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MEPs Call For EU To Push Ahead With Foreign Policy Commitments Amidst War In Ukraine

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MEPs are calling for the EU to push ahead with foreign policy commitments in response to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

In response to Russia’s war in Ukraine, MEPs are calling for the Versailles Declaration to be implemented more rapidly through a step-change in EU Foreign, Security and Defence policy. 

In a collection of recommendations adopted on Thursday, MEPs from the Foreign Affairs Committee set out their vision for the future of the EU’s Foreign, Security and Defence Policy, drawing on the deep and long-lasting geopolitical consequences of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. The recommendations will be presented to EU member states and Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell. 

MEPs are demanding for genuine progress to be made in the implementation of a roadmap recently agreed upon by EU Heads of State or Government, as set out in the Versailles Declaration and the European Council’s conclusions of 24th and 25th March.

While they recognised that the Russian invasion of Ukraine threatens the foundations on which the global multilateral order on which the EU’s Foreign, Security and Defence policy is built, MEPs push for strengthened EU cooperation with like-minded partners around the globe, particularly NATO allies. 

This is needed in order to maintain the strongest possible unity in defence of the rules-based international order. 

In order to complement this cooperation, MEPs said that the EU’s strategic autonomy must also be an overarching aim of the EU’s Foreign, Security and Defence Policy. Such autonomy is crucial to be able to act alone when needed and with partners when possible, to weigh in on the international stage.

According to the MEPs, key factors to building such autonomy include investing in and developing credible military capabilities for enhancing the European defence system, counteracting economic coercion and ensuring other aims of strategic importance for the EU, including food sovereignty and reduced energy dependence. 

MEPs also said that if the EU wishes to cement its role as a capable actor, it must be ambitious in the field of defence and operationalise the proposed Rapid Deployment Capacity.

It also needs to do more to adapt to the ever-changing security environment, including strengthening its defences against cyber and hybrid attacks, introducing qualified majority voting in the Council to make certain foreign policy decisions easier, including when it comes to personal sanctions regimes, and make swift progress in establishing the EU’s Defence Union.

The recommendations also call on the EU to provide necessary weaponry to Ukraine in line with the needs expressed by the country’s authorities, without further delay. 

EPs want Ukraine to be granted EU candidate status as a clear political signal of solidarity with its people. Finally, they also support the investigation into war crimes committed in Ukraine, including by calling for a special United Nations Tribunal.

This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

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Amy is a university student with a keen interest in all things related to food, photography, press freedom, politics and justice. Send her any stories that might be of interest at [email protected]

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