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Press Release Details:

  • 5th April 2016 - 08:00 GMT

Coordinated, impactful and joint action is needed to respond to Europe’s ongoing and future security challenges

In a new paper, the European Movement International argues that in order to protect Europe’s interests both at home and abroad, the European Union offers the best forum for cooperation on defence and security issues. Within the context of High Representative Federica Mogherini’s EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy, to be presented in June, the Movement urges the Union to streamline existing strategies and priorities and to focus on coordinated, impactful and joint action.

The European Movement believes that the EU Global Strategy should begin with the core function of the European Union: ensuring peace and security on the European continent and beyond, while respecting European values. Furthermore, it should define European interests and decide on a limited set of key priorities. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Addressing the causes of current refugee flows, such as the conflict in Syria, and ensuring that the so-called EU Agenda on Migration is fully coherent with the overall direction of the EU’s foreign and security policy.
  • Ensuring the recently reviewed European Neighbourhood Policy is closely integrated with the EU Global Strategy.
  • Enlargement should similarly be an integral part of the strategy. Based on strict but fair and credible conditionality, with special emphasis on human rights and democracy, the enlargement process fosters the rule of law, economic development, good governance as well as good neighbourly relations among (potential) candidate countries.
  • Understanding the strong geopolitical aspect of Europe’s energy dependency, and addressing these security vulnerabilities, should lead to a focus on diversification, interconnection and integration of European energy markets.
  • Providing space for the EU’s development cooperation, which can help answer a variety of crucial challenges. Assistance in establishing good governance, human and economic development in its neighbourhood and worldwide will prevent conflicts in critical situations such as the current migration crisis.
  • Countering (online) propaganda and cyberwarfare. EU Member States need to invest more in sharing information and improving digital security, while respecting the privacy of citizens.

Petros Fassoulas, Secretary General, European Movement International, said:

A coordinated and impactful response to Europe’s security concerns is key, and in this light, short-term and practical measures using existing policies, tools and treaty provisions – such as permanent structured cooperation or the flexibility mechanism contained in the Lisbon Treaty – should be prioritised. With that in mind, however, only deeper integration in the field of defence and security policy will allow the European Union to bring together its military capabilities, strengthen its global position and permanently ensure its security.


Notes to the Editors
1. The European Movement International (EMI) is one of the largest pan and pro-European civil society organisations with currently more than 70 Member Organisations, bringing together representatives from European associations, political parties, enterprises and trade unions.
2. The European Movement will be holding a debate, ‘Can Europe Make us Feel Safe?’ this evening in Brussels from 18h00. Find out more.
3. You can read the full policy position here.


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