Full text 
Procedure : 2018/2099(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0375/2018

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 11/12/2018 - 16
CRE 11/12/2018 - 16

Votes :

PV 12/12/2018 - 12.16

Texts adopted :


Texts adopted
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Wednesday, 12 December 2018 - Strasbourg
Annual report on the implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy

European Parliament resolution of 12 December 2018 on the annual report on the implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy (2018/2099(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Treaty on European Union (TEU),

–  having regard to Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP of 8 December 2008 defining common rules governing control of exports of military technology and equipment(1),

–  having regard to the European Council conclusions of 20 December 2013, 26 June 2015, 15 December 2016, 22 June 2017 and 28 June 2018,

–  having regard to the annual report from the Council to the European Parliament on the common foreign and security policy,

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 December 2018 on the annual report on the implementation of the common foreign and security policy(2),

–  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, 14 November 2016, 18 May 2017, 17 July 2017 and 25 June 2018,

–  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 the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) on 28 June 2016,

–  having regard to the joint declarations of 8 July 2016 and 10 July 2018 by the Presidents of the European Council and the Commission and the Secretary-General of NATO,

–  having regard to the common set of 42 proposals endorsed by the Council of the European Union and the North Atlantic Council on 6 December 2016 and the progress reports of 14 June and 5 December 2017 on the implementation thereof, and to the new set of 32 proposals endorsed by both Councils on 5 December 2017,

–  having regard to the Reflection Paper on the Future of European Defence of 7 June 2017,

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 September 2013 on ‘EU’s military structures: state of play and future prospects’(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 September 2017 on a Space Strategy for Europe(4),

–  having regard to its resolution of 22 November 2016 on the European Defence Union(5),

–  having regard to its resolutions 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)(6) and of 13 December 2017 on the Annual report on the implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy(7),

–  having regard to its resolution of 16 March 2017 on Constitutional, legal and institutional implications of a common security and defence policy: possibilities offered by the Lisbon Treaty(8),

–  having regard to its resolution of 5 July 2017 on the mandate for the trilogue on the 2018 draft budget(9),

–  having regard to the Concept on Strengthening EU Mediation and Dialogue Capacities adopted on 10 November 2009,

–  having regard to the document entitled ‘Implementation Plan on Security and Defence’, presented by the VP/HR on 14 November 2016,

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 June 2018 on EU-NATO relations(10),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 30 November 2016 on the European Defence Action Plan (COM(2016)0950),

–  having regard to the new defence package presented by the Commission on 7 June 2017 in the press release ‘A Europe that defends: Commission opens debate on moving towards a Security and Defence Union’,

–  having regard to the annual report on the implementation of the EU Global Strategy – Year 2,

–  having regard to its resolutions of 14 December 2016 on the implementation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy(11) and of 13 December 2017 on the Annual Report on the implementation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy(12),

–  having regard to the EU’s Action Plan on Military Mobility published on 28 March 2018,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on Reinforcing the UN-EU Strategic Partnership on Peace Operations and Crisis Management: Priorities 2019-2021, adopted on 18 September 2018,

–  having regard to the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the EU in 2012 owing to the fact that for over six decades it has contributed to the advancement of peace, reconciliation, democracy and human rights,

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (A8-0375/2018),

A.  whereas the Member States resolve to progressively frame a common defence policy, which might lead to a common defence in accordance with the provisions of Article 42 of the TEU, thereby reinforcing the European identity and its independence in order to promote peace, security and progress in Europe and in the world;

The Union’s strategic environment

1.  Notes that the rules-based world order is being increasingly challenged, in the EU neighbourhood and beyond, at both the political-military level and, more recently, the commercial-economic level; notes that these systemic challenges are being accompanied by the continuous deterioration of the strategic international environment, which is confronted with interstate and intrastate conflicts and violence, terrorism, state failure, cyber and hybrid attacks on the foundational pillars of our societies, the effects of climate change and natural disasters; acknowledges that the defence of the rules-based international order, international law and the values defended by liberal democracies should be of the utmost priority and should be approached without compromise;

2.  Stresses that these challenges are too vast to be successfully met by any single country; emphasises that it is vital for the EU to respond to these challenges rapidly, consistently, effectively, with one voice and in concert with allies, partners and other international organisations; notes that the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) is one of the useful tools for addressing many of these challenges, but that it should be used more efficiently and in coherence with other external and internal instruments in order to enable the EU to contribute in a decisive way to the management of international crises and to exercise its strategic autonomy; points out that the CSDP institutions are in place, as are its many instruments, and urges the Member States to make use of them without delay;

3.  Recalls that the security of EU Member States is deeply interconnected; stresses the need to determine the risks identified by all Member States; recognises that the complex nature of these challenges, with different threats affecting different Member States to varying degrees, provides room for agreement on how to deal with such challenges collectively, in a spirit of solidarity;

4.  Underlines that jihadist terrorism already affecting the Middle East, the Sahel and the Horn of Africa is spreading towards West Africa, Central Asia and Southeast Asia; stresses that this lasting threat requires a sustained and well-coordinated strategy at EU level to protect EU citizens and interests and to support affected regions;

5.  Notes that recent activities and policies by Russia have reduced stability and changed the security environment, and emphasises that the EU and the Member States need to come to a more common, strategic approach with regard to Russia;

6.  Notes with concern that the use of the Novichok nerve agent in Salisbury in March 2018 was the first such attack on European soil since World War II and subsequently resulted in the death of an EU citizen; urges the European Council to adopt restrictive measures against those responsible for the use and proliferation of chemical weapons;

7.  Stresses that Russia’s occupation in Ukraine is still ongoing, the Minsk agreements – without which there can be no solution to the conflict – have not been implemented and the illegal annexation and militarisation of Crimea are continuing; is deeply concerned that Russia’s excessive military exercises and activities and its hybrid tactics, including cyber-terrorism, fake news and disinformation campaigns, and economic and energy blackmail, are destabilising the Eastern Partnership countries and the Western Balkans and also being targeted at Western democracies and increasing tensions within them; is concerned that the security environment surrounding the EU will remain highly volatile for years to come; reiterates the strategic importance of the Western Balkans for the security and stability of the EU and the need to focus and strengthen the EU’s political engagement towards the region, including by strengthening the mandate of the EU’s CSDP missions; is firmly convinced that in order to overcome the EU’s vulnerability there is a need for more integration and coordination;

8.  Notes that this need for cooperation has been increasingly recognised in recent years, and welcomes the advances that have been made in this direction, such as the establishment of Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), although concrete results still need to be duly evaluated; considers that the EU should also strengthen dialogue and cooperation with third countries in its region and with regional and sub-regional organisations;

9.  Emphasises, however, that to date cooperation is still in the development stage and that much more needs to be done to ensure that the EU and the Member States reap the rewards of deep, sustained, long-term cooperation on defence;

10.  Emphasises the practical and financial benefits of further integration of European defence capabilities; underlines that through comprehensive and trustworthy work on the part of all stakeholders it is possible to increase the scope and efficiency of defence spending without increasing defence spending itself;

11.  Notes that defence of EU Member States depends first on their political will and their military capability to shoulder their responsibilities in an uncertain strategic environment; underlines the importance of the transatlantic bond for the security and defence of the European and North American democracies; expresses concern, however, about the current state of this relationship and calls on all responsible political and societal forces on both sides of the Atlantic to further strengthen rather than undermine this crucial relationship; underlines the need to avoid spillovers from recent difficulties in the trade relationship to the transatlantic security bond; stresses that well-defined strategic autonomy will foster European security as well as EU-NATO relations; reiterates against this backdrop that there is an increased need for defence cooperation at European level and to focus resources on key priorities;

12.  Emphasises that multilateralism, to which Europe is deeply attached, is increasingly being called into question by the attitudes of the US and other world powers; reiterates the importance of multilateralism in maintaining peace and stability, as a vehicle for promoting the values of the rule of law and tackling global issues;

CSDP – the way forward

13.  Considers that increased investment in security and defence is a matter of urgency for the Member States and the EU and that defence solidarity and cooperation should become the norm, as outlined in the EU Global Strategy (EUGS); welcomes the progress achieved so far in the implementation of the security and defence provisions of the EUGS; believes that these achievements open up the perspective for important structural changes in the future;

14.  Calls on the Member States to aim for the target of 2 % of GDP for defence spending, and to spend 20 % of their defence budgets on equipment identified as necessary by the European Defence Agency (EDA), including related research and development;

15.  Welcomes the creation of a dedicated heading for defence in the Commission’s Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) proposal, and in particular the establishment of a budget line from which the European Defence Fund and Military Mobility projects will be funded; is of the opinion that these decisions will most probably call for centralised management on defence at Commission level; underlines that funding from that budget line should be exclusively spent for defence purposes, without politicisation, as security is indivisible and should be coherent with the capability and infrastructure needs of Member States and in line with the EU’s aspirations for strategic autonomy;

16.  Notes the increasing prominence of military mobility on the European defence agenda; underlines that military mobility is a central strategic tool in the current threat environment, vital for both the CSDP and the Member States’ other multilateral obligations, including NATO; underlines the importance of adapting existing networks to military mobility needs; welcomes, therefore, the inclusion of military mobility not only in the proposal for the new Connecting Europe Facility but also in PESCO, and its prominent role in EU-NATO cooperation; emphasises that these different projects need to be properly coordinated, including with allies, to ensure that they yield the desired results; welcomes the Commission proposal to allocate EUR 6.5 billion to military mobility projects through the Connecting Europe Facility in the next MFF (2021-2027);

17.  Notes, however, that for all these different elements to fit together, it will be of essential importance to develop a well-defined overarching strategic approach to European defence that could best be defined through a EU Security and Defence White Book;

18.  Calls for the establishment of precise guidelines to provide a well-defined framework for future activation and implementation of Article 42(7) of the TEU; calls for the conceptualisation and adoption of an EU Security and Defence White Book that will guarantee that current and future capability-building processes are based on the EU’s security interests;

19.  Also welcomes the proposal by the VP/HR, with the support of the Commission, for a European Peace Facility, which will finance parts of the costs of EU defence activities such as African Union peacekeeping missions, the common costs of own military CSDP operations, and military capacity building for partners that are excluded from budgetary funding by Article 41(2) of the TEU; reaffirms the need to avoid duplication with other existing instruments; notes in particular the ambitious inclusion, and expansion, of the Athena mechanism for the common funding of CSDP missions and operations, which has been a long-standing demand of Parliament; calls for improved financial control of all future missions and for timely impact assessments;

Capabilities for the Union’s security and defence

20.  Underlines that the EU needs to apply the entire toolbox of available policy instruments, from soft to hard power and from short-term measures to long-term policies; reaffirms the importance of developing the necessary civilian and military capabilities, including through pooling and sharing, to deal with the comprehensive security challenges in and around Europe and its periphery, as outlined by the EUGS; recalls that the EUGS encourages deep defence cooperation within the Union;

21.  Considers that EU Member States must endeavour to improve military capabilities to cover the full spectrum of land, air, space, maritime and cyber capabilities, including strategic enablers to make the EU’s CSDP a credible force; stresses the need to invest in Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, satellite communications, and autonomous access to space and permanent earth observation to better assess internal and external threats;

22.  Reaffirms the EU’s role as a global maritime security provider and stresses the importance of developing relevant military and civilian capabilities; welcomes in this regard the adoption of the revised EU Maritime Security Strategy Action Plan in June 2018;

23.  Considers it vital that the EU and NATO step up the sharing of intelligence in order to enable the formal attribution of cyber attacks and consequently enable the imposing of restrictive sanctions on those responsible for cyber attacks;

24.  Recognises the strategic dimension of the space sector for Europe and the need to improve synergies between its civil and security/defence aspects; underlines the need to make use of space capacities, also taking into account both the wider geopolitical environment and the CSDP, while stressing that EU space programmes are civilian in nature;

25.  Welcomes the EU’s steps towards consolidating its cyber resilience by establishing a common cyber-security certification framework, by strengthening the EU cyber-security agency and by swiftly implementing Directive (EU) 2016/1148 on security of network and information systems(13) (the NIS Directive);

26.  Considers that interference in other countries’ elections through cyber operations undermines or violates the right of people to take part in the government of their country, directly or through freely chosen representatives, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and that such interference by other states constitutes a violation of international law, even when there is no use of military force, threat to territorial integrity or threat to political independence;

27.  Considers that the capabilities for the Union’s security and defence could be improved by making better use of the existing frameworks of defence and military cooperation such as the European multinational High Readiness Corps HQs and the EU Battlegroups, reinforcing and not duplicating similar initiatives within NATO; believes that this will contribute to the continuous transformation of national armed forces and towards the goal of being more interoperable, more sustainable, more flexible and more deployable;

28.  Welcomes the establishment of the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP), aiming at supporting the competitiveness and innovation capacity of the EU defence industry with EUR 500 million until 2020; calls for its swift implementation;

29.  Believes that EDIDP will help to foster the competitiveness, efficiency and innovation capacity of the EU’s defence industry, which will involve, inter alia, designing, prototyping, testing, qualification and certification of defence products, as well as the development of technologies within a consortium including small and medium-sized enterprise, middle capitalisation companies (mid-caps), research centres and universities, and collaboration between Member States, all of which will contribute to the EU’s strategic autonomy and strengthen the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB); points out that both the internal and external dimensions of the Union CSDP can benefit from the development of a single defence market;

30.  Welcomes the proposal for a regulation establishing a European Defence Fund (EDF) and the substantial funding proposed by the Commission for the next MFF; calls for the initial lessons learned from the implementation of the EDIDP, the Pilot Project and the Preparatory Action on Defence Research to be taken into account; emphasises that the outcomes of the EDIDP should be taken duly into consideration and expresses hope that the proposal can be agreed as soon as possible with a view to improving Europe’s defence industry and its ability to cooperate with its partners;

31.  Stresses that the EU’s strategic security and defence objectives can only be achieved through the closest coordination of the needs and long-term capability building requirements of both the armed forces and defence industries of the Member States; notes that both the Capability Development Plan (CDP) and the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD) can make important contributions to the achievement of this goal;

32.  Emphasises once again that the EDA should be the implementing agency for Union actions under the European Capabilities and Armaments policy, where envisaged by the Lisbon Treaty; stresses that the administrative and operational expenditure of the EDA should be funded from the Union budget; welcomes the minor adjustments that have been made to the EDA’s budget, but emphasises that the EDA’s increased responsibilities in the context of, among other things, PESCO, CARD and EDF require adequate funding;

33.  Recalls the need to facilitate the organisation of more joint trainings and exercises between the European armed forces, promoting interoperability, standardisation and preparedness to face a wide spectrum of threats, both conventional and unconventional;

34.  Welcomes recent measures to strengthen civilian CSDP as an essential part of the EU’s joined-up approach, in particular the development of capabilities and responsiveness of CSDP civilian missions and the focus on enhancing effectiveness in addressing challenges along the internal-external nexus; stresses that the Council and the Commission should increase investments in the upcoming MFF in civilian conflict prevention, which contributes to the increase of the role of the EU as an international actor; calls for adjusting the CSDP structures and procedures in order to deploy and direct civilian and military missions and operations faster and in a more effective and integrated manner;

35.  Invites the EU and the Member States to always prioritise mediation as the first tool of response to emerging crises and to support the mediation efforts of other partners; stresses the need for the EU to actively promote peaceful negotiation and conflict-prevention among its international partners;

Permanent Structured Cooperation

36.  Welcomes the implementation of an inclusive PESCO as a fundamental step towards closer cooperation in security and defence among the Member States; acknowledges the character of PESCO as a legally binding long-term project, including a set of highly ambitious commitments as well as an array of cooperative projects; stresses the need for full alignment between PESCO activities, other CSDP activities, in particular with the CSDP objectives as defined by the TEU, and activities with NATO; considers that PESCO should be a driver for building capabilities for both organisations;

37.  Calls on participating Member States to present projects with a strategic European dimension, responding to EU identified capability shortfalls and strengthening the EDTIB; calls on the Member States participating in PESCO to show more ambition and to fully take into account the extent of European added value when submitting proposals for further PESCO projects;

38.  Highlights the close connection of PESCO with CARD and EDF to enhance Member States’ defence capabilities;

39.  Welcomes the Council decision establishing a common set of governance rules for PESCO projects, clarifying many of the lingering open questions about the details of PESCO implementation; notes, however, that possible additional budgetary appropriations will be necessary to cover the administrative expenditure of the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the EDA to enable them to fulfil their functions as the PESCO secretariat;

CSDP missions and operations

40.  Notes the contribution of CSDP missions and operations to international peace and stability but regrets that the efficiency of these missions can still be jeopardised by structural weaknesses, uneven contributions from Member States and unsuitability to the operational environment; notes that the development of CSDP requires, above all, political will from the Member States, based on common interests and priorities, as well as the setting-up of institutional cooperation structures; believes that the EU’s long-standing CSDP mission, EUFOR BiH / Operation Althea, still plays a role of deterrence as a visible sign of EU commitment to the country and the wider Western Balkan region; considers it essential, therefore, to continue its executive mandate and sustain its current force strength (600 staff), as the current safe and secure environment still has the potential to be destabilised through increased tensions and ethno-nationalist centred politics;

41.  Reaffirms the strategic importance of the partnership between the EU and Africa, based on their close historical, cultural and geographical ties; stresses the need to strengthen cooperation, including in the area of security; underlines in particular the importance of the process of Regionalisation of CSDP action in the Sahel, which combines the EU’s civilian and military activities in order to enhance the capabilities for cooperation of the G5 Sahel countries;

42.  Notes that the geopolitical situation in the Horn of Africa is increasingly marked by competition in the light of its importance for global trade and regional stability; welcomes, therefore, the continuing presence of Operation Atalanta, EUCAP Somalia and EUTM Somalia as contributors to the stabilisation of the region; emphasises, however, that CSDP can only be a part of any solution to the manifold challenges the region is facing and notes the continuing importance of a comprehensive approach;

43.  Also welcomes the activities of the EU missions and operations in the Sahel region – EUCAP Sahel Mali, EUCAP Sahel Niger and EUTM Mali – and the contributions they are making to regional stability, the fight against terrorism and human trafficking, and the security of the local population;

44.  Notes the results of the recent report by the European Court of Auditors on EUCAP Sahel Niger and EUCAP Sahel Mali, which flagged up problems with staff training, vacancies, sustainability and performance indicators, problems that are likely also to affect other civilian missions; welcomes the prompt response of the EEAS, which addressed the issues raised in order to enhance the effectiveness of the civilian CSDP; welcomes the European Court of Auditors’ involvement in auditing CSDP missions and operations and encourages the production of further special reports on other missions and operations;

45.  Stresses the continuous contribution of EUNAVFOR MED operation Sophia to the wider EU efforts to disrupt the business model of human smuggling and trafficking in the southern central Mediterranean and to prevent further loss of life at sea;

46.  Welcomes the establishment and full operational capability of the Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC) for non-executive EU missions and operations (training missions); underlines the need to soon give the MPCC the mandate to plan and conduct all military CSDP operations in the future, and the need to remove some obstacles to the deployment of EU Battlegroups; calls for enhanced cooperation between the MPCC and the Civilian Planning and Conduct Capacity (CPCC), also in the context of the Joint Support Coordination Cell (JSCC), in order to maximise the coordination of civilian and military synergies and the sharing of expertise as part of a more integrated and comprehensive approach to crises and conflicts; calls for the reinforcement of the MPCC, with a view to increasing its command and control capabilities for executive operations and increasing synergies with civilian missions;

47.  Stresses the need to apply a gender perspective in the EU’s CSDP action, considering the role that women play in war, post-conflict stabilisation and peace-building processes; emphasises the need to address gender violence as an instrument of war in conflict regions; underlines that women are more adversely affected by war than men; invites the EU and its international partners to actively involve women in peace and stabilisation processes, and to address their specific security needs;

48.  Calls for swift implementation of the Capacity Building in support of Security and Development (CBSD) initiative to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of CSDP missions and operations and to enable the EU to strengthen the security and defence capabilities of its partner countries;

49.  Urges the EEAS and the Council to step up their ongoing efforts to improve cybersecurity, in particular for CSDP missions, inter alia by taking measures at EU and Member State levels to mitigate threats to the CSDP, for instance by building up resilience through education, training and exercises, and by streamlining the EU cyber-defence education and training landscape;

50.  Believes that the EU and its Member States face an unprecedented threat in the form of state-sponsored and cyber attacks as well as cybercrime and terrorism; believes that the nature of cyber attacks makes them a threat that requires an EU-level response; encourages the Member States to provide mutual assistance in the event of a cyber attack against any one of them;

EU-NATO relationship

51.  Underlines that the strategic partnership between the EU and NATO is fundamental to addressing the security challenges facing the EU and its neighbourhood; bearing in mind that 22 out of the 28 EU Member States are also NATO members, underlines that EU-NATO cooperation should be complementary and respectful of each other’s specificities and roles; stresses that the two organisations have clearly distinct features and that they should cooperate in full respect of each other’s autonomy and decision-making procedures, based on the principles of reciprocity, without prejudice to the specific features of the security and defence policy of any Member State; is convinced that a stronger EU and NATO would reinforce each other, creating more synergies and effectiveness for the security and defence of all partners; stresses that the EU-NATO strategic partnership is equally fundamental for the EU’s evolving CSDP and for the future of the Alliance, as well as for EU-UK relations after Brexit;

52.  Welcomes the main pillars of the new EU-NATO declaration adopted at the NATO Summit in Brussels on 12 July 2018 and emphasises that successful implementation of the Joint Declaration depends on the political will of all Member States throughout the process; while recognising the tangible results of the implementation of the 74 common actions, believes that further efforts are needed with regard to the practical implementation of the many commitments already made, especially in the areas of combating hybrid threats, cybersecurity and joint exercises; notes in particular the involvement of the EDA in the implementation of 30 actions;

53.  Stresses that efforts regarding military mobility should be a priority and a contribution to the effective implementation of CSDP missions and operations and to the Alliance’s defence posture; therefore encourages both organisations to continue working together on military mobility in the closest possible manner, including through the development of common requirements to facilitate the rapid movement of forces and equipment across Europe, keeping in mind the multidirectional challenges originating mainly from the South and the East; calls on the Commission to underpin these efforts with the necessary investments and, where appropriate, legislation; stresses the need to ease the administrative procedures for the cross-border movement of rapid response forces inside the EU;

54.  Highlights, in this context, EU-NATO complementarity and the need to ensure that the multinational initiatives in capability development of both the EU and NATO are complementary and mutually reinforcing;

55.  Stresses the importance of cooperation and integration in cybersecurity, not only between Member States, key partners and NATO, but also between different actors within society;

CSDP partnerships

56.  Stresses that partnerships and cooperation with countries and organisations that share the EU’s values contribute to a more effective CSDP; welcomes the contributions made by CSDP partners to ongoing EU missions and operations that contribute to enhancing peace, regional security and stability;

57.  Considers it vital to further enhance cooperation with institutional partners, including the UN, NATO, the African Union and the OSCE, as well as strategic bilateral partners such as the US; recommends taking forward CSDP partnerships in the fields of strengthening partners’ resilience and Security Sector Reform (SSR);

58.  Stresses the importance of the EU-UN partnership in the resolution of international conflicts and peace-building activities; calls for both the EU and the UN to strengthen the EU-UN Steering Committee on Crisis Management joint consultative mechanism and to use the full potential of their partnership by pooling their political legitimacy and operational capabilities;

59.  Strongly believes that the EU should maintain the closest possible partnership in security and defence with the United Kingdom after Brexit;

Parliamentary dimension

60.  Underlines the utmost importance of parliamentary oversight of security and defence matters at national and European level as a constitutive element for any further progress in this policy area, and in this context encourages parliamentary actors to cooperate more closely, possibly looking for new or improved forms of cooperation, in order to ensure seamless parliamentary oversight at all levels; recalls the importance of involving civil society and citizens in the future debates on European security;

61.  Notes, while welcoming the overall progress made regarding CSDP since the presentation of the EUGS, that the parliamentary structures at EU level, which were established at a time when the EU’s level of ambition and level of activity regarding security and defence matters were rather limited, are no longer adequate to provide the necessary parliamentary oversight of a rapidly evolving policy area demanding the capacity for swift responses; reiterates, therefore, its previous call to upgrade the Subcommittee on Security and Defence to a full-fledged committee and to provide it with the competences necessary to contribute to comprehensive parliamentary oversight of CSDP, including PESCO, the EDA and any other CSDP actions as envisioned by the Treaties; believes that the upgrade from subcommittee to committee should be the consequence of replacing the ad-hoc management of defence and security at Commission level with a more specialised model, taking into account the increasing complexity of the efforts to be managed;

62.  Notes that several Member States have recently called for an EU Security Council, and believes that this concept needs to be further defined before an assessment of its added value can be carried out;

63.  Reiterates its call for the establishment of a meeting format for defence ministers within the Council, chaired by the VP/HR; recognises that further European integration should also mean more democratic scrutiny through parliamentary control; underlines, therefore, the need to strengthen the European Parliament’s role in this field, namely through a fully-fledged Committee on Security and Defence, complemented by joint interparliamentary meetings between representatives from national parliaments and MEPs;

64.  Stresses that any future convention or intergovernmental conference preparing a change of the EU Treaties should consider establishing a European force with the effective defence capability of engaging in peace-keeping, conflict prevention and strengthening international security in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and in line with the tasks set out in Article 43(1) of the TEU;

o   o

65.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the European Council, the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Secretary-General of NATO, the EU agencies in the space, security and defence fields, and the national parliaments of the Member States.

(1) OJ L 335, 13.12.2008, p. 99.
(2) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0513.
(3) OJ C 93, 9.3.2016, p. 144.
(4) OJ C 337, 20.9.2018, p. 11.
(5) OJ C 224, 27.6.2018, p. 18.
(6) OJ C 224, 27.6.2018, p. 50.
(7) OJ C 369, 11.10.2018, p. 36.
(8) OJ C 263, 25.7.2018, p. 125.
(9) OJ C 334, 19.9.2018, p. 253.
(10) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0257.
(11) OJ C 238, 6.7.2018, p. 89.
(12) OJ C 369, 11.10.2018, p. 47.
(13) OJ L 194, 19.7.2016, p. 1.

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