Press Release

We call on EU countries to make sure Europe can protect itself

, 16.03.2017 - 12:19
Anaconda, polish helicopters

“Achieving common defence capabilities is now more necessary than ever. In an unpredictable international scenario, we need a common defence policy which reinforces unity, strategic autonomy and integration in order to promote peace and security inside the Union and in the world”, said Esteban González Pons MEP, Vice-Chairman of the EPP Group, commenting on the adoption of the Report on the implications of the Common Security and Defence Policy.

“It is time for the European Union to be able to defend and protect itself, to guarantee its values and the security of its citizens inside and outside the Union, without depending on others. The lack of progress on common defence depends more on the political will of the Member States than on legal considerations", he said. “What we ask in this Report is for more political commitment from Member States to use what we already have, such as their participation in the permanent structured cooperation mechanism, and in the creation of the European Integrated Forces, as foreseen in the Treaty”, he highlighted.

According to the Treaty, permanent structured cooperation gives the possibility to strengthen cooperation in military matters for countries which intensively develop their defence capacities and are able to deploy combat units or logistics for tasks such as peacekeeping operations within a period of 5 to 30 days, or longer. Those Member States who fulfil the criteria should therefore train their troops together, jointly develop their capabilities, and coordinate their equipment and infrastructure. At the same time, the EU budget funds should be available to finance this peacetime cooperation in areas like joint training and the education of soldiers, joint procurement and maintenance programmes, infrastructure or research and technology. The Report also calls on the Member States to make full use of the potential of the European Defence Agency (EDA) whose main goal is to help Member States develop their capabilities.

“In previous years, the European Defence Agency (EDA) lagged behind in its constitutional potential. In changing this old habit, parliamentarians are calling for a reform of the Agency which has to serve Member States better in improving their capabilities”, stressed Michael Gahler MEP, EPP Group Spokesman on defence and security.

“Member States permanently ignore that the funding of the administrative and operating expenditures for the EDA and permanent structured cooperation from the European Union budget is the only option under the Treaties. Because of these claims, we ask for a revision of the Council decision to set up the Agency, establish the permanent structured cooperation, and change the financial regulation for these purposes”, he said.

Both Members stressed that building the European Defence Union will mean optimising military capabilities as it will avoid duplicities, achieve more efficiency and important economic savings. “But particularly, it is an opportunity to boost the European project, and to decide the type of Union that we want for the near future", concluded González Pons.

Note to Editors
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 217 Members from 27 Member States

MEP Contacts

STR - Phone: +33 (0)3 88 175372 Fax: +33 (0)3 88 179372
Michael GAHLER
STR - Phone: +33 (0)3 88 175977 Fax: +33 (0)3 88 179977

Press Contacts

Lina Stenlund
Press Relations Legal and Home Affairs Working Group, Constitutional Affairs, Sweden; Communications Strategy; Afghanistan
Phone: +32 485 911 164
Agata Byczewska
Press Relations Foreign Affairs Working Group, Foreign Affairs, Security and Defence, ACP, Poland; Communications Strategy; Windhoek Dialogue
Phone: +32 473 841 093
Javier Jimenez Arbelo
Press Relations Fisheries, EuroLat, Spain
Phone: +32 475 48 04 46
Meike Bogdan
Press Relations International Trade, Culture and Education, Agriculture and Rural Development, Germany, Luxembourg
Phone: +32 473 850 507


Construction worker doing measuring
21.03.2018 - 15:09

Services e-card: EPP Group calls for holistic approach

Simplifying the provision of services for SMEs in the Single Market is one of the most important priorities of the EPP Group. However, the Commission...
EU puzzle
21.03.2018 - 12:30

Align European semester with national budget cycles

In order to better coordinate economic policies, the European Semester should be aligned with the budgetary calendars of national parliaments, say...
Tax evasion
21.03.2018 - 11:37

EPP Group wants to tax digital business where the user is

Commission initiative comes one week after Parliament's proposal to tax tech giants The EPP Group in the European Parliament welcomes today...
Enabling people from the Middle East and Africa to gain skills to help rebuild their countries
21.03.2018 - 11:30

Enabling people from the Middle East and Africa to gain skills to help rebuild their countries

Hungary’s government has given young Christians from Middle Eastern and African countries who lack access to high quality education the...

Highlights of the week

19.03.2018 - 23.03.2018
Attacks in Paris, France

Protecting the rights of victims of terrorism in the EU

22 March marks the 2-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks in Brussels. The Special Committee on Terrorism will organise two hearings on...
Nord Stream2

Making gas from outside the EU comply with Energy Union goals

The current Gas Directive will be updated to apply not only to the internal gas market in the EU, but also to gas pipelines that arrive in the EU...

Europe-wide rules on how to tax Facebook, Amazon & Co

The European Commission will make a formal law proposal for a digital tax on Wednesday. This comes one week after Parliament, on the initiative of...
Corien Wortmann-Kool MEP