Procedure : 2014/2567(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B7-0204/2014

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 27/02/2014 - 10.9
CRE 27/02/2014 - 10.9

Texts adopted :


PDF 113kWORD 52k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0201/2014

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the legal framework for the use of armed drones (2014/2567(RSP))

Libor Rouček, Maria Eleni Koppa, Ana Gomes, Richard Howitt, Tonino Picula, Pino Arlacchi, Liisa Jaakonsaari on behalf of the S&D Group

European Parliament resolution on the legal framework for the use of armed drones (2014/2567(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the reports on the use of armed drones by the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions of 28 May 2010 and 13 September 2013, and by the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism of 18 September 2013,

–       having regard to the statement made by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 13 August 2013 on the use of armed drones,

–       having regard to the hearing of 25 April 2013 on the human rights implications of the use of drones, organised by Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights jointly with its Subcommittee on Security and Defence,

–       having regard to its study of 3 May 2013 on the ‘Human rights implications of the usage of drones and unmanned robots in warfare’,

–       having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.     whereas reliance on the use of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS, hereinafter ‘drones’) in extraterritorial lethal operations has steeply increased over the past decade; whereas countries where drone strikes have been documented include Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Somalia and Palestine (Gaza); whereas the USA and other countries are reported to have carried out drone strikes; whereas the number of states with the capacity to use drones is likely to increase significantly in the near future;

B.     whereas thousands of civilians have reportedly been killed or seriously injured by drone strikes; whereas the numbers of such casualties are difficult to estimate, owing to the lack of transparency and the obstacles in the way of effective investigation;

C.     whereas drone strike policies have been documented as causing considerable harm to the daily lives of ordinary civilians in the countries concerned, including deep anxiety and psychological trauma, disruption of economic and social activities and reduced access to education among affected communities;

D.     whereas the proliferation of armed-drone technology, together with the increasingly asymmetrical nature of modern conflicts, poses unprecedented challenges under international law; whereas leading UN experts have denounced an accountability and transparency vacuum;

E.     whereas international human rights law prohibits arbitrary killings, including in a situation of armed conflict; whereas international humanitarian law does not permit the targeted killing of persons who are located in non-belligerent states;

F.     whereas in armed conflict, when civilians have been killed by drone strikes, states are under the obligation to conduct prompt, independent and impartial fact-finding inquiries and to provide a detailed public explanation and access to redress;

1.      Calls on the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Member States and the Council to:

(a)    oppose and ban the practice of extrajudicial targeted killings;

(b)    ensure that the Member States, in conformity with their legal obligations, do not perpetrate unlawful targeted killings or facilitate such killings by other states;

(c)    include armed drones in relevant European and international disarmament and arms control regimes;

(d)    work towards a ban on research into and the development, procurement and export of possible future fully automatic weapons systems which enable strikes to be carried out without human intervention;

(e)    adopt an EU common position on armed drones;

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

Last updated: 25 February 2014Legal notice