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Procedure : 2019/2135(INI)
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Document selected : A9-0052/2019

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PV 14/01/2020 - 10
CRE 14/01/2020 - 10

Votes :

PV 15/01/2020 - 10.9
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Texts adopted
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Wednesday, 15 January 2020 - Strasbourg
Annual report on the implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy

European Parliament resolution of 15 January 2020 on the implementation of the common security and defence policy – annual report (2019/2135(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to the European Council conclusions of 20 December 2013, 26 June 2015, 15 December 2016, 22 June 2017, 28 June 2018, 14 December 2018 and 20 June 2019,

–  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, 25 June 2018 and 17 June 2019,

–  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 (COM(2017)0315),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 September 2013 on the EU’s military structures: state of play and future prospects(1),

–  having regard to the Charter of the United Nations and to the Helsinki Final Act of 1 August 1975 of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe,

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 September 2017 on a Space Strategy for Europe(2),

–  having regard to its recommendations of 15 November 2017 to the Council, the Commission and the EEAS on the Eastern Partnership, in the run-up to the November 2017 Summit(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 22 November 2016 on the European Defence Union(4),

–  having regard to its resolution of 16 March 2017 on the constitutional, legal and institutional implications of a common security and defence policy: possibilities offered by the Lisbon Treaty(5),

–  having regard to its resolution of 5 July 2017 on the mandate for the trilogue on the 2018 draft budget(6),

–  having regard to its resolution of 11 December 2018 on military mobility(7),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) 2018/1092 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 July 2018 establishing the European Defence Industrial Development Programme aiming at supporting the competitiveness and innovation capacity of the Union’s defence industry(8),

–  having regard to its legislative resolution of 18 April 2019 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Defence Fund(9),

–  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)(10), of 13 December 2017 on the Annual report on the implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy(11) and of 12 December 2018 on the annual report on the implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy(12),

–  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(13),

–  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 entitled ‘A Europe that defends: Commission opens debate on moving towards a Security and Defence Union’,

–  having regard to its resolutions of 14 December 2016 on the implementation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy(14), of 13 December 2017 on the Annual Report on the implementation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy(15) and of 12 December 2018 on the implementation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy(16),

–  having regard to Russia’s illegal invasion and annexation of Crimea,

–  having regard to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Russia’s repeated violations thereof, including the development and deployment of 9M729 ground-launched cruise missile systems and the withdrawal from the Treaty by the United States and Russia,

–  having regard to Russia’s violation of the airspace and maritime borders of Member States,

–  having regard to China’s growing economic and military presence in Mediterranean and African countries,

–  having regard to the threat of domestic and foreign terrorism, primarily from groups such as ISIS and al-Qaeda,

–  having regard to new technologies such as artificial intelligence, space capabilities and quantum computing, which present new opportunities for mankind, but also create new challenges in defence and foreign policy that require a clear strategy and consensus among allies,

–  having regard to the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) of 24 June 2014 in Case C-658/11, the European Parliament, supported by the Commission, against the Council of the European Union(17),

–  having regard to the Union’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 Rule 54 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A9-0052/2019),

Lasting uncertainty and unpredictability in the security environment

1.  Notes the lasting deterioration in the Union’s security environment in the face of multiple challenges directly or indirectly affecting the security of its Member States and citizens: armed conflicts and fragile states on the European continent and in its vicinity provoking massive population displacement and human rights abuses facilitated by transnational organised crime networks, jihadist terrorism, cyber attacks, hybrid threats and warfare against European countries, the weakening of disarmament efforts and international arms control regimes, increasing threats to natural resources, energy insecurity and climate change;

2.  Considers that instability and unpredictability on the Union’s borders and in its immediate neighbourhood (North Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus, the Balkans, Eastern Mediterranean, Russian aggression against Ukraine and Georgia, etc.), as well as in its extended neighbourhood (Sahel, Horn of Africa, etc.), pose both a direct and indirect threat to the security of the continent; stresses the inextricable link between internal and external security; acknowledges that active engagement in the neighbourhood is in the interests of the European Union;

3.  Notes that some global actors (the United States, China, Russia) and an increasing number of regional actors (Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc.) are seeking to assert power through a combination of unilateral diplomatic posturing, shifts in alliances, destabilising activities of a primarily hybrid nature and increasing military build-ups;

4.  Underlines the growing geopolitical importance of the Arctic and its effect on the security situation in the EU and globally; urges the EU to work towards a more coherent internal and external policy, an Arctic strategy and a concrete action plan on the EU’s engagement in the Arctic, also taking into account the security and geostrategic aspects; notes the EU’s capacity to contribute to the resolution of potential security and geostrategic challenges;

5.  Expresses serious concerns over Turkey’s overall destabilising behaviour, including its illegal activities within Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) / continental shelf, which violates international law and good neighbourly relations, and threatens peace and stability in an already fragile region;

6.  Deplores the fact that, in this context, some of these actors are deliberately circumventing or attempting to destroy the multilateral mechanisms, the principles of the UN Charter and the relevant international law provisions essential to maintaining peace; notes that they might become a direct threat to the EU’s security and jeopardise established bilateral relations between the EU and partner countries;

7.  Stresses, with a view to tackling the threat of nuclear proliferation, the importance of multilateral negotiations between the EU and the parties concerned; urges respect for the nuclear treaties; urges, furthermore, that support be given to concluding a new treaty to replace the INF Treaty and to renewing the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 2020;

8.  Stresses that strengthening substantive relations with East and Southeast Asia is essential to the EU’s rules-based, comprehensive and sustainable connectivity strategy; takes note of the military build-up in the region and calls for all parties involved to respect the freedom of navigation, to resolve differences through peaceful means and to refrain from taking unilateral action to change the status quo, including in the East and South China Seas and the Taiwan Strait; expresses concern that foreign interference from autocratic regimes through disinformation and cyber attacks in the context of the upcoming general elections threatens Asian democracies and regional stability; reiterates its support for Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organisations, mechanisms and activities;

9.  Expresses concern about the activities and policies by Russia that continue to destabilise and change the security environment; stresses that Russia’s occupation of eastern Ukraine is still ongoing, the Minsk agreements have not been implemented and the illegal annexation and militarisation of Crimea and Donbass are continuing; expresses concern about the ongoing frozen conflicts maintained by Russia in Europe (in Moldova and Georgia); stresses the need to speak with one voice on the EU’s policy in this context;

10.  Continues to condemn Russia’s military intervention and illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula; expresses its support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity;

11.  Recalls the importance of ensuring the coherence of EU policy in relation to situations involving the occupation or annexation of territory;

12.  Notes that the Union has been slow to react and adapt – politically, diplomatically and militarily – to new crises and to this new international context; considers that, in the specific area of defence, insufficient investments, lack of capabilities and a lack of interoperability, but also, and above all, a political reluctance to implement the robust provisions provided for in the European treaties and the numerous cooperation arrangements between Member States, hampers the Union’s ability to play a decisive role in external crises and to realise its full potential; recognises and underlines further that no country is able by itself to address the security challenges on the European continent and in its immediate environment; asks the European Council to make using qualified majority voting in the Council in the field of the common security and defence policy (CSDP) a political priority where the TEU allows it; calls on the Member States to develop an effective integrated approach to crisis and conflicts, which combines civilian and military means in the best possible and most balanced way; believes that the Union’s capacity to adequately react to emerging crises and conflicts also depends on the speed of decision-making; notes that targeted restrictive measures can be effective tools, but stresses that they should not affect innocent people and should be in line with the principles of UN Charter and of the common foreign and security policy (CFSP);

13.  Welcomes the recognition of shared security interests and the growing political will on the part of European Union’s Member States, as well as the remaining European countries and the European institutions, to act collectively for their security by endowing themselves with greater means to act in a more preventive, fast, effective and autonomous manner; notes that only through a collective approach can the EU become stronger and be able to take greater responsibility for its own security and defence;

14.  Stresses that these challenges are best met together, not by any single country; considers it vital for the EU to respond to these challenges rapidly, consistently and effectively, with one voice and in concert with allies, partners and other international organisations;

15.  Is convinced that the response to the Union’s security challenges lies primarily in defining and strengthening its strategic autonomy, its capabilities and its ability to work in strategic partnership with others;

16.  Underlines that the strategic partnership between the EU and NATO is fundamental to addressing the security challenges facing the EU and its neighbourhood; stresses that EU strategic autonomy does not represent a challenge to NATO and does not undermine the current security architecture in Europe; stresses that a stronger Europe strengthens NATO and allows the EU to take on more global challenges together with NATO;

17.  Welcomes the achievements of the last five years in terms of strengthening the CSDP, and calls on the Council and the Commission to develop further the Union’s capacity to act as a global partner, representing the interests of European citizens and acting as a positive force in international relations;

18.  Welcomes and supports Operation Atlantic Resolve and NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence on the European continent, and recognises the importance of NATO troops in the effort to deter further Russian aggression and provide crucial support in the event of a conflict;

19.  Recognises European involvement and support for Operation Resolute Support in Afghanistan; further recognises the importance of this mission to the stability and security of Afghanistan and the region;

The need to develop and strengthen European strategic autonomy

20.  Notes that the ambition of achieving European strategic autonomy was put forward for the first time in the European Council Conclusions of 19 and 20 December 2013 and recognised for the first time in the ‘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, which set out European strategic autonomy as a long-term objective and called for a gradual synchronisation and mutual adaptation of national defence planning cycles and capability development practices;

21.  Considers that European strategic autonomy is based on the ability of the Union to strengthen its freedom to assess its independent operational capacity, comprising credible military forces, its industrial capacity to produce the equipment that its forces need and its political capacity to take decisions where circumstances so require, and reflects the aim of taking more responsibility for European security, in order to defend its common interests and values, with partners wherever possible, and alone when necessary; stresses that energy security is an important component in achieving strategic autonomy; strongly believes that European strategic autonomy should include the capacity to deploy military forces on the EU’s periphery;

22.  Considers, therefore, that European strategic autonomy is based, above all, on the ability of the Union to assess a crisis situation and take a decision autonomously, which necessarily entails an independent and efficient decision-making process, the availability of means of assessment and a freedom to analyse and take action; considers, furthermore, that European strategic autonomy is based on the ability of the Union to act alone when its interests are at stake (theatres of operations considered as priorities by the EU Member States) or within the framework of existing cooperation arrangements; underlines that European strategic autonomy is part of a multilateral framework which respects commitments within the UN and complements and reinforces the alliances and partnerships to which most Member States have signed up; stresses that strategic autonomy does not mean that the Union will systematically act alone, everywhere and always;

23.  Considers that the affirmation of European strategic autonomy depends on the establishment of a comprehensive CFSP supported by European defence cooperation in the technological, capability, industrial and operational fields; considers that only practical and flexible cooperation based on pragmatic initiatives will make it possible to gradually overcome the difficulties, forge a genuine common strategic culture and shape common responses tailored to the EU’s main security and defence issues;

24.  Stresses that in order to increase the EU’s strategic autonomy, Member States need to increase their defence spending and aim for a target of 2 % of GDP; 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;

25.  Stresses that European strategic autonomy can only be genuinely achieved if Member States demonstrate political will, cohesion and solidarity, which is also reflected in particular in the need to prioritise the procurement of European capabilities where equipment meets the highest standards, is available and competitive, in order to secure reciprocal access to highly protected armaments markets at the same time;

26.  Reiterates that Europe’s strategic autonomy is a legitimate and necessary ambition, and that it must remain a priority objective of the CFSP and European defence policy; stresses that its practical and operational implementation falls to both the EU and its Member States;

Real progress to be consolidated in order to achieve European strategic autonomy

27.  Maintains that European strategic autonomy must take practical form in the areas of foreign and security policy, industry, capability (joint programmes, investment in defence technologies) and operations (financing of operations, capacity building for partners and the capacity to plan and conduct missions);

28.  Considers it appropriate to pursue a restrictive arms export policy for all types of weapons, including for dual-use goods; urges the Member States to comply with the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports; reiterates the need for the strict application by all Member States of the rules laid down in Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP of 8 December 2008(18) on arms exports, including the firm application of criterion two on respect for human rights in the country of final destination;

CSDP missions and operations

29.  Considers that Europe’s defence is based largely on the Union’s capacity and on the political willingness of Member States to intervene militarily, in a credible manner, in external theatres of operations; maintains that the Union has considerable human, financial, technical and military resources at its disposal, endowing it with a unique capacity to conduct military and civilian operations and respond promptly and pre-emptively to future security challenges, for instance through active peacekeeping missions;

30.  Stresses that, since the adoption of the 2016 EU Global Strategy, the proliferation of regional and local conflicts, not least in the vicinity of the Union’s immediate neighbourhood, poses many challenges for the Union’s security, as they often have spill-over effects; considers, in this regard, that the Union should become a more robust actor in crisis management, conflict resolution and in peace-keeping, whenever possible in concert with other regional and international organisations such as the UN and the African Union, in line with its commitments towards multilateralism, but also on its own, when the situation so requires;

31.  Encourages the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the Member States to introduce a more forward-looking approach to capability planning and development, and to anticipate future needs for a strong EU response to crises and conflicts;

32.  Notes that the Union currently has a presence on three continents through the deployment of 16 civilian or military missions (10 civilian and six military, of which three are executive and three are non-executive missions); recognises the contribution made by these missions to peace and international security and stability; stresses that their implementation must be accompanied by an overhaul of selected instruments laid down in the Lisbon Treaty and introduced in recent years, in order to make them more effective and enhance the security of EU citizens; promotes the goal of achieving a higher level of effectiveness of CSDP missions by reaching the 70 % target for the share of seconded personnel, and calls on the Member States to make greater contributions;

33.  Welcomes the involvement of the European Court of Auditors in auditing CSDP missions and operations, and encourages it to produce further special reports on other missions and operations;

34.  Calls on the Member States and European bodies to prioritise and maintain a high level of commitment in Africa; welcomes, therefore, the Council’s decision of July 2018 to extend the mandate of the European Union Training Mission in Central African Republic (EUTM RCA) by two years and its intention to launch a civilian mission to complement the military component; notes that these recent developments are a positive sign of re-engagement on the part of the Member States, but stresses that the security and human rights situation in the country remains highly problematic;

35.  Stresses the Union’s comprehensive commitment in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa through six civilian (EUCAP Mali, EUCAP Niger, EUCAP Somalia) and military (EUTM Mali, EUTM Somalia, ATALANTA) missions; welcomes and encourages the efforts made to regionalise the functioning of civilian missions in the Sahel in the face of security challenges extending beyond the countries where European missions are deployed; welcomes, furthermore, the EU’s support for the G5 Sahel operation; criticises, in this context, the fact that the EEAS did not lay down any suitable indicators to monitor the outcome of the EUCAP Niger and EUCAP Mali missions, and that the monitoring and assessment of the mission activities were inadequate and not geared to take account of their implications;

36.  Is deeply concerned about the dozens of cases of very serious human rights abuses committed by Malian security forces, as investigated and reported by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), which could amount to war crimes under humanitarian law; urges the VP/HR to make sure that the EU’s partners strictly comply with international humanitarian and human rights law, in addition to legally binding EU regulations, and that those cases are brought to justice without delay; calls on the EEAS to report to Parliament about these cases as a matter of urgency;

37.  Is concerned at the deteriorating situation in Burkina Faso and its geopolitical implications for the Sahel region and the West, which may justify a civilian and/or military mission in order to strengthen security sector governance, human rights and the restoration of people’s trust in their security forces;

38.  Reiterates the strategic importance of the Western Balkans for the security and stability of the EU; stresses the need to improve the EU’s engagement, integration and coordination in the region, including through the mandate of the EU’s CSDP missions; reiterates that the EU’s policy on the Western Balkans aims to align the countries in the region with the EU acquis and assist them along the path towards accession, enhancing the management of peace and stability for Europe as a whole;

39.  Reiterates the strategic importance of Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans for the stability and security of the EU, and highlights the need to focus and strengthen the EU’s political engagement towards these regions, including a strong mandate for the EU’s CSDP missions;

40.  Emphasises the pivotal role of Operation EUFOR Althea in Bosnia and Herzegovina in moving towards and maintaining peace and security in the country and the region; welcomes the Council’s conclusions of October 2019 that support the continued presence of European military forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina;

41.  Calls for the swift and effective implementation of the compact on civilian missions adopted in November 2018 by the Council and the Member States with a view to enhancing civilian CSDP resources in order to reach the agreed staffing levels and make the missions more flexible and more operational, a prerequisite for the effectiveness and efficiency of Union action on the ground; urges the Member States to carry out a solid annual review that helps to take stock of progress in implementing the civilian CSDP compact and that is able to support the further professionalisation of civilian CSDP missions beyond 2023, including measures to ensure the accountability of all actors involved for the missions’ achievements; calls on the Member States to test the newly introduced concept of specialised teams in the field as soon as possible through conducting a pilot, using it as a means to make specialised capabilities available for a limited period of time and fill current capability gaps, as well as to evaluate lessons from first deployments;

42.  Highlights that there are currently 10 civilian CSDP missions with high added value in terms of peace and security deployed in the EU’s neighbourhood, more specifically in Africa and the Middle East, the Western Balkans and Eastern Europe;

43.  Highlights that the implementation of the civilian CSDP compact should not be the end of the line in terms of strengthening civilian CSDP;

44.  Notes, however, that the effectiveness of CSDP missions and operations in general is being hampered by persistent structural weaknesses and by an increasing reluctance on the part of Member States and the European institutions to make such missions and operations more robust, both in terms of human resources and of their mandates and calls for the creation of a common European solution to tackle them; notes that CSDP military operations increasingly tend to be based on armed forces training (EUTM), with no executive dimension and notes that, although EUTM personnel do valuable work, owing to training limits and the absence of weapons, the units formed are unable to operate adequately and incapable of containing armed rebellions and the progression of jihadist terrorism;

45.  Deplores the fact that the need to summon up a common political will means that decision-making and implementation processes run at widely differing speeds; points out that very few recent military operations have been given an executive mandate because decision-making processes could not make up for the lack of political will, and calls, in this context, on the Member States, when faced with a crisis, to find the political will needed to make active use of CSDP structures and procedures so that missions can be deployed in a more rapid, flexible and coherent manner; calls on the VP/HR to explain to Parliament the thinking behind what is clearly a new crisis-management tool, namely the launching of mini-missions under Article 28 of the TEU;

46.  Stresses the lack of flexibility in administrative and budgetary procedures, which is causing serious problems for personnel deployed on the ground;

47.  Stresses the need to assess missions and operations on a regular basis in order to make them more effective; calls on the EEAS and the Commission to draw up mandates, budgets and rules of engagement and operational procedures which are appropriate to the operations concerned, and to provide for an exit strategy; calls, in this context, for more regular information sharing and consultations with the relevant parliamentary committees prior to, during and after the missions, and calls on the committees to focus their missions and delegations on areas where CSDP missions and operations are deployed; insists that the European Parliament – alongside national parliaments– be given a strengthened role in relation to the CSDP, so as to guarantee parliamentary oversight of the CSDP and of its budget;

48.  Highlights the importance of organising and executing joint training and exercises between European armed forces, as well as EU-NATO parallel and coordinated exercises, thereby promoting organisational, procedural and technical interoperability and military mobility, with a view to maximising mission preparedness, ensuring complementarity, avoiding unnecessary duplication and addressing a broad range of threats, both conventional and non-conventional; welcomes, in that respect, the European Initiative for the Exchange of Military Young Officers (Military Erasmus – EMILYO), operated by the European Security and Defence College, which aims to enable national military education and training institutions to explore possibilities for quantitative and qualitative exchange of knowledge and know-how; welcomes the recognition that there is no security without women and stresses the importance of the participation of women in negotiations and missions;

49.  Stresses that the recurring problem faced by armed forces in countries in which the EU is intervening is a lack of equipment, which is an obstacle to the success of training missions; notes the difficulty of supplying suitable equipment in a timely manner owing, in particular, to cumbersome public procurement procedures; believes that achieving positive results in terms of training and advice for third-country armies will not be possible in the long term without the capacity to back up such efforts with worthwhile and coordinated equipment-supply programmes; welcomes the Capacity Building for Security and Development (CBSD) initiative, which resulted in the revision of the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (‘IcSP+’) in 2017 so as to provide funding for training and the supply of non-lethal equipment to third countries’ armed forces; notes that, to date, three projects have been carried out, in Mali, the Central African Republic and Burkina Faso; highlights the strong demand from local populations for support in the area of training and equipment supply;

50.  Calls for the EU to address the consistent and growing threats to the protection and preservation of cultural heritage and clamp down on the smuggling of cultural artefacts, especially in conflict zones; notes that depriving societies of their cultural heritage and historical roots makes them more vulnerable to radicalisation and more susceptible to global jihadist ideologies; calls for the EU to develop a broad strategy to counteract such threats;

51.  Is concerned at the problem of force generation, in particular when launching military missions; stresses that EUTM Somalia is struggling to bring together the necessary forces; notes that the last general force generation conference on 4 June 2019 raised the possibility of the mission failing owing to a lack of personnel; notes that the Union’s current military operations involve on average only a dozen or so Member States; stresses that the competence, professionalism and dedication of personnel on the ground are key to the success of a mission; calls on the Member States to make a stronger commitment as regards the quality of personnel deployed on missions and to fill more of the posts assigned to missions;

52.  Calls on the Council to explain why certain missions are continuing even though they have already achieved their limited military or civilian purpose; considers that all existing missions should be evaluated to determine which are still relevant; believes that the Union should concentrate its efforts on missions where it generates the highest added value; is in favour of the establishment of and compliance with objective criteria by which to measure that added value and decide whether to pursue a mission;

53.  Notes the decision of 26 September 2019 to extend the EU maritime operation in the Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia) by six months to 31 March 2020; deeply deplores the continued suspension of the naval presence; stresses the urgent need to reach agreement among the Member States and calls for the redeployment of naval assets and full implementation of the mandate;

54.  Considers that the issue of financing for CSDP missions and operations is crucial to the sustainability of the policy; highlights the importance of reviewing the Athena mechanism with the aim of making the financing mechanism for CSDP military operations and missions more effective; supports, in this connection, the proposal by the VP/HR, backed by the Commission, to create a European Peace Facility, which would finance part of the costs of EU defence activities, including the joint costs of CSDP military operations and those relating to military capacity-building for partners; hopes that the Member States will reach an agreement quickly so that this instrument can be introduced; stresses the importance of making the Union’s financial rules more flexible in order to enhance its ability to respond to crises and facilitate the implementation of Lisbon Treaty provisions; calls on the Member States and the Commission to consider a flexible mechanism to help Member States wishing to participate in a CSDP mission to bear the cost of doing so, thereby facilitating their decision to launch or strengthen a mission; notes that this instrument would be wholly consistent with the Union’s strategic autonomy objectives in the operational field;

55.  Calls on the VP/HR to regularly consult the European Parliament on all aspects of and the fundamental choices surrounding the common security and defence policy; considers, in that regard, that Parliament should be consulted in advance about strategic planning for CSDP missions, changes to their mandate and the potential to bring them to an end;

56.  Supports the creation of the Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC) for executive missions to enable all CSDP military operations to be carried out; calls for enhanced cooperation between the MPCC and the Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability; draws attention to the problems of recruitment and resource provision, which need to be overcome in order for the MPCC to be fully effective; calls on the EEAS to transform the MPCC from a virtual entity, with multiple-assignment posts, into a robust military entity which can plan and conduct the entire spectrum of military operations provided for under Article 43(1) of the TEU;

57.  Notes the failure of the Union’s battlegroup project – the battlegroups have never been deployed since their creation in 2007 and have been used only as a means to transform the European armed forces – owing in particular to the reticence of Member States and the complexity of their implementation and funding, which is at odds with the original objective of speed and efficiency; is of the opinion that the EU battlegroup system should be restructured, further developed politically and granted sufficient funding so as to make it functional, usable, fast and efficient; calls for the re-evaluation and reinvigoration of the battlegroup project on the basis of lessons learned;

58.  Notes that the mutual assistance clause (Article 42(7) of the TEU), which has been invoked once, notably in response to an armed attack on the territory of a Member State, demonstrates the solidarity that exists among Member States; notes, however, that the conditions for triggering the article and the arrangements for providing the assistance required have never been clearly defined; calls for precise guidelines in order to provide a well-defined framework for the future activation and more operational implementation of this instrument, for more discussion of the experience of invoking this legal clause and for joint efforts to clarify its scope;

59.  Recalls that the solidarity clause (Article 222 of the TFEU) also provides the Union and the Member States with the possibility of providing assistance to a Member State that have suffered a terrorist attack or a natural or man-made disaster; recalls that the EU’s 2013 Cybersecurity Strategy states that ‘a particularly serious cyber incident or attack could constitute sufficient ground for a Member State to invoke the EU Solidarity Clause (Article 222 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union)’; recalls that Council Decision 2014/415/EU on the arrangements for the implementation by the Union of the solidarity clause establishes that the solidarity clause calls for the Union to mobilise all the instruments at its disposal, including the structures developed within the framework of the CSDP; calls on Member States to consider the activation of the solidarity clause in the future;

60.  Believes that the implementation of CSDP missions and operations must be backed up by flexible instruments in order to make it easier for the Union and its Member States to commit to ensuring European strategic autonomy, in the service of the stability of the European continent; stresses, in this connection, the effectiveness of modular, multipurpose and genuinely operational command structures, such as the European Corps (Eurocorps); notes that the missions of this command structure have been successfully extended and diversified: between 2015 and 2018 the European Corps was deployed four times as part of the EU training missions in Mali and the Central African Republic (EUTM Mali and EUTM RCA); calls on the Member States and the Commission to follow this example of flexible and operational cooperation, which has already proved valuable and effective;

61.  Expects the Union to make effective use of all existing CFSP and CSDP policy instruments in the areas of diplomacy, cooperation, development, humanitarian aid, conflict management and peacekeeping; stresses that CSDP military and civilian instruments cannot, under any circumstances, be the only solution to security issues and that an ‘integrated approach’ should always be adopted; considers that only the use of all these instruments on the basis of an ‘integrated approach’ will provide the flexibility needed to effectively achieve the most ambitious security objectives;

62.  Recalls the increased success of conflict resolution when gender parity and equality are respected throughout the process; calls for an increase in the participation of women and in the number of managerial positions held by women in such missions, for a gender perspective to be mainstreamed more systematically in CSDP missions, and for an active contribution to the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security; calls on the EEAS and Member states to initiate ambitious steps to increase the representation of women among international experts at all levels of CSDP missions and operations, possibly through a dedicated action plan, targeted incentives and career planning for women or recruitment mechanisms that ensure better representation;

63.  Calls on the VP/HR to regularly consult Parliament on urgent matters pertaining to the implementation of the CSDP; believes that the VP/HR, or an appropriate EEAS official with direct oversight over CSDP command structures and involved in the design, implementation and appraisal of current civilian and military operations, should promptly inform Parliament of important changes to the structure of any such operations, particularly with regard to their overall nature, mandate, length or early termination;

64.  Stresses the growing and essential role of women in peacekeeping missions and security and defence policy and calls on the VP/HR to enter into dialogue with Parliament on the instruments to be introduced and action to be taken;

65.  Underlines the need to further develop the parliamentary and democratic character and dimension of the CSDP; believes that an effective CSDP which is fit for 21st-century security challenges must go hand in hand with strong parliamentary scrutiny and high transparency standards at both national and EU level; is of the opinion that strengthening the parliamentary dimension of the CSDP corresponds with the demands of EU citizens for security, peace and more cooperation on security and defence among Member States;

Capability and industry

66.  Stresses that achieving European strategic autonomy will necessarily be based on increasing the Member States’ capabilities and defence budgets, and on strengthening the European defence technological and industrial base;

67.  Notes that the defence and space industries are facing unprecedented global competition and major technological changes with the emergence of advanced technologies (robotics, artificial intelligence, cyber technology, etc.);

68.  Welcomes the significant reversal of the trend of cutting defence budgets; calls, in that connection, on the Member States to invest the additional funding intelligently in cooperative programmes; is of the opinion that this should be supported and encouraged at Union level; encourages Member States to increase their defence spending to 2 % of GDP;

69.  Welcomes the recent efforts by the EU institutions and the Member States, following on from the publication of the EU Global Strategy, to breathe new life into existing CSDP instruments and to fully implement the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty; stresses that these promising ambitions must now be consolidated and followed up with practical action so that they make an effective contribution to security on the European continent and in its immediate neighbourhood;

70.  Notes with satisfaction the Commission’s proposal of 2 May 2018 to establish a EUR 13 billion budget line for defence cooperation in the next multiannual financial framework (MFF), supporting collaborative defence research and capability development; notes that this proposal, which reflects an unprecedented commitment by the Commission, remains subject to the unanimous agreement of the Member States in the next MFF and subsequently the approval of the European Parliament;

71.  Welcomes the Commission’s proposal of June 2017 to create a European Defence Fund (EDF), which would coordinate, complete and amplify national investments in defence, foster cooperation between Member States with a view to developing ultramodern and interoperable defence technologies and equipment, and support an innovative and competitive defence industry throughout the Union, which includes cross-border SMEs; notes that this proposal is the first initiative for which Community funds are to be used in direct support of common cooperative EU defence projects; recognises that this is a major step forward for European defence, from both a political and an industrial perspective; notes that the EDF could contribute to the financing of research and development for structural projects such as the European future combat air system, tanks, heavy-lift aircraft or a European anti-missile defence capability, as well as small and medium-sized projects creating innovative future-orientated solutions for defence; welcomes the 2019 work programme for preparatory action, which will dedicate EUR 25 million to research on electromagnetic spectrum dominance and future disruptive defence technologies, two key areas for maintaining Europe’s technological independence in the long term; welcomes, also, the adoption by the Commission in March 2019 of the first European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP), which provides for co-financing of EUR 500 million for the joint development of defence capabilities over the period 2019-2020, and the publication of nine calls for proposals for 2019, including for the Eurodrone, which is a key capability for Europe’s strategic autonomy; points out that 12 further calls for proposals will follow in 2020, covering priority areas in all domains (air, land, sea, cyber and space); notes the link between the procurement decisions taken today by the Member States and the prospects for industrial and technological cooperation under the EDF;

72.  Welcomes the effective implementation of Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) as an important step towards closer cooperation in security and defence among Member States; stresses that this provision, introduced in the 2009 Lisbon Treaty (Article 46 of the TEU), is legally binding and includes a set of ambitious commitments to enable European countries wishing to do so to move ahead faster on common defence projects; recognises the part that PESCO can play in structuring European demand; notes that a significant number of EDIDP-eligible projects are being developed within the PESCO framework and may also benefit from higher rates of subsidy; supports full consistency between PESCO projects and the EDF;

73.  Highlights that it is vital that PESCO be aligned with the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), launched in 2017, and the EDF, in order to enhance the Member States’ defence capabilities and optimise their budget expenditure in this field; criticises once again the fact that, so far, there has been no strategic justification of the measures in the light of defence policy considerations; calls, in this regard, on the Council and the Commission, jointly with the European Parliament, to draw up an EU white paper on security and defence as a form of interinstitutional agreement and a strategic paper on the defence industry for the period 2021-2027; stresses that new projects should be covered by the Capability Development Plan (CDP), which will serve to foster cooperation between Member States with a view to closing the capability gap through the work of the European Defence Agency; considers that the CARD should make an effective contribution to harmonising and ensuring the complementarity of the investments and capabilities of national armed forces in an effective manner, guaranteeing the Union’s strategic and operational autonomy and allowing Member States to invest more efficiently in defence;

74.  Welcomes the full coordination between the capability roadmap established by the European Defence Agency and the capability planning carried out to date, which demonstrates that there is extensive interoperability between the armies of those EU Member States that are members of NATO;

75.  Underlines the importance of military mobility; welcomes the Commission’s proposal to allocate EUR 6,5 billion to military mobility projects in the next MFF; emphasises that progress needs to be made to establish military mobility that works for both the EU and NATO; is pleased that the project is part of PESCO; stresses that military mobility faces two challenges: streamlining procedures and expanding infrastructure; points out that the collective security and defence of the EU Member States and their ability to intervene in crises abroad are fundamentally dependent on their ability to move allied troops, civilian crisis management personnel, material and equipment across each other’s territory and outside the EU freely and rapidly; highlights that military mobility is a strategic instrument that will allow the EU to pursue its security and defence interests effectively and in a manner complementary to the work of other organisations such as NATO;

76.  Questions the slow start-up of the 34 PESCO projects and the delays to the launch of a third wave of 13 projects, given that none are as yet up and running, and highlights the need for concrete deadlines for the delivery of the projects and a clearer overview of what their end products will entail; notes that only four projects will reach their initial operational capacity in 2019; highlights the lack of ambition and scale of some projects, which do not address the most obvious capability gaps, particularly those in the first wave, which are primarily capability projects involving as many Member States as possible; calls on the VP/HR to immediately inform Parliament about which PESCO projects are to be terminated early and of the grounds for terminating them; notes that the desired inclusion of participation in PESCO projects should not jeopardise a high level of ambition on the part of the participating Member States; considers that the involvement of third countries and third-country entities in PESCO should be subject to stringent conditions envisaged from the beginning and based on established and effective reciprocity; draws attention, in this connection, to the rights of the European Parliament arising from the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union in case C-658/11; calls on the Member States to submit projects with a strategic European dimension, thereby strengthening the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB), in order to respond directly to the operational needs of European armed forces;

77.  Invites the Council to adopt Parliament’s position on Article 5 of the future regulation on the EDF; underlines the need to finalise the EDF without delay; points out that this instrument has not yet been finally approved, with only partial and political agreement having been given in April 2019; stresses the importance of maintaining Parliament’s position concerning the amount of the EDF, the involvement of third countries and the establishment of an appropriate intellectual property policy in relation to security and defence in order to protect research results; recalls that the European defence market is remarkably open to third-country providers; reaffirms that the EDF can in no way be confused with any sort of protectionist instrument; calls on allied countries of the European Union to consider a reciprocal opening-up of their defence markets; draws attention, in that connection, to the highly sensitive and strategic nature of defence research, both for industrial competitiveness and for the strategic autonomy of the Union; calls for the initial lessons learned from the implementation of the EDIDP (in particular concerning the application of derogations for eligible entities), the pilot project and the preparatory action on defence research to be properly taken into account; calls on the Member States to be fully involved in the decision-making process as they are the final clients of the defence industries, in order to ensure that the programmes included address the strategic needs of the CSDP and the Member States; considers that the success of the EDF will depend on its ability to cater for the specific defence needs of the participating states, to promote defence material which can be deployed and to guarantee the availability of sufficient budgetary resources, while ensuring that industrial know-how is not duplicated, national defence investment is complemented, and cooperation does not become over-complicated and is based on common EU armament and military equipment standardisation and interoperability; considers that developing the European defence industry by regulating access for entities controlled by non-EU third parties to projects financed by the Fund is fully consistent with the European ambition of strategic autonomy and does not contravene the security and defence interests of the EU and its Member States;

78.  Hopes that decisions on the participation of third parties in PESCO projects will under no circumstances undermine the conditions agreed in the negotiations on the EDF and the EDIDP, as the financing of these programmes underlines their European added value;

79.  Stresses the strategic dimension for Europe of the space sector, considers that an ambitious space policy can contribute effectively to enhancing CSDP, and emphasises the need to make progress in developing technologies with both civilian and military uses which are capable of ensuring European strategic autonomy; welcomes the inclusion in the next MFF of the Commission’s proposal for a regulation establishing the space programme of the Union and the European Union Agency for the Space Programme to boost EU space leadership; reiterates its proposal to finance the programme with up to EUR 16.,9 billion; welcomes the progress made on EU satellite services (Galileo, Copernicus, EGNOS); emphasises that, if it is to enjoy decision-making and operational autonomy, the Union must have adequate satellite resources in the fields of space imagery, intelligence-gathering, communications and space surveillance; emphasises how important it is for the EU to enjoy autonomous access to space; considers that space-based services should be fully operationalised in order to provide high-resolution satellite imaging in support of CSDP missions and operations; stresses the need to finance, through the EDF, industrial projects with a space dimension where the Union can generate real added value;

80.  Emphasises that satellite communications are vital for defence, security, humanitarian aid, emergency response interventions and diplomatic communication, and are a key element of civilian missions and military operations; welcomes the new Governmental Satellite Communications (GOVSATCOM) initiative, which will contribute significantly to strengthening the Union’s strategic autonomy by providing Member States with guaranteed access to secure satellite telecommunications;

81.  Calls for an urgent analysis of possible civilian uses of the European Union Satellite Centre’s geospatial capabilities; believes that beyond security, the EU’s satellite capabilities should be deployed in support of EU and Member State monitoring activities in the areas of migration, agriculture, forestry management, the search for natural resources, the security of borders, the state of icebergs and many others;

82.  Emphasises that space infrastructure is vulnerable to interference, attacks and a host of other threats, including collisions with space debris and other satellites; reiterates the importance of securing critical infrastructure and communications, as well as developing resilient technologies; takes the view that there is a need for capacity-building to address emergent threats with regard to space, and welcomes the Commission’s proposal, as part of the space programme, to strengthen the space surveillance and tracking services (SST) currently in place;

83.  Emphasises that today, an increasing number of powers have military capabilities in space; points out that a principle against the weaponisation of space has been established in international law; notes, nevertheless, that certain powers have broken that principle, putting forward a proposal for legislation to set up a fully armed space force and defining space as a setting for armed conflict; takes the view that the Union must condemn this trend towards the weaponisation of space, as well as the implementation of space deterrents designed to seriously undermine enemies’ space capabilities, as such developments are signs of a strategically unstable situation;

84.  Takes the view that the Commission’s future Directorate-General for the Defence Industry and Space should look into the synergies between European space programmes and the European Defence Action Plan of November 2016 so as to ensure general consistency in this strategic area;

85.  Is convinced that the Union has a vital interest in creating a safe and open maritime environment which makes for the free passage of goods and people; stresses that freedom of navigation is paramount and may not be undermined; notes that most of the strategic assets, critical infrastructure and capabilities are under the control of Member States and that their willingness to enhance cooperation is paramount for European security; reaffirms the Union’s role as a global maritime security provider, and stresses the importance of developing relevant military and civilian capabilities; welcomes in that connection the adoption of the revised EU Maritime Security Strategy Action Plan in June 2018;

86.  Believes that the Union and its Member States face an unprecedented threat in the form of cyber attacks, cyber crime and terrorism from both state- and non-state actors; stresses that cyber incidents very often have a cross-border element and therefore concern more than one EU Member State; believes that the nature of cyber attacks makes them a threat that requires a Union-level response, including common analytical support capabilities; encourages the Member States to provide mutual assistance in the event of a cyber attack against any one of them;

87.  Considers it vital that the EU and NATO not only continue but also step up the sharing of intelligence in order to enable the formal attribution of cyber attacks and consequently enable the imposition of restrictive sanctions on those responsible for them; deems it necessary to maintain active interaction between the EU and NATO in the field of cyber security and defence through participation in cyber exercises and joint training;

88.  Calls for a stable source of financing for the EEAS Strategic Communications Division, with substantial allocations for the East StratCom Task Force;

89.  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 level 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;

90.  Welcomes efforts to strengthen the Union’s capacity to address ‘hybrid’ threats, which are combinations of ambiguous posturing, direct and indirect pressure and the involvement of military and non-military capabilities, and are just some of the range of internal and external security challenges facing the Union; notes the reflections on the triggering of the mutual assistance clause with regard to hybrid threats in order to provide the Union with an effective common response;

91.  Recognises the growing importance of cyber and automated intelligence capabilities; stresses that these entail threats to the Member States and the EU institutions; urges all EU institutions and Member States to continue to improve upon their cyber and automated technologies; further encourages cooperation on these technological advances;

92.  Recognises the increasingly prominent role of artificial intelligence in European defence; notes, in particular, the many military applications stemming from artificial intelligence for managing and simulating operational environments, assisting the decision-making process, detecting threats and processing intelligence; stresses that the development of reliable artificial intelligence in the field of defence is essential for ensuring European strategic autonomy in capability and operational areas; calls for the Union not only to keep up but also to increase its investment in this area and in particular in disruptive technologies through existing instruments (European Defence Fund, European Innovation Council, future Horizon Europe, Digital Europe programme); calls for the Union to play an active role in the global regulation of autonomous lethal weapons systems;

93.  Notes that emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence, that are used in weapons systems must be developed and applied according to the principles of responsible innovation and ethical principles, such as accountability and compliance with international law; stresses that, taking into account the highly controversial concept of fully autonomous weapon systems, the EU must explore the possibilities of artificial intelligence while at the same time guaranteeing full respect for human rights and international law;

94.  Notes that according to Europol’s EU Terrorism Situation and Trend report of 2019, a general increase in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) terrorist propaganda, tutorials and threats was observed in 2018 and the barrier to gaining knowledge on the use of CBRN weapons has been lowered; stresses, in this regard, the need to increase CBRN security in Europe;

95.  Recognises that new capabilities will open up new opportunities for units in the theatre of operations to collaborate in an immersive digital space and stay protected in near-real time, especially when 5G is combined with other innovations such as the defence cloud and hypersonic defence systems;

96.  Underlines that given that the risk of the proliferation and use of chemical weapons poses a serious threat to international peace and security, the EU must continue its strong and consistent support to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in the implementation of its mandate, both politically and financially, and step up its resilience to hybrid and CBRN-related threats;

97.  Notes that capability cooperation is still at an early stage, so that the Union and its Member States cannot yet benefit from the practical results of sustained and intensive cooperation; believes that the operational implementation of European ambitions is a long-term process based on the continuing political will of the Member States; stresses the need for flexible cooperation through adaptable, modular instruments which help bring strategic cultures closer together and facilitate interoperability between voluntary partners having capabilities; calls for ad hoc cooperation or pooling mechanisms such as the European Air Transport Command (EATC), which has already proved its effectiveness, and supports its extension to other areas (helicopters, medical support);

98.  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;

99.  Notes the growing importance of space security and satellites; stresses the importance of the European Union Satellite Centre and asks the agency to analyse and produce a report on the safety of EU and Member State satellites and/or their vulnerabilities to space debris, cyber attacks and direct missile attacks;

Defence cooperation and CSDP partnerships

100.  Stresses that the ambition of European strategic autonomy is based on the ability of Europeans to take action to defend their interests, either independently or, preferably, within an institutional cooperation framework (NATO, UN);

101.  Considers multilateralism a crucial value for security and defence and underlines that the EU will only emerge as an effective and credible security actor if its actions are based on sustainable cooperation and strategic partnerships with countries and organisations sharing the Union’s values; welcomes, furthermore, the contributions made by CSDP partners to Union missions and operations;

102.  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;

103.  Stresses that the EU and the United Kingdom will still share the same strategic environment and the same threats to their peace and security after Brexit and therefore considers it essential to maintain strong, close and special defence and security cooperation between the Union and the United Kingdom after Brexit; stresses that working in cooperation with the United Kingdom will enable the Union to maximise its capabilities and operational capacities; considers that defence cooperation which systematically excludes the United Kingdom should be ruled out; proposes the conclusion of a defence and security treaty with the United Kingdom which enables that country to participate, as far as possible, in Union instruments;

104.  Draws attention to NATO’s fundamental role in collective defence, as explicitly recognised in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union; believes that the EU-NATO strategic partnership is essential for addressing the security challenges facing Europe and its neighbourhood; believes that EU-NATO cooperation should be mutually reinforcing, take full account of each of the two institutions’ specific features and roles and continue with full respect for the principles of inclusiveness and reciprocity and the decision-making autonomy of both organisations, notably when common or EU interests are at stake; welcomes EU-NATO cooperation through the Defender-Europe 20 exercise and considers that this exercise constitutes a real opportunity to test Europe’s capability to respond to acts of aggression, but also to examine the developments and improvements in border crossing and military mobility;

105.  Notes the importance of the EU-UN partnership in the resolution of international conflicts and peace-building activities; calls on both organisations to further coordinate their efforts in areas where they deploy major civilian and military missions, in order to avoid duplication and optimise synergies;

106.  Stresses the importance of cooperation between the Union and other international institutions, in particular the African Union and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE); considers that the Union should also strengthen dialogue and cooperation with third countries that share their values and strategic priorities and with regional and sub-regional organisations;

107.  Supports, in parallel with institutional cooperation and partnerships, the combining of different forms of flexible, multifaceted, open and, at the same time, operational, ambitious and demanding cooperation, both within and outside EU, NATO and UN structures, which could facilitate joint commitments in operations, thereby strengthening the Union’s operational objectives; stresses, in this connection, that examples of cooperation such as the European Intervention Initiative, the Nordic Defence Cooperation (NORDEFCO), the Visegrád Group and the increasing integration of the German and Dutch armed forces reflect this drive for closer military cooperation between Member States;

108.  Recognises that political and economic stability along with military capabilities and cooperation in Sub-Saharan Africa are key to mitigating the growth of jihadist activity and migrant crises and combating the spread and influence of extremism;

109.  Recognises and supports the EU Border Assistance Mission (EUBAM) to Libya, which has been assisting with the transition to democracy, providing training and advisory services in the field of border security and working to develop border security at Libya’s land, air and sea borders;

110.  Calls for the EU to keep the commitments made at the Fourth EU-Africa Summit to support economic and political stability and the capabilities of the African Standby Force;

111.  Encourages the Member States to continue cooperating with the African Union and fulfilling the commitments made thus far;

112.  Recognises the growing political, economic, environmental, security and strategic value of the Arctic Circle; urges the Member States to continue cooperating with the Arctic Council on all issues of EU interest and to formulate a comprehensive strategy for the region;

Institutional framework

113.  Considers that progress in European defence will pave the way for major structural changes; welcomes the announcement of the creation of a Directorate-General for the Defence Industry and Space at the Commission under the responsibility of the Commissioner for the Internal Market; welcomes the fact that this new DG will be responsible for supporting, coordinating and complementing the Member States’ actions in the area of European defence and will thus contribute to strengthening European strategic autonomy; notes the definition of its five main tasks (implementation and oversight of the EDF, creation of an open and competitive European defence equipment market, implementation of the action plan on military mobility, enhancement of a strong and innovative space industry, implementation of the future space programme); calls on the Commission to provide further details on the role and responsibilities of the new DG; encourages the Commission to present a plan setting out how it will coordinate its work with that of other defence policy structures with other responsibilities (European Defence Agency, EEAS, etc) in order to maximise the efficiency of the use of available resources and ensure effective cooperation;

114.  Commits to providing close parliamentary scrutiny and monitoring of European defence missions, instruments and initiatives; calls on the VP/HR, the Council and the various European structures concerned to report to the Subcommittee on Security and Defence on a regular basis on the fulfilment of their mandate;

115.  Calls for a European defence strategy to be drafted as a necessary supplement to the 2016 Global Strategy, providing a framework for steering and planning, both of which are vital to ensuring that new instruments and resources can be implemented effectively;

116.  Highlights that, while respecting the traditions of military neutrality in several Member States, it is crucial to ensure the support of EU citizens to underpin the political ambition of EU defence policy; underlines the fact that according to the latest public opinion surveys, three quarters of EU citizens are in favour of more cooperation between Member States on security and defence, thus supporting of a common defence and security policy for the Member States, a proportion that has remained above 70 % since 2004;

117.  Calls for progressive steps to be taken towards a common defence policy (Article 42(2) of the TEU) and, eventually, a common defence, while also strengthening conflict prevention and resolution approaches, including through an increase in financial, administrative and human resources dedicated to mediation, dialogue, reconciliation, peace-building and immediate crisis responses;

118.  Considers that an EU white paper on security and defence would be an essential strategic tool to reinforce the governance of EU defence policy, and that, while progressively framing the European Defence Union, it would provide for strategic long-term planning and allow for the gradual synchronisation of defence cycles across the Member States; calls on the Council and the VP/HR to draw up such a tool, with a view to including it in, inter alia, the planning for the MFF, and with the further objective of ensuring consistency between the EU Global Strategy Implementation Plan on Security and Defence, the CARD and PESCO;

119.  Recalls the existence of Article 44 of the TEU, which provides additional flexibility provisions and introduces the possibility of entrusting the implementation of crisis management tasks to a group of Member States, which would carry out such tasks in the name of the EU and under the political control and strategic guidance of the Political and Security Committee and the EEAS;

120.  Stresses that the upcoming Conference on the Future of Europe should include reflections on the future European Defence Union and, in particular, the need to establish a European intervention force endowed with sufficiently effective defence capabilities to engage in peacekeeping and conflict prevention and strengthen international security, in accordance with the UN Charter and the tasks set out in Article 43(1) of the TEU;

121.  Warns about the multiplicity of institutional actors and overlaps of the EU defence environment; calls on all the stakeholders to embrace a reflection on how it is possible to improve this environment in order to make it more understandable for citizens, more institutionally logical and coherent and more effective in delivering;

122.  Calls for a reflection about the role that the European Defence Agency should play in the progressive framing of a common EU defence policy;

o   o

123.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the European Council, the Council, the Commissioner for the Internal Market, 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 fields of space, security and defence, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1) OJ C 93, 9.3.2016, p. 144.
(2) OJ C 337, 20.9.2018, p. 11.
(3) OJ C 356, 4.10.2018, p. 130.
(4) OJ C 224, 27.6.2018, p. 18.
(5) OJ C 263, 25.7.2018, p. 125.
(6) OJ C 334, 19.9.2018, p. 253.
(7) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0498.
(8) OJ L 200, 7.8.2018, p. 30.
(9) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2019)0430.
(10) OJ C 224, 27.6.2018, p. 50.
(11) OJ C 369, 11.10.2018, p. 36.
(12) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0514.
(13) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0257.
(14) OJ C 238, 6.7.2018, p. 89.
(15) OJ C 369, 11.10.2018, p. 47.
(16) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0513.
(17) Judgment of the Court (Grand Chamber) of 24 June 2014, European Parliament v Council of the European Union, C-658/11, ECLI:EU:C:2014:2025.
(18) Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP of 8 December 2008 defining common rules governing control of exports of military technology and equipment (OJ L 335, 13.12.2008, p. 99).

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