Category Archives: Activities

Euroopa eelarvepakett hakkab valmis saama

Martin SCHULZ - EP President meets with MEP Indrek TARAND
Martin SCHULZ – EP President meets with MEP Indrek TARAND

Euroopa tuleva aasta eelarve koostamine on täies hoos ja varsti esitatakse pakett ka liikmesriikide valitsustele läbirääkimiseks. Üks läbirääkijaist sai sel nädalal Europarlamendi presidendilt Martin Schulzilt teele kaasa käepigistuse ja väikesed õpetussõnad.

© European Union 2016 – European Parliament

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Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)

There has been much talk about when or if the European Union will start speaking with one voice internationally and in foreign affairs. A lot of things instantly come to mind – energy policy, Human Rights, multilateral trade agreements, military activity – the list goes on.

The EU is a global player, with its own economic and geopolitical interests. If the EU were to protect these interests, that are EU citizens’ interests, we have to be able to speak with one voice with our partners.

The European External Action Service was created with the Lisbon Treaty. Baroness Catherine Ashton was chosen as the first High Representative of this institution and of the EU’s foreign affairs. Hopefully she will not fail in her assignments to co-ordinate and stand for agreed positions of the Member States. Otherwise Europe’s international influence will fade indefinitely and the EU dissolve internally. Such a situation could then be characterised by an already existing anecdote – Hillary Clinton dials Cathy Ashton’s number. An answering machine picks up the phone. The following message is read out: “You have called the High Representative of the EU Foreign Affairs. Unfortunately our working day is finished. If you have a question and wish to know the position of France, dial 1; if you wish to know the position of Germany, dial 2”. And so on…

Hopefully the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) can help in avoiding this scenario. The Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) is also a part of this. There is already in place the Crisis Management and Planning Directorate (CMPD) that gives Members States and non Member States alike the chance to co-operate on different security related issues. The institution is also responsible for designing the EU’s political and strategic concepts regarding CSDP missions and operations. The latter is going to be the heart and basis for the EU’s External Action Service, concentrating on preventing and reacting on civilian crises (e.g. natural disasters) here and abroad.

In addition we have the European Defence Agency, whose assignment is to develop a functioning system to satisfy the needs of the CSDP. Also, it fosters EU co-operation on weaponry and defence equipment.
For more information, please read:

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About my activities


The European Parliament is directly elected institution, which represents about 500 million citizens and their interests which are of course very differing. The EP is in close co-operation with the European Commission and European Council; together they produce legislation on issues affecting our daily lives, for example environment protection, consumer rights, equality, transport and the free movement of people, capital and services. Not to mention human rights.

The subjects or topics I am engaged in are mainly connected to the committees and delegations I sit at, although these are rather close to my heart as well.

Among them is, for instance, Iceland, the country that 1st recognised the restoration of the independence of Estonia in 1991. Currently the negotiations on Iceland’s possible accession to the EU are being held. But does the small island-state itself event want to join? Recent polls have showed that people are rather sceptical, even the political groups in Althingi have been said to debate on the issue quite seriously. If Iceland were a Member State, its economic prospects might look better than they do currently in view of the so-called Icesave case, although the latter will not be tied to the negotiations. The EU on the other hand may have a stronger voice in the Arctic region. And this is a region that will attract very much attention in the years to come…

As former Chancellor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Estonia, I was appointed the Green shadow rapporteur in AFCO regarding the European External Action Service report. Guy Verhofstadt (Belgium, EPP) and Elmar Brok (Germany, S&D) were jointly writing the report on how the new “Ministry of Foreign Affairs EU” must be constructed. This involved months of work on when and where to emphasise Human Rights, how to set up crisis prevention and management, who should be in charge of the delegations, how to deploy development aid, how much and in what areas should the EP have control over their budget and so on.

Of course having such an institution as the EEAS is vital if the EU will want to speak with one voice on a global level – or with its neighbours, for that matter. The issue of energy security is the first practical challenge that comes to mind…

This autumn the European Parliament adopted the Alejo Vidal-Quadras (Spain, EPP) resolution on security of gas supply, which calls for the EU to introduce a regulation in order to further secure gas and energy supply in Europe. The document contains several methods and ideas on how to prevent future gas conflicts as seen in the case of the Russian-Ukrainian problems in recent years. This regulation would provide preventive safety measures to ensure that nobody would be left in to the cold.

This reminds that one has to think beyond (but not excluding) its national borders in Europe. Internet freedom and intellectual property rights are issues that affect us all, especially when EU will introduce reforms in this field in the near future regardless whether you are a consumer or a provider of Internet content, be it written articles, music or videos. How should the EU respond to illegal file sharing? We are living in the 21st century and we all download a variety of things from the net. But what about the people that provide the content? If we chose to restrict downloading in today’s form, what measures can be taken? To what extent can we monitor peoples’ activities online? As anyone may guess, these questions affect us all.

Should there be introduced any directives or regulations on a EU level that the citizens will regard unsuitable, lacking or simply bad and they wish to change it – or even call for creating an entirely new EU policy – they have the chance to do so with the European Citizen Initiative. This is a project going to be launched next year, with the aim of giving EU’s citizens the right to introduce an idea for new legislation by the Commission; the latter has to respond and justify its answer and action that will or will not follow.

This is undoubtedly a big step in the development of the citizen society, moreover that all people from all Member States can have a say. This all will have to follow strict rules that are currently in the making. For example, according to the latest state of play, at least 1 million signatures have to be collected from at least 1/3 of the Member States, plus the number of signatures has to be proportionate to the population of that state. This opens up an even greater window of opportunity for small countries. As for now, the setting up of the system continues.

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Common security and defence policy (CSDP)

The foundations for the development of the European Security and Defence Policy were established in the Maastricht Treaty, which entered into force in 1993, and according to which the ESDP is an integral element of the Union’s common foreign and security policy (CFSP).

The EU’s Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) was renamed the European Union’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) after the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009.

External Relations Council meeting – Ministerial Declaration:

ESDP Ten Years – Challenges and Opportunities (November 2009)

http://www.se2009.eu/polopoly_fs/1.23947!menu/standard/file/111253.pdf

In accordance with the Treaty on the European Union, the CSDP can lead to a common defence if the Council of Europe so decides and if the Member States, on the Council’s recommendation, accept the decision in accordance with their constitutional requirements. At present, a common defence is not a likely option.

In the framework of CSDP the European Union conducts both military and civilian crisis management operations. The so-called Capability Development Mechanism refers to improving the EU’s civilian and military crisis management capacity in view of future operations. An ambitious set of Headline Goals have been set for both the military and civilian capabilities.

The European Security Strategy, which was approved in December 2003 and revised in December 2008, provides a framework for the Union’s security political action. The EU’s common interests, strategic goals and capability requirements are determined based on the security environment and threat assessments.

European Security Strategy of 2003 and its revision in 2008:

  • European Security Strategy: A secure Europe in a better world (EN, Brussels, 12 December 2003)
  • Report on the Implementation of the European Security Strategy: Providing Security in a Changing World (Brussels, 11 December 2008, S407/08)

Decisions concerning the CSDP are made by the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC), Council of foreign affairs ministers of the EU, which is chaired by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

The Political and Security Committee (COPS/PSC) takes part in policy formulation related to the European security and defence policy by giving statements to the Council. The Committee monitors the implementation of the CSDP and takes responsibility for the political supervision and strategic guidance of crisis management operations. Actual decisions concerning CSDP operations are made in the Council.

The EU Military Committee (EUMC) provides advice and recommendations on military issues to COPS/PSC and guidance to the EU Military Staff (EUMS) in military matters. Issues related to civilian crisis management are prepared in the Committee for Civilian Aspects of Crisis Management (CivCom).The politico-military working group (PMG) is in charge of preparing CSDP matters for COPS/PSC.

Related websites

  • External Relations: Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) for the European Union
  • CSDP information by the Council of the EU: Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP)
  • Implementation of The CFSP and CSDP
  • CSDP structures and instruments
  • Headline Goal 2010 (PDF)
  • Presidency Report on ESDP (CSDP), June 2009 (PDF)

One of the main challenges for the EU in the field of security and defence policy in the future is to enhance coordination and coherence between different policy areas and actors to help ensure a comprehensive approach to crisis management. This has been taken into account in the EU’s new External Action Service (EEAS), the new European diplomatic corps.

The Crisis Management and Planning Directorate (CMPD) will combine civilian and military expertise in crisis management. It is intended to be at the very heart of the External Action Service and to be the body that deals with all the toughest issues of world peace and security the EU is involved in.

In December 2008, the European Council agreed to merge civilian and military aspects of the planning for European peace keeping missions into a single CMPD.

It was a logical step that would help the EU to be more efficient in its response to conflicts. This strategic planning tool of the CSDP was set up in November 2009.

Created to belong to the EEAS, the specific constellation and staffing level of this standing structure based in Brussels under the authority of the HR/VP Mrs Catherine Ashton, has not yet been specified.

The CMPD would include personnel from all geographical task forces within the Council secretariat, from the SitCen, SatCen, the EUMS, and most particularly from its Civil-Military Cell as well as from relevant Commission services. It will be led by a civilian head and a military deputy.

Related Article:

“The Crisis Management and Planning Directorate: recalibrating ESDP Planning and conduct Capacities”

http://carmengebhard.com/CFSP_Forum_vol_7_no_4_Gebhard.pdf

On the 26th of April, SEDE hold a hearing on the EU civil and military cooperation

“EU Civil-military cooperation: a comprehensive approach”

Programme and speeches can be found on the following link:

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/activities/committees/hearingsCom.do;jsessionid=ADA24BF01FC49EF160E7E5B62CDF7A01.node2?language=EN&body=SEDE

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Environmental security strategy

At their Summit in Strasbourg / Kehl on 3 and 4 April 2009, NATO’s Heads of State and Government tasked the Secretary General to develop a new NATO Strategic Concept. This exercise should be completed by the time of NATO’s next Summit, which is expected to take place towards the end of 2010.

NATO’s new strategic concept: http://www.nato.int/strategic-concept/index.html

The report can be found directly on the following link: http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2010_05/20100517_100517_expertsreport.pdf

As the European Security Strategy recognises that predicted global climate change will have increasing impact on stability and security in many regions around the world and more particularly in Asia and Africa, and in the context of the forthcoming new NATO strategic concept, the set up of an environmental security strategy is more than needed.

It is important to analyse commonality of assessment between the EU and NATO of predicted global climate change as a factor of instability and insecurity in the most vulnerable places in the world, especially in terms of climate change as a driver of current or future conflicts. Climate change consequences like resource depletion, drought and floods, famine and mass migration, might have a direct impact on EU and NATO security interests.

The adequacy of existing NATO and EU capacities to respond to climate change driven catastrophes and the extent to which existing civilian, policing and military capabilities and assets could be deployed or adapted to meet these future challenges should be assessed.

It would be necessary to recommend measures and modifications to training – through NATO’s ACT described above – and to procurement policies, necessary to improve the EU and NATO’s ability to respond to such crisis.

Existing command and control structures and policies in the context of their applicability to the long-term nature of likely climate-driven crisis and conflicts should be reviewed.

The potential for burden-sharing and specialisation between the EU Member States and NATO allies to optimize resource allocation, civilian, policing and military assets which are required for crisis response and conflicts, whether climate driven or not should be explored.

At present, the climate change issue is only mentioned in the new report presented by the group of experts, chaired by Madeleine Albright.

Taking into account environmental security related to it in the new strategic concept would be a breakthrough.

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NATO delegation (D-NAT)

The European Parliament decided on 12 December 2001 to set up an inter-parliamentary Delegation for Relations with the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (D-NAT). The delegation is composed of 10 MEPs (Members of the European Parliament).

D-NAT Members shall consist of Members of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE). The D-NAT is supported by a secretariat which consists of staff members of the SEDE secretariat.

The aim of the D-NAT is to bring forward the position of the EU, and of the European Parliament in particular, to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in view of further developing the relationship between EU and NATO, while respecting the independent nature of both organisations. This is of particular importance in the theatres of operations where both the EU and NATO are engaged, such as Afghanistan, Kosovo and in the fight against piracy off the coasts of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden.

The delegation for relations with the NATO PA took part in the Spring Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly on 28 May – 1 June 2010 in Riga, Latvia.

In 2002, NATO’s military command structure was reorganised at the Prague Summit.

One strategic command focus on NATO’s operations – Allied command operations – and the other would be focused on transforming NATO – Allied Command transformation (ACT). ACT focuses on areas such as training and education, concept development, comprehensive approach, experimentation, and research and technology and using NATO’s ongoing operations and work with the NATO Response Force (NRF) to improve the military effectiveness of the Alliance. It has the following strategic objectives: provide appropriate support to NATO missions and operations, lead NATO military transformation, improve relationships, interaction and practical cooperation with partners, nations and international organisations.

Find out more on NATO from:
www.act.nato.int

More information can be found on the D-NAT Infokit:
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/activities/delegations/publicationsDel.do?language=EN&body=DNAT

Find NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s Report on Climate Change discussed in Riga:
http://www.nato-pa.int/Default.asp?SHORTCUT=2073

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Working and legislative programme of the European Commission for 2010


President of the Commission Mr Barroso presented to the Members of the European Parliament in the plenary of the 20th of April his new programme for 2010 and beyond.

The main goals of this programme are to develop measures enabling the EU to get out of the economic and financial crisis and to establish a strong basis for sustainable growth.

Another priority is the stability of the Euro-zone. At the time, he stressed the financial mechanism of support for Greece, which was adopted on 11th of April, was ready to be activated by Greece in case this country would need it.

In this framework, the stability and growth pact should be reviewed with increased economic monitoring of the Member States and permanent mechanisms to be set up to resolve unexpected crisis situations.

The European commission is expected to communicate on enhanced coordination on economic policies to improve the use of the possibilities the Lisbon Treaty offers.

The Commission wants public financing to be reliable and sustainable.

In the meanwhile, the European Commission has proposed a new monitoring system of national budgets, with supervision by a new European economic government on national budgetary programme and decisions ahead of the vote in National Parliaments. This would allow more budgetary discipline and a stronger economic coordination between the 27 Member States. The European Council still have to decide how to develop the new structure and the implementation of the decision will belong to all three institutions.

According to Mr Barroso, since one year and a half, the European financial system is more ethical, has a new monitoring structure and alternative investments funds. The new structure of the financial system would be operational in 2011.

He stressed the social inclusion by 2020 with the creation of a platform against poverty insisting on social and economic cohesion.

Three-months rolling programme of priority debates in the plenary (Strasbourg)

  • June – financial supervisory package, sustainable future of transport, European Council preparation.
  • July – belgian presidency, EP’s right of enquiry, Kosovo and Albania.
  • September – State of the Union, Mid-term report on financial crisis, Afghanistan, (tbc EEAS, Employment guidelines 2010)

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