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Thread: Post Brexit-EU planning

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    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    Post Brexit-EU planning
    June 27, 2016 9:05 am
    EU security strategy to push for closer defence co-operation

    Alex Barker in Brussels

    Europe’s first security strategy in more than a decade is to push for closer EU defence co-operation, paving the way for multinational headquarters, military procurement and deployments to help cope with “times of existential crisis”.

    A draft version of the EU’s “global strategy” seen by the Financial Times casts serious defence integration as “the norm” that will boost the bloc’s defence industry and better project Europe’s foreign policy clout in its neighbourhood.

    The paper overseen by Federica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign policy chief, is part of a multi-pronged political move towards the goal of a joint European military force, which was outlined in the Lisbon treaty but has been far from being realised. All advocates though are realistically hoping for small steps towards more combined forces.

    It comes at a time of great political uncertainty, posing both a threat and opportunity for the EU. Germany and France see a push to deepen common defence and security co-operation within the EU — long resisted by Britain — as one way to show the union has unity and purpose in the wake of the UK vote to leave the EU.

    Ms Mogherini’s paper will be discussed at a summit of EU leaders on Wednesday. A German defence white paper in July will echo many of the calls to move to so-called “structured co-operation”, where willing EU nations systematically pool military kit, armed forces and decision-making power.

    In a sign of a shifting political mood in Europe over Russia — while noting the need for a “consistent and united approach” on the “strategic challenge” of Moscow — the paper notes “the EU and Russia are interdependent”. “We will therefore engage Russia to discuss disagreements and co-operate if and when our interests overlap,” the strategy says. It hints at a gradual process of reconciliation that EU diplomats think may be accelerated by the exit of Britain from the union.

    The EU has not updated its security strategy since 2003, a time of far greater optimism over the bloc’s position and influence in the world. It opened with the phrase: “Europe has never been so prosperous, so secure nor so free. The violence of the first half of the 20th century has given way to a period of peace and stability unprecedented in European history.”

    Set in the context of Russian aggression in Ukraine, terrorism at home, and the migration crisis at Europe’s borders, the 2016 update starts with a more foreboding tone: “We need a stronger Europe. This is what our citizens deserve, this is what the wider world expects. We will in times of existential crisis, within and beyond the EU.”

    “Our union is under threat,” it goes on. “Our European project which has brought unprecedented peace, prosperity and democracy is being questioned.”
    "The EU will systematically encourage defence co-operation and strive to create a solid European defence industry, which is critical for Europe’s autonomy of decision and action"

    One overriding theme of the paper overseen by Nathalie Tocci, an adviser to Ms Mogherini, is the emphasis on the intertwined security issues at home and abroad, and the need for a “joined-up union” to better able to marshal its internal and external resources. This would, for instance, more closely align the EU’s development spending with its foreign policy or migration control goals.

    The “urgent” need for security investment is another of these policy responses. “Member states remain sovereign in their defence decisions,” the paper states. “Nevertheless to acquire and maintain many of these capabilities, defence co-operation must become the norm. The EU will systematically encourage defence co-operation and strive to create a solid European defence industry, which is critical for Europe’s autonomy of decision and action.”

    Around 37 EU security missions have been launched since 2003, including recent operations in Mali and against piracy. But officials have grown frustrated with piecemeal structures and the struggle to prepare and deploy multinational operations.

    The solution in the strategy is to move to more “enhanced co-operation” between willing countries that “might lead to a more structured form of co-operation, making full use of the Lisbon Treaty’s potential”. It suggests a first step to this can be achieved through “streamlining our institutional structure” in common security and defence policy — a nod to calls for a joint EU military and civilian planning headquarters.
    A strong Europe in a world of uncertainties

    Joint contribution by the French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier


    Jean-Marc Ayrault and Frank-Walter Steinmeier during the meeting of the six EU founding members on 25.06. in Berlin

    Jean-Marc Ayrault and Frank-Walter Steinmeier during the meeting of the six EU founding members on 25.06. in Berlin
    © Trutschel/photothek
    Bild vergrößern

    The decision of the British people marks a watershed moment in the history of Eu-rope. The European Union is losing not only a member state, but a host of history, tradition and experience, with which we shared our journey throughout the past decades. France and Germany therefore take note of this decision with regret. This creates a new situation and will entail consequences both for the United Kingdom and for the EU. The Treaty of Lisbon sets out the procedures for the orderly departure of a Member State (article 50). Once the British Government has activated these procedures, we will stand ready to assist the institutions in the negotiations clarifying the future relationship between the EU and the UK.

    The British case is unique. But we must also acknowledge that support and passion for our common project has faded over the last decade in parts of our societies. Neither a simple call for more Europe nor a phase of mere reflection can be an adequate answer. To prevent the silent creeping erosion of our European project we have to be more focused on essentials and on meeting the concrete expectations of our citizens. We are convinced that it is not the existence of the Union that they object to but the way it functions. Our task is twofold: we have to strictly focus our joints efforts on those challenges that can only be addressed by common European answers, while leaving others to national or regional decision making and variation. And we must deliver better on those issues we have chosen to focus on.

    France and Germany remain most firmly of the belief that the European Union provides a unique and indispensable framework for the pursuit of freedom, prosperity and security in Europe, for shaping peaceful and mutually beneficial relationships amongst its people and for contributing to peace and stability in the world. Our two countries share a common destiny and a common set of values that provide the foundation for an ever closer union between our peoples. We will therefore move further towards political union in Europe and invite the other Europeans to join us in this endeavour.

    France and Germany recognise their responsibility to reinforce solidarity and cohesion within the European Union. To that end, we need to recognise that member states differ in their levels of ambition member state when it comes to the project of European integration. While not stepping back from what we have achieved, we have to find better ways of dealing with different levels of ambition so as to ensure that Europe delivers better on the expectations of all European citizens.

    We believe the EU can and needs to develop common answers to today’s challenges abroad and at home. In a context of rising global challenges and opportunities, we see the European Union as more necessary than ever and as the only framework capable of providing appropriate collective answers to the changing international environment. France and Germany will therefore promote a more coherent and a more assertive Europe on the world stage. To deliver better, Europe must focus on today’s main challenges – ensure the security of our citizens confronted with growing external and internal threats; establish a stable cooperative framework for dealing with migration and refugee flows; boost the European economy by promoting convergence and sustainable and job-creating growth and advancing towards the completion of the Economic and Monetary Union.

    We are seeing the European Union being severely put to the test. It is challenged by a series of crises in its southern and eastern environment. It is recovering slowly on the path of economic growth. Looking back at the history of the European edifice, we strongly believe in the strength of the EU and its ability to overcome these situations. But something is new in these critical times, namely the perception that these crises jeopardise the very fabric of our societies, our values, our way of life. We see terrorists attempting to spread fear and division in our societies. We have to face increasingly interwoven internal and external challenges. We see the need to preserve the combination of growth, competitiveness and social cohesion which lies at the heart of our European model, while preserving our common values both internally and vis-à-vis the outside world.

    We know there are no quick solutions to these very demanding problems. But we are determined to address them, working to deal with current challenges while remaining focused on important long-term issues. In this spirit, we have agreed on the following proposals.
    A European Security Compact

    The EU has to face a deteriorating security environment and an unprecedented level of threat. External crises have become more numerous, closer to Europe – both east and south of its borders – and more likely to have immediate consequences for European territory and the security of EU citizens. Power politics are back on the world stage and conflict is being imported into our continent. The terrorist threat is growing, feeding on complex networks in and outside Europe and stemming from crisis zones and unstable, war-torn regions all over the world. Europe’s role as a credible force for peace is more important than ever.

    The security of EU member states is deeply interconnected, as these threats now affect the continent as a whole: any threat to one member state is also a threat to others. We therefore regard our security as one and indivisible. We consider the European Union and the European security order to be part of our core interests and will safeguard them in any circumstances.

    In this context, France and Germany recommit to a shared vision of Europe as a security union, based on solidarity and mutual assistance between member states in support of common security and defence policy. Providing security for Europe as well as contributing to peace and stability globally is at the heart of the European project.

    We see the EU as a key power in its neighbourhood but also as an actor for peace and stability with global reach. An actor able to make a decisive contribution to tackling global challenges and to support a rules-based international order underpinned by strategic stability, based on a peaceful balance of interests. We have considerable achievements that deserve recognition and can provide inspiration. The historic agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme was only possible because of the EU’s determined and persistent commitment. European engagement in the Minsk process has helped to contain a military confrontation in eastern Ukraine that could have easily spiralled out of control. Our diplomatic efforts have paved the way for a political settlement to the conflict which we will continue to pursue. In Libya, we support the emerging government of national accord endeavouring to address the risks posed by state fragility and instability in the Southern Mediterranean. Beyond the crises, we are convinced that Africa needs also a continuous commitment, being a continent of great challenges and opportunities.

    One of the main features of today’s security environment is the interdependence between internal and external security, since the most dangerous and destabilising risks emanate from the interaction between external threats and internal weaknesses. To respond to this challenge, Germany and France propose a European Security Compact which encompasses all aspects of security and defence dealt with at the European level and thus delivers on the EU’s promise to strengthen security for its citizens.

    A first step is to share a common analysis of our strategic environment and common understanding of our interests. France and Germany propose that the EU conduct regular reviews of its strategic environment, to be submitted and discussed at the Foreign Affairs Council and at the European Council. These reviews will be supported by an independent situation assessment capability, based on the EU intelligence and situation centre and expertise from outside European institutions, with production of strategic and intelligence analysis approved at European level.

    - On the basis of this common understanding, the European Union should establish agreed strategic priorities for its foreign and security policy, in accordance with European interests.

    - The European Union Global Strategy is a first step in that direction. But we need to push further: on a more contested and competitive international scene, France and Germany will promote the EU as an independent and global actor able to leverage its unique array of expertise and tools, civilian and military, in order to defend and promote the interests of its citizens. France and Germany will promote integrated EU foreign and security policy bringing together all EU policy instruments.

    - The EU will need to take action more often in order to manage crises that directly affect its own security. We therefore need stronger and more flexible crisis prevention and crisis management capabilities. The EU should be able to plan and conduct civil and military operations more effectively, with the support of a permanent civil-military chain of command. The EU should be able to rely on employable high-readiness forces and provide common financing for its operations. Within the framework of the EU, member states willing to establish permanent structured cooperation in the field of defence or to push ahead to launch operations should be able to do so in a flexible manner. If needed, EU member states should consider establishing standing maritime forces or acquiring EU-owned capabilities in other key areas.

    - In order to live up to the growing security challenges, Europeans need to step up their defence efforts. European member states should reaffirm and abide by the commitments made collectively on defence budgets and the portion of spending dedicated to the procurement of equipment and to research and technology (R&T). Within the EU, France and Germany propose the establishment of a European semester on defence capabilities. Through this process, the EU will support efforts by member states by ensuring the coherence of defence and capability-building processes and encourage member states to discuss the priorities of their respective military spending plans. The establishment of a European defence research programme will support an innovative European industry.

    - The European Union must invest more in preventing conflict, in promoting human security and in stabilising its neighbourhood and regions affected by crisis all over the world. The EU should help its partners and neighbours develop their capacity and governance structures, to strengthen their crisis resilience and their ability to prevent and control emerging crisis as well as terrorist threats. France and Germany will conduct joint initiatives in stabilisation, development and reconstruction in Syria and Iraq when the situation allows. Together, France and Germany will strengthen their civilian crisis management tools and reaffirm their commitment to support and sustain political processes of conflict resolution.

    - In order to ensure our internal security, the immediate challenges are primarily operational. The objectives are to implement and monitor EU decisions and make the best use of existing frameworks: PNR; Europol and its counterterrorism centre; the fight against terrorist financing; and EU action plans against trafficking of weapons and explosives. A special emphasis should be put on strengthening transport safety. We want also to increase our dialogue and cooperation with third countries in North Africa, the Sahel strip, the Lake Chad Basin, West Africa, the horn of Africa and the Middle East, as well as regional and sub-regional organisations (African Union, G5).

    - In order to address the root causes of terrorism, France and Germany will develop a European platform to share experience and best practice in preventing and counteracting radicalisation.

    - In the medium term, we should work towards a more integrated approach for EU internal security, based on the following measures: creation of a European platform for intelligence cooperation, fully respecting national prerogatives and using the current frameworks (e.g. CTG); improvement of data exchange; European contingency planning for major crisis scenarios affecting several member states; creation of a European response capability; establishment of a European civil protection corps.

    - In the longer term, it would make sense to enlarge the scope of the European public prosecutor’s office in future (currently limited to prosecuting offenses concerning the EU’s financial interests) to include fighting terrorism and organised crime. This would require harmonisation of criminal law among the member states.

    In order to drive this effort, France and Germany propose that the European Council should meet once a year as a European Security Council, in order to address internal and external security and defence issues facing the EU. This European Security Council should be prepared by a meeting of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Interior Ministers.
    Common European asylum and migration policy

    Large-scale migration towards Europe will be the key challenge for Europe’s future.

    There shall be no unilateral national answers to the migration challenge, which is a truly European challenge of the 21th century. Our citizens expect that we firmly regain control on our external borders while preserving our European values. We have to act jointly to live up to this expectation. Germany and France are convinced that it is high time to work towards establishing truly integrated European asylum, refugee and migration policy. Given the urgency of the matter, we should not rule out the possibility of a group of member states that share a sense of common responsibility making progress on common policies.

    - Securing our external border is no longer exclusively a national task but also a common responsibility. We are determined that the EU should establish the world’s first multinational border and coast guard. In the short term, FRONTEX will be manned by mean of secondments from member states. France and Germany should propose a joint contribution to that end. Over the medium term FRONTEX should be scaled up not only in terms of having its own permanent staff but also with adequate technical equipment to fulfil this task.

    - We also propose the creation of a European ESTA for visa-exempt third country nationals as a useful instrument to reinforce our borders and security.

    - It is our common duty to protect those fleeing from war or political persecution. In our efforts we strive to allow refugees to find shelter as close to their homeland as possible.

    - Asylum seekers reaching Europe have a right to be treated according to the Geneva Convention no matter where they reach our shores. To this end we must further harmonise and simplify our standards and procedures in specific areas. We shall stand ready to grant EU support for the establishment of efficient asylum systems where needed. Over the medium term the European Asylum Office should be transformed into a European Asylum Agency to support this process of standardisation and host joint databases to prevent the misuse of differences in standards as well as multiple registrations and discourage secondary movements. This European Asylum Agency would help reinforce convergence in the way applications for international protection are assessed, with due regard to the Dublin basic principles such as the responsibility of the member state of first entry to deal with an asylum application.

    - Solidarity remains a cornerstone of our European project. Citizens expect that the benefits and burdens of EU membership be evenly shared among member states. A situation in which the burden of migration is unevenly carried by a limited number of member states is unsustainable. As a first step, the Dublin system has to be improved to deal with exceptional circumstances by means of a permanent and binding mechanism which foresees burden sharing among all member states. If necessary, Germany and France stand ready to proceed on this matter with a group of like-minded partners.

    - The EU must find a common answer to the rising number of migrants seeking to enter the EU for economic reasons. The asylum system is a misleading entry point for them to use. Europe should stay open to what migration and mobility can contribute to our societies in the fields of the economy, culture and diversity. We need to work towards a European Immigration Act that clearly states what the legal options are when it comes to working in Europe, taking into account the different states of national labour markets in the EU. At the same time, we have to improve EU tools and support in the field of return policy, underpinned by EU funds to finance the deportation of those who entered the EU illegally.

    - In our relations with key countries of origin and transit, we will work to reduce push factors for irregular migration, for example by generating economic and social opportunities, particularly for young people. We expect constructive cooperation in crucial fields such as return and readmission, border management and control and the fight against migrant smuggling. Germany and France have already held high-level migration dialogues with a number of African states on behalf of the EU and will extend this dialogue to other countries. Root causes of migration, such as poverty, lack of security and political instability should also be addressed by the EU.

    Finally, hosting and, in some cases, integrating refugees and migrants poses a challenge to all European societies that must be dealt with in a spirit of responsibility and solidarity. Germany and France do not share the same historical experience of immigration and integration but are committed to learning from each other. Through dialogue, exchange and cooperation, we intend to foster a more objective debate about the challenges and opportunities of immigration and integration for our societies. We hope thus to use the lessons we have learned to benefit other European states that are confronted with similar challenges.
    Fostering growth and completing the Economic and Monetary Union

    To this day, our common currency constitutes the most visible and ambitious undertaking of European unification. The euro has helped protect its member states from international speculation and contributed to building a common economic area. The euro reflects our commitment to the irreversibility of European integration.

    However, we must admit that the crisis and its aftermath have shown up deficiencies that make citizens question whether the common currency delivers on its promises and even casts doubt on the sustainability of the project itself. We therefore intend to proceed on three fronts simultaneously: strengthening economic convergence, enhancing social justice and democratic accountability and improving shock resistance to safeguard the irreversibility of the euro. France and Germany have always seen it as their major responsibility to build a robust Eurozone able to assert its model in a more and more competitive world.

    We believe we urgently need to revive this spirit to carry the debate forward. And it is the responsibility of our two countries to bilaterally proceed beyond that. We have to acknowledge that the requirements of membership and the fiscal implications stemming from the common currency have been higher than one could have expected when the euro was founded. We must therefore respect the wish of others to decide on their own when to join the euro.

    - To overcome the crisis, the euro area has to enter into a renewed phase of economic convergence. To this end, France and Germany will shoulder the main responsibility of organising a process of economic convergence and political governance which balances obligations and solidarity to accompany the process. Surplus and deficit countries will have to move, as a one-sided alignment is politically unfeasible.

    - Growth potential has been severely hampered by the crisis. Europe urgently needs to unlock the untapped potential inherent in the completion of the single market in specific sectors of strategic interest. France and Germany remain committed to bilateral initiatives to rapidly harmonise regulation and oversight as well as corporate tax schemes. To unlock growth and to increase the productivity of the European economy, a renewed effort for more investment, both private and public, is necessary. France and Germany reiterate their commitment to structural reforms to attract international investment and to further enhance the competiveness of their economies.

    - In that respect, specific initiatives should be taken in order to foster growth and convergence between member states in strategic sectors such as energy, the digital sector, research and innovation or professional training. In the short term, common targets could be set, linked to regulatory objectives and investment means based on the amplification of the European Fund for Strategic Investment. Over the medium term, those strategic sectors should evolve towards a common regulatory framework and even a shared supervisory authority, and benefit from a structured European investment capability to foster convergence through cross-border investment. Bilateral initiatives by Germany and France should be undertaken within that framework.

    - The current architecture of the euro is not sufficiently resilient to external shocks or internal imbalances. Leaving the EMU incomplete jeopardises the survival of our common currency in the long term. Completing the EMU will involve the continuous intensification of political governance as well as fiscal burden sharing. In light of existing imbalances a deepening of the EMU will not come as a big bang but as the result of a pragmatic and gradual evolution taking into account the necessary results in terms of growth and employment. These results are indispensable to reinforce confidence in the European Union among member states and citizens and create the appropriate political conditions for new steps of integration towards completing the EMU.

    - We should acknowledge that EMU member states share different traditions of economic policy making, which have to be balanced out for the euro to function properly. A future architecture of the euro will neither be solely rules based nor prone to mere political decision making nor will it be steered exclusively by market forces. Every step in deepening the EMU will encompass all of these aspects.

    - Since economic policy-making in the EMU is increasingly a domain of shared decisions, citizens rightly expect to regain control via supranational institutions accountable to them. In the short term a full time president of the Eurogroup should be accountable to a Eurozone subcommittee in the European Parliament. In the longer term, the Eurogroup and its president should be accountable to a parliamentary body comprising members of the European Parliament with the participation of members of national parliaments. This chamber should have full authority on any matters regarding fiscal and macroeconomic oversight.

    - In this context we should develop the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) into a fully-fledged European Monetary Fund subject to parliamentary control.

    - A fiscal capacity – a common feature of any successful monetary union around the globe – remains a missing keystone in the EMU architecture. In the long run it should provide macroeconomic stabilisation at the eurozone level while avoiding permanent unidirectional transfers. Whereas these capabilities should be built up over time and in line with progress on common decision making regarding fiscal and economic policy, it should start by 2018 at the latest to support investment in the member states most severely hit by the crisis. Germany and France should form a group prepared to lead on this matter.

    - Public support for the euro is undermined by a lack of progress on its social dimension and fair taxation among its member states. Hence, as a general principle, any step to further deepen the EMU should be accompanied by progress in the field of common taxation, in particular with regard to transnational corporations, as well as the development of a social union underpinned by common social minimum standards.

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    Last edited by troung; 28 Jun 16, at 04:01.
    To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

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    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    03 Aug 03
    Has Britain avoided a ‘European superstate’? France and Germany ‘draw up plans to morph EU countries into one with control over members’ armies and economies’

    France and Germany reported to have drawn up 'superstate plan'
    It would mean members give up armies and economic power to the EU
    Report 'leaked' in Poland where it has been branded 'not the solution'
    Leaders of Germany, France and Italy said EU was 'indispensable' tonight

    By Joseph Curtis For Mailonline

    Published: 15:22 EST, 27 June 2016 | Updated: 19:42 EST, 27 June 2016

    Plans for 'a closer European Union' have been branded an attempt to create a 'European superstate'.

    Germany's foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault today presented a proposal for closer EU integration based on three key areas - internal and external security, the migrant crisis, and economic cooperation.

    But the plans have been described as an 'ultimatum' in Poland, with claims it would mean countries transfer their armies, economic systems and border controls to the EU.
    Foreign ministers of France and Germany are said to have drawn up a blueprint for a 'European superstate' as leaders Francois Hollande (left) and Angela Merkel (centre) met with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi (right) tonight for crisis talks after the Brexit vote

    Foreign ministers of France and Germany are said to have drawn up a blueprint for a 'European superstate' as leaders Francois Hollande (left) and Angela Merkel (centre) met with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi (right) tonight for crisis talks after the Brexit vote
    The plans have been 'leaked' to a Polish television channel and the country's foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski, pictured, is said to be 'outraged'

    The plans have been 'leaked' to a Polish television channel and the country's foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski, pictured, is said to be 'outraged'

    Zaoralek added that the four eastern members had reservations about the proposed common security policy.

    Eastern members have become increasingly jittery on security issues since Moscow used so-called "hybrid warfare", or undeclared covert tactics - to annex the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.

    Poland's public TVP described the Franco-German proposal as an "ultimatum" designed to create a European "superstate dominated by large nations."

    Ayrault described the Franco-German proposal as a "contribution", adding that there would be "others".

    According to the Daily Express, the nine-page report has 'outraged' its foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski.

    He said: 'This is not a good solution, of course, because from the time the EU was invented a lot has changed.

    'The mood in European societies is different. Europe and our voters do not want to give the Union over into the hands of technocrats.'

    The Express reports the document says France and Germany will 'strive for a political union in Europe' and 'invite the next Europeans to participate'.

    It comes after the UK voted to leave the EU in a landmark referendum last week, causing shockwaves across Europe.

    The result has prompted right-wing European parties in France and Eastern Europe to suggest similar votes, with the EU criticised for its 'federalism' and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker blamed for Brexit within the organisation.

    In a joint statement tonight the leaders of Germany, France and Italy say the European Union 'must dedicate itself to the worries expressed by its citizens.'

    In their statement Monday, the three leaders said that the EU is a success and that the bloc is indispensable in securing 'the economic and social progress for our people, and to assert Europe's role in the world.'

    But German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Hollande and Italian Premier Matteo Renzi acknowledged that the EU can only advance if it is supported by its people.
    To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

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    05 Sep 06
    The "first multinational border and coast guard" has been in the making for quite a while; it was first talked about in 2014, but only became a solid idea during the refugee crisis last year. As hashed out, it's mostly about equipping FRONTEX with an own procurement budget and its own personnel.

    And give them the right to take action against illegal border crossings uncurtailed by a member state, which is mostly aimed against Greece; that is not all that published right now. The new joint analysis center that can intervene in such cases will have representatives of all EU nations, but will be able to decide with a qualified majority*.

    Proposal synopsis:
    Proposal in more detail:
    Official press release:

    * a qualified majority is defined by the EU as a certain amount of states - currently 15 or 20 - representing at least 325 million people (285 in the future). For the decision on establishing this the 20 number probably applied.
    Last edited by kato; 28 Jun 16, at 18:13.

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    05 Sep 06
    Timeline of what happened on the topic of this thread from exactly the day when the opening post was made:
    Europe as a stronger global actor

    The possibility of a common defence policy is enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty's Article 42. In his 2016 State of the Union speech, Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker proposed a number of initiatives in defence, including the creation of a European Defence Fund (EDF), a single headquarters for operations, the implementation of permanent structured cooperation and a move towards common military assets. He insisted on full complementarity with NATO.

    On 28 June 2016 the HR/VP Federica Mogherini presented the global strategy for the EU’s foreign and security policy (EUGS). On 14 November 2016, the HR/VP presented the implementation plan on security and defence to the Council. On 15 November 2016, the HR/VP and NATO's Secretary-General presented their package of 42 proposals for the implementation of the joint EU-NATO declaration, signed in Warsaw in July 2016. On 30 November 2016 the Commission submitted a communication on the European Defence Action Plan to the Council and the European Parliament (EP). These three initiatives are known as the Defence Package.

    On 7 June 2017 the Commission presented a Communication on launching the European Defence Fund and an accompanying Proposal for a Regulation establishing the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP). On 13 June 2018 it submitted a proposal for a Regulation establishing the EDF.

    On 28 March 2018 the Commission presented an Action Plan to improve military mobility within and beyond the European Union. This Action Plan identifies a series of operational measures to tackle physical, procedural or regulatory barriers which hamper military mobility.

    On 14 November 2016, the Council welcomed the implementation plan on security and defence and reiterated its call to deepen European defence cooperation. On 6 December 2016, the Council and the NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs endorsed the proposals for the implementation of the EU-NATO Joint Declaration.

    The European Council welcomed and endorsed all three elements of the defence package on 15 December and called for comprehensive follow-up.

    On 6 March 2017 the Council approved a concept note on the operational planning and conduct capabilities for CSDP missions and operations, including the establishment of a military planning and conduct capability (MPCC). On 8 June 2017, the Council adopted the decision establishing the MPCC within the EU military staff (EUMS).

    On 18 May 2017 the Council welcomed the progress made in EU-NATO cooperation. It provided guidance for further work in deepening defence cooperation, including permanent structured cooperation (PESCO), the possibility of a voluntary coordinated annual review on defence (CARD) and the EDAP.

    On 19 June 2017 the Council welcomed the progress made in implementation of the common set of proposals (42 actions) agreed by the EU and NATO.

    The European Council of June 2017 agreed on the need to launch PESCO. It also agreed that the deployment of Battlegroups should be borne as a common cost by the EU-managed Athena mechanism on a permanent basis. It urged the Council to speed up work on civilian crisis management.

    On 19 October 2017 the European Council welcomed progress on PESCO, on the EDIDP, the EDF and CARD.

    On 13 November 2017, the Council welcomed the common notification by 23 Member States on their intention to participate in PESCO; the progress on the implementation of the EDF;the launch of the trial run of the CARD; and the presentation of the Joint Communication on Military Mobility. PESCO was launched by 25 Member States on 11 December 2017 and welcomed by the European Council on 14 December. E

    On 6 March 2018, the Council – meeting for the first time in 'PESCO' format – formally adopted the list of projects to be developed and a roadmap for the implementation of PESCO. The HR/VP presented to the Council her initiative on a proposal for an off-EU budget European Peace Facility.

    On 28 May 2018 the Council adopted conclusions on strengthening civilian CSDP. On 25 June it welcomed the Commission's proposals on security and defence in the framework of the next MFF and adopted conclusions on PESCO, CARD, the EDF, Military Mobility, the European Peace Facility, hybrid threats and various aspects of CSDP. On 28 June the European Council welcomed progress in security and defence and invited the Council to decide on the conditions for third State participation in PESCO projects. On 10 July the EU and NATO signed the second Joint Declaration on EU-NATO cooperation.

    On 5 October 2018, the Council adopted a recommendation defining the different stages in completion of the most binding commitments taken as part of PESCO and determining more specific objectives. The recommendation will be re-examined and updated, where necessary, in 2021.

    On 19 November 2018 the Council adopted important conclusions on security and defence in the context of the EU Global Strategy. It welcomed the establishment of a civilian CSDP compact; agreed to further strengthen the role of the MPCC with the objective to to be ready by the end of 2020 to also take responsibility for the operational planning and conduct of one executive military CSDP operation, limited to EU battlegroup size; it adoptes a list of 17 new PESCO projects; it agreed to lauch the CARD as a standinng activity and welcomed the implementation of efforts to improve military mobility. It also adopted its position on the European Defence Fund and took note of the proposal by the HR/VP for a European Peace Facility, inviting the relevant bodies to take this work forwards. Finally, it welcomed the second EU-NATO Joint Declaration. On 14 December 2018 the European Council welcomed the progress made in the area of security and defence and endorsed the Civilian CSDP Compact.

    On 14 May 2019 the Council (FAC in Defence format) noted progress in increasing defence budgets and investments and in Member States' regular usage of EU tools such as the CDP, CARD and EDIDP. The Council adopted a recommendation assessing the progress made by participating member states to fulfil commitments undertaken in the framework of PESCO. It also discussed EU-NATO cooperation, in particular countering hybrid threats.

    On 17 June 2019 the Council called for a coherent and output-oriented implementation of the various EU defence initiatives as well as increasing synergies between them. It noted that it looks forward to the completion of the review pf the Athena mechanism. It called for more work, including in collective threat assessment. The Council called upon the EEAS and Commission to produce concrete deliverables on the Civilian CSDP Compact by the Annual Review Conference; and for the advancement of aspects of military mobility by the end of 2019.

    The European Parliament (EP) has called for an effective and ambitious European foreign and security policy based 'on a shared vision of key European interests'. On 22 November 2016, the EP adopted a resolution which calls on the HR/VP to produce an EU security and defence white paper to be based on the EUGS. The resolution encourages the European Council to lead the progressive framing of the EDU, with a view to its establishment under the EU's next multiannual political and financial framework (MFF).

    On 14 December 2016 Parliament re-emphasised that the EU must strengthen its security and defence capabilities and expressed support for all related initiatives, including the setting up of a defence configuration of the Council and the activation of PESCO. On 16 March 2017 the EP urged the Council to take steps towards the harmonisation and standardisation of the European armed forces. It called on the Council and the HR/VP to elaborate an EU White Book on security and defence.

    On 13 December 2017 the EP welcomed PESCO. It urged the Member States to commit themselves to a common and autonomous European defence, and to aim to ensure that their national defence budgets amount to at least 2 % of GDP within a decade. It added that a common cyber defence policy should be one of the first building blocks of EDU, within the PESCO framework, and called for the establishment of a DG Defence in the Commission.

    On 13 June 2018 the EP adopted a resolution on EU-NATO relations where it stressed that "certain EU Member States’ non-membership of NATO should mean that they have different EDU obligations" and that EU Member States should be capable of launching autonomous military missions where EU action is more appropriate. On the same day Parliament also adopted a resolution on cyber defence. On 3 July 2018 Parliament adopted a legislative resolution on the proposal for a regulation establishing the European Defence Industrial Development Programme aiming at supporting the competitiveness and innovative capacity of the EU defence industry. In December 2018 the EP adopted a resolution on military mobility in which it expressed its support for the initiative and for EU-NATO cooperation. In its annual resolution on the implementation of the CSDP, the Parliament welcomed the progress in all areas of security and defence and underlined, among other things, the need for a stronger parliamentary dimension, including oversight, of security and defence policy, among other thingd through a fully-fledged Committee on Security and Defence, complemented by joint interparliamentary meetings between representatives from national parliaments and MEPs. In February 2018 the EP welcomes PESCO, CARD and the EDF as important steps towards a common defence policy, and noted proposals by certain Member States for an EU Security Council and a European Intervention Initiative. It recalled its call for the establishment of a permanent Council of Defence Ministers underlined the importance of appropriate democratic accountability of decisions taken in the area of defence and the need for reinforced cooperation between the EP and national parliaments in this regard. On 28 March the EP adopted a resolution supporting the European Peace Facility and on 18 April 2019, Parliament adopted the partial agreement on the European Defence Fund.


    Council, Council conclusions on security and defence in the context of the EU Global Strategy, 17 June 2019.
    Council, Recommendation on PESCO progress, 14 May 2019.
    Council, Outcome of the Council Meeting, 13 and 14 May 2019.
    EDA, 23 Member States sign new military mobility programme, 14 May 2019.
    European Parliament, Legislative resolution on the European Defence Fund, 18 April 2019.
    European Parliament, Resolution of 28 March 2019 on the European Peace Facility.
    European Parliament, Resolution of 13 February 2019 on the state of the debate on the future of Europe.
    European Parliament,Resolution of 12 December 2018 on the annual report on the implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy, P8_TA(2018)0514.
    Council, European Council Conclusions, 13-14 December 2018, EUCO 17/18.
    Council, Council conclusions on Security and Defence in the context of the EU Global Strategy, 19 November 2018.
    Council, European Council Conclusions, 28 June 2018, 421/18.
    Council, Council Conclusions on Security and Defence in the context of the EU Global Strategy, 25 June 2018, 10246/18.
    European Commission, Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Defence Fund, 2018/0254 (COD).

    Further reading:

    EPRS, EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Security and defence, Briefing, February 2019.

    For further information: Elena Lazarou,

    As of 20 July 2019

    The above mentions the European Parliament calling for the establishment of a Directorate-General Defence. This has been mulled for a while, and currently looks very likely to be established before the end of the year as the next step.
    As for what that means, read this:

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