Thursday, November 20, 2014

@ALDEParty Congress resolutions 2014 - European Defence

Never let it be said that there is no space for idealism in politics, and who better than LYMEC, the umbrella organisation for European young liberals, to supply some. There is, however, no shortage of people suspicious of anything that smacks of a 'European Army', and there are plenty of amendments either deleting the resolution in full or removing most of the content. I can't see this one surviving...

The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party convening in Lisbon, Portugal on 20-22 November 2014;

Considering that
  • Europe is facing internal and external threats to its peace and security. These include regional conflict, terrorism, weak democratic structures, human rights violations and economic instability;
  • security is the foundation of economic stability and democratic structures within and around the European Union;
  • the developments of international relations over the past decades have caused a shift in focus away from state-against-state aggression and threats to digital and fundamentalist threats;
  • contributing to a peaceful and stable world cannot only be achieved by 'soft power’, but requires a strong military for diplomatic leverage;
  • the efficiency of defence spending within the European Union is seriously limited due to the fragmentation of units and materials between Member States;

Noting that
  • many nations in Europe have a certain specialty in their military force;
  • Europe has to divide its attention between European interests and the obligations of the Member States within the NATO structure, with the addition of non-EU NATO-members (Iceland, Norway and Turkey), and non-NATO EU-members (Sweden, Finland, Austria, Ireland), for whom a special status must be created;
  • Military cooperation between Member States is taking place already, without European coordination;

Affirms that a European Defence Force must be created, and that it
  • shall include all European Union Member States, either as full or associated members;
  • shall not lead to a situation, in which Member States feel isolated or threatened;
  • shall be overseen by the European Parliament, European Commission and the European Council;
  • shall have commanders issuing orders to multi-national European units, without the prior agreement of Member States’ Ministries of Defence;
  • shall have one single military planning capacity and one single operational headquarters;
  • shall include land, naval, air and special tactical units with rapid response capabilities;
  • shall focus on strengthening the international rule of law, fighting conflicts, maintaining peace and fighting terrorism, both internally and externally;

Believes that
  • external and security policies can only contribute to a peaceful and stable world if supported by a credible military;
  • both the assets and the burden of the European Defence Force shall be pooled and shared between Member States;
  • European cooperation shall be prioritised over NATO cooperation.

  • European liberals to advocate the formation of a European Defence Force that operates in line with the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union;
  • members and member organisations to advocate expanding military cooperation between member organisations;
  • the formation of a European Defence Force to coordinate military units and materials, with a single operational headquarters and overseen by the European institutions.

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