Parliament adopted an own-initiative report with 367 votes in favour, 62 against with 14 abstentions calling for the European Union to strengthen its co-operation with the United Nations.
MEPs stress that multilateralism was still the best way of promoting peace and security. They point out that the EU and its Member States provide more than 50% of the UN's operational funds and peacekeeping forces, as well as over 60% of development aid. In their view, Europe should play a more active role within the UN by helping reform its organisational set-up so as to make the multilateral system as a whole more effective.
The House would like the Security Council to be made more representative, better organised and more efficient. MEPs suggest that the number of permanent and non-permanent members be increased to reflect better the current situation in the world. They argue that the EU should become a fully-fledged permanent member as soon as its legal personality is recognised. Africa, Asia and Latin America should each receive an extra seat. Parliament suggests replacing the current veto system with a "double veto", i.e. a veto by a minimum of two permanent members. This right would only be allowed for issues covered by Chapter VII of the Charter: threats to peace, acts of aggression or violations of peace.
The resolution also calls for the EU to take part in the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Committee and the Commission on Human Rights, as well as the administrations of agencies and funds to which the EU budget contributes. MEPs believe that the future EU foreign minister, provided for in the draft Constitutional Treaty, should represent the EU on the Security Council. The House considers that the elaboration of the common foreign and security policy towards the UN should be characterised by the participation and joint influence of all the European Union’s Member States.
In addition, the House recommends expanding the areas in which the EU and the UN could work more closely together, not only on development and humanitarian aid but also on conflict prevention and crisis management. Other areas of co-operation with the UN special agencies are mentioned, such as the environment, public health and the fight against terrorism and organised crime.
Parliament also identifies areas where better co-operation is needed between the EU institutions. MEPs believe the European Parliament should improve its co-operation with the UN by practical means, for example by attending the annual sessions of the Security Council and the General Assembly. They also propose that a parliamentary network be set up, which would meet each year under UN auspices. They highlight the urgent need to improve the exchange of information and co-ordination between the Member States with a seat on the Security Council and the EU Presidency. By way of example, every time a declaration is issued in the name of the European Union, the Member States should refrain from making their own national declarations, apart from exceptional cases.