Nato partners to be strengthened

BBC World Service We need a European military… but that should not happen automatically. Instead, it should become part of the political, economic and social architecture of Europe European Parliament The European Parliament has…

Nato partners to be strengthened

BBC World Service

We need a European military… but that should not happen automatically. Instead, it should become part of the political, economic and social architecture of Europe

European Parliament The European Parliament has approved a new resolution recognising that the stability of the EU “is inextricably linked to the strength of our military-cultural union”. It was conceived to enable a closer integration of the members of Nato – but as doubts over security have cast doubt on Nato’s ability to act alone, the EU has stepped up its efforts. The European Parliament resolution calls for the European Union “to take action in international conflicts”, that cooperation is a “moral obligation” and that the EU is now “no longer an object but an actor in international affairs” – although the forces would not “be used without the consent of member states”. ‘Patrol mechanisms’ The parliament has given “greater priority” to the Nato-EU Conventional Deterrence Capability agreement, due to be signed by Nato secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi on 11 February, to replace the European defence guidelines agreed in 2008. It comes after a flare-up of conflicts in eastern and southern Europe and the declaration of a no-fly zone over parts of Libya by the US. European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said that her proposal to boost the European defence programme, known as ENPEP, would create a framework to address broader national security concerns by “emphasising (defence) measures as part of the EU’s overall foreign and security policy”. US intervention around the globe The new resolution also contains key aspects of the new US defence strategy unveiled in December, which calls for an increased role for NATO, leading to the “redefinition” of Nato, and its European allies taking on a more active role in the coalition against piracy. The European Parliament also endorses the US foreign policy directorate’s call for full EU participation in the US-led training mission in Afghanistan, and the reforms in the UN Security Council that have been recommended by the Security Council committee on illegal arms trade, including Russia. Three parties from the European Parliament – the Greens, the Eurosceptic UK Independence Party (UKIP) and the Socialists and Democrats, the second largest group in the assembly – had abstained from the vote to allow it to go ahead, but later endorsed the move. The resolution is non-binding, meaning that only member states are under a legal obligation to implement it. EU foreign ministers are due to discuss the new resolution at a meeting in Luxembourg next week. EUROPEAN ARMY Status provided by the EU

Plan to create new civilian and defence roles A two-year Nato summit in October 2009 will assess “the progress achieved” so far and “improve the coordination” of international military cooperation. Back 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next

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