13th Inter-Parliamentary Conference for the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CFSP/CSDP), Vienna, 11 – 12 October 2018
Final statement by the co-presidency
The 13th Inter-parliamentary Conference for the CFSP/CSDP was held in Vienna on 11 and 12 October 2018. It was attended by Parliamentarians from the EU Member States and the European Parliament. The deputies exchanged views on a range of current foreign and security policy issues, which is reflected in our final statement.
Security, Migration and Control of External Borders
We recall the need for a holistic EU approach to migration, which ensures coherence between our internal and external policies, encompasses all migration routes and is based on solidarity, full respect for human rights, compliance with international law and the values on which the EU is built.
Better-managed international migration is a global responsibility. A long-term and effective response to the human, social and political challenges of irregular migration and forced displacement will demand enhanced international cooperation with the countries of origin and transit in order to tackle the root causes of these phenomena. Greater efforts also need to be made to advance safe and legal means for refugees and regular migrants to enter the EU as well as to protect the EU’s external borders, with the goal of preventing irregular entry into the EU, tackling human trafficking and smuggling and preventing loss of life at sea.
The European contribution to the improvement of the political and humanitarian
situation in Syria
An inclusive dialogue should remain our priority involving all different key actors to urge them to return to the negotiation table. A policy of de-escalation is vital for the stability of Syria and the region. This is important for Syria but also for the neighbouring countries, particularly Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. We call on key regional actors to make all efforts towards finding a genuine political resolution to the conflict.
The UN-led Geneva process is the only path that can lead towards a peaceful, united, independent and truly democratic Syria, in all its diversity. In that regard, we fully support the efforts of the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Mr Staffan de Mistura. We insist that a Syrian-led political process aiming at free and fair elections, facilitated and monitored by the UN and held on the basis of a new constitution, is the only way to bring peace to the country. We stress that a nationwide inclusive ceasefire and a peaceful mutually acceptable solution to the Syrian crisis can be achieved under UN auspices and, as provided for in the 2012 Geneva Communiqué and UNSC Resolution 2254 (2015), with the support of the UN Special Envoy for Syria. We urge the international community to do everything in its power in order to strongly condemn those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the Syrian conflict.
The European perspective for the Western Balkans
We reconfirm our unequivocal support and strengthened engagement for tangible progress in the EU accession of the Western Balkan countries, based on shared interests, values and principles, such as democracy, rule of law, good governance, media freedom, respect for human rights, reconciliation and good neighbourly relations, along with the fight against corruption and organised crime.
There have been immense reform efforts undertaken in the region in 2018 and we urge the countries of the region to show political will to resolve remaining impasses through reconciliation, fight against impunity and regional co-operation, thus ensuring a secure and sustainable European future for the Western Balkans.
The Western Balkan countries should strengthen their resilience to destabilising foreign interferences and disinformation and lock in their strategic choices by progressively and fully aligning with the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy.
The future of the nuclear deal with Iran following the USA´s withdrawal
We reiterate our full support of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and outline the initiatives undertaken to respond to US sanctions. The EU will undertake all possible efforts to ensure that the Iranian people continue to benefit from the nuclear deal. The JCPOA is working and delivering on its goal, namely to ensure that the Iranian nuclear programme remains exclusively peaceful, as confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). We expect Iran to continue to fully implement all its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA. We strongly condemn Iran’s use of ballistic missiles and its destabilising activities in the MENA region.
Facilitating military mobility within the EU within the framework of PESCO
We welcome the concerted efforts made by EU institutions and Member States to tackle the issue of military mobility. The PESCO project on military mobility is an important tool to coordinate Member States’ efforts and tackle also those aspects that cannot be dealt with by EU legislation. All parties involved in military mobility issues should coordinate their efforts as much as possible to avoid a possible duplication of activities.
OSCE a key partner in the east west dialogue?
The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is an integral part of the Euro-Atlantic, Eurasian security architecture. The Helsinki Principles and commitments remain fully valid and are key for sustainable peace in Europe. The respect for these needs to be fully restored, in particular at a time of heightened tension in the OSCE region, where deepening distrust characterises the relations between East and West. It is now more than ever of greatest importance to facilitate dialogue between governments, parliaments and non-governmental organisations in security matters. The OSCE is a forum to bridge the divisions and promote dialogue between the East and the West and support the participating States in building trust and working toward a common and indivisible Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security community.
Andreas Schieder, Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council
Reinhard Eugen Bösch, Chairperson of the Defence Committee of the National Council
David McAllister, Chairperson of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament