European Security Union
Greens/EFA Position Paper on European Security and Defence
The European Union has, from its very beginning, been a peace project. Following the two world wars in the first half of the 20th century, European integration has been a historic achievement. However, promoting peace, preventing conflicts and strengthening international security cannot be achieved by the Member States alone. Europe needs closer cooperation on foreign, security and defence policy, if the European Union wants to reduce instability, combat serious human rights violations and prevent conflicts in its neighbourhood and beyond, including dealing with cyberattacks that interfere in the democratic processes of sovereign countries.
The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine constitutes a turning point in contemporary European politics, violating the rule of international law, peace, security and stability. It challenges the European security order, and the security interests of Member States and the Union. Guided by the values of democracy, rule of law, self-determination, human rights and fundamental freedoms, the EU must stand united and in full solidarity with Ukraine as it defends the European security order.
The EU needs a modern, credible and effective security and defence policy, capable of responding rapidly to challenges. Now is the time to step up our ambition to realise these goals. The EU must respond to instability, conflict and other new threats that continue to arise, both regionally and internationally. Climate and biodiversity crises have emerged as major risks to humankind. Digitalisation of the public sphere and of the economy has brought speed and efficiency but at the same time increased the risks and the needs for information and communications technology (ICT) security. We also address challenges to the EU’s economic security, which is also central for social justice and stability.
In the collection of different policies, instruments, procedures and institutions in the field, we find that European security and defence is not yet a coherent and strong pillar of the Union. Furthermore, the quality, quantity and level of ambition of civilian and military CSDP (Common Security and Defence Policy) missions and operations have even decreased over the last decade, despite numerous announcements.
For decades, Member States have evaded addressing two key questions: Are they willing to invest adequately in their collective security? Are they willing to share their competence for a stronger European Foreign, Security and Defence Policy? The inability of the Member States to develop a shared idea of the EU as a security actor has been evident for decades. The Strategic Compass provides only partial guidance for setting priorities and closing the gaps between differing Member State approaches to, and expectations of, common security and defence.
The Greens/EFA group advocates that, during the current legislative term of the European Parliament, efforts should be significantly increased to overcome the fragmented landscape of European security and defence. We want to build a reliable and holistic policy that complements multilateral organisations like the UN, the OSCE and NATO, a policy that serves both the security needs of EU citizens, and of those in need abroad, and which clearly addresses new dimensions of human security, such as climate crisis. It is crucial, particularly in this time of growing international tensions, to increase efforts for peacebuilding and peacekeeping measures, and to align European security and defence policy with a progressive and human rights-centred foreign, trade, development, economic and gender policy.