By / March 21, 2019

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Security and defence [Policy Podcast]

Security and defence policy in the European Union is predominantly a competence of the Member States. At the same time, a common security and defence policy, which could progressively lead to a European defence union, is enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty.

© niyazz / Fotolia

Written by Elena Lazarou,

Soldiers shaking hands with flag on background - European Union
© niyazz / Fotolia

Security and defence policy in the European Union is predominantly a competence of the Member States. At the same time, a common security and defence policy, which could progressively lead to a European defence union, is enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty. Since 2016, there has been significant progress in that direction, with several initiatives in the area of security and defence having been proposed and initiated under the current mandate of the Commission and the European Parliament.

The idea that the European Union should deliver in the area of security and defence has become more and more popular with EU citizens. The crises in the EU’s eastern and southern neighbourhoods, such as the occupation of Crimea and conflicts in the Middle East, have created an environment of insecurity in which the EU is called upon to do more. Following the Council decision of 2013 and particularly since the launch of the EU global strategy in 2016, the EU had been working to respond to these needs predominantly by implementing in full the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty. In recent years, it has begun the implementation of ambitious initiatives in the area of security and defence, such as permanent structured cooperation (PESCO), the European defence action plan including a new defence fund to finance research and development of EU military capabilities, closer and more efficient cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a plan to facilitate military mobility within and across the EU, and a revision of the financing of its civilian and military missions and operations to make them more effective.

These new initiatives are illustrated in the relevant proposals in the new multiannual financial framework (2021-2027) and the accompanying off-budget instruments. Given EU leaders’ current support for further initiatives in EU security and defence policy, important debates are likely to take place in future on the possible progressive framing of a European defence union.


Read this complete briefing on ‘EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Security and defence‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.



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Comments
  • Hello Elena, I just stumbled over your article ‘https://what-europe-does-for-me.eu/data/pdf/focus/focus08_en.pdf’ where in you state “such as the occupation of Crimea” as to my Knowledge there was a vote of the citizens of Crimea. Why do you claim it was an occupation? If you want to be believable you should refrain from Propaganda…

    in expectation of a short comment
    greetings Melchior von der Decken

    • Dear Mel,

      As stated by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, and most recently by Commissioner Johannes Hahn the EU considers the annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation, which took place five years ago, illegal and “remains steadfast in its commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”. In addition “The European Union does not recognise the annexation and continues to condemn this violation of international law. The European Union remains committed to fully implementing its non-recognition policy”. The European Parliament in its resolution of 13 March 2014 on the invasion of Ukraine by Russia (2014/2627(RSP)):
      • Firmly condemns Russia’s act of aggression in invading Crimea, which is an inseparable part of Ukraine and recognised as such by the Russian Federation and by the international community; […]
      • Recalls that these actions are in clear breach of the UN Charter, the OSCE Helsinki Final Act, the Statute of the Council of Europe, the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, the 1997 Bilateral Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership, the 1997 Agreement on the Status and Conditions of the Presence of the Russian Black Sea Fleet on the Territory of Ukraine, and Russia’s international obligations;
      • Highlights the fact that the territorial integrity of Ukraine was guaranteed by Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom in the Budapest Memorandum signed with Ukraine, and points out that, according to the Ukrainian constitution, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea can only organise referendums on local matters and not on modifying the internationally recognised borders of Ukraine; stresses that a referendum on the issue of accession to the Russian Federation will therefore be considered illegitimate and illegal, as would any other referendum that contravened the Ukrainian constitution and international law; […].

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