The EU must speak with one voice on foreign policy

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


MEPs call for a more effective EU foreign and security policy and a stronger defence capability to respond to threats, in two reports adopted on Thursday.

With growing instability in the world, the rise of authoritarianism and disinformation, the EU should take the lead in strengthening multilateral partnerships and in protecting and promoting democracy and human rights globally, stress MEPs in a report on the implementation of Common Foreign and Security Policy adopted on Thursday by 474 votes in favour, 113 against and 102 abstentions.

MEPs point out that in order to deal effectively with current international challenges, the EU has to act with one coherent voice. Decisions on foreign policy should no longer be taken by unanimity, as this gives a member state the right to veto a decision taken by all the others, but instead by qualified majority.

The EU also needs to ensure its strategic sovereignty and be less dependent in key technological areas, critical infrastructure and supply chains, Parliament highlights.

Call for increased military assistance to Ukraine

Both reports strongly condemn Russia’s aggressive behaviour towards Ukraine.

The text on the Common Security and Defence Policy, adopted by 369 votes in favour, 197 against and 123 abstentions, calls for increased and credible military and security assistance to Ukraine, including by mobilising the European Peace Facility. MEPs also encourage the member states to increase their bilateral military and security assistance to Ukraine.

Call for a more resilient European Union

Parliament also calls for a robust defence policy and a more resilient European Union that can counter threats such as terrorism, cyber-attacks, the exploitation of migration for political purposes and foreign interference. The EU should be able to respond firmly, alongside its partners, but also autonomously where necessary.

Welcoming the launch of the work on the Strategic Compass as an unprecedented strategic reflection, MEPs state that the Compass should constitute a major step towards a genuine European Defence Union.

They also support creating a ‘rapid entry capacity’ with air, maritime and special forces that can be mobilised in a security emergency.

Quotes

The rapporteur on Common Foreign and Security Policy, David McAllister (EPP, DE), said: “The challenges of the 21st century call for more, not less, EU action on the global scene, promoting multilateral governance and rules-based international cooperation. As the European Union, we need to achieve the strategic goal of affirming our global leadership role. This requires strong political will and decisive steps in 2022 in the frame of the new EU Strategic Compass.”

The rapporteur on Common Security and Defence Policy, Nathalie Loiseau (Renew, FR) said: “Faced with a less stable and more dangerous world, Europe must urgently come up with new responses, such as a rapid reaction capability and European headquarters. We also need more solidarity in the face of hybrid attacks. The Strategic Compass comes at the right time and I welcome the ambitious yet pragmatic nature of the approach. Europe must act quickly and effectively. The question is not so much one of means, but of political will.”

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