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Procedure : 2020/2207(INI)
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Document selected : A9-0265/2020

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

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PV 20/01/2021 - 17

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

European Parliament resolution of 20 January 2021 on the implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy - annual report 2020 (2020/2207(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Treaty of Lisbon,

–  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, 20 June 2019, 12 December 2019 and 21 July 2020,

–  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, 17 June 2019 and 17 June 2020,

–  having regard to the Conclusions of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, on the establishment of a Civilian CSDP Compact,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on Women, Peace and Security of 10 December 2018,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on the framework for a joint EU diplomatic response to malicious cyber activities of 19 June 2017,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on youth, peace and security of 7 June 2018 and on youth in external action of 5 June 2020,

–  having regard to Council Decision (CFSP) 2019/797 of 17 May 2019 concerning restrictive measures against cyber-attacks threatening the Union or its Member States(1),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on complementary efforts to enhance resilience and counter hybrid threats of 10 December 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 Communication to the European Parliament and the Council on the Action Plan on Military Mobility of 28 March 2018 (JOIN(2018)0005),

–  having regard to the joint declarations of 8 July 2016 and 12 July 2018 by the Presidents of the European Council and the Commission and the Secretary-General of NATO,

–  having regard to the Charter of the United Nations

–  having regard to the Helsinki Final Act of 1975 of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe,

–  having regard to the common set of 42 proposals endorsed by the EU and NATO Councils on 6 December 2016 and the progress reports of 14 June 2017 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 Fifth progress report of 16 June 2020 on the implementation of the common set of proposals endorsed by the EU and NATO Councils on 6 December 2016 and 5 December 2017,

–  having regard to the enormous impact that the departure of the UK from the EU will have on potential EU defence capabilities, since it is one of the most effective European military powers,

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

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

–  having regard to China’s increase in 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,

–  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 Second Progress Report on the 2019-2021 EU-UN priorities on peace operations and crisis management,

–  having regard to the United Nation General Assembly resolutions 3212(1974), 32/15(1977), 33/15(1978), 34/30(1979) and 37/253(1983),

–  having regard to the United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR) 353(1974), 361(1975), 367(1975), 458(1979), 541(1983), 550(1984), 649(1990), 716(1991), 750(1992), 774(1992), 789(1992), 889 (1993), 939(1994), 1032(1995), 1062(1996), 1250(1999), 2009(2011), 2095(2013) and 2174(2014),

–  having regard to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), paying special attention to SDG 16, which sets out to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development,

–  having regard to the UN publication from June 2018 entitled ‘Securing Our Common Future: An Agenda for Disarmament’,

–  having regard to the European Court of Auditors (ECA) Review No 09/2019 on European Defence,

–  having regard to its resolutions of 14 December 2016(2), 13 December 2017(3), 12 December 2018(4) and 15 January 2020(5) on the implementation of the common foreign and security policy,

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 June 2018 on EU-NATO relations(6),

–  having regard to its recommendation to the Council and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) concerning the preparation of the 2020 Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT) review process, nuclear arms control and nuclear disarmament options,

–  having regard to its resolution of 17 September 2020 on arms export: implementation of Common Position 2008/944/CFSP(7),

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 February 2019 on the future of the INF Treaty and the impact on the European Union(8),

–  having regard to its position 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 recommendation to the Council on the decision establishing a on European Peace Facility(10),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 September 2018 on autonomous weapon systems(11),

–  having regard to its resolution of 23 July 2020 on the conclusions of the extraordinary European Council meeting of 17-21 July 2020(12),

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A9-0265/2020),

1.  Recalls the ambition of the EU to be a global actor for peace and security, and calls for its actions and policies to strive for the maintenance of international peace, security, effective multilateralism, cooperation, global stability and active support for the rules-based international order, international law, human rights and democracy, in line with the principles and values of the UN Charter and the objectives set out in Article 21 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU);

2.  Stresses that, given the current, increasing multi-faceted threats to global regional and national security and stability the EU is facing in a highly multipolar and unpredictable environment with more assertive and competing global and regional powers and shifting alliances, only through the combined weight of a strong and united European Union and its Member States, in close cooperation with likeminded democracies, will European actors have the potential to develop a more robust Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) in order to play a stronger and more relevant role on the international stage in the new geopolitical environment and to contribute to peace, human security, sustainable development, prosperity, freedom, respect of fundamental rights and values and democracy;

3.  Notes that the lasting deterioration in the Union’s strategic environment is directly or indirectly affecting the security of its Member States and citizens; underlines that, in this unstable and unpredictable environment, the Union and the Member States together have a bigger role to play to ensure the security of its Member States, citizens and values from multilateral threats, risks and challenges;

4.  Notes the European Union’s objective of developing a European strategic autonomy, which is an ambition based on the ability of the Union to independently assess a crisis situation and take autonomous decisions, and on its capacity to act autonomously, where circumstances require, in order to defend its interests and values, in the full respect of alliances and of its strategic partners, while respecting the principle of complementarity with NATO;

5.  Calls on the VP/HR and the Council to provide a common formal definition of strategic autonomy and to define its objectives, means and resources for implementation very clearly; considers the ability to act autonomously as an important means for the EU to strengthen its multilateral action, make it less vulnerable to external threats and be a more reliable partner in a multilateral rules-based order;

6.  Believes that the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the EU’s vulnerability and its dependency on third countries; underlines, therefore, the even more important need to intensify the EU’s efforts towards strategic autonomy in this context;

7.  Notes that some progress has been made in the implementation of the CSDP; welcomes the fact that the EU remains committed to increasing its global presence and ability to act as a global security promoter and provider, including through its CSDP missions and operations, with the goal of achieving sustainable peace, stability, security and prosperity and of actively contributing to overcoming and settling conflicts around the world, in particular in the EU’s neighbourhood;

8.  Welcomes the VP/HR’s announcement that, by the end of 2020, an analysis will be presented of common threats and challenges, which will provide the basis for policy discussions with the Member States and for developing a Strategic Compass; notes that the Strategic Compass will enhance and guide the implementation of the EU’s level of ambition, as set out in 2016, and will define a strategic approach, specific goals and objectives in the four key areas: crisis management, resilience, capabilities and partnerships, no later than 2022; stresses that this is necessary as the EU needs to develop illustrative scenarios for military and civilian interventions and to prepare well at operational and political levels; hopes that the Strategic Compass, as a first step towards the development of an EU independent operational capacity, will pave the way towards a more harmonised strategic culture and thus facilitate Union decision-making;

9.  Is considering putting forward its own reports and recommendations on the key areas of the Strategic Compass in order to provide parliamentary input and guidance, in accordance with our democratic institutional principles;

10.  Underlines the primary geopolitical importance for the Union of sustainable regional stability, security and prosperity and preventing destabilising processes in its neighbourhood, both East and South and the Arctic; stresses the key role played by the operations EUFOR Althea and EULEX Kosovo in promoting stability and security by enhancing the resilience of countries and promoting capacity-building in a region of strategic importance to the EU; welcomes the extension of the mandates of EULEX Kosovo and EUAM Ukraine and reiterates the importance of CSDP involvement in the Western Balkans and Eastern Neighbourhood; encourages a review of the ongoing CSDP mission EUAM Ukraine to determine how it can further support Ukraine’s security;

11.  Points to the fact that instability in the European Southern Neighbourhood, particularly in regions of the Sahel, West Africa and Horn of Africa ultimately has a negative spill-over effect to the EU’s Southern Neighbourhood in particular, and therefore poses a direct challenge to our European external border management;

12.  Is concerned that Russian Federation military forces are still occupying large parts of Ukraine and Georgia in violation of international law, that they are still present in the Republic of Moldova, and that Russia continues to destabilise peace and security in the region; expresses its concern over the unprecedented scale of state-sponsored disinformation campaigns in the Eastern Neighbourhood; continues to condemn Russia’s military intervention and illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula and the keeping of the frozen conflict in Moldova; stresses the need to speak with one voice on the EUs policy in that context;

13.  Welcomes the cessation of hostilities in and around Nagorno-Karabakh; underlines with concern the military involvement of third countries in the conflict and notably the destabilising role and interference of Turkey; calls for an international investigation into the alleged presence of foreign fighters and use of cluster munitions and phosphorous bombs; calls on the European Union and international bodies to ensure that there is no impunity for war crimes in Nagorno-Karabakh and for the use of prohibited weapons in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict; insists on the need to allow humanitarian aid to get through, to proceed without delay with the exchange of prisoners and casualties, and on the need to preserve the cultural heritage of Nagorno-Karabakh;

14.  Expresses grave concern at the recent escalations of tensions on some potential flashpoints in Indo-Pacific region, such as India-China disputed border, the East and South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait, including China’s increasingly provocative military manoeuvres aimed at Taiwan; calls for all parties concerned to resolve their differences through peaceful means to de-escalate the tensions and to refrain from taking unilateral action to change the status quo; underlines the importance of the peaceful development across the Taiwan Strait to maintain peace, stability and prosperity for China and Taiwan, and in the Asia-Pacific region, which remains of critical importance to the interests of the EU; calls for the EU and the Member States to revisit their engagement policy with Taiwan and to work with international like-minded partners to protect democratic Taiwan free from foreign threats; expresses concern about the disinformation campaign launched by malicious third countries to disrupt the efforts in fighting COVID-19 pandemic against democracies in the Indo-Pacific region, including Taiwan; calls for the EU and its Member States to support Taiwan’s meaningful and pragmatic participation as an observer in World Health Organization (WHO) meetings, mechanisms and activities, so as to jointly fight against the global public health crisis;

15.  Is extremely concerned by, and strongly condemns, the illegal activities and threats of military action against the Member States carried out by Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean; notes with concern that the unilateral actions led by Turkey despite the efforts for de-escalation are violating international law and directly affecting some Member States’ sovereignty; reiterates the Union’s readiness to use all instruments and options at its disposal, including in accordance with Article 29 TEU and Article 215 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), in order to defend its interests and those of its Member States; recalls the recent Council conclusions on Eastern Mediterranean and calls for a new comprehensive EU-Turkey strategy;

16.  Stresses that access to safe drinking water can lead to serious conflicts; stresses that the European Union must establish a political strategy to facilitate solutions in these areas of high destabilising potential while encouraging countries situated in the most important areas of conflict related to water to sign the 1992 Helsinki Water Convention completed in New York in 1997 on the protection and use of cross-border waterways and international lakes;

Consolidating the European Union’s ambitions: strengthening the effectiveness of CSDP missions and operations in an unpredictable and destabilised environment

17.  Considers that the CSDP is primarily based on the Union’s capacity to deploy civilian and military missions and operations in crisis situations affecting the security of the Union and its Member States or requiring an international intervention according to international law and UN charter and resolutions; notes that the Union is currently deploying 11 civilian and six military missions and operations, of which, in the case of the latter, three are executive missions (ATALANTA, EUNAVFOR MED IRINI, EUFOR ALTHEA) and three are non-executive missions (EUTM Mali, EUTM Somalia, EUTM RCA); recalls that the mandates of the CSDP missions aim, inter alia, to foster security sector reform, advance justice reform, and strengthen military and police training; recommends a proper evaluation of the missions and operations on a regular basis in order to identify where their effectiveness could be further strengthened; stresses the importance for missions to be deployed in a more rapid, flexible and consistent manner;

18.  Notes, unfortunately, that there is still a lack of political willingness of some Member States to participate in CSDP missions and operations in a significant and credible manner; underlines the importance of making missions and operations more robust, both in terms of human resources and mandates; calls on the Member States to increase the contribution of forces and assets to all CSDP missions and operations, addressing in particular the existing shortfalls, as the issue of financing for CSDP missions and operations is crucial to their sustainability, especially in times of crisis, and the issue of potential rising tensions and conflicts; stresses that the budget for CSDP should not be undermined;

19.  Highlights that women’s participation in CSDP missions contributes to the effectiveness of the mission and is a driver of the EU’s credibility as a proponent of equal rights for men and women worldwide; calls for meaningful gender mainstreaming in the formulation of the CSDP, notably via a better gender balance in the personnel and leadership of CSDP missions and operations and specific training of the personnel deployed; welcomes the fact that all civilian CSDP missions have now appointed a gender adviser and calls on the military CSDP missions to do the same; encourages the Member States to put forward women as candidates for existing vacancies; calls for all EU-deployed military and civilian personnel to be sufficiently trained on gender equality and the implementation of UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, and specifically on how to integrate a gender perspective into their tasks; expresses its regret over the fact that the number of women working in CSDP missions and especially in military operations remains very low; urges the European External Action Service (EEAS) to promote the need for a concrete target for and political commitment to increasing the number of women in the EU’s crisis management missions and operations; urges the Member States to look at ways of strengthening recruitment and retention policies and promoting women’s participation in peacebuilding and peacekeeping missions; stresses the need to include a new EU budget line that would finance the position of gender advisers in military CSDP missions;

20.  Underlines the Union’s global commitment in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa through six civilian (EUCAP Mali, EUCAP Niger, EUCAP Somalia) and military (EUTM Mali, EUTM Somalia, EUNAVFOR ATALANTA, EUNAVFOR MED Irini) missions;

21.  Notes that CSDP military operations increasingly tend to focus on armed forces training (i.e. EU training missions) with no executive dimension; considers that, without affecting the non-executive dimension of these missions, the mandate should be made more robust in order to allow European advisors to check. as closely as possible, the ground of deployment, whether the formation programmes have been well implemented and are fully in line with the actual operational needs of the local armed forces; notes that this would also allow for the better prevention of mismanagement and cases of abuse once the trained forces are deployed on the ground; stresses that this is especially the case with EUTM Mali, where the Malian armed forces are deployed in very different and challenging areas, thus requiring oversight of the way in which European formations are currently being implemented;

22.  Stresses that only a few CSDP missions provide training on sexual and gender-based harassment, and calls on the EEAS and the Member States to provide mandatory training to combat such harassment in all missions and operations and to ensure that victims and whistleblowers are effectively protected; calls for the Upgraded Generic Standards of Behaviour for CSDP missions and operations to be updated to include the principle of zero tolerance of inaction on the part of EU leadership and management with regard to sexual and gender-based violence;

23.  Welcomes the Council conclusions of12 October 2020 on EUFOR Operation Althea and the readiness to continue the mandate of the Operation to support Bosnia and Herzegovina’s authorities to maintain the safe and secure environment under a renewed UN authorisation; recognises the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and commends missions staff for remaining fully operational during this time;

24.  Notes that the security situation in Somalia is very worrying and is a destabilising factor throughout the Horn of Africa and even beyond; believes, in that regard, that strengthening EUTM Somalia with an advisory capacity in command structures would allow for significant influence to be exercised on how operations are carried out within the multilateral military assistance framework;

25.  Encourages the efforts made regarding the regionalisation process, which has been launched through the Regional Advisory and Coordination Cell (RACC) and the Council decision of 12 February 2019 to make it enter its second phase, thus reinforcing the EU regional approach in the Sahel, notably in EUTM Mali by extending its scope to G5 Sahel countries, with the aim of making EU action more effective and operational across the G5 Sahel country borders, and of supporting cross-border cooperation, thus making the work of EUCAP Sahel Mali, EUCAP Sahel Niger and EUTM Mali more effective; calls for renaming it EUTM Sahel; notes that consistency and security cooperation with African countries is crucial in achieving the stability and long-term development of the continent; is of the opinion that regionalisation of the CSDP approach in Sahel is relevant but requires clearer organisation between the already existing CSDP civilian and military missions, local actors and other international organisations(i.e. United Nations’ MINUSMA peacekeeping mission and Operation Barkhane led by the French military) to ensure operational synergy and coordinated efforts at the Union level;

26.  Is concerned about the ongoing disinformation campaign towards the EU in the Central African Republic; calls on the VP/HR to take action in order to efficiently identify the origin of the disinformation campaign and to counter such attacks; welcomes the launch of EUAM RCA with a view to supporting the Central African Republic security sector reform and the extension of the mandate of EUTM RCA; considers that the Union needs to quickly and effectively improve its capacities of delivering equipment in addition to the training provided by the EUCAP and EUTM missions; notes that the set-up of the European Peace Facility would ensure a comprehensive approach to the capability-building of our partner’s forces; underlines that assertive, present and active foreign actors, who do not necessarily share the same ethical principles as the Union and its Member States, fill the capacity gap and are involved in equipping those forces, without any respect for the rule of law and international standards;

27.  Is deeply concerned about the deterioration of the security and humanitarian situation in the Sahel region, where terrorism is putting heightened pressure on the G5 Sahel countries and their neighbourhood, exacerbating local political, ethnical and religious tensions; stresses the importance of the support brought by EU missions and operations in Sahel in this regard; recalls that it is vital to maintain the long-term investment made by the international community to work towards security and stability in Mali and the Sahel; welcomes the resumption of the activities of EU missions and operations in Mali;

28.  Calls for a new approach at the operational level of security sector reform, security assistance and military capacity building, which incorporates lessons learned, in particular in Mali, and which puts the emphasis on (a) democratic control of all security forces including armed forces, (b) democratic and transparent governance of the sector, (c) systematic monitoring of full and strict compliance of all actors with international human rights law and international humanitarian law, and (d) clear mechanisms for suspension, or withdrawal in case of impunity, and ongoing violations;

29.  Notes the improved level of coordination between civilian and military missions in three countries: Mali, Central African Republic and Somalia; welcomes the coordinated efforts of the EU capacity-building mission in Somalia (EUCAP Somalia) and EUTM Somalia in accompanying the operational rapprochement between the Somali police and the Somali army in the liberated areas of Al Shabaab’s influence; stresses that the integrated approach of tools, budgetary instruments and actors in EUAM CAR and EUTM CAR should be duplicated when relevant in other CSDP missions and operations;

30.  Welcomes the launch of Operation EUNAVFOR MED Irini, which is aimed at contributing to sustainable peace, security and stability by supporting the implementation of the arms embargo on Libya in accordance with UNSCR 2526 (2020), the training of Libyan coastguard and disrupting human trafficking; specifically urges the Member States to urgently assign the intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance constabulary and naval assets needed to boost Operation Irini’s up until now limited capabilities and encourages stronger cooperation with NATO’s ongoing maritime operation Sea Guardian, as well as cooperation with regional partners; recalls international obligations regarding search and rescue at sea; calls on the VP/HR to make full use of EU assets in this domain, in particular the EU satellite centre and the EU intelligence centre; welcomes the ongoing progress made towards the stabilisation of the situation in Libya, calls on the EU to assume an active role in the mediation process so as to contribute to setting up the necessary foundations for a peaceful, stable, and democratic Libya;

31.  Takes note of the Council decision of 20 June 2020 to extend the mandates of three of its CSDP civilian missions: the European Border Assistance Mission in Libya (EUBAM Libya), the European Border Assistance Mission in the Rafah Crossing Point (EUBAM Rafah), and the European Police Mission for the Palestinian Territories (EUPOL COPPS);

32.  Calls for the further development and strengthening of EU civil-military decision making and command and control structures, while guaranteeing separate military and civilian chains of command;

33.  Notes that the strategic review of the Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC) is to be initiated in 2020; calls, given the impact of this review on the planning, command and control of military missions and operations, on the VP/HR to keep Parliament informed of the available and chosen options in a timely manner; reiterates that the EU requires a permanent and fully-fledged military command structure in order to be able to act autonomously and therefore calls on the Council to implement such a structure;

34.  Takes note of the overall progress and efforts made in implementing the Civilian CSDP Compact, which is aimed at making civilian CSDP more capable, more effective, flexible and responsive both at the national level by developing and implementing National Implementation Plans to increase national contributions to civilian CSDP, and at EU level through the development of a Joint Action Plan; calls for the full implementation of the Civilian CSDP Compact by early summer 2023; notes capability challenges faced by civilian CSDP as regards the availability of sufficient numbers of police, judges, prosecutors, other justice and civilian security sector experts; is of the opinion that the EU must pursue its comprehensive evaluation of the EUCAP Sahel Mali, EUCAP Sahel Niger, EUCAP Somalia and EUAM RCA civilian missions in terms of their mandates, budgets and human resources, in order to make them fully operational and effective; calls on Member States to provide a detailed annual review taking stock of progress in implementing the civilian CSDP Compact; calls all relevant actors to intensify cooperation and to strengthen synergies between the civilian and military missions deployed in the same theatre, especially in relevance to mobility and secure digital infrastructures; welcomes the creation of the Centre for Excellence for Civilian Crisis Management which has been opened in September 2020 and encourages the Member States to actively participate in its work;

35.  Commends the continuity and maintained presence of the CSDP missions and operations despite the very challenging environment and negative impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic; urges that the budget, resources, planning and equipment of CSDP missions and operations be assessed and adjusted in the light of the lessons learnt from COVID-19 to make sure the operational effectiveness is maintained; underlines the importance for the EU to consider what more could be done to minimise and manage the risk of staff being infected; expresses severe concern about the negative amplifying impact of COVID-19 on existing crises and believes it is imperative for the EU to prevent COVID-19 from challenging many years of progress in peace-building; is alarmed at the wave of disinformation, notably against CSDP missions and operations in times of COVID pandemic; underlines the need for the EU to reinforce its strategic communication tools and public diplomacy, notably in countries where CSDP missions and operations are deployed;

36.  Recognises the contribution made by civilian and military CSDP missions in maintaining peace, stability and strengthening international security and supporting third countries in fighting against terrorism; urges the EU to enhance its institutional capacities for conflict prevention and mediation; calls for more proactive approach in resolution of protracted conflicts in the immediate EU’s neighbourhood; calls for conflict-sensitive and people-centred approaches that put human security and rights at the core of EU engagement;

37.  Believes that the Union should concentrate its efforts on missions and operations where it generates the highest added value; would therefore welcome reflection on the relevance and efficiency of certain missions;

38.  Calls for the swift adoption and implementation of the European Peace Facility, aimed at increasing the effectiveness of EU missions, supporting its partners and contributing to peace operations; underlines that this instrument 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 in countries in which the EU is intervening and should therefore be endowed with a budget large enough to efficiently address the current challenges relating to training, operations, missions, projects and military equipment including weapons, munitions and transport, in full compliance with the eight criteria of the Common Position, international human rights and humanitarian law, and with effective transparency provisions, as listed in its recommendation of 28 March 2019 on the establishment of the European Peace Facility; recalls the need to carry out comprehensive ex-ante risk assessments and to closely monitor the use by the recipient countries, in particular in regions affected by high volatility of the political landscape and great permeability of national borders, and to put in place the necessary safeguards at EU level preventing the acquisition of these arms by terrorist groups and other malicious actors;

39.  Welcomes the announcement in the State of the Union 2020 letter of intent of a Joint communication on a strategic approach to support the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of ex-combatants in 2021, as a timely revision of the 2006 EU Concept for Support to Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR); underlines the importance of security sector reform as a priority notably for our civilian CSDP missions, which should have as its main objective the implementation of the human security approach; stresses that the new strategic approach on DDR needs to ensure consistency between CSDP instruments and EU development aid;

Developing effective CSDP capabilities

40.  Welcomes EU capability development initiatives, such as CARD, Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) and the future European Defence Fund (EDF) and its precursor programmes PADR and EDIDP, as they can contribute to greater coherence, coordination, interoperability in implementing the CSDP and paving the way towards fulfilling the Petersburg Tasks and consolidating solidarity, cohesion, and the resilience and the strategic autonomy of the Union;

41.  Recognises that the integration into the EU capability development initiatives and the meaningful participation of more Member States in major European defence projects that are currently run on an almost exclusive bilateral basis (i.e. FCAS and MGCS) is of critical importance for the success of the European integration process in the defence field and would represent a clear added value to the European efforts towards enhanced cooperation, integration in defence, and interoperability to the benefit of CSDP missions and operations;

42.  Notes that it is crucial to enhance the coherence, inclusiveness, coordination and consistency of all EU defence planning instruments and capability development tools and initiatives, so that they create meaningful synergies and mutual reinforcement, avoid duplication, ensure an efficient and strategic use of resources, ensure interoperability and facilitate rapid deployment;

43.  Calls on the Member States to increase their defence spending and aim for a target of 2 % of GDP;

44.  Welcomes the agreement reached on the EDF regulation, and calls for the swift adoption and setting-up of the EDF, which will address and speed up the common agreed defence capability development priorities in the air, land, maritime, and cyber domains and thus foster the EU’s ability to operate as a global actor and an international security contributor and provider; calls on the Member States, the Council and the Commission to provide adequate funding to the EDF and to focus on structural projects with high added value, thus facilitating industrial cooperation between Member States and the consolidation of a strong European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB), strengthening technical, industrial and strategical capabilities in order to reinforce EU’s ability to produce and dispose of military capabilities autonomously and to maintain Europe’s technological autonomy in the long-term; encourages defence capability initiatives to facilitate the engagement of small and medium-sized enterprises;

45.  Draws attention to the highly sensitive and strategic nature of defence research and the need to regulate access for entities controlled by non-EU third parties to projects financed by the EDF so as to be consistent with the EU ambition of strategic autonomy; underlines that third-country participation in the EDF, in some specific and exceptional fitting cases when it brings proven technological and operational added value to certain projects, should be conducted on the basis of effective reciprocity, should not weaken the EU strategic security interests, should not undermine the objectives of the EDF and must be in strictly monitored compliance with the rules set out in the set out in the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Defence Fund (COM(2018)0476)), such as the maintenance of intellectual property within the EU;

46.  Welcomes the Strategic Review of the first PESCO phase by the end of 2020, including an insight on the progress of the programme and identifying the necessary provisions to make PESCO more efficient and goal-oriented; considers PESCO to be an instrument that contributes to reinforcing sustainable and efficient EU defence cooperation and defence integration by improving participating Member States’ defence capabilities and interoperability, especially in terms of the availability, flexibility and deployability of forces; recalls that PESCO projects should help maximising the effectiveness of defence spending; considers that PESCO should be used as a complementary tool in achieving the EU’s goals and make a contribution to those of NATO; welcomes the recent adoption of the decision on third-country participation in PESCO, although notes that any such exceptional participation in individual PESCO projects must provide added value for the EU Member States and to the projects, and contribute to strengthening PESCO and the CSDP and to meeting more demanding commitments, subject to very strict political, substantive and legal conditions, and be conducted on the basis of established and effective reciprocity;

47.  Calls on participating Member States (pMS) to show full political engagement, efforts and strategic ambition, to provide necessary resources and to fulfil the ambitious and binding common commitments they agreed upon while ensuring tangible progress in the swift and effective implementation of the current PESCO projects; stresses that the projects in the first wave are mainly capability-building projects involving as many Member States as possible and that the inclusive nature of PESCO projects should not lead the participating Member States to water down their ambitions; is concerned that the capability gaps and critical shortfalls, as identified by the Headline Goal Process through the Capability Development Plan (CDP) and the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), would not be adequately or fully filled and addressed for conducting successful military operations; advises that a review be conducted of the current 47 PESCO projects in order to verify the progress made, and to identify those projects which could be clustered, at the discretion of pMS; encourages the pMS to focus on PESCO projects that deliver genuine added value with a more operational focus, mutually beneficial gain and strategic enablers to the Union, and those with a strategic dimension that addresses future security threats; strongly encourages the Member States, as part of the reform of the EU Battlegroup (EU BG) system, to study options to bring it under PESCO in order to increase its operational capacity, modularity and agility, by establishing standing multinational units dedicated to fulfilling military tasks as specified in Article 43 TEU and to enhancing the EU’s ability to conduct robust crisis management operations;

Strengthening cooperation with Strategic Partners

48.  Welcomes the progress made in EU-NATO cooperation since the Joint Declaration in Warsaw in 2016; commends the progress made in implementing the common set of proposals of 2016 and 2017, in particular the intensification of EU-NATO political dialogue at all levels, as well as the structured dialogue on military mobility, the efforts to ensure greater coherence between the respective defence planning processes, and closer cooperation in the field of cyber security and defence, and in countering hybrid threats and disinformation campaigns; notes the level of cooperation between NATO and EU in assisting civilian authorities in containing and stopping the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic; calls on the EU and NATO to further enhance the mutually reinforcing cooperation including between missions and operations, and to deepen their Strategic Partnership; stresses the importance of further strengthening the EU-NATO partnership in the field of military mobility; highlights the importance of organising and executing joint training and exercises between European armed forces, as well as EU-NATO parallel and coordinated exercises;

49.  Welcomes, in this regard, 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;

50.  Recalls that NATO remains the cornerstone of collective defence for those Member States that are also members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as explicitly recognised in the TFEU; believes that EU-NATO cooperation should be complementary and take full account of each of the two institution’s specific features and roles, and should not unnecessarily replicate or replace structures; recalls that defence cooperation is one of the pillars of transatlantic cooperation and remains paramount for the mutual security of allied and partner countries, and therefore reiterates the need for stronger relations; recalls that, following the ‘single set of forces’ principle, the development of EU defence capabilities does not pose a competitive threat to the Alliance and will be beneficial for countries that are parties to both the CSDP and NATO; and that more effective EU security and defence cooperation should be regarded as a factor that strengthens the European pillar of NATO and as the EU taking up a bigger part in ensuring its own security; is of the view that capability initiatives should ensure interoperability with allies and facilitate rapid deployment; notes with concern that some divergences have undermined the solidarity of the Alliance after actions carried out by Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean;

51.  Stresses the need to strengthen the EU’s status as a maritime security provider, the resilience of the EU and the Member States to crisis situations in their territorial waters and the importance of a coherent maritime strategy to combat illegal maritime non-state actors; considers it necessary to harmonise the rules of intervention, equipment standards and to strengthen the training of staff in order to carry out coordinated and unitary actions in European and international operations or in the event of maritime crises, events and incidents; stresses the need for EU-NATO cooperation with a view to achieving a common effective approach to threats to maritime security, such as cross-border and organised crime, including organised crime networks facilitating human, arms and drug trafficking, smuggling, maritime piracy;

52.  Strongly supports the Strategic Partnership between the EU and the UN in crisis management and civilian, police and military peacekeeping; welcomes the progress achieved in the implementation of the eight jointly identified and agreed 2019-2021 EU-UN priorities on peace operations and crisis management; urges the Member States to contribute more to UN peacekeeping and calls for the EU institutions to assist in this respect; notes that some progress has been achieved as regards enhancing cooperation between missions and operations in the field – in particular through the signing of 29 September 2020 of the EU-UN Framework Agreement on provision of Mutual Support in the context of their respective missions and operations in the field –,the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda feeding into the implementation of the EU Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, conflict prevention, as well as progress at political and strategic levels; calls for the EU and the UN to further explore opportunities for closer cooperation, especially in joint theatres of operation, in areas including mission transition planning, support arrangements in the field, information exchange outside of mission areas and contingency planning in view of COVID-19, as well as in the field of climate and defence;

53.  Reaffirms that, despite Brexit, the United Kingdom remains a close strategic partner of the EU and its Member States and that it is essential to maintain strong, close defence and security cooperation between the EU and the United Kingdom as both the EU and United Kingdom share the same strategic environment and the same threats to their peace and security; encourages the UK to participate in CSDP missions and operations, crisis management operations, in defence capabilities development, in the relevant Union agencies, as well as in projects under PESCO, while respecting the decision-making autonomy of the EU, the sovereignty of the UK, the principle of balanced rights and obligations, on the basis of effective reciprocity and including a fair and appropriate financial contribution; takes note of the UK’s withdrawal from CSDP on 31 December 2020; calls for rapid replacement procedures to be put in place in order to ensure the continuity of CSDP missions and operations where British staff deployed had a significant role;

54.  Calls for the EU to keep closer cooperation with existing regional forces such as the African Union, ECOWAS, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Arctic Council and with like-minded non-NATO countries;

55.  Calls for a more systematic implementation of UNSCR 1325 on WPS, since it has been 20 years since its adoption, and for a strengthening of the EU’s WPS agenda; calls for meaningful gender mainstreaming in the formulation of the CSDP, notably via a better gender balance in the personnel and leadership of CSDP missions and operations and specific training of the personnel deployed;

56.  Calls for the implementation of UNSCR 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) and meaningful integration on youth and their perspectives in the conflict analyses, which underpins the support provided by the CSDP missions and operations; calls for EU measures to enhance opportunities for the meaningful participation of young people in maintaining and promoting peace and security;

57.  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;

Increasing the Union’s resilience and preparedness

58.  Is concerned that some global actors and an increasing number of regional actors are deliberately circumventing or attempting to destroy the rules-based international order, multilateralism and the values of sustainable peace, prosperity and freedom, which correspond to the foundations on which the European Union is built; notes that the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed new global fragilities and tensions and amplified existing ones; stresses that the pandemic has strengthened public support for a Union that is less dependent on the rest of the world, that is better protected and that is able to act independently; calls for a stronger role of the European Union on the international scene, for more European unity, solidarity and resilience, for a more cohesive foreign policy with effective multilateralism as a central element; welcomes the Council’s conclusions of June 2020 advocating a strong European Union that promotes peace and security and that protects its citizens;

59.  Underlines the important role of the armed forces during the COVID-19 pandemic and welcomes military assistance to civilian authorities, notably in the deployment of field hospitals, patient transport, and equipment delivery and distribution; considers that this valuable contribution has shown the need to take stock of the lessons learned in order to reinforce the Member States’ military assets and capabilities in support of the Union Civil Protection Mechanism, a primary tool for facing emergencies, as well as for humanitarian assistance purposes; considers further that, in order to deal effectively with health crises, it is essential to prepare the Member States’ military medical staff to participate rapidly; reiterates the importance of mutual assistance and solidarity, in line with Article 42(7) TEU and Article 222 TFEU;

60.  Underlines the importance of military mobility; considers it necessary to move forward and facilitate full military mobility throughout Europe and calls therefore for the simplification and harmonisation of procedures to enable the Member States to act faster, as military mobility is beneficial in the management of civilian crises; insists on the importance of having a suitable budget available for military mobility projects; welcomes the fact that the military mobility project is part of PESCO; insists on the need to set up European mechanisms aimed at facilitating the cross-border use of military logistical capabilities to face such emergencies, in order to allow for greater coordination, synergy, solidarity and support; insists that similar assistance and solidarity in times of pandemics and similar crisis could be extended to, inter alia, the partner countries in the immediate EU neighbourhood; stresses the need to increase the EU’s chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) preparedness and its necessary capabilities; stresses the need to intensify the monitoring and protection of vital and critical infrastructure, especially on undersea optic fibre internet cables;

61.  Considers it important to ensure a better link between internal and external aspects of EU policies to ensure that EU policies act towards achieving common foreign and security policy goals, including the EU’s energy policy;

62.  Considers it essential to protect all the European Union’s weak points in order to ensure the effective common defence of European citizens; notes with concern the increasing militarisation of the Crimean peninsula and the attempts by the Russian Federation to destabilise the Black Sea region, with this situation having led to the recognition, at the NATO Summit in Wales in 2014, of the vulnerability of the eastern flank of the North Atlantic Alliance; calls for the EU to recognise the vulnerability of eastern European Member States as a means of strengthening European defence, and to develop, together with NATO, a comprehensive strategy for securing and defending the eastern flank;

Proactively countering and preventing hybrid threats

63.  Welcomes the set of priorities and guidelines adopted for EU cooperation in the field of countering hybrid threats and enhancing resilience to these threats, including the fight against disinformation, hybrid warfare, espionage, fake news and propaganda, and the setting up of a Rapid Alert System to facilitate cooperation with G7and NATO; invites the EU and its Member States to develop and strengthen the security of its information and communication systems, including secure communication channels; underlines the importance and the urgency for the EU to strengthen and invest more in its strategic communication, and its capabilities to become more resilient to address and deter all foreign interference that threatens its democratic system, sovereignty and citizens; underlines the important role of the EastStratCom Task Force and acknowledges the important work conducted under the EU vs Disinfo project and calls for additional budgetary and political support to further improve its ability to counter disinformation and inform about the EU’s actions and policies;

64.  Underlines the urgent need for the EU to introduce a more robust strategy to detect and proactively counter aggressive and malicious disinformation campaigns against it coming from third countries and non-state actors; stresses the need to review the mandate of EEAS Strategic Communications team to address foreign interference and involve fact-checkers, researchers, start-ups and civil society organisations; insists on the need to provide sufficient personnel and funding to all EU services dealing with foreign interference and disinformation in order to better identify, investigate and counter attempts to interfere in EU democratic processes or EU actions abroad; underlines the importance to cooperate and assist the partner countries, particularly in the immediate neighbourhood of the EU, in their efforts to address and counter the malign foreign interference, notably disinformation and propaganda, as in many cases such acts seek to divert these countries from the path of pro-democratic reforms and attack the European values and ideals;

65.  Welcomes the adoption by the Council of a decision that, for the first time, allows the EU to impose targeted restrictive measures to deter and respond to cyber-attacks that constitute an external threat to the EU or its Member States, including cyber-attacks against third countries or international organisations, and to impose sanctions on persons or entities responsible for cyber-attacks; stresses the need to improve the visa restriction system as part of the EU sanction mechanism, by making use of biometric visa procedures in order to restrict entities engaged in hybrid warfare to travel to the EU under a false identity; highlights the urgent need to further integrate cyber aspects into the EU’s crisis management systems; underlines that closer cooperation in preventing and countering cyber-attacks is essential in these times of particular vulnerability in order to advance international security and stability in cyberspace; welcomes the good progress achieved by the PESCO Cyber Rapid Response Team project in this regard; calls for reinforcing the support to the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) and for strong coordination with the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in this respect; calls for increased EU coordination as regards establishing collective attribution for malicious cyber incidents, as well as closer cooperation with like-minded international organisations and countries; is particularly worried by the continuous detection of small-scale cyberattacks or intrusions into critical infrastructure systems that remain dormant but that may have high impact; urges the Member States to implement redundancies into their critical infrastructure systems, such as electric generation and strategic communications, at all levels;

66.  Recognises the growing importance of cyber and automated intelligence capabilities, stresses that these provide threats to all the Member States and 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;

67.  Underlines the importance of achieving quantum computing capabilities and stresses the need to enhance EU-US cooperation in this area to ensure that quantum computing is first realised among partners sharing warm relations and supporting the same objectives;

68.  Notes the growing importance of space security and satellites; stresses the importance of the European Union Satellite Centre and commissions the agency to analyse and provide a report regarding the safety and/or vulnerabilities of the EU and Member-State satellites to space debris, cyberattack and direct missile attack;

Giving the Union the means to implement CSDP

69.  Underlines that adequate levels of financial resources, personnel and assets are essential in order to ensure that the Union has the strength and the ability to promote peace and security within its borders and in the world; calls on the Member States to show the political will to match European ambitions in the field of defence and to meet their commitments;

70.  Regrets the European Council’s lack of ambition in the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for security and defence initiatives; urges the Commission to present and implement an ambitious strategic work programme for the EDF (both for research and non-research) that is designed to strengthen collaborative actions and cross-border cooperation throughout the Union and for military mobility in order to help the Member States to act faster and more effectively, including by funding dual use transport infrastructure and simplifying diplomatic clearances and customs rules; calls for the EU to build its own ballistic missiles defence system, as well as an integrated and layered strategic air defence system, that is also designed to counter hypersonic missiles; recalls that European citizens have clearly and consistently called for the Union to step up its role in delivering sustainable stability and security, and this can only be achieved with the necessary financial means and an ambitious MFF in the area of external action and defence;

71.  Warns of the danger of a lack of ambition to fund European defence initiatives in the MFF, combined with significant and uncoordinated cuts in national defence budgets as a result of the COVID-19 crisis; stresses the need for Member States to allocate the necessary financial resources at national level in order to give the Union the ability to operate as a global actor for peace; in this vein, shares the assessment of the European Court of Auditors that ‘the EU Member States are far from having the military capabilities they need to match the EU military level of ambition’;

72.  Recalls that while the common European defence projects and initiatives are instrumental in addressing the shortfalls in the areas of defence-related R&D, pooling resources and co-ordinating efforts, the bulk of the defence assets used for CSDP missions continue to be produced by the Member States and paid for by national defence budgets;

73.  Urges the Member States to follow their formal engagement at Council level and take their responsibility for their decisions in the Council to deploy civilian and military missions by providing the Union with the necessary personnel and capabilities to achieve the objectives on which they have unanimously agreed, and thus deliver on their engagement towards a more secured European Union;

74.  Highlights the value of international participation in CSDP missions and operations as a reinforcement to European capabilities and calls for the strengthened implementation of existing framework participation agreements encouraging the collective nature of peace and security contributions;

75.  Notes the important work conducted by EU SatCen and underlines that the Union must have adequate resources in the fields of space imagery and intelligence-gathering; stresses that EU SatCen should benefit from structural Union funding to be able to maintain its contributions to the Union’s actions, notably in order to provide high-resolution satellite imaging in support of CSDP missions and operations;

Setting up an ambitious EU agenda for global arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament

76.  Is alarmed at the current threats to international values and rule-of-law and potential future erosion of the global non-proliferation and disarmament architecture; fears that non-compliance with, withdrawal from, or the non-extension of, major arms control treaties would seriously damage the international arms control regimes that have provided decades of stability, would undermine relationships between nuclear-armed states, could directly threaten European security, in particular as regards absence of norms regulating and reducing tactical and short and middle range nuclear weapons and could lead to new nuclear arms races; underlines the urgent need to restore cross-border trust;

77.  Notes with concern the normalisation of a dangerous rhetoric concerning the utility of nuclear weapons; reaffirms that international peace and security are strengthened in a world free from the existence or proliferation of nuclear weapons and that disarmament means not only a reduction in the number of active warheads, but also a reduction in the military and political role assigned to this type of weapons;

78.  Reaffirms its full support for the EU and its Member States’ commitment to the NPT as the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime; reiterates its calls for a strong EU common position ahead of the conference, demanding the adoption of concrete and effective measures during the 10th NPT Review Conference, which would be a key element in preserving strategic stability and avoiding a new arms race;

79.  Reiterates its deep regret at the withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force (INF) Treaty by the US and the Russian Federation; notes Russia’s responsibility for the Treaty’s demise, as it persistently failed to comply with it; deplores the fact that the collapse of the Treaty might lead to the escalation of tensions and heightened nuclear and military threats and risks, while jeopardising the future of arms control regimes; underlines that it is strongly opposed to a new arms race between the US and the Russian Federation and its potential consequences for Europe and to re-militarisation on European soil; urges the Council and the VP/HR to launch an EU-led initiative with a view to pushing for the conversion of the INF Treaty into a multilateral treaty;

80.  Recalls that effective international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation regimes are a cornerstone of global and European security and stability;

81.  Exhorts the US and the Russian Federation to make further progress in negotiations on prolonging the New START treaty, which is due to expire in February 2021; believes that an extension of the treaty would give both signatories additional time to pursue negotiations with a view to agreeing on a new arms control instrument; calls for the immediate involvement of other states, especially China, in any existing treaty (such as NEW START, INF and Open Skies) or in future negotiations on nuclear arms control instruments;

82.  Deplores Russia’s selective implementation of its obligations under the Open Skies Treaty; expresses its deep regret at the decision taken by the US to withdraw from the Open Skies treaty, a major arms control instrument that has contributed to trust-building and to providing smaller states with the valuable capability of monitoring and verifying the military activities of their neighbours; calls on the remaining signatories to continue to implement the treaty, while ensuring that it remains functional and useful; calls on the US to repeal its decision to withdraw from the Open Skies treaty;

83.  Welcomes the EU’s financial contribution to the projects and activities of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW); welcomes the adoption by the Council of a horizontal sanctions regime to address the growing use and proliferation of chemical weapons; condemns the recent use of chemical weapons and is of the view that the lack of accountability for such incidents undermine the international norm against chemical weapons; calls for the EU to take the initiative of addressing the issue of impunity for the use of chemical weapons and to consider how to strengthen the OPCW to ensure speedy and accurate attribution and effective response mechanisms; calls for the EU to pursue its efforts to counter the proliferation and use of chemical weapons, to support the global prohibition of chemical weapons as laid down by the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC);

84.  Expresses grave concern at the attempted assassination of the prominent Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny using a banned nerve agent that, under the CWC, is considered as use of a chemical weapon and, as such, is a serious violation of international norms; calls for an independent international investigation of the events; welcomes the Council’s decision to impose sanctions to hold accountable all those responsible for the poisoning;

85.  Asks the VP/HR to bring forward proposals to strengthen the available expertise in non-proliferation and arms control in the EU and to ensure that the EU plays a strong and constructive role in developing and reinforcing the global rules-based non-proliferation efforts and arms control and disarmament architecture; welcomes the appointment of a new Special Envoy for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation in this respect; realises that new international agreements in the field of arms control are urgently needed; states that in the context of nuclear deterrence, the development of hypersonic missiles can undermine the principles of mutually assured destruction and calls, therefore, for a worldwide arms control treaty on the use, range, speed, doctrine, inspection on nuclear payloads, and placement near coastlines of hypersonic weapon systems, initiated by the EU;

86.  Reiterates its full commitment to the preservation of effective international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation regimes as a cornerstone of global and European security; stresses its full support to the work of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs and to the UN Agenda for Disarmament; recalls its commitment to pursuing policies designed to move forward the reduction of all nuclear arsenals;

87.  Welcomes the Council conclusions on the review of its Common Position 2008/944/CFSP of 8 December 2008 defining common rules governing control of exports of military technology and equipment(13); is of the firm view that, as the EU is increasingly ambitious in the defence area, there is a need for greater convergence, transparency and consistency in the Member States’ arms export policies, as well as for the strengthening of public oversight; calls on the Member States to bridge their different interpretation of the Common Position and to fully comply with its eight criteria, and notably to strictly implement criterion 4 on regional stability and halt any export of military equipment that could be used against other Member States; welcomes the efforts made to increase the transparency and the public and parliamentary scrutiny of arms exports; calls for joint efforts to improve risk assessments, end-user checks and post-shipment verifications;

88.  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; recalls that Member States committed to 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; reiterates its calls 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 Member State (notably Greece and Cyprus) and international law, and does not engage in dialogue based on international law, to introduce an initiative in the Council for all Member States to halt arms export for all types of military equipment, including weapons, weapons for dual-use goods and know-how, to Turkey in accordance with the Common Position;

89.  Welcomes the EU’s activities aimed at supporting the universalisation of the Arms Trade Treaty, and calls on all the major arms-exporting countries to sign and ratify it as soon as possible;

90.  Notes that technological developments in the area of AI pose new ethical challenges; calls for the EU to take the lead in global efforts to set up a comprehensive regulatory framework to ensure meaningful human control over the critical functions of selecting and attacking targets in the development and use of AI-enabled weapons; calls on the VP/HR, the Member States and the European Council to adopt a joint position on autonomous weapons systems that ensures meaningful human control over the critical functions of weapons systems; insists on the start of international negotiations on a common definition and a framework on the use of weapons with a certain degree of autonomy, and calls for the adoption of legally binding instrument that would prohibit lethal autonomous weapons without meaningful human control;

91.  Calls for the EU to take the lead in global efforts to set up a comprehensive and effective global arms control system for missile and unmanned combat vehicle technology proliferation;

Ensuring democratic oversight, legitimacy and inclusive engagement

92.  Underlines the need for Parliament to address all defence matters in a consistent manner; calls for the mandate of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence to be reassessed and expanded in view of the growing number of defence initiatives at EU level, and of the creation of the Commission’s DG DEFIS;

93.  Welcomes the regular exchanges of views with the VP/HR on CSDP issues and calls on the VP/HR to ensure that Parliament’s views are duly taken into consideration; stresses the need to ensure regular briefings from EU Special Representatives, Special Envoys, and mission and operation commanders; considers that Parliament should be consulted in advance about strategic planning for CSDP missions, changes to their mandates and plans to bring them to an end; calls for the comprehensive implementation of Article 36 TEU;

94.  Stresses the need to develop ever-closer cooperation on CSDP matters with national parliaments in order to ensure reinforced accountability, transparency and scrutiny;

95.  Reiterates the importance of improving the tools available to civil society in order to ensure its meaningful and substantial involvement in the formulation of defence-related policy and its effective oversight;

o   o

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

(1) OJ L 129 I, 17.5.2019, p. 13.
(2) OJ C 224, 27.6.2018, p. 50.
(3) OJ C 369, 11.10.2018, p. 36.
(4) OJ C 388, 13.11.2020, p. 91.
(5) Texts adopted, P9_TA(2020)0008.
(6) OJ C 28, 27.1.2020, p. 49.
(7) Texts adopted, P9_TA(2020)0224.
(8) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2019)0130.
(9) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2019)0430.
(10) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2019)0330.
(11) OJ C 433, 23.12.2019, p. 86.
(12) Texts adopted, P9_TA(2020)0206.
(13) OJ L 335, 13.12.2008, p. 99.

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