agency, opening more options for further cooperation and integration; calls on the Member States to give guidelines to the EDA on coordinating a review of the Capability Development Plan, in line with the EUGS and the sectorial strategy;

47.  Stresses that cyber security is by its very nature a policy area in which cooperation and integration are crucial, not only between EU Member States, key partners and NATO, but also between different actors within society, since it is not only a military responsibility; calls for clearer guidelines on how EU defensive and offensive capabilities are to be used and in what context; recalls that the European Parliament has repeatedly called for a thorough revision of the EU dual-use export regulation to prevent software and other systems which can be used against EU digital infrastructure and to violate human rights from falling into the wrong hands; calls for the EU to defend in international forums – including, but not limited to, internet governance forums – the principle that the internet’s core infrastructure should be a neutral zone in which governments, pursuing their national interests, are prohibited from interfering;

48.  Supports the Commission’s defence-related initiatives such as the Defence Action Plan and the Defence Industrial Policy, which should start after the presentation of an EU White Book on Security and Defence; supports further involvement of the Commission in defence, through extensive and well-focused research, planning and implementation; welcomes the Preparatory Action for CSDP-related research and asks for adequate funding for the remainder of the current multiannual financial framework (MFF); supports the development of an EU Defence Research Programme under the next MFF (2021-2027);

49.  Considers that a future EU Defence Research Programme should finance research projects from priority areas to be agreed by Member States and that a European Defence Fund could support the financing of capabilities commonly agreed by Member States and with recognised EU added value;

50.  Calls for European law to be reformed to allow European defence industries to benefit from the same state aids as those enjoyed by US industries;

o   o

51.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the President of the European Council, 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 Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.

(1) OJ C 353, 27.9.2016, p. 59.
(2) OJ C 353, 27.9.2016, p. 74.
(3) OJ C 407, 4.11.2016, p. 74.
(4) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0120.
(5) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0249.
(6) OJ C 419, 16.12.2015, p. 145.

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