The European Parliament today adopted a resolution on the use of armed drones. The resolution, which was initiated by Green MEPs, condemns the illegal use of armed drones and flags up problems with EU research spending on this technology. Commenting after the vote, Green MEP and chair of the Parliament's sub-committee on human rights Barbara Lochbihler stated:
"The European Parliament has today raised serious concerns with the use of military drones and the deaths of thousands of civilians resulting from drone strikes. MEPs have delivered a strong rebuke to the practice of targeted aerial killings outside a declared war zone, as well as the use of armed drones in war situations outside of the international legal framework. The EU needs to address the legal, ethical and security challenges posed by the increasing use of drones, including the urgent need to secure complete transparency and accountability. The resolution also stresses that EU member states should strictly refrain from participating in or facilitating extrajudicial targeted killings, for instance by sharing relevant information with countries such as the US."
Green spokesperson on security and defence, Tarja Cronberg, added:
"The market for armed drones has been rapidly growing in a regulatory lacuna. Millions of Euro of EU funds have already been spent on drone research and there are plans by the Commission and EU governments to develop an EU drone programme. MEPs have today called for the urgent creation of a legal framework which regulates the use of drones and aims at preventing an arms race. There is also a glaring need to integrate armed drones in relevant European and international arms control regimes and to stop research and development on fully automatic weapons which kill without human intervention."