Better spending is the way to advances and innovation for security and defence
Since the creation of the European
Security and Defence Policy, 22 missions have been carried out within the
framework of the ESDP, including 16 civilian missions and six military
operations. This fact not only shows the importance of the civilian components
of the ESDP, it also shows why the European Parliament plays an important role
in the context o ESDP: The civilian missions are financed from the European
budget and therefore under the control of the European Parliament. In addition
to that there are five billion Euros in the European budget foreseen for
security related projects such as the satellite navigation system Galileo
(which should be available for ESDP missions and operations), the
Kopernikus-GMES-System and Security Research.
Last year we had for the first time
European legislation on defence matters. A directive on defence procurement and
a directive on intra-community transfers of defence-related goods were adopted
in co-decision by the European Parliament and the Council.
The Parliament's influence in
security and defence matters is clearly growing. And the European Parliament is
determined to make use of this influence to push things forward.
European Parliament's 2009 Annual Report on the European Security and Defence
Policy which I prepared and which was adopted on 19 February 2009 by a large
majority (482 yes, 111 no), stresses that the European
Union needs to develop its strategic autonomy through a strong and effective
foreign, security and defence policy in order to promote peace and
international security, to defend its interests in the world, to protect the
security of its own citizens, to contribute to effective multilateralism and to
advance respect for human rights and democratic values.
The European Parliament stresses in
its report that the European Security and Defence Policy should be based on our
common European Security interests.
All too often, thinking in the
Member States remains confined within the framework of national security
interests and the common responsibility for protecting joint European interests
is thus neglected.
Parliament considers it necessary, therefore, to define the European Union's
common security interests. Only if it
has a clear idea of its common interests can the Union make its common policy
more coherent and effective. The European parliament is of
the opinion that, in addition to the challenges identified in the ESS as
adopted in 2003, the security interests of the Union include the protection of
its citizens and its interests inside the European Union as well as abroad, the
security of its neighbourhood and the protection of its external borders and
critical infrastructure, as well as the improvement of its cyber security, the
security of energy supply and sea lanes, the protection of its space assets and
protection against the consequences of climate change.
But we have not only to define our
European security interests. The European Union must also define more clearly
its ambitions concerning its role in the world. The European Parliament stated
clearly in its report that it is of the opinion that the European Union should
not try to become a superpower like the United States but that it should
instead guarantee its security and security in its neighbourhood.
In every case the European Union has to have
the means to implement its policies. Most of these challenges are
not simply military and cannot be met by military means or not by military
means alone. The European Security and Defence Policy has to combine the use of
both civilian and military assets and capabilities, and it requires close and
seamless cooperation between all stakeholders.
The European Union therefore needs
both civilian and military capabilities in order to strengthen the European
Security and Defence Policy and to fulfil its responsibilities in the world.
Today, our ability to act is often limited by the absence of key capabilities.
It was for example quite difficult to find three helicopters for the Operation
The Member States of the European Union together spend more than EUR 200
billion per year on defence, which is more than half the defence expenditure of
the United States.
The European Parliament repeatedly expressed its deeps concern about the lack
of efficiency and coordination in the utilisation of European defence budgets.
This inefficiency is partly
due to the fact that we do not have a common European
defence and security market. Borders between the Member States which have been abolished in 1992
still exist in the field of defence.
The European Parliament strongly supports the
reinforcement of a European defence and security market. We have therefore
adopted the Commission's legislative proposals for public procurement and
intra-Community transfers and we suggest further initiatives to achieve this
objective, in particular in the areas of security of supply and security of
The present absence of a
common European defence and security market has led to much unnecessary
duplication of procurement programmes and to much unnecessary costs. Common
operations like Kosovo and Tchad become more costly by the fact that due to the
different equipment parallel chains of supply have to be organised.
It is often said that
duplications between the European Union and NATO have to be avoided. This is
certainly true. However I must point to the fact that the duplications between
the Member States are the main problem on our way to improve our capabilities
and that we must improve our ability to spend better together. The increasingly
expensive development of new military or security technology has already
stimulated strong moves towards integration. Despite this, there is still much
room for greater efficiency.
An example for that is
space. We have three parallel national systems of satellite-based intelligence
with different strengths and weaknesses. For humanitarian missions, natural
disasters, the surveillance of our outside borders and for ESDP missions we have
a common need for real time pictures, independent from weather and day time.
The present situation, although costly, does not fulfil these requirements.
We have to make greater to eliminate unnecessary duplication between
Member States, namely through specialisation, pooling and sharing of existing
capabilities, and joint development of new ones. Therefore, the Member States should
take full advantage of the potential of the European Defence Agency. Less unnecessary
duplications among EU Member States and a more efficient European defence
spending will also strengthen NATO.
Capability needs are often
technologically very similar or even identical for armed forces operations,
border surveillance, protection of critical infrastructure and disaster
creates new opportunities to exploit synergies and enhance interoperability
between armed forces and security forces. The European Union and its Member
States should focus their efforts on common capabilities which can be used for
both defence and security purposes. In this context, satellite-based
intelligence, surveillance and warning equipment, unmanned air vehicles,
helicopters and telecommunication equipment and air and sea transport are
In the field of command and
control we face the same problem of unnecessary duplications and incompatible
equipment. What is needed is a common basic standard for the communications
systems of military, police and disaster control services with different ways
of coding. At present, we have five national telecommunications systems for
running multinational operations. A common system would be less costly, more
efficient and less risky for the personnel running these operations. We therefore need a common technical standard for protected
The European Parliament therefore supports the cooperative development
of a Software-Defined Radio (SDR) by the Commission and the European Defence
Agency. SDR will contribute to better interoperability of telecommunications
I also welcome the decision taken by
the Steering Board of the EDA on 10 November 2008 on the establishment of a
European Air Transport Fleet and the Declaration of Intent on participation in
this initiative, signed by the Defence Ministers of twelve EU Member States.
In its report adopted on 19 February 2009, the European Parliament also stresses the necessity to allow the use
of Galileo and GMES for security and defence purposes. The European Parliament
has repeatedly stressed the importance of the space dimension to the security
of the European Union and the need for a common approach necessary for
defending European interests in space. We need space assets in order that the
political and diplomatic activities of the European Union may be based on
independent, reliable and complete information in support of its policies for
conflict prevention, crisis management operations and global security,
especially the monitoring of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and
their means of transportation and verification of international treaties, the
transnational smuggling of light weapons and small arms, the protection of
critical infrastructure and of the European Union's borders, and civil
protection in the event of natural and man-made disasters and crises. The
Parliament therefore encouraged the Member States of the European Union, the
European Space Agency and the various stakeholders to make greater and better
use of the existing national and multinational space systems and to foster
In this context the European Parliament called on the EU Member States
to pool and exchange the geospatial intelligence necessary for autonomous EU
threat assessment and urged that the European Union Satellite Centre (EUSC) be
fully developed to make full use of its potential. The European Parliament
underlined the necessity of Galileo for autonomous ESDP operations, for the
Common Foreign and Security Policy, for Europe's own security and for the
Union's strategic autonomy and noted that, in particular, its public-regulated
service will be vital in the field of navigation, positioning and timing, not
least in order to avoid unnecessary risks. I think we should also consider the
creation of a European space surveillance system leading to space situational
awareness (including, for example, GRAVES and TIRA) to monitor the space
infrastructure, space debris and, possibly, other threats. The European
Parliament clearly supports the possibility of funding future European
satellite systems supporting ESDP operations from the EU budget (EP report on
Space and Security, 10 July 2008).
European Union should continue to build its capabilities on the basis of the
civilian and military headline goals and should endeavour to make a force of
60 000 soldiers permanently available. The European Parliament reaffirmed
its proposal that the Eurocorps should be the core of this force, if necessary
reinforced by additional maritime and air capacities. The Parliament therefore
welcomed the agreement concluded between Germany
on maintaining the Franco-German Brigade at joint locations.
The European Parliament also
welcomed the Council’s commitment to the idea that Europe should actually be
capable in the years ahead, within the framework of the level of ambition
established, inter alia of deploying 60 000 men in 60 days for a major
operation, within the range of operations envisaged within the headline goal
for 2010 and, within the civilian headline goal for 2010, of planning and
–two major stabilisation and
reconstruction operations, with a suitable civilian component, supported by a
maximum of 10 000 men for at least two years;
–two rapid response
operations of limited duration using inter alia the EU's Battlegroups;
–an emergency operation for
the evacuation of European nationals (in less than ten days), bearing in mind
the primary role of each Member State as regards its nationals and making use
of the consular lead State concept;
–a maritime or air
humanitarian assistance operation lasting up to 90 days;
–around a dozen ESDP
civilian missions (including inter alia police, rule of law, civil
administration, civil protection, security sector reform and observation
missions) of varying formats, operating inter alia in a rapid reaction
situation, including a major mission (potentially involving up to 3 000
experts) which could last several years.
realisation of these ambitious plans will make it necessary to strengthen the
capacity at the European level to undertake strategic planning and to conduct
ESDP operations and missions. The European Parliament
therefore urges to set up an autonomous and permanent EU Operational
Headquarters and to establish an integrated civilian and military strategic
planning structure for ESDP operations and missions.
But the further development
of the European Security and Defence Policy is not only a question of technical
capabilities and of headline goals.
It is also important to foster the
development of a common European security and defence culture. The European Union is characterised by a large diversity of historically
rooted defence and security traditions. The defence policies of the 27 member
states are still displaying substantial differences, in areas such as strategic
planning, transformation doctrine, equipment or leadership style.
There are more factors
uniting than dividing us. Europe shares a common set of European values. Europe
stands for a security policy which is based on values, is not restricted to the
military, is dedicated to the respect and further development of international
law and acts multilaterally. These common convictions provide a good common
base for the development of a common European security and defence
culture. But experience has
shown that we have still a lot to do in order to overcome the differences which
The European Parliament considers it therefore particularly important to
strengthen the European Security and Defence
College and to transform
it into permanent structure.This
college can contribute to the development of a specifically European security
culture. We also urge the Commission to continue funding common training
activities at the European level in the field of civilian crisis management beyond
Experience has shown that we have to
take a closer look on the social situation of personnel who are to be deployed
and to work together in civilian and military operations. We need further
initiatives concerning common training and common standards for personnel,
increased interaction between the armed forces and civilian personnel of Member
States, coordination of crisis-related training, exchange programmes among
armed forces in Europe and the opening-up of armies to citizens of other Member
has already opened its Armed Forces to citizens of all Member States.
The European Parliament's 2009
Annual Report on the European Security and Defence Policy which was adopted on
19 February 2009 also approves the dynamic further development of cooperation
between national armed forces so that they become increasingly synchronised. We propose that this
process and the armed forces should be given the name “SAFE” – Synchronised
Armed Forces Europe. SAFE would provide sufficient room
for manoeuvre for neutral Member
States as well as those
bound by military alliances, for those which already work closely together and
for those which are still reluctant to do so. We proposes an opt-in model for
the organisation of SAFE based on more intensive voluntary synchronisation.
A European statute for soldiers
within the framework of SAFE should govern training standards, operational
doctrine and freedom of operational action, issues relating to duties and
rights, as well as the level of equipment quality, medical care and social
security arrangements in the event of death, injury or incapacity.
In its report adopted on 19 February
2009, the European Parliament calls for the elaboration of a European White
Book on Security and Defence as a tool to be used to initiate a wide-ranging
public debate and to ensure that the ESS is implemented in an efficient way.
In my opinion this White Book should
concentrate on two main areas: Capabilities and the social situation of
civilian and military personnel in European missions and operations.
This White Book should be elaborated
in an open and transparent way. The elaboration of the French White Book could
therefore serve as an example.
Transparency and parliamentary
accountability are crucial in order to ensure public support for European
this connection it is of particular importance to ensure effective
parliamentary scrutiny of the ESDP in the form of close cooperation between the
European Parliament and the parliaments of EU Member States.
Most of the threats to security
facing us today have one thing in common: no single state can tackle them
effectively on its own. Many of the duties arising in the areas of security and
defence can be tackled effectively only at European level, such as guarding Europe’s
external borders, the fight against international crime and smashing terrorist funding
networks. This would have been too tall an order for the individual Member States
on their own, and NATO does not have the instruments to drain terrorists’ funding
networks, for example. Most citizens are fully aware of this fact: According to
Eurobarometer surveys (June 2008), 81% of EU citizens think that the fight
against terrorism should be led at the European level.