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Procedure : 2020/2206(INI)
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Document selected : A9-0266/2020

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PV 19/01/2021 - 11
CRE 19/01/2021 - 11

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PV 20/01/2021 - 3
PV 20/01/2021 - 17

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Texts adopted
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Wednesday, 20 January 2021 - Brussels
Implementation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy – annual report 2020

European Parliament resolution of 20 January 2021 on the implementation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy – annual report 2020 (2020/2206(INI))

The European Parliament,

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

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

–  having regard to the Charter of the United Nations and the Helsinki Final Act of 1975 of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE),

–  having regard to the declaration by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) on political accountability(1),

–  having regard to the United Nations General Assembly resolution, entitled ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, of 25 September 2015,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on the integrated approach to external conflicts and crises of 22 January 2018,

–  having regard to the third report of the UN Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen, entitled ‘Yemen: A Pandemic of Impunity in a Tortured Land’, which covers the period from July 2019 to June 2020,

–  having regard to the Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy of 28 June 2016,

–  having regard to the joint communication from the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of 8 April 2020 on the Global EU response to COVID-19 (JOIN(2020)0011),

–  having regard to its resolution of 23 October 2020 on Gender Equality in EU’s foreign and security policy(2),

–  having regard to the European Parliament recommendation of 13 March 2019 to the Council, the Commission and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on the scope and mandate for EU Special Representatives(3),

–  having regard to UN Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on women and peace and security (WPS),

–  having regard to the European agenda on security 2015-2020,

–  having regard to the joint communication from the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of 10 June 2020 entitled ‘Tackling COVID-19 disinformation – Getting the facts right’ (JOIN(2020)0008),

–  having regard to its resolution of 17 April 2020 on EU coordinated action to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences(4),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on Security and Defence of 17 June 2020,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 9 September 2020 entitled ‘2020 Strategic Foresight Report – Charting the course towards a more resilient Europe’,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 18 June 2019, 15 July 2019, 14 October 2019 and 12 December 2019, the statement of the EU Foreign Ministers of 15 May 2020 and the European Council conclusions of 20 June 2019, 17 October 2019 and 1 October 2020 on Turkey’s illegal activities in the Eastern Mediterranean and to the Council conclusions of 14 October 2019 on North-East Syria,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 29 April 2020 entitled ‘Support to the Western Balkans in tackling COVID-19 and the post-pandemic recovery – Commission contribution ahead of the EU-Western Balkans leaders’ meeting on 6 May 2020’ (COM(2020)0315),

–  having regard to Rule 54 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A9-0266/2020),

A.  whereas Parliament has a duty and responsibility to exercise its democratic oversight over the common foreign and security policy (CFSP) and common security and defence policy (CSDP) and should get the necessary information in a transparent and timely manner as well as the effective means to fully fulfil this role, including as regards all defence industrial programmes;

B.  whereas the EU’s CFSP seeks to ensure security and stability while promoting the European values of freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights;

C.  whereas the world is facing a situation of aggressive geopolitical competition which requires rapid and appropriate response mechanisms and capabilities in terms of foreign policy;

D.  whereas the need for a stronger, more ambitious, credible and united common foreign policy has become crucial, as the EU is facing multiple geopolitical challenges in the wider region which directly or indirectly affect all its Member States and its citizens;

E.  whereas the EU is not living up to its potential in the foreign and security policy area due to a lack of unity among its Member States;

F.  whereas no single EU Member State is able to tackle, on its own, any of the global challenges Europe is facing today; whereas an ambitious and effective CFSP must be underpinned by adequate financial resources and improved decision-making mechanisms;

G.  whereas in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, democracy, the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms have deteriorated in many parts of the world and disinformation campaigns and cyberattacks from non-EU countries have increased; whereas isolationist, unilateral and anti-globalist trends and systemic rivalries have become more pronounced, rather than multilateral cooperation according to the rules-based international order;

H.  whereas challenges such as the resurgence of populism and authoritarianism, an increasing reluctance to respect international law, human rights and the rule of law, and attacks against liberal democracy and multilateralism, combined with competition between great powers, which has transformed into rivalries, especially between the US and China, pose a real challenge to international security and to the EU’s values, interests and influence, with the risk of the EU being left out of decision-making spheres and being severely disadvantaged by such competition;

I.  whereas the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) is a key instrument with regard to the EU’s eastern and southern neighbours;

J.  whereas the instability and unpredictability at the Union’s borders and in its immediate neighbourhood represent a direct threat to the security of the Union and its Member States; whereas the COVID-19 pandemic may lead to a worsening of the international security environment; whereas the serious economic and social consequences of this pandemic will have a severe impact on current levels of poverty and inequality worldwide, and whereas, therefore, they may lead to acute social unrest and serious protests, becoming a fresh cause of instability in many countries in fragile situations; whereas many of the threats which have been emerging in previous years, including cyber-threats, climate change and pandemics, have now become realities which are having increasingly severe impacts on various aspects of human life, as well as on development opportunities, the worldwide geopolitical order and stability;

K.  whereas the use of global maritime information is vital in ensuring strategic monitoring, making risk analysis and early warning to the EU and its Member States possible and strengthening the provision of information to support civilian and military marine security operations;

L.  whereas counter-terrorism is a high priority on the European agenda on security 2015-2020;

M.  whereas the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the EU’s vulnerability vis-à-vis authoritarian regimes, the fragility of the EU’s traditional external alliances and the need for the Union to ensure a foreign policy that is consistent with its fundamental values; whereas this calls for the EU to reconsider its external relations and base them on the principles of solidarity and multilateralism; whereas the COVID-19 pandemic and its wide-ranging consequences are hitting the most vulnerable particularly hard, mainly in regions with weaker healthcare and social systems;

N.  whereas new multidimensional challenges have emerged in recent years, such as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the questioning of agreements on the non-proliferation of weapons, the worsening of regional conflicts that have given rise to population displacement, competition for natural resources, energy dependency, climate change, the consolidation of failed states, terrorism, organised transnational crime, cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns;

O.  whereas in view of the collapse of important arms control and disarmament agreements and of the rapid developments of new arms technologies, disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation should become a major focus of the CFSP in order to protect EU citizens and international stability and security alike; whereas Common Position 2008/944/CFSP must be updated for the criteria to be strictly applied and implemented;

Positioning the EU as a ‘partner of choice’ in a changing geopolitical order

1.  Highlights that the COVID-19 pandemic is a wake-up call for the need for a stronger, more autonomous, more united and assertive foreign and security policy to step up the Union’s leadership on the international scene in order to defend and develop a rules-based international order which guarantees multilateralism, democracy and human rights, and to promote its values and interests more decisively worldwide; underlines that in order to achieve this, the EU first has to successfully assist its partners in the immediate neighbourhood;

2.  Promotes and defends the EU’s role as a reliable partner worldwide, a preferred ‘partner of choice’ for third parties, a principled, but not dogmatic, honest broker, an actor of reference for conflict resolution and mediation, which promotes diplomacy and dialogue as the preferred way to play a constructive role in global conflicts, as a leading promoter of sustainable development and a major contributor to the multilateral framework, but also as a global actor that is ready to act autonomously and decisively when necessary to defend the EU’s own values and interests, that takes responsibility by ensuring its own security and promoting international peace and stability, based on the principles and values of the UN Charter and as enshrined in international law, with respect for the international rules-based order; takes the view that creativity, a more proactive attitude and more unity and solidarity among the Member States, as well as commitment and resources from the Member States, are needed to increase the EU’s influence globally and to promote its positive power model and its responsible role in global governance, and in order to allow it to assume its strategic responsibility in its immediate neighbourhood;

3.  Stresses that the world’s growing instability, the increasingly confrontational environment, the erosion of multilateralism and the rise of authoritarianism, as well as multifaceted global challenges, especially the increasing climate of conflict which translates into the continuation and sometimes resumption of armed conflicts including at the eastern and southern borders of the European continent, terrorism, climate change and increasing threats to natural resources, uncontrolled migration flows, health-related risks, hybrid threats such as disinformation campaigns, active measures and cyberattacks, among others, should lead the EU to develop its strategic autonomy while strengthening cooperation with its allies; underlines the importance for the Union, in this respect, of establishing more strategic cooperation with third countries based on trust and mutual benefit, and of building alliances with like-minded democracies, including from the southern hemisphere, as well as ad hoc coalitions with other like-minded partners where necessary;

4.  In that regard, underlines the need for the Union to cooperate closely with key partners globally and to play an active role in defending key institutions for international law and the multilateral system; insists on the importance of strengthening the EU’s partnership with the UN and with NATO, as well as of deepening cooperation with organisations such as the Council of Europe, the OSCE, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the African Union, the Organization of American States (OAS), the Arab League, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and Mercosur; calls for enhanced cooperation and coordination between the EU and NATO, pooling knowledge and resources and avoiding duplication, in order to build a common complementary approach to current and future regional and global security challenges as well as to conflict situations, health crises, asymmetric and hybrid threats, cyberattacks and disinformation; stresses the importance of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in investigating crimes against humanity and defending their victims and welcomes the strong support expressed by the Union for the Court, which has recently been the target of pressure and attacks;

5.  Expresses concerns at the unprecedented scale of state- and non-state-sponsored disinformation and propaganda campaigns, which have devastating effects on societies, including in the European neighbourhood and in particular in the Western Balkans; condemns the manipulation and weaponisation of information, including by state, sub-state and non-state actors with malign intentions, and platforms and organisations used by authoritarian third countries to directly and indirectly finance and influence Europe’s political parties and actors; welcomes the much-needed response by the EU institutions to this new challenge, such as the setting up of a new special committee in Parliament focusing on foreign interference in democratic processes in the EU, including disinformation, and the adoption of the Council decision concerning restrictive measures against cyber-attacks threatening the Union or its Member States(5); stresses the need for a response which does not limit fundamental rights and freedoms; points out the importance of effective EU strategic communication and commends the strengthening of Stratcom within the European External Action Service (EEAS) and its efforts to identify and supress disinformation campaigns; highlights the need for the EU to further strengthen its capacities to proactively combat fake news and disinformation as a threat to democracy, and to improve its security culture in order to better protect its information and communication networks; calls on the EU to become a frontrunner in advocating for a collective self-defence and cooperation framework against hybrid threats and the malign influence of authoritarian regimes in particular on democratic governance and private enterprises globally; stresses, therefore, the need for the EU to strengthen its alliances with other global democratic actors to confront such threats globally, including through reformed, more resilient multilateral institutions;

6.  Insists that the EU’s foreign and security policy must be guided by the promotion of the objectives outlined in Article 21 TEU, such as democracy, human dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of religion or belief, the protection of all minorities and of religious communities, including Christians, Jews, Muslims, non-believers and others, and the promotion of gender equality; welcomes in this respect the recent Commission decision to renew the mandate of the Special Envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the EU, but urges an appointment to be made as soon as possible; calls on EU delegations to closely monitor the global human rights situation, identify trends and support citizens and civil society organisations in their efforts to reverse negative human rights trends worldwide; stresses that the EU’s foreign and security policy is made more effective through the use of conditionality in its economic and political incentives; recalls in this regard that the Commission should monitor and report regularly to Parliament on the human rights situation in the third countries which are beneficiaries of the visa waiver and should suspend this waver in the event of violations in the country concerned; calls on the Commission and the Council to strengthen the Union’s democracy support programmes globally by fostering pro-democratic bottom-up processes and building institutional resilience, and by supporting the work of European political foundations in strengthening democratic processes; reiterates its call, made in its recommendation of 13 March 2019, for a reform and review of the EU Special Representatives and Special Envoys;

7.  Underlines that the EU should address the root causes of migration, such as poverty, food and nutrition insecurity, unemployment, instability and the lack of security in third countries in which illegal mass migration originates; stresses that the focus should also be on assisting the development of stable institutions to promote sustainable societal development in these states;

A new level of ambition for the CFSP: strategic regional approaches based on a stronger political will

8.  Recalls that no EU Member State alone has sufficient capability and resources to effectively deal with current international challenges; considers that, in this context, the EU needs first and foremost a stronger and genuine political will on the part of the EU Member States to jointly agree on and push EU foreign policy goals such as conflict prevention and peace agreements and to counter third countries’ attempts to weaken and divide the EU, including by undermining European values; stresses that only a strong and united European Union with established foreign, security and defence policies, and with EU Member States supporting the VP/HR in the implementation of agreed objectives, will be able to play a strong role in the new geopolitical environment; calls on the EU institutions and Member States to coordinate any actions in response to the COVID-19 crisis among themselves and with international partners in order to foster a coherent and inclusive global response to the pandemic and welcomes in this regard the Team Europe approach;

9.  Reiterates its call for a revision of the EU Global Strategy in order to draw the lessons from the new geopolitical dynamics, current threats including the COVID-19 pandemic and expected upcoming challenges, and to reassess the goals and means of the CFSP; highlights that while further developing its cooperation with international partners and allies the EU has to speed up decision-making in foreign affairs and its ability to work with like-minded partners while strengthening multilateralism, and to strengthen its strategic capacities to act, also autonomously if needed; stresses that the EU has a responsibility to forge its strategic autonomy on common diplomacy, security, and defence issues as well as on economic, health and trade matters, in order to address the many common challenges to defending its interests, norms and values in the post-pandemic world; stresses, therefore, the need for European countries to retain the capacity to take decisions and to act alone; urges Member States to swiftly implement and apply the new regulation to establish mechanisms for screening foreign investments in critical sectors; encourages EU Member States to create a new forum for multilateral cooperation, drawing on the legacy of the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Strategic Export Controls, to monitor and control the export of technologies, trade flows and sensitive investments to countries of concern;

10.  Takes the view that there is still a large untapped potential in combining and integrating all strands of EU external action’s hard and soft power to achieve CFSP goals; recalls in this respect that the European Parliament’s diplomacy constitutes an important pillar of the EU’s foreign policy, with its own distinct and complementary instruments and channels; believes that the European Parliament should therefore be recognised as an integral part of the ‘Team Europe’ approach promoted by the Commission and the EEAS); highlights in this respect the importance of Parliament’s role in mediation and democracy support, as well as the valuable contribution of parliamentary assemblies to Europe’s external action, also with regard to security and defence, and the need to promote their activities and ensure that their work is properly conducted; calls on the VP/HR and the Commission and Council presidents to continuously inform Parliament and involve it in the EU’s external action;

11.  Considers that the ambition of having an EU foreign and security policy that is robust, independent and fully developed also entails having a diplomatic body with the same characteristics, established from the outset as a specifically European body; in this connection, supports progress towards the creation of a European diplomatic academy with the remit of establishing an independent selection and training system for future EU diplomats, within the framework of a genuine European diplomatic career path;

12.  Highlights that EU Treaty provisions on consulting and providing information to Parliament in the field of CFSP should translate into clear rules on sharing the relevant documents, including draft strategies, in a transparent and timely manner; points to the need to significantly improve the way in which the Commission and the EEAS currently forward sensitive or confidential information to Parliament; calls furthermore, for an examination of how the quality, scope and format of committee meetings and exchanges with the EEAS and the Commission can be improved; considers that the 2010 ‘declaration on political accountability’ is no longer an appropriate basis for relations between Parliament and the VP/HR and should be replaced by an interinstitutional agreement to enhance the democratic scrutiny rights of Parliament, in accordance with the Treaties; recalls, furthermore, that it has requested a review of the Council decision establishing the EEAS;

13.  Regrets the lack of progress in improving the decision-making process on CFSP matters, which impacts the efficiency, speed and credibility of EU action and decision-making on the international scene; calls on the Member States to urgently open a debate on the possibility of moving from unanimity to qualified majority voting at least in selected areas of CFSP, such as decisions on human rights issues and sanctions, as a concrete means by which to strengthen the EU’s influence on the global scene;

14.  Welcomes the adoption of a new EU Global human rights sanctions regime (EU Magnitsky-like Act), which allows the EU to impose targeted sanctions on those responsible for serious human rights violations and abuses worldwide; recommends that the scope of the sanctions regime be broadened in the future to include acts of corruption;

15.  Calls for a revision of lists of equipment that is banned for export to third countries, to avoid situations whereby Member States provide tools, with EU financial support, that are eventually used for the oppression of citizens;

16.  Supports an EU-wide debate to consider new formats of cooperation such as a European Security Council, as it is high time to formally establish the effective formats and institutions to improve the coherence and influence of the EU’s foreign and security policy; believes that this idea should be discussed in the framework of the Conference on the Future of Europe, and also reiterates its call for the establishment of a Defence Ministers Council;

17.  Emphasises the fact that the EU has committed to strengthening the role of the UN on the international stage and stresses, therefore, the need to reform the United Nations system, reinforcing the coherence of actions by all its agencies, organisations and programmes in order to ensure that the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals are achieved; calls, once again, on Member States to support reforms to the composition and operation of the Security Council to make it more effective and operational, vital in securing world peace, with an agenda that goes beyond military security and includes movements of refugees and displaced persons, food security, climate change and combating pandemics;

18.  Highlights the vital importance of the EU in supporting the democratic and electoral processes that are taking place and in safeguarding their transparency and legitimacy;

19.  Recognises that the stability, security, peace and prosperity of the Western Balkans and the Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood countries directly affect the Union’s own stability and security and that of its Member States, as well as its reputation as a geopolitical global actor; underlines the fact that the European Union is the biggest trading partner and investor in the Western Balkan and Eastern Partnership countries; calls for the EU to assume its strategic responsibility in the EU neighbourhood and play a more timely, active, unified and effective role in the mediation and peaceful resolution of the ongoing tensions and conflicts, and in the prevention of any future conflicts in the neighbourhood; believes that this can be achieved by prioritising efforts at pre-emptive peace-building, including preventive diplomacy and early warning mechanisms, by strengthening bilateral cooperation and supporting democratic forces and the rule of law, by creating positive incentives for socio-economic stabilisation and development, and by building up the resilience of societies, backed up by adequate budgetary resources; reaffirms its strong support for the Normandy Format, the Berlin Conference on Libya and the Minsk Group;

20.  Reiterates its commitment to enlargement as a key transformative EU policy and welcomes the revised methodology from the Commission and its stronger emphasis on the political nature of the enlargement process; supports the European perspective for the Western Balkan countries and welcomes the reaffirmation of the EU Member States’ unequivocal support for this perspective, as stated in the Zagreb Declaration of 6 May 2020 as well as the decision to open accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia; calls on the Council and the Commission to launch the intergovernmental conferences with these two countries without delay and more generally to accelerate the accession process, as Western Balkan countries are geographically, historically and culturally part of Europe; urges Bulgaria, in particular, to stop opposing the opening of the intergovernmental conference with North Macedonia; underlines that the integration of these countries into the EU is of key importance for the stability and security of the continent as a whole, as well as for the EU’s influence in the region and beyond; stresses that the accession process should bring sustainable democratic, economic and ecological transformation and social convergence, and ensure good neighbourly relations and regional cooperation; recalls that the enlargement process is merit-based and rooted in strict and fair conditionality in accordance with the Copenhagen criteria; reiterates that the adoption of reforms must be tangible on the ground and stresses the need to provide clear, transparent and consistent accession benchmarks as well as continued political, financial (IPA III) and technical support throughout the process, with clear measurement of progress; stresses that candidate and potential candidate countries should align with relevant CFSP declarations by the VP/HR on behalf of the EU, and with Council decisions;

21.  Welcomes the results of the EU summit with the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries and hopes that the six countries will genuinely commit to the reform processes needed for building societies which are more democratic, more prosperous, fairer, more stable and closer to fundamental values and principles; underlines that cooperation with EaP countries and other EU neighbourhood countries should be a priority for the CFSP owing to the vital interest of the EU in the development and democratisation of these countries; calls on the Commission and the EEAS to continue strengthening economic and connectivity ties, using trade and association agreements, access to the single market and deepened people-to-people contacts, including through visa facilitation and liberalisation when all requirements are fulfilled; emphasises that the above could serve as incentives to foster democratic reforms and the adoption of EU rules and standards; calls on the EU to maintain a tailor-made differentiation within the EaP based on the principle of ‘more for more’ and ‘less for less’; acknowledges the unique experience and expertise of the EaP countries, including their contribution to EU common security and defence policy (CSDP) missions, battlegroups and operations, and calls for the deepening of EU-EaP cooperation in EU-related defence policies;

22.   Supports the demands of the Belarusian people for freedom, democracy and dignity, and to hold new, free and fair presidential elections; recognises the important role of the Coordination Council as a representative of the protesting Belarusian people; strongly condemns the violent crackdown on peaceful demonstrators and welcomes the adoption of sanctions against the Lukashenka regime, including Aliaksandr Lukashenka himself, and reiterates its position of not recognising the results of the falsified presidential elections of 9 August 2020; asks the EU to thoroughly review its EU-Belarus relations in view of the regime’s lack of adherence to its own commitments under international law and its agreements with the EU, as well as to create incentives for socio-economic stabilisation, development of and support for democratic forces;

23.  Stresses the importance of the EU’s commitment to support its partners’ sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity within their internationally recognised borders; is concerned by the proliferation of hot conflict zones in the EU’s closest neighbourhood, as well as frozen conflicts and the ongoing de-facto occupation by the Russian Federation of territories belonging to sovereign states; reiterates its condemnation of Russia’s aggressive policies vis-à-vis Ukraine, its negative role in several frozen conflicts and its pressure against some of its immediate EU neighbours, in addition to its violations of the rights of the Crimean Tatars, its blockade of the Azov Sea, its continued seizure of Ukraine’s gas fields in the Black Sea, and its violation of the territorial integrity of Georgia and Moldova; remains fully committed to the policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea; calls on Russia to assume its responsibility, to use its influence over the Russian-backed separatists and to fully implement its commitments under the Minsk agreements; underlines the need for the EU to step up its action in the peaceful resolution of so-called frozen conflicts, also in dialogue with third countries involved, to actively promote solutions based on the norms and principles of international law, the UN Charter and the OSCE Helsinki Final Act of 1975, and to increase support for conflict-affected civilians, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees; demands, likewise, that the Russian Federation cease its occupation of the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia and stop the de facto integration of both regions into the Russian administration;

24.  Takes good note of the agreement on a complete ceasefire in and around Nagorno-Karabakh signed by Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia on 9 November 2020; hopes that this agreement will save the lives of both civilians and military personnel and open brighter perspectives for a peaceful settlement of this deadly conflict; regrets that changes to the status quo were made through military force, rather than peaceful negotiations; strongly condemns the killing of civilians and destruction of civilian facilities and places of worship, condemns the reported use of cluster munitions in the conflict; urges both Armenia and Azerbaijan to ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which comprehensively bans their use, without further delay; stresses that a lasting settlement still remains to be found and that the process of achieving peace and determining the region’s future legal status should be led by the Minsk Group Co-Chairs and founded on the group’s Basic Principles; highlights the urgent need to ensure that humanitarian assistance can reach those in need, that the security of the Armenian population and its cultural heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh is ensured, and that internally displaced persons and refugees are allowed to return to their former places of residence; calls for all allegations of war crimes to be duly investigated and those responsible to be brought to justice; calls on the EU to be more meaningfully involved in the settlement of the conflict and not to leave the fate of the region in the hands of other powers;

25.  Welcomes the upcoming joint communication from the Commission and the High Representative on a renewed partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood; calls for the EU to acknowledge the specificities of each of the Southern Mediterranean countries in its policies towards the region; calls for the EU to strengthen cooperation with regional actors such as the Arab League, the African Union and the Union for the Mediterranean and to actively support intra-regional cooperation among the countries of the Southern Neighbourhood, as an indispensable tool for security and sustainable economic development; underlines the need to strengthen the Union’s relations with the North African countries; regrets that, 25 years after the launch of the so-called Barcelona Process, the construction of the area of shared prosperity, stability and freedom with the Mediterranean countries of the Southern Neighbourhood has not yet been completed; fully supports the Berlin process and welcomes all UN initiatives aimed at finding a comprehensive political solution to the crisis in Libya;

26.  Underlines the need for the EU to pay closer attention to the ongoing conflict in Syria and to work towards bringing to justice the members of the Syrian regime and its allies, particularly from Russia and Iran, who are responsible for numerous war crimes committed since 2011;

27.  Takes the view that the EU should continue to play a proactive role regarding the Middle East Peace Process and the conclusion of an agreement, including on final status agreement issues, between the parties, looking, in particular, at the need to preserve the conditions on the ground for a peaceful two-state solution, on the basis of the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states, with the secure state of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security, on the basis of the right of self-determination and with full respect for international law;

28.  Takes note of the Abraham Accords, which normalised diplomatic relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain; in this regard, commends the role of United States in facilitating the Abraham Accords; points to the fact that Arab states such as Egypt or Jordan, which have maintained diplomatic relations with Israel for years, have played a meaningful role in promoting dialogue on the Middle East Peace Process, including on security and stability; underlines the continuing relevance of investing in meaningful negotiations between Israel and Palestine; welcomes the fact that one of the premises for the Abraham Accords was the halting of annexation plans in the West Bank and calls on all parties to respect this;

29.  Welcomes the recent agreement by Palestinian political powers that legislative and presidential elections would take place in the next six months and emphasises that democratic elections remain a key priority for the Union; stresses the need to support the peace process in the Middle East and to secure adequate financial resources for the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in close cooperation with the international donor community;

30.  Welcomes the EU’s commitment to preserve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and ensure it is fully implemented by all parties; stresses that this multilateral agreement is a crucial achievement of European diplomacy and that it remains a key pillar of the global non-proliferation architecture, acting as a cornerstone of regional peace, security and stability, and that it is in EU’s interests to ensure its full preservation and implementation; calls on the US to refrain from taking unilateral actions, thus contributing to regional and global peace and security, and to a rules-based global order; urges the VP/HR to use all available political and diplomatic means to safeguard the JCPOA; calls on the VP/HR, in view of the existing rivalries in the Gulf region, to intensify political dialogue with the countries of the region with the aim of promoting de-escalation and an inclusive regional security architecture, in line with the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions of 10 January 2020; calls on the VP/HR, in this respect, to consider appointing a Special Envoy for the Gulf region to facilitate that task;

31.  Calls on France, Germany and the United Kingdom, as signatories of the JCPOA, the EU, and its Member States to build up their unity, deterrence and resilience against secondary sanctions from third countries, and to implement measures to safeguard the EU’s legitimate interests, including through the full operationalisation of the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX); rejects the unilateral extraterritorial re-imposition of sanctions by the US following its withdrawal from the JCPOA, as it undermines the EU’s legitimate economic and foreign policy interests, in particular by hindering humanitarian trade with Iran at the time of COVID-19; calls on the US to unconditionally re-join the JCPOA, which should go hand in hand with urging Iran reverting to full compliance with its commitments under the agreement; condemns, in this regard, the decision of Iran to begin enriching uranium to 20 %, which is a direct and grave breach of the nuclear deal;

32.  Takes note of the report of the UN Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen that established that the Government of Yemen, the Houthis, the Southern Transitional Council and members of the coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have committed grave violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law, which qualify as war crimes, such as indiscriminate attacks on civilians and civilian structures; calls on the EU and its Member States to ensure that there is no impunity for the most serious crimes by, inter alia, supporting the referral of the situation in Yemen to the International Criminal Court; calls on the EU and its Member States to introduce targeted sanctions against officials in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates that have been involved in alleged war crimes; reiterates, once again, its call on Member States to stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which only make them complicit in perpetuating the conflict and prolonging the suffering of the Yemeni people;

33.  Takes the view that the EU needs to urgently define a better geopolitical and overall strategy for its short-, mid- and long-term relations with Turkey, particularly in the light of continued democratic backsliding and the growing assertiveness of Turkey’s foreign policy, which is contributing to the escalation of tensions and having a destabilising impact that threatens regional peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, Middle East and South Caucasus, and its role in conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh;

34.  Calls for the EU to play a significant role in the Mediterranean, having become an actor with the ability to guarantee the stability of the region, including in relation to combating organised crime, terrorism and irregular migration; highlights that the ongoing legislative work on the New Pact on Migration and Asylum presents a key opportunity for the EU co-legislators to improve the EU’s asylum and migration policy in order to become less dependent on Turkey;

35.  Reiterates that the accession negotiations with Turkey are formally frozen, in light of human rights situation, democratic back-sliding and challenges to the rule of law inside Turkey; considers that relations with Turkey should not be based on an illusory and outdated accession process; stresses that it is of common strategic interest to the European Union, its Member States and Turkey that a stable and secure environment be established in the Eastern Mediterranean; recalls, however, that the essential dialogue which must prevail in establishing this stable and secure environment can only exist by avoiding any unilateral provocation, a fortiori by military, naval or air actions; recalls in this regard the full solidarity of the EU with its Member States Greece and Cyprus;

36.  Reiterates that the Union is ready to use all instruments and options at its disposal, including those provided for in Article 29 TEU and Article 215 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union for the defence of its interests and those of its Member States; recalls the Council conclusions of 14 October 2019 calling on the Member States to take strong national positions regarding their arms export policy to Turkey on the basis of the provisions of Common Position 2008/944/CFSP, including the strict application of criterion 4 on regional stability and calls on the VP/HR and the Council to consider introducing an initiative to oblige all Member States to halt arms export licensing to Turkey in accordance with this Common Position; recalls the Council conclusions of 1 October 2020 underlining that the EU will use all the instruments and options at its disposal, including imposing a sanctions regime on Turkey in order to defend its interests and those of its Member States; reiterates its call on the VP/HR for as long as Turkey continues with its current illegal, unilateral actions in the Eastern Mediterranean that run counter to the sovereignty of any EU Member State and international law, and does not engage in dialogue based on international law; calls on the NATO leadership to communicate in the strongest terms to Turkey that it will not tolerate the country’s aggressive acts against fellow NATO members;

37.  Strongly condemns the signature of the two Memorandums of Understanding between Turkey and Libya on the delimitation of maritime zones and on comprehensive security and military cooperation, which are interconnected and are in clear violation of both international law and the UN Security Council resolution imposing an arms embargo on Libya;

38.  Strongly condemns the destabilising role of Turkey which further undermines the fragile stability in the whole of the South Caucasus region; calls on Turkey to refrain from any interference in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, including offering military support to Azerbaijan, and to desist from its destabilising actions and actively promote peace; condemns, furthermore, the transfer of foreign terrorist fighters by Turkey from Syria and elsewhere to Nagorno-Karabakh, as confirmed by international actors, including the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries; regrets its willingness to destabilise the OSCE Minsk Group as it pursues ambitions of playing a more decisive role in the conflict;

39.  Underlines that it is essential and in the mutual interest of the EU and the UK, amplified by their common principles and shared values, as well as their geographical proximity and longstanding shared strategic cooperation, to agree on common responses to address foreign, security and defence policy challenges based on the principles of multilateralism, the resolution of conflicts through dialogue and diplomacy, and international law, bearing in mind that most international threats affect both sides with the same intensity; welcomes the conclusion of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which provides clarity and certainty for citizens and businesses on both sides; underlines that it is currently scrutinising the agreement, and intends to monitor closely the implementation of the EU-UK agreement in all its details;

40.  Stresses that transatlantic cooperation remains crucial and is paramount in the EU’s common foreign and security policy; calls for increased efforts towards a robust and renewed transatlantic partnership and constant dialogue, based on mutual respect and concrete actions to promote multilateralism, the rule of law, human rights, transatlantic security and economic cooperation and the fight against climate change, and for maintaining the rules-based international system in order to deal with current and future foreign, security and trade challenges and crises, with a particular focus on the current health emergency and the economic, social, security and political challenges it brings;

41.  Insists that the transatlantic partnership should be revitalised in order to deal more effectively with the pandemic and other major international challenges such as climate change; acknowledges the need to find a new basis for EU-US cooperation against nationalistic, authoritarian and hegemonic ambitions, the expansionist tensions in the Middle East and the Gulf, the multi-polarity of economic stakeholders that are growing in dominance and the current economic crisis on both sides of the Atlantic; welcomes the EU initiative to establish a transatlantic dialogue on China;

42.  Believes that this partnership can only prosper if it is based on relations of shared values and interests and respect for international law and multilateral institutions, but also trust, which has, unfortunately, in recent years been adversely affected by excessive unilateral actions which have also weakened the multilateral frameworks of which the EU and its Member States are part; deplores, in this respect, the unilateralist tendencies of the administration of US President Donald Trump; highlights that weaker Western ties enable illiberal states to fill the leadership void on the international scene; expresses its hope that the US will reverse the path it has followed in recent years of withdrawing from the multilateral global rules-based order, enabling the resumption of close unity in transatlantic action that is fully aligned with the values and principles shared by the EU and the US; reiterates the need for European NATO member countries to take on more burden-sharing responsibilities in protecting the transatlantic space and respond to new hybrid threats; underlines that joining forces with US in peacebuilding endeavours in the future would bring more synergy and allow for a better response to global challenges;

43.  Condemns in the strongest terms the mob assault on the US Congress by rioters incited by President Donald Trump’s conspiracy theories and baseless claims that the presidential election of 3 November 2020 was rigged; trusts the US to ensure a peaceful transfer of power to President-Elect Joseph Biden and Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris; is alarmed by the rise of populism and extremism on both sides of the Atlantic and stresses the urgent need to defend democracy, human rights and the rule of law globally;

44.  Calls for the maintenance of a strong and united stance towards the Russian Federation, including through the revision of the EU’s five basic policy principles; calls for a new EU-Russia strategy to be elaborated, which would send a clear signal to the pro-democracy faction in Russian society of the EU’s continued willingness to engage and cooperate; calls for the sanctions regime to be strengthened, especially in the light of ongoing developments related to the attempted assassination of Alexei Navalny on Russian territory by means of a military nerve agent belonging to the ‘Novichok’ family developed in Russia; welcomes the adoption by the Foreign Affairs Council of restricted measures linked to the use of chemical weapons in the attempted assassination of Alexei Navalny; reiterates its call for an independent international investigation into his poisoning;

45.  Reiterates that the respect of the Minsk agreements is a key condition for any substantial change in EU-Russia relations; deplores Russia’s negative role in disinformation campaigns and other forms of hybrid warfare waged against the EU and the West, which seek to weaken our internal cohesion and thereby our ability to act effectively on the global stage; deplores, furthermore, targeted killings in the EU territory and the use of chemical weapons, as well as the difficult internal situation when it comes to human rights and fundamental freedoms; underlines the need to put pressure on the Russian Federation to comply with international law and treaties; is concerned by repeated violations by Russia of arms control agreements and standards, which have led to the collapse of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), as well as its violations of the chemical weapons convention, by using military grade nerve agents both domestically and inside EU territory;

46.  Underlines that Africa is an important strategic partner in the multilateral system; welcomes the current efforts to redesign and significantly upgrade the EU-Africa strategy, using a model that is not based on donor-recipient relations but on a joint and coordinated partnership of equals and the establishment of mutually beneficial relations with a clear understanding of respective and mutual interests and responsibilities, in view of developing a fair, people-centred and sustainable partnership, including in terms of human rights, security and cooperation in the fight against terrorism; highlights in this regard the need to pay particular attention to the situation in the Sahel region, given the increasing instability and the significant direct and indirect effects for the EU of events in this region; insists on a European vision for solidarity in the face of the development of the situation in Libya, but also for human rights, in the policy of aid for the development and consolidation of economic partnership agreements; calls for a common EU approach and effort to strengthen the EU’s connectivity with, awareness of and commitment to Africa; recalls that the presence and credible commitment of Europe is crucial in mitigating humanitarian and socio-economic challenges;

47.  Notes the importance of European capacity building and training missions in fostering peace, security and stability in Africa; reiterates the importance of the EU stabilisation missions and operations deployed in Africa, particularly in the sub-Saharan and Sahel regions, and calls on the EEAS and the Council to ensure that the mandate and means of the CSDP missions in Africa are reinforced, giving them the means to continue to operate effectively to respond to the grave challenges they are facing; highlights the EU’s leading role in the diplomatic and peaceful resolution of conflicts, including mediation initiatives and disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration programmes;

48.  Believes that a strengthened relationship with Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is central to the EU’s geopolitical strategy in the world; stresses the need for the Union to strengthen the ties that unite the EU with LAC countries, which together represent a third of the UN members, based on common values and principles, particularly in defending the multilateral rules-based order, promoting a green agenda and combating poverty and inequalities; urges the Union to maintain its position as the preferred partner of Latin American countries in view of the prospect that other geopolitical actors occupy increasing space in the region;

49.  Calls, in this regard, for targeted, multi-faceted engagement with the region, backed by a common EU narrative that promotes strategies that help to jointly tackle common challenges such as promoting peace, security and prosperity while ensuring a common front in the face of the threats posed by climate change; highlights the importance of Latin America for the EU and calls for this region to continue to be considered as being of major geostrategic interest for the CFSP, through participating in promoting democracy and human rights in the region and assisting in its economic development; emphasises that respecting the rule of law and a stable political and legal framework, including the fight against corruption and impunity, as well as progress towards democracy and respect for human rights and the promotion of fundamental freedoms, are cornerstones for deeper integration and cooperation with LAC countries; stresses the importance of moving forward with and completing the revision of the global agreements with Chile and Mexico, as well as the EU-Mercosur Association Agreement, and highlights that these are key allies and partners of the EU; expresses its grave concern over the lack of respect for democracy and the rule of law, and over the attacks against democratically elected opposition leaders, journalists, students and human rights defenders, in particular those working on environmental issues, and their lawyers;

50.  Reiterates its full support for the peace process in Colombia and for its implementation, which is a decisive step for the future of Colombians and for the stabilisation of the region; calls for a strong joint position to be maintained in relation to the regime in Venezuela, and in relation to human rights violations perpetrated by the regime of President Nicolás Maduro, and also in relation to the system of sanctions, especially in the light of recent events, and the recent complaints made by various bodies, including the United Nations;

51.  Underlines the importance for the EU of pursuing a unified, realistic, effective, firm and more assertive strategy that unites all Member States and shapes relations towards the People’s Republic of China (PRC), in the interests of the EU as a whole, where it should proactively and assertively seek more balanced and reciprocal economic relations, based on European values and interests, with a very strong and special focus on respect for human rights and the freedom of religion or belief; highlights the importance of aiming to reach a common approach with the US and other likeminded partners on China;

52.  Calls for an EU policy regarding China to be based on the following principles: cooperate where possible; compete where needed; confront where necessary; recalls that China’s assertive public diplomacy has made a number of countries co-dependent on its investment and loans; stresses that the EU should actively increase its presence and visibility in partner states worldwide as a major investor and donor of development assistance;

53.  Encourages the PRC to assume greater responsibility in dealing with global challenges, while preserving cooperation in multilateral frameworks whenever possible, including, in particular, taking more ambitious actions and binding commitments on climate, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, and on biodiversity, and supporting multilateral responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, including by allowing an international investigation into the origin of the disease; deplores Chinese disinformation about the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, its manipulation of the multilateral system, the spread of Chinese malign influence, cyber-attacks and corrupt investment projects; commends Taiwan’s effective efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus and its solidarity with the EU, as demonstrated by the donation of over seven million surgical masks to many Member States during the pandemic;

54.  Calls on the Commission, the Council and the VP/HR to continue to communicate to the PRC that the EU will not tolerate its continued human rights violations in Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjang, nor its treatment of people belonging to minorities, and to play a decisive role on the international stage to secure Hong Kong’s autonomy; condemns the violation of the ‘one country, two systems’ model by the adoption of the National Security Law in China, which seriously undermines the high degree of autonomy of Hong Kong and has a detrimental impact on the independence of the judiciary and on the freedom of expression in Hong Kong; expresses concerns about the impact of the imposition of the National Security Law in Hong Kong on the relationship between China and Taiwan; underlines that the ongoing undermining of Hong Kong’s autonomy by Beijing not only goes against the obligations of China under bilateral treaties and international law, but also calls into question Beijing’s role as a credible partner; notes that Parliament will take into account human rights abuses in mainland China and Hong Kong when asked to endorse a comprehensive agreement on investment and any future trade deals with China; encourages Member States to implement the package of measures agreed on by the Foreign Affairs Council on 28 July 2020, as well as Parliament’s resolution of 19 June 2020(6); requests that the Commission and the Member States actively push back against the brutal persecution of Uighurs in Xinjang, as well as of other ethnic and religious minority groups, particularly Christians and Tibetans; calls on the Member States and the VP/HR to adopt sanctions under the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime against the Chinese officials and state-led entities responsible for orchestrating the policy of mass detention of Uyghurs and forced labour in China;

55.  Reaffirms that the Union will remain vigilant regarding the situation in Taiwan and the upgrading of political and trade relations between the EU and the Republic of China (Taiwan); calls on the PRC to reach a peaceful resolution of all land and sea border disputes in accordance with international law and to avoid any provocative military moves aimed at the destabilisation of the South Chinese Sea; underlines that preserving peace, stability and the freedom of navigation in the Indo-Pacific region remains of critical importance to the interests of the EU and its Member States; notes with grave concern the recent escalation of tensions on the India-China border, as well as in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait, including China’s increasingly provocative military manoeuvres aimed at Taiwan; calls on all parties concerned to resolve their differences peacefully through constructive dialogue and to refrain from taking unilateral action to change the status quo; takes the view that cross-strait relations should be developed constructively, without destabilising initiatives or coercion by either side, and that any change to cross-strait relations must not be made against the will of Taiwan’s citizens; calls for the EU and its Member States to revisit their engagement policy with Taiwan and to cooperate with international partners in helping sustain democracy in Taiwan free from foreign threats; calls on the EU and its Member States to advocate for Taiwan’s membership as an observer of the World Health Organization and World Health Assembly, and other international organisations, mechanisms and activities, as well as of the global disease prevention network;

56.  Underscores the need for the EU to pay increased attention to strategic regions which are increasingly gaining international attention, such as, among others, Africa and the Arctic, as well as the Indo-Pacific region, where China is pursuing a policy of expansion to which the EU must develop a coherent response; points out the need to further expand cooperation with important like-minded partners in the Indo-Pacific region, such as Japan, India, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand; welcomes, in this regard, the efforts towards developing a European Indo-Pacific strategy based on EU principles and values, which may include joint military exercises between Australia and NATO in the Pacific; is of the view that, as part of a coherent China strategy in which the EU and the Member States together push back when necessary, the EU should seek closer collaboration with countries in the region and other democracies, for which the EU connectivity strategy should be used to the fullest; warns against Chinese efforts towards stronger power projection in the region, particularly in Taiwan, resulting in border disputes with many of its neighbours;

57.  Underscores the need to use the potential for further improving EU-India relations, taking into account the developments in the region and the important role of India both in the region and globally;

58.  Welcomes the inclusion of a joint communication on the Arctic in the 2021 Commission work programme; considers it necessary for the EU to have an Arctic strategy;

Strengthening the EU’s capacities and means in the CFSP

59.  Stresses its support for the progressive framing and advancing of a common defence policy aimed at strengthening the CSDP and its objectives and tasks as laid down in the Treaties, towards a fully-fledged defence union that recognises the specific constitutional situation of neutral countries, based on clear strategic objectives and orientated towards human security and sustainable peace; welcomes in this regard the initiative to adopt a Strategic Compass in 2022; stresses the need to further enhance EU-NATO relations, underlining their compatibility and strategic relevance for one another; calls on European countries to invest more in their defence capabilities, to rebalance the responsibilities within NATO and to become a more equal partner to the United States; recognises the contribution of the CSDP missions and operations to international peace, security and stability; commends the progress towards the establishment of the European Peace Facility; insists on the need to go beyond declarations and to take action, in particular by providing the EU with a truly European defence industrial base through a European defence fund with the necessary budget, and to ensure a more rapid and coherent implementation of permanent structured cooperation working towards EU strategic autonomy, allowing the EU to promote a more integrated internal market for defence equipment; underlines the importance of conducting inclusive multi-stakeholder consultations in view of fostering a common strategic culture in security and defence;

60.  Recalls that women’s participation in peace and security processes can play a significant role in determining the success and sustainability of peace agreements, as well as the durability and quality of peace; stresses that commitments and declarations about promoting the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda and equal representation of women in foreign and security policy often remain rhetoric rather than aiming for and ensuring actual implementation, leading to limited progress on the agenda’s goals worldwide; recalls the increased success of conflict resolution when gender parity and equality are respected along the process and calls for an increase of participation, notably in decision-making processes, and managerial positions for women in CSDP missions; calls, furthermore, for the more systematic mainstreaming of a gender perspective into such missions, for guarantees of training on gender equality and WPS for all EU-deployed military and civilian personnel, including the middle and upper management of the EEAS and heads and commanders of CSDP missions and operations, and for active contributions to the implementation of UNSC Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security; calls for specific and measurable targets regarding diversity and the presence of women in management positions in the EEAS, including the objective of reaching 50 % women in management positions as heads of delegation, EU Special Representatives and heads of CSDP missions and operations; calls for forthcoming Gender Action Plan III (GAP III) and WPS Action Plan to be translated into national action plans, including a mid-term evaluation, and for the annexation of the WPS Action Plan to the GAP III;

61.  Stresses that the EU must assume a global leadership role in tackling the consequences of the pandemic, which requires sufficient financial resources; highlights the need for a more ambitious multiannual financial framework (MFF) in the area of external action and defence, including increased allocations for the CFSP, the Neighbourhood Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA III), the European Defence Fund (EDF) and military mobility, and calls on the Council to ensure early approval of the European Peace Facility; regrets the proposed cuts by the Council on the external financial instruments in the new MFF and the lack of funding via the Next Generation EU recovery package; underlines that these cuts can hinder the EU’s role on the global stage and deal a blow to its ability to stabilise and transform accession countries; emphasises that Parliament needs to be involved in a meaningful way in the strategic steering of annual and multiannual work programmes and control of external financing instruments; recalls the need to significantly boost EU budget resources for civilian conflict prevention for the next MFF and to increase funding for peacebuilding, dialogue, mediation and reconciliation;

62.  Calls for the strengthening of defence capabilities while prioritising capability gaps identified under the Capability Development Plan (CDP) and the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), notably through in-depth cooperation activities such as pooling and sharing and the sufficient funding of meaningful projects and more ambitious Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), the EDF, military mobility and the European space programme; notes that these steps should also be beneficial for NATO and transatlantic relations; underlines the need for further coherence of EU tools and mechanisms in EU defence cooperation and calls in this regard for resources to be optimised to avoid unnecessary duplication of expenses and instruments; calls for increased support and staffing, and adequate and permanent budgetary resources for the EEAS Strategic Communications Division, on the condition of an independent in-depth assessment of its past and current activities; calls for a review of the mandate of the EEAS Strategic Communications Division to include foreign interference by emerging actors such as China;

63.  Reiterates its call for stronger support for the EU maritime security strategy, as maintaining freedom of navigation presents a growing challenge both globally and for the neighbourhood; underlines that freedom of navigation should be respected at all times; recommends, in order to achieve effective management of global maritime information, that structural coordination between institutions, organisations and national authorities be strengthened and supported, in particular by allowing the convergence of the two main civilian and military components that provide the basis for knowledge of the maritime situation;

64.  Highlights the importance of CSDP missions and operations; emphasises the existence of framework agreements with non-EU countries for their participation in EU crisis management operations; points out that these agreements highlight the collective approach that governs the pursuit of peace and security;

65.  Draws attention to the mid- to long-term threats which will need to be addressed by the CFSP in the future, including the security risks posed by authoritarian regimes, non-state actors, climate change, cyber-threats, CBRN attacks, hybrid threats including the wider use of artificial intelligence, disinformation campaigns, the space race and its militarisation, and emerging technologies, terrorism and uncontrolled migration flows, alongside already established geopolitical challenges; stresses the need for the EU to make progress on the definition and recognition of hybrid threats; calls for the EU to improve awareness of these threats and to build a common resilience capacity; stresses that such threats can only be countered by coordinated action and timely and adequate investment in European research and innovation; welcomes Parliament’s establishment of the Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence in the Digital Age as a forum in which to address strategic issues related to artificial intelligence; considers it important to ensure a better link between internal and external aspects of EU policies in order to ensure that EU policies act towards CFSP goals, including the EU energy policy;

66.  Emphasises the need to develop a coherent climate policy-related dimension of the CFSP, as climate change is increasingly playing the role of an economic, social and political destabiliser and risk-multiplier;

67.  Welcomes the intelligence-led threat analysis currently carried out by the VP/HR as a starting point for the future Strategic Compass, and calls for a debate in Parliament on the outcome of this analysis; welcomes the new approach of the Commission to embed strategic foresight into EU policymaking, including on foreign and security matters;

o   o

68.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the President of the European Council, the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and the Member States.

(1) OJ C 210, 3.8.2010, p. 1.
(2) Texts adopted, P9_TA(2020)0286.
(3) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2019)0172.
(4) Texts adopted, P9_TA(2020)0054.
(5) Council Decision (CFSP) 2019/797 of 17 May 2019 concerning restrictive measures against cyber-attacks threatening the Union or its Member States (OJ L 129 I, 17.5.2019, p. 13).
(6) Texts adopted, P9_TA(2020)0174.

Last updated: 22 April 2021Legal notice - Privacy policy