S&Ds on the EU’s Common Foreign Defence and Security Policy

Common Security and Defence Policy and on the Common Foreign and Security Policy.

The European Parliament today backed two reports on the Common Security and Defence Policy and on the Common Foreign and Security Policy.

Following the positive vote in the plenary, S&D vice-president Victor Boştinaru MEP said:

“A strong co-operation in the context of the CFSP/CSDP is the best answer to the complex internal and external security challenges the Union is facing today and to the expectations of our citizens, partners and allies. The report welcomes the important progress made in the past years towards the building of a credible European defence, including the European Defence Fund and the recent establishment of an inclusive and ambitious Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO). Meanwhile, our strategic and complementary partnership with NATO remains essential.

“A credible enlargement strategy for the Western Balkans remains crucial for the security and stability of the Union and is a key priority for the S&D’s, and therefore has been clearly stated in both reports. Thus we emphasised the necessity for all candidate countries to align themselves with the foreign and security policy of the EU and encourage the opening of chapter 31 for all Western Balkans countries as soon as possible.”

S&D Group shadow rapporteur on the Common Security and Defence Policy, Croatian MEP Tonino Picula, said:

“Thanks to a few initiatives and achievements during this year, such as PESCO, Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is becoming more and more extensive. It is not about militarisation of a European project or creating a common army, it is about meeting the expectations of more than two thirds of our citizens who prioritize security as a priority. We have been duplicating our actions for too long and spending resources in an uncoordinated manner.

“I also want to take this opportunity and stress the importance of continuing the credible enlargement process as the best security guarantor on the southeast borders of the Union, but as well within the EU.”

Knut Fleckenstein MEP, S&D spokesperson for foreign affairs, stated:

“The annual report on the implementation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy puts the essence of the foreign policy in a nutshell: it’s a question of a combination of effective multilateralism, joint soft power and credible hard power. That is exactly what is at stake here. The combination of soft power and hard power. Europe can be proud of its soft power. In future, we need to continue to develop both: soft power and hard power.

“In these times of uncertainty, we cannot rely on the US alone. We have to take security within Europe and our neighbourhood into our own hands. That is not only fair to the US but also necessary as it seems that the US is currently developing from a security guarantor to a security risk.”