Today’s unprecedented level of instability at EU borders demands that the EU and its member states shoulder more responsibility for their security and defence now, say MEPs in a resolution voted on Thursday. They urge member states to use Common Security and Defence Policy tools more effectively, improve the fit between external and internal security measures, and pool and share resources, so as to counter terrorism, fight organised crime, strengthen cyber-defence and cope with migration.
Parliament’s case for member states to forge a stronger strategy to meet new security challenges is set out in its annual resolution, drafted by Arnaud Danjean (EPP, FR), on the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). It was passed by 361 votes to 236, with 54 abstentions.
Parliament regrets that despite pledges made by EU leaders at their December 2013 summit, no substantial practical progress has been made in equipping the EU with the operational, industrial and capability resources it sorely needs to prevent and manage international crises and to assert its own strategic autonomy.
June summit and need for leadership
A clear and concrete boost to European defence must be given at the European Council meeting on security and defence on 25 and 26 June, say MEPs, who call on EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to lead efforts to this end.
EU civilian missions and military operations must become the genuine and effective tools of an overall action strategy, especially in the EU's neighbourhood, say MEPs, insisting that the EU should be able to intervene across the full spectrum of crisis management. They also call for a coherent EU strategy to protect critical infrastructure against cyber-attacks.
CSDP needs proper funding
In a separate resolution, steered through Parliament by Eduard Kukan (EPP, SK) and Indrek Tarand (Greens/EFA, ET), Parliament says that the funding of EU civilian missions and military operations must be adapted to new needs. They call member states to improve efficiency, show solidarity and match their words with deeds when they review the “Athena mechanism” for funding the common costs of operations and supplying forces for them.
The resolution was passed by 347 votes to 248, with 44 abstentions.
Rules-based EU defence market
MEPs also call on the European Commission and member states to do more to create a genuine EU defence market. In a resolution drafted by Ana Gomes (S&D, PT), they insist that an efficient single market, based on common rules, is vital for the development of a competitive European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB), which in turn is crucial to secure the capabilities needed for the security of EU citizens.
The resolution was passed by 386 votes to 175, with 84 abstentions.