Establishing a European Security and Defence Union

Paris, October 27th, 2019

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Resolution adopted by JEF Congress

JEF Europe,                                                                             

  1. Bearing in mind the previous attempts to establish a unified European Defence Community;
  2. Regretting the lack of political will of several EU Member States as the main challenge of integrating national defence and security structures;
  3. Highlighting a common security and defence policy should be an integral part of the EU’s comprehensive approach towards crisis management;
  4. Noting that the level of European integration has already reached such levels, that a security challenge in one Member State, would affect all other EU members;
  5. Bearing in mind the current situation in the US and the competing interests of different NATO members;
  6. Noting with interest the creation of a specific Space and Defence portfolio in the EU Commission;
  7. Regretting that the remit for this portfolio so far seems constrained to focus exclusively on industrial issues;
  8. Bearing in mind that any military actions require a fully integrated common foreign policy, defining the common political position, as an essential precondition for the creation of a common strategic culture;
  9. Acknowledging that Brexit will deprive the EU of one of its main intelligence powers, being also a member of the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance, and thus increase the dependency of the EU on third countries’ intelligence;
  10. Recognising the progress made with the creation of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), the Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC) and the European Defence Fund (EDF) in 2017, as well as the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD) in 2019;
  11. Appreciating the creation of the European Intervention Initiative as a positive step towards further Defence integration but regretting that it was created outside of the EU framework;
  12. Affirming the necessity to develop a common Strategic Culture as affirmed by Emmanuel Macron in his 2017 “Sorbonne speech”;
  13. Recognising that Brexit will lead to a significant loss of capabilities but, on the other hand, might create opportunities for deeper integration in the field of defence and security;
  14. Strongly supporting Von der Leyen’s pro-EU defence stance as expressed in her keynote speech at the 2019 Munich Security conference;
  15. Acknowledging positively the Military Erasmus Programme as a useful tool for knowledge sharing and creating connections between officers of different member states’ armed forces which might in turn facilitate future cooperation and integration projects;
  16. Regretting the inadequate decision-making process for the use of Battlegroups, which resulted in them never being used;
  17. Recognising the potential behind the idea of Pooling and Sharing;
  18. Recognising that the multitude of parallel defence cooperation initiatives and structures can be partially overlapping, thereby creating confusion and inefficiencies;
  19. Underlining the importance of having a clear overview of the objectives of a European Defence Union and the capabilities needed to achieve them;
  20. Taking firmly into consideration the EP resolution of 22 November 2016 on the European Defence Union; as well as the three EP resolutions of 16 February 2017 on the Future of Europe;
  21. Having regard to the Conclusions on security and defence of the European Council of 19 November December 2018;
  22. Bearing in mind that most, although not all, EU Member States are also NATO members and vice versa;
  23. Considering that the unsatisfactory intergovernmental response of EU Member States to France’s invocation of Lisbon Treaty Article 42(7) in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in November 2015 exemplifies the limits of a decentralised system of self-defence;
  24. Convinced of the need for cooperation between the EU and NATO in the areas of security and defence, as stated in the joint declarations by the presidents of the European Council and the Commission and the NATO Secretary-General of 8 July 2016 and 19 July 2018;
  25. Emphasising that the majority of EU citizens are in favour of creating an EU army (Eurobarometer, 2017) and two-thirds of them would like to see the EU to do more on Defence (Eurobarometer, March 2018);
  26. Recalling the positive statement made in the past two years by EU leaders; especially Marcon’s 2017 proposals and Merkel’s 2018 recognition that we should work towards, “one day establishing a proper European army”;
  27. Taking into consideration the many resolutions released on the topic of security and defence by the Union of European Federalists from 2011 to 2019;
  28. Reminding that the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union shall be respected in the framing and implementation of a European Defence policy;
  29. Urges the EU and its Member States to take concrete actions, based on federalist principles, to move towards the creation of a real European Defence Union;
  30. Expresses its hope that as President of the Commission Von der Leyen will act accordingly to the views she has expressed on European Defence;
  31. Calls for a White Paper on European Security and Defence defining what capabilities are needed to defend the European Union and secure its capacity to act internationally;
  32. Calls for a real commitment to increase majority voting in the decision-making on defence and security policy, overcoming the unanimity system;
  33. Calls for direct EU control of European defence and security through the Commission;
  34. Calls for the European Parliament to have oversight over the EU defence apparatus and the creation of a full Defence and Security committee in the European Parliament;
  35. Proposes that nuclear weapons be included in a joint European Defence Force; While we recognise the relevance of nuclear weapons for European Security Politics, we also express our opposition to the further nuclearisation of the European continent and support the cause for a world free of nuclear weapons;
  36. Demands that all EU citizens be allowed to serve in the military forces of any EU Member State, preparing the creation of a multinational European force, serving as a nucleus for a future integrated military force;
  37. Declares that nationality of an EU Member state should not be an obstacle to serving in another EU Member State’s armed forces;
  38. Strongly encourages the utilisation of the enhanced cooperation mechanism as defined in the Lisbon Treaty’s article 46, in case not every Member State supports a step towards integration;
  39. Calls for the establishment of a common strategic culture, based on an operative common foreign policy, and respectful of every national strategic culture up to then implemented;
  40. Urges EU member states to move to a deeper integration of the Intelligence community, in order to reduce their dependency on third countries and encourages knowledge-sharing between EU Member States;
  41. Recommends the creation of a permanent operational EU headquarters in order to supervise EU operations, with its own permanent civilian-military staff;
  42. Urges the creation of a joint military training academy under the auspices of/in close relation to the European Security and Defence Academy, in order to foster knowledge-sharing and bring together the best ideas from across Europe;
  43. Calls for the EU to make the Battlegroups easier to use, i.e. by reforming the decision-making procedure, in order to encourage the use of EU-capabilities before national ones;
  44. Demands that any integration within the EU Security and Defence umbrella should be done while bearing in mind that compatibility with NATO is essential;
  45. Calls for the creation of an EU army which does not prohibit the existence of national forces;
  46. Calls for the creation of a proper European Security and Defence Union, based on the abovementioned.