David McAllister – Plenary speech on the future of the EU’s Foreign, Security and Defence Policy
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David McAllister – Plenary speech on the future of the EU’s Foreign, Security and Defence Policy

The world is going through a period of geopolitical redefinition. The issues raised by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine go far beyond the tragic situation we are currently witnessing. Europe as a whole is challenged!

For a very long time, our Parliament has been advocating for a stronger, more effective and more coherent Common Foreign, Security and Defence Policy. Now, Russia’s war shows us that the European Union has to equip itself urgently with the means and tools to respond to global strategic competition and complex security threats.

With our recommendation to the Council and the High Representative on the EU’s Foreign, Security and Defence Policy after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we as Parliament assess the recent EU initiatives in this field make concrete proposals for the way forward.

For us eight key points should be taken into account at the meeting of the European Council on 23 and 24 June and the following NATO summit in Madrid on 29 and 30 June.

Namely

1. We recommend to work swiftly on the implementation of the Strategic Compass, in particular regarding the operational capability of the Rapid Deployment Capacity.

2. We recommend to review and strengthen CSDP missions and operations in order to adapt to the new geopolitical reality and promptly as well as efficiently support the Ukrainian and Moldovan authorities.

3. We recommend to swiftly finalise the work on a substantial third EU-NATO Joint Declaration and to ensure that the work on the Strategic Compass and the NATO Strategic Concept are aligned and lead to increasing strategic complementarity.

4. We recommend to review the European neighbourhood policy with the aim of thoroughly assessing the impact of Russia’s war against Ukraine on cooperation within the Eastern Partnership and to strengthen the EU’s enlargement strategy.

5. We recommend to involve the European Parliament appropriately in the further implementation of the CFSP and CSDP, including the Strategic Compass and the European Peace Facility.

6. We recommend to ensure that the EU’s security and defence policy is equipped with the necessary financial means in order to be more effective and credible.

7. We recommend to provide Ukraine weapons and material in line with the needs expressed by the Ukrainian authorities and to grant the country EU candidate status as a clear political sign of solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

8. We recommend to ensure a comprehensive monitoring of all EU sanctions and to strengthen the Commission’s capacity to implement restrictive measures.

Let me add one extra point: the European Council has requested the presentation of a possible joint European Defence Investment Programme at its meeting in two weeks. Clearly, the European Parliament should welcome such a programme and be closely involved in its preparation.

Finally, allow me to propose a change to the title of the recommendation. Instead of “Russian invasion”, I suggest to change the wording to “Russia’s war of aggression” in order to adapt the language of the report to our recently adopted texts.  

To conclude, let me thank the Co-Rapporteur, Nathalie Loiseau, as well as the shadow rapporteurs for the really good, constructive and fruitful cooperation.

Thank you!