Defence: MEPs push for more EU cooperation to better protect Europe

Published: 23 November 2016

Terrorism, hybrid threats and cyber- and energy insecurity leave EU countries no choice but to step up their security and defence cooperation efforts, thus paving the way to a European Defence Union, say MEPs in a resolution passed on Tuesday. They suggest devoting 2% of GDP to defence, establishing multinational forces and EU headquarters to plan and command crisis management operations, and enabling the EU to act where NATO is unwilling to do so.

“Our Union is not equipped to face overwhelming defence challenges. For almost 30 years, most of its member states have been cutting their defence budgets, leading to smaller armed forces. Cooperation among member states is occasional and Europe continues to rely heavily on NATO capabilities and on the US solidarity“, said rapporteur Urmas Paet (ALDE, ET), in the debate on Monday. He stressed that “the momentum to move towards a working European Defence Policy has come.”

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