Now or Never for Europe of Security and Defence

14.09.2016 7:52

Now or Never for Europe of Security and Defence

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Views expressed here are the views of the national delegation and do not always reflect the views of the group as a whole
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“Expectations have never been as high, before the State of the Union address by President Juncker and the subsequent European summit in Bratislava this week. The European Union has to bring forward a plan with common, concrete and ambitious actions. Faced with instability in our wider neighbourhood and with terrorism within our borders, Europe owes it to itself to create a fully-fledged Defence and Security Union. Confronted with these new threats, transnational and multifaceted, the right answer requires unprecedented measures that know no borders.

In the area of internal security, the EU has so far multiplied structures (ECTC, RAN, COTER, CP931), funds (from €5 mln. in 2002 to €100 mln. in 2009, to more than €150 mln. in 2015), and databases (SIS, Europol, PNR, Eurodac, EIS, Focal Point Travellers) in order to step up the fight against terrorism. Now, the priority is to make the sharing and using of this information mandatory and systematic, for all Member States. Even though some progress has been made recently, it is unacceptable that Europol only has records on 3/5ths of all foreign terrorist fighters, and that these data mostly come from 5 countries only. In the near future, we should bundle this information in a single European database, and merge all the European agencies into a single European security service.

In the area of defence, the traditional cooperation methods have also reached their limits. Whether our considerations are of budgetary, strategic or military nature, they all require us to pool part of our defence capacities. One figure illustrates this: with half of the expenses of the United States, Europeans achieve only 1/10th of their capacities. To have clout amidst other continental powers, the Union must speak with one voice on the international scene.

Security is everyone’s responsibility. Alone, no country will be able to face challenges of such a magnitude. That’s why I have been calling, for over 3 years, for a European army, a European CIA and a European Public Prosecutor. Many in the Commission and Parliament share my views. What are national leaders waiting for to start laying down their foundations? We have no more time to lose! National sovereignty and security demand more European unity and action.”

Note to editors

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 215 Members from 27 Member States

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