MEPs assess the volatile security situation in Europe and beyond

European Parliament
28.11.2023 / 14:02

Against the backdrop of a rapidly deteriorating global security environment, MEPs emphasise the need for European and transatlantic unity in addressing multiple crises.


In a report assessing the state of the European Union's common security and defence policy (CSDP), Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs argue that in this era of significant geopolitical uncertainty, European and transatlantic consensus and close EU cooperation with like-minded partners elsewhere, is more necessary than ever to address multiple crises, act proactively, and react decisively to threats to the international rules-based order.


With the main theme of the report being the implications of Russia’s illegal, unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression against Ukraine for the EU’s security and defence, as well as for global security and stability, MEPs resolutely condemn Moscow’s aggression and are concerned about the role played by Iran, Belarus, North Korea and China in supporting the Kremlin’s war machine. Stressing that Russia’s war is part of a wider strategy to undermine the rules-based international order, MEPs confirm the EU will continue to support Kyiv with the necessary military means to end the conflict – through the European Peace Facility, the Act in support of ammunition production, the European defence industry reinforcement through common procurement act, and its CSDP missions (European Union Military Assistance Mission in support of Ukraine and the European Union Advisory Mission Ukraine). They also call for an increase to, and acceleration of, EU financial and military assistance, stressing that Ukraine’s military victory and its future EU and NATO accession are needed for overall security, stability and sustainable peace on the European continent.


”For sustainable security in Europe and worldwide, it is absolutely crucial that the Russian aggressor be denied victory in Ukraine. At this critical moment in our continent's history, we must make sure the EU emerges as a strong and united security actor capable of defending its own member states and standing by the victim of aggression and providing it with all the necessary support. The EU and member states should provide adequate resources for our common security and defence and make sure that the necessary institutional arrangements are in place for the Union to be able to respond to any crisis in its neighbourhood”, rapporteur Sven Mikser (S&D, Estonia) said.


The situation in the Middle East, update the Strategic Compass, deliver on the Versailles declaration


MEPs condemn the despicable terrorist attacks committed by the terrorist group Hamas against Israel and emphasises Israel’s right to defend itself in line with international law and international humanitarian law. They also call for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages and continued, rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access and aid to reach those in need. In addition, MEPs express their deepest sorrow and full solidarity with the innocent victims on both sides and for those responsible for terrorist acts and for violations of international law to be held to account.


With both the war in Ukraine and recent developments in the Middle East in mind, the report calls for the EU’s Strategic Compass to be updated in order to incorporate the lessons learned from both conflicts, arguing that this should become a regular exercise. MEPs also want the EU and member states to deliver on the so-called Versailles Declaration commitment by accelerating the full implementation of the Strategic Compass, via a massive boost of European military cooperation at industrial and armed forces level. This is needed for the European Union to be a stronger and more capable security provider, while ensuring interoperability and complementarity with NATO.


Members also call for a review of the EU’s various CSDP missions and operations and stress that each mission has to be effectively tailored to the needs and wishes of each host country and ensure the creation of the necessary conditions for the mission to achieve its goals, while maintaining a strong partnership with the local population and national authorities.


They further call for measures to strengthen the European defence industry, including through a long-term and comprehensive European Defence Investment Program (EDIP), and examine the security role and actions played by countries like China and Türkiye, as well as recent developments in the South Caucasus and the Sahel.


For all the details, the full report will be available here. It was adopted on Tuesday by 42 votes in favour, 8 against with 6 abstentions.


Next steps


The report will now be submitted to a vote in the European Parliament as a whole.


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