Common action is the most effective way to protect EU citizens, say Foreign Affairs MEPs
- No single member state alone can tackle current challenges
- Qualified majority voting to be applied for the CFSP in the EU Council
- An EU defence budget to be set up under next EU long-term budget
Foreign Affairs MEPs call for a dedicated budget and more tools to strengthen foreign and defence policies and make the EU a credible and strong global player.
The resolution, drafted by Foreign Affairs Committee chair David McAllister (EPP, DE) stresses that EU’s security architecture remains fragile and fragmented. It is high time that member states implement Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) tools and policies to enable the EU to respond to external conflicts, preserve its interests and protect its citizens, say MEPs.
Instead of unanimity, the qualified majority voting should be applied in the Council of the EU also for the CFSP, stress Foreign Affairs MEPs. They urge member states to speak with one voice and act together in order to make the EU a credible and value-based global player.
More active EU diplomacy
The EU should keep the door open for deepening bilateral relations with Russia, provided Moscow respect the European security order, stress MEPs. They also underline that if Russia continues to violate international law, the Union should keep open the option of further gradual sanctions.
MEPs urge the EU to use all its diplomatic tools, including sanctions, to persuade North Korea leaders to abandon the weapons of mass destruction and to avoid an escalation of this crisis. The EU must take measures to ensure that Iran’s ballistic missile program is halted given the security risk it poses, add MEPs.
Creation of an EU defence budget
In a separate text, MEPs welcome the recent progress on delivering stronger European defence integration through launching a European Defence Fund, EU operational headquarters, Permanent Structured Cooperation and annual review of member states’ defence plans.
They call for the evaluation of the opportunity of setting-up a Directorate-General for defence (DG Defence) within the European Commission to coordinate defence initiatives and also to facilitate, amongst others, the free movement of troops and equipment within the EU.
MEPs also urge the member states to devote 2% of their GDP to defence means and suggest to establish EU defence budget under the next EU long-term budget.
The draft resolution on CFSP was adopted by 28 votes to 6, with 7 abstentions. The draft text on CSDP by rapporteur Michael Gahler (EPP, DE) was adopted by 29 votes to 11. Both texts are to be debated and put to vote at the December plenary session in Strasbourg