2009/2057(INI)

Report on the annual report from the Council to the European Parliament on the main aspects and basic choices of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) in 2008, presented to the European Parliament in application of Part II, Section G, paragraph 43 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006

Procedure completed

2009/2057(INI) Report on the annual report from the Council to the European Parliament on the main aspects and basic choices of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) in 2008, presented to the European Parliament in application of Part II, Section G, paragraph 43 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006
RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead AFET ALBERTINI Gabriele (EPP) SEVERIN Adrian (S&D), DUFF Andrew (ALDE), BRANTNER Franziska Katharina (Verts/ALE), MEYER Willy (GUE/NGL)
Opinion BUDG NEYNSKY Nadezhda (EPP)
Lead committee dossier: AFET/7/00428
Legal Basis RoP 119-p1
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  • 2010/03/10 Text adopted by Parliament, single reading
    • T7-0060/2010 summary
    • Results of vote in Parliament
  • 2010/03/01 Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • 2010/03/01 Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • 2010/02/23 Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
  • 2010/01/12 Deadline Amendments
  • 2009/11/19 Committee draft report
  • 2009/10/19 Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
  • 2009/10/15 EP officialisation
  • 2009/06/05 Document attached to the procedure
    • 10665/2009 summary

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AmendmentsDossier
181 2009/2057(INI) Report on the annual report from the Council to the European Parliament on the main aspects and basic choices of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) in 2008, presented to the European Parliament in application of Part II, Section G, paragraph 43 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006
2010/01/15 AFET 181 amendments...
source: PE-431.075

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

2012-02-09
activities added
  • date
    2009-06-05
    docs
    • text
      • The Council presents its Annual report to the European Parliament on the main aspects and basic choices of the CFSP, in accordance with the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006). 

        In 2008, the work by and within the Council was underpinned by the review process of the implementation of the European Security Strategy (ESS). This report has been inspired by the ESS Implementation Report both in form and substance. Accordingly, and resonating with the EP suggestions, it takes a more strategic, theme-driven and streamlined approach than the CFSP reports of previous years. It does not intend to serve as an exhaustive catalogue of the Council's activities in 2008. Rather, this CFSP report highlights the main aspects and basic choices of the EU's foreign policy, illustrating those by selected examples from the foreign policy arena.

        The EU's global role in shaping international developments is underpinned by the unique set of instruments at its disposal. EU Special Representatives (EUSRs) and ESDP missions and operations have an important role in the CFSP/ESDP area. In 2008, eleven EUSRs under twelve mandates provided the EU with an active political presence in key countries and regions, acting as a "voice" and "face" for the EU and its policies. Thirteen ESDP missions and operations - three military operations and ten civilian missions - were being conducted on three continents. One new military operation and four new civilian missions were added to this array in 2008. The report looks at their contribution to the promotion of the CFSP objectives and priorities in the broader policy context.

        During the year 2008, the Council's action consisted of the following :

        1) Addressing threats and global challenges: the Council further advanced its continuous efforts to counter proliferation and terrorism, as well as to better address the security aspects emerging from climate change, and energy supply. Risks stemming from regional conflicts and fragile states, including piracy, and the economic crisis required a multi-faceted response in order to address the root causes of conflict and insecurity and to aim at lasting stabilisation.

        2) Building stability in Europe and beyond: the Council reaffirmed that the enlargement process, conducted on the basis of the renewed consensus approved by the European Council (December 2006) will continue to promote peace, democracy and stability on the continent. It confirmed the need for fair and rigorous conditionality, as well as the consolidation of commitments including its full support to the European perspective of the candidate and potential candidate countries. The European Council stressed the importance of regional cooperation and good neighbourly relations. Last year was crucial for affirming the EU's role as a key actor in tackling crisis and frozen conflicts in its neighbourhood. In particular, the August 2008 crisis in Georgia put the efficiency and coherence of EU's response to the test before the eyes of the world.

        3) Contribution to a more effective multilateral order: with the increasing complexity of challenges that the world faces today, solutions need to be sought primarily in a multilateral framework. The EU has strengthened partnerships in pursuit of that objective, working with the United Nations,

        NATO, OSCE and the Council of Europe, as well as engaging in other international coordination mechanisms.

        The protection of human rights has guided many CFSP activities in 2008 with the launch of several new human rights consultations and dialogues, continuing to attribute to human rights issues a solid place within the various frameworks of EU's relations with third countries, adopting new guidelines, and concretely advancing the human rights and gender agenda in the ESDP context.

        Moreover, the fight against impunity is one of the cornerstones of the EU's approach to building and maintaining lasting peace, international justice and rule of law. Hence, the EU support to the International Criminal Court (ICC) remained strong and firm and was mainstreamed across the EU's external policies.  The Council and the European Parliament put strong pressure on the Government of Sudan to cooperate on the two existing arrest warrants issued by the ICC in its pursuit of ending the impunity of the planners and perpetrators of the most horrific crimes committed in Darfur.

        4) Fostering partnerships across the world: the ESS Implementation Report stated that "globalisation is accelerating shifts in power". This can expose differences in values but can also be seen as an opportunity to establish or consolidate partnerships with the key actors on the global scene, based on shared interests and guided by our values (United States, Russia, China, India, Brazil, Japan, Africa, Asia, Gulf and Mediterranean, Western Balkans, Latin America and Caribbean).

        5) More effective, capable and coherent: work was pursued further to strengthen conflict sensitivity and the conflict prevention approach, develop the necessary capabilities and capacities and enhance coherence between the EU's various external policy instruments. The need for further capability development was acknowledged at the highest level when the European Council subscribed to the Council's declaration on strengthening capabilities. Throughout 2008, the EU on various occasions demonstrated its capacity to respond to international crises with speed, rigour and sensitivity to the complexities of the surrounding political and security conditions. If speed is what efficiency is measured against, EUMM Georgia was exemplary. If efficiency is a matter of numbers, we need to turn our attention to EULEX Kosovo, the largest civilian ESDP mission ever.

        With regard to financing, the 2008 CFSP budget amounted to EUR 285 million An overwhelming part of the funds was allocated to operations and actions related to civilian crisis management, in particular EULEX Kosovo (EUR 120 million), EUPOL Afghanistan (EUR 45 million) and EUMM Georgia (EUR 35 million). the Athena mechanism128 continued to administer the financing of certain common costs of

        ESDP operations having military or defence implications, pursuant to Article 28(3) TEU. The Athena mechanism continued to finance EUFOR ALTHEA in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a budget for common costs of almost EUR 30 million. It was also used to finance EUFOR Tchad/RCA, an operation with a budget for common costs of nearly EUR 120 million for 2008. The Athena mechanism is also being used to finance the common costs of EU NAVFOR Somalia - operation ATALANTA.

        Looking ahead for 2009: the report states that 2009 will continue to be a testing time in international affairs. In all these areas, the EU will continue to be guided by the approach described in the ESS, and its Implementation Report. European foreign policy seeks to build a more effective multilateral order, through a rules-based framework to address global problems such as human rights, international justice, proliferation, terrorism and climate change.

        Shared priorities: the US and Europe have a renewed opportunity to work together on the global agenda, with our key partners, including through the G20. Shared priorities include the Middle East Peace Process, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and climate change. In these and other areas, we will work in support of our common security and common values, including democracy and human rights. Closure of Guantanamo Bay will be an important symbolic step in this regard; reflection on concrete ways for the EU to support this process will be needed.

        Relations with Russia: the Georgia conflict and the recent gas crisis have left scars. But both sides should be open for discussions to move forward cooperation between Russia and the EU.  The EU is open to consider new ideas that may contribute to the enhancement of Euro-Atlantic security in a transparent process, bearing in mind that the OSCE is the natural forum for this debate. Debate on the future shape of European Security, launched by President Medvedev, is a part of this. Progress on a new agreement between the EU and Russia will also be key. We need Russia as a reliable partner both within our common neighbourhood and further afield.

        Balkans: the EU will continue to support the European perspective of the Western Balkans, which remains essential for the stability of the region. It will remain committed to playing a leading role in strengthening the stability of Kosovo and supporting its development.

        Eastern Partnership: the economic crisis has lent a new urgency to the establishment of the Eastern Partnership, to be launched at a summit meeting in May. The EU will continue to work with Ukraine in achieving greater political and economic stability. It is also open to closer ties with Belarus, and is ready to help in resolving the Transnistria conflict. The EU remains committed to securing a UN and OSCE presence in Georgia. Further eastwards, Central Asia is an increasingly important partner, in strengthening energy security by diversification of transport routes and supply, and in addressing common security challenges.

        Middle East: progress on the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP) is central to unlocking the wider vision of a comprehensive peace and stability for the region. The EU will continue to work in favour of peace talks on all outstanding issues in support of a two-state solution, including a viable and contiguous Palestinian state. The international community, including the EU, will continue to engage closely with the parties of the MEPP, and to support regional efforts such as the Arab Peace Initiative, with the aim of re-launching the peace process based on a the Road Map for Peace. A durable and negotiated truce following the Gaza conflict remains a priority. The EU remains ready to play a part in supporting the path to peace, including through an ESDP presence. The Union for the Mediterranean also provides a new opportunity to rebuild confidence leading to greater regional cohesion.

        Iran: 2009 will also be an important year in relations with Iran, perhaps a decisive one. The readiness of the new US Administration to engage directly with Iran adds a new dimension to the international community's efforts to resolve the nuclear question, and significantly enhances the potential incentives on offer if Iran chooses to negotiate. At the same time, Iran continues to enrich uranium and develop its nuclear programme. Thus, the need for a solution is becoming more acute just as the opportunity for one becomes greater. The EU will put all possible energy into a collective effort of the international community for successful negotiations. If the opportunities are taken, 2009 could be a turning point; if they are not taken, the consequences could be serious.

        Afghanistanand Pakistan: building stability in these two countries will remain a preoccupation with major implications for the wider region of South Asia and for Europe. The EU will strengthen its engagement in both, in particular through EUPOL Afghanistan and support for improved governance, as well as assistance in preparation of elections.

        Indiaand China: these countries are now both major partners in addressing regional and global problems, from proliferation to climate change. This engagement will focus on matters of mutual interest, but should address values too, including the field of human rights.

        Global governance: the system of global governance has come under strain on many fronts, in particular the challenges posed by the economic crisis, and needs renewal to restore legitimacy and effectiveness. The EU has a responsibility to lead the debate on how this can be done, in partnership with others, including the US, and the emerging global powers. Over the last decade, European foreign policy has increased in ambition but it is important to:

        • further improve capacity to act effectively, through more strategic decision-making, better coherence between r policies, and strengthened military and civilian capabilities. A single strategic civilian-military planning structure for ESDP operations and missions will be set up in the General Secretariat of the Council during 2009 as part of this effort;
        • address conflict and to tackle the conflict cycle in a more holistic way, through instruments such as early warning, strengthened dialogue and mediation capacities, security sector reform and demobilisation, disarmament and re-integration; 
        • improve our capability to deploy civilian personnel rapidly, provide more flexible mission support arrangements, and align ESDP engagements more closely with longer-term efforts at stabilisation and development led by the European Commission and international partners.
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    • The Committee on Foreign Affairs adopted the own-initiative report drawn up by Gabriele ALBERTINI (EPP, IT) on the annual report from the Council to the European Parliament on the main aspects and basic choices of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) in 2008, presented to the European Parliament in application of Part II, Section G, paragraph 43 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006.

      Divided into several parts, the report begins by calling on the Vice-President/High Representative (VP/HR) and her services to develop a coherent EU foreign policy strategy based on the objectives and principles established in Article 21 TEU. Such a strategy should clearly identify the common security interests of the EU and thereby serve as a reference framework for policy-making as well as for the formulation, financing, implementation and monitoring of the EU's external action. Members want Parliament's relevant bodies to be fully associated with such an endeavour, and they believe that the concepts of Human Security, and Responsibility to Protect should become two of its guiding principles.

      The Council's 2008 annual report on the CFSP: noting the improvements to the 2008 report, Members stresses that the scope of the report should not be limited simply to a description of CFSP activities but should provide the opportunity to establish a dialogue with the European Parliament aimed at developing a more strategic approach to the CFSP. They recommend that the annual CFSP report be turned into a yearly report discussing the implementation of the EU's foreign policy strategy, evaluating its effectiveness and outlining its future direction, with more references to the budgetary needs and financial impact of external actions in such reporting. They reiterate that in order to enhance the democratic legitimacy of the CFSP, Parliament's competent bodies should be more widely consulted.

      Implications of the Treaty of Lisbon: the committee welcomes the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, which provides the EU with tools for the further enhancement of its role and visibility on the international scene, and also welcome the role to be played by the Vice-President/High Representative in chairing the Foreign Affairs Council. It expects these new functions to consolidate inter-institutional contacts and foster a more stable dialogue between the institutions. It invites the Vice-President/High Representative to increase her appearances in Parliament. The committee is of the view that the merging of the inter-governmental and Community pillars and functions into one single post of the Vice-President/High Representative, who is subject to a collective vote of consent by the European Parliament, can increase the democratic legitimacy of CFSP activities provided a continuous strategic dialogue is established on an equal footing between Parliament, the Council and the Commission at all levels.

      Members underline that sufficient funds need to be allocated in the EU budget and regret that the relevant budget continues to be underfunded and they look forward to being fully involved in the procedures for granting rapid access to appropriations in the Union budget for urgent financing of CFSP initiatives. They reiterate their concerns about the lack of transparency as regards the financing of the common costs of EU operations having military or defence implications, since the Athena mechanism clearly does not afford an overview of all the financial implications of missions conducted under the CFSP. The report welcomes, therefore, the setting-up of the start-up fund under the new Treaty and asks to be consulted on its management, noting also that the setting-up and operation of the EEAS must preserve the European Parliament's rights of democratic and budgetary scrutiny. It stresses, furthermore, the need to establish greater clarity on the criteria for the appointment and evaluation of EU Special Representatives (EUSRs), calling for increased parliamentary scrutiny of, and control over, EUSR appointments and mandates. Members want to see a review and extension of existing inter-institutional agreements so as to ensure the smooth and efficient implementation of the budgetary, consultation and supervision procedures for the CFSP and the CSDP and to improve access to sensitive information. They express their determination to exercise budgetary power and democratic scrutiny with regard to the CFSP in connection with all institutional innovations.

      CFSP matters of a thematic nature: Members continue to be concerned about the security of energy supply and repeated gas crises such as the Russian-Ukrainian crisis of January 2009. They underline the need to prevent the energy dependency of the EU on third countries weakening the independence of EU foreign policy, and recall the urgent need implement a common European external energy policy. They want the VP/HR to promote EU cohesion in constructive dialogue with energy suppliers, especially with Russia and transit countries, by developing effective energy diplomacy and more efficient mechanisms for responding to crisis situations and, finally, by promoting the diversification of energy supplies, sustainable energy use and the development of renewable energy sources. Only a common EU approach could prevent any future shortcomings in the oil and gas supplies of the Member States and could increase the energy security of the EU as a whole. The committee believes that significant potential threats and conflicts arise from intensified competition over access to, and control of, natural resources, and consequently that the EU should further develop mitigation, adaptation and energy conservation policies. The EU must strengthen its leadership and further develop a dialogue with other key actors such as the emerging powers (China, Brazil, Russia, India), the United States and developing countries.

      Members express support for strengthening the United Nations system and according special importance to consolidating the Human Rights Council and abolishing the death penalty. They reiterate the importance of orderly migration management, the need to avert illegal immigration by promoting local development in the countries of origin and fighting criminal organisations that traffic in human beings.

      They go on to stress the importance of an adequate balance between civilian and military planning capabilities in the Council Secretariat and call for adequate staffing of the civilian component . Member States are urged to use the great opportunity provided by the EEAS to pool currently available resources in order to achieve a coherent, effective and efficient crisis management planning capability. Member States are asked to redouble their efforts to deploy sufficient numbers of suitable, qualified and gender-balanced personnel to take part in CSDP civilian and military endeavours and Members call, in this respect, for common training of the personnel of CSDP missions.

      The committee emphasises the need to intensify the EU's engagement in multilateral negotiations to reduce the salience of nuclear weapons, and reiterates the need for disarmament and strengthened international guarantees of non-proliferation. It calls the EU and its Member States to enhance their diplomatic efforts in order to achieve a successful revision of the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in May 2010. It also calls for the systematic inclusion of gender equality and women's empowerment in the EU's political dialogue and policy discussions with partner countries, and for the inclusion of human rights and good governance aspects in the mandates of EUSRs.

      In the second part of the report, Members set out their main priorities in the geographical areas. They recommend that the EU strengthen the political dialogue with third countries and regions, particularly with strategic partners with whom to coordinate positions in the international organisations and support and promote democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights. It calls on the Council, the Member States and the Vice-President/High Representative actively to seek peaceful solutions in international conflicts and to strengthen the EU's conflict prevention mechanisms. Other initiatives suggested include strengthening the role and impact of international organisations with the United Nations as the main guarantor of international peace and security. The committee considers it essential that the relevant EU delegations at the UN's headquarters in New York and Geneva be adequately equipped with means and staff It takes the view that the EU and NATO should develop a more intense and effective partnership, and recommends a review of the Berlin-Plus arrangements and the development of a more strategic dialogue on shared strategic interests. It urges the facilitation of broader practical cooperation on the ground at military or civilian level, in particular when both organisations operate in the same theatre of missions.

      EU foreign policy : committee position by geographical zone: Members conduct an analysis of their position by geographical area, and state as follows :

      • Transatlantic relations: Members call on the VP/HR to ensure that the EU acts as a coherent, active, equal and yet autonomous partner of the US. They want both partners, the EU and the US, to encourage China, India, Russia, Brazil and other emerging powers to share responsibility for the global order and for the prevention and peaceful settlement of conflicts in compliance with international law.
      • Western Balkans: stressing that the countries of the Western Balkans are part of the enlargement process, the committee considers that stability in the Western Balkans based on the rule of law should remain a top priority in the Union's external action. It welcomes the fact that the EULEX rule of law mission in Kosovo is working at full operational capacity and encourages the Council to continue its efforts, with the support of the international community, to pursue a dialogue with political leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
      • Eastern Partnership, Black Sea cooperation: the committee continues to support the development of the Eastern Partnership with the Union's European neighbours, and reiterates its view that the partnership needs to be provided with adequate financial resources. They call on the VP/HR to step up efforts to implement projects under the Black Sea Synergy. Taking note of the outcome of the presidential elections in Ukraine, it calls on all parties to contribute to the necessary political, economic and social stability in the country.
      • Russia: Members underline the need for a reinvigorated partnership with Russia, based on mutual respect and reciprocity, on the issues of the fight against terrorism, energy security and supply, climate change, disarmament, conflict prevention and nuclear non-proliferation. They look forward to speedy progress in the current negotiations on a new comprehensive agreement that is expected to substantially enhance EU-Russia relations.
      • South Caucuses: Members urge full implementation of the ceasefire agreement between the Russian Federation and Georgia and urge the Council to ensure that EU monitors are granted full access to all areas affected by the conflict including the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.  They call on the HR/VP to intensify the EU's efforts to work towards effective conflict prevention and peaceful settlement under international law of the conflicts in Nagorno-Karabakh and Transnistria, and recommend the setting-up of a Conference on Security and Cooperation in the South Caucasus, embracing the countries concerned and the relevant regional and global actors, with a view to developing a Stability Pact for the South Caucasus.
      • Middle East: the committee calls on the EU to assume a stronger political role in the ongoing international efforts to re-launch the Peace Process, commensurate with its financial engagement in supporting a Palestinian economic recovery and addressing the dramatic humanitarian crisis in Gaza. They welcome the Council's decision to extend the mandate of the EU Police Mission for the Palestinian Territories (EUPOL COPPS) until December 2010m and take note of the Council's decision to extend the mandate of the EU Border Assistance Mission in Rafah (EUBAM Rafah).
      • The Union for the Mediterranean: Members considers it important to intensify political dialogue among the members of the Union for the Mediterranean at all levels and hopes that the Union for the Mediterranean may contribute positively to the resolution of the conflicts in the Middle East, rapprochement between Turkey and Cyprus, and the democratic development of the Arab states.
      • Afghanistan/Pakistan: the committee calls on the Council, the Commission and the Swedish Presidency to make a concerted effort to implement the Action Plan without delay and before the end of 2009.  It urges the Council to make more progress towards full deployment of staff in EUPOL in order to establish sustainable and effective civilian policing arrangements capable of enhancing the security environment. Recognising that Pakistan continues to face very serious challenges, it  endorses the EU's firm support for a strong, secular and civilian government of Pakistan and reiterates that a stable, democratic and prosperous Pakistan is also central to addressing global issues such as counter-terrorism, nuclear non-proliferation, counter-narcotics and human rights.
      • Iran/Iraq: Members endorses the EU's commitment to supporting democracy in a unified, federal Iraq. They call for increased institutional interaction, particularly on economic issues, with the authorities of the Kurdish Regional Government. They call on the Commission to accelerate the activation of its own premises in Baghdad. On Iran, they express grave concern over the reported massive electoral fraud during the presidential elections of June 2009, as well as continuous stalemate in the negotiations over Iran's nuclear programme. They regret that the visit by the Iran delegation of the European Parliament in January 2010 has been cancelled by the Iranian authorities and condemn Iran's efforts to block freedom of information by jamming foreign broadcasts and the Internet. The committee calls on the Council and Commission to consider sanctions against individual members of the administration and the security services responsible for the widespread human rights violations.  
      • China/India: the committee remains gravely concerned about the lack of willingness on the part of the Chinese authorities to tackle numerous human rights violations and to ensure that the people enjoy basic rights and freedoms. They reaffirms strong support for strengthening the strategic relationship between the EU and India, and for exploring further ways to upgrade the relationship in areas of mutual interest in the economic, political, security and trade sectors. They also want to increase cooperation with ASEAN in several areas.
      • Africa: noting with satisfaction that EUNAVFOR Atalanta continues to make a successful contribution to maritime security off the coast of Somali, Members welcome the Council's decision to extend the mandate of the operation to 12 December 2010. They stress the need to integrate trained security forces into state and command structures so that, once they return, they will not turn against the government they are supposed to be protecting.
      • Latin America: the committee recalls once again its proposals for a global partnership and a common strategy for relations between the EU and Latin America with a view to the Vienna and Lima EU-LAC Summits in May 2010. It considers that a prompt signature of the Association Agreement with the Central American countries and of the Multilateral Agreement with the Andean Community countries, as well as the progress of negotiations on the Association Agreement with Mercosur, must be a priority.
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Report on the annual report from the Council to the European Parliament on the main aspects and basic choices of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) in 2008, presented to the European Parliament in application of Part II, Section G, paragraph 43 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006
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© European Union, 2011 – Source: European Parliament