COVID Pandemic a "wake-up call" for Europe, says Common Foreign and Security Policy report

The COVID-19 pandemic is a wake-up call for Europe, which needs a stronger, more united and more assertive foreign and security policy, MEPs highlighted in their annual report on the implementation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy, adopted on 20th January.

The EU has to be able to defend its interests and values and champion a rules-based international order that guarantees multilateralism, democracy and human rights, they say. To increase the effectiveness of the EU’s Foreign and Security Policy, MEPs call on member states to urgently consider whether decisions should be taken by majority and not unanimity, at least on human rights issues and sanctions.

In their annual report on the implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy, also adopted on 20th January, MEPs underline the vital need to intensify the EU’s efforts to be more strategically autonomous. They urge the Commission to present and implement an ambitious strategic work programme for the European Defence Fund designed to strengthen collaborative actions and cross-border cooperation throughout the EU as well as facilitate military mobility.

The Chair of the Security and Defence Subcommittee, Nathalie Loiseau (Renew, FR), welcomed the five-year extension of the New START Treaty between the new US administration and Russia. “The New START has been instrumental in upholding strategic stability and security in Europe and worldwide. By limiting strategic nuclear weapons in a verifiable manner, this bilateral arms control agreement introduces legally-binding constraints on the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals and provides clarity on the strategic arms held by both signatories. In this way, the Treaty helps prevent a new arms race and strategic instability”, she said.

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