The EU and its member states must shoulder more responsibility for their security and defence at once, given the unprecedented levels of instability at EU borders, say Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs in a resolution voted on Monday. Member states must, as a matter of urgency, make more effective use of Common Security and Defence Policy tools, coordinate their internal and external security actions and pool resources more closely, says the text.
In their annual resolution on the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), MEPs press it to adopt a common strategy to tackle new challenges to its security. Strategic reflection already under way within the European External Action Service and the Council on a new European Security Strategy to deal with new geostrategic scenarios, threats and global challenges must be given a clear and concrete boost at the June 2015 European Council, they say.
The committee regrets that despite the December 2013 EU summit conclusions, no substantial practical progress has been made in equipping the EU with much-needed operational, industrial and capabilities resources to prevent and manage international crises.
CSDP missions must form part of an overall strategy
EU civilian and military missions must become the genuine, effective and responsibly used tools of an overall action strategy, instead of merely raising the Union’s crisis response profile, say MEPs, who nonetheless praise the professionalism and dedication of the missions’ personnel. The EU should be able to intervene across the full spectrum of crisis management and not to focus exclusively on a post-crisis context or exit from crisis contexts, they add.
MEPs stress that EU missions must be properly funded and that the current review of the Athena mechanism for funding their common costs must facilitate the deployment. Member states must also show more commitment and solidarity in supplying forces for these missions, they say.
Cyber defence: level up capabilities without delay
The “imminent threat” of cyber-attacks calls for an immediate “levelling-up” of the cyber defence capabilities of all member states, MEPs say. Cyber defence must be more systematically integrated within national security strategies and a coherent EU strategy is needed to protect critical infrastructure against cyber-attacks, the text also says.
Plenary vote in May
The draft resolution, prepared by Arnaud Danjean (EPP, FR) and passed in committee by 45 votes to 18, with 0 abstentions, is to be debated and put to a vote at the May plenary session in Strasbourg.