27 March, 2011
Resolution on Foreign Security and Defence Policy
Whereas 22 years after the revolutionary changes in Central and Eastern Europe that swept away the communist regimes and paved the way for the reunification of Europe, the people in Europe´s southern neighborhood are now demonstrating their desire to live in free, open democratic societies;

Whereas one year after the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, the European Union has now established the European External Action Service (EEAS) pooling together the instruments of the Common Foreign and Security Policy and those previously managed by the European Commission External Affairs general directorate;

Whereas the relative rise in importance of other global actors, such as Brazil, Russia, India and China, challenges the traditional prominence of Europeans and their transatlantic partners and requires us to develop stronger partnerships;

the Congress of UEF, meeting in Brussels on 25-27 March 2011,

Condemns the violent response of and the use of force against peaceful protesters by the authorities in the states of the southern neighborhood and urges all states to engage in genuine peaceful democratic transitions, following the example of Tunisia and Egypt;

Is convinced that the EU should not miss the opportunity represented by the changes in the southern neighborhood to work actively for bringing the two sides of the Mediterranean basin closer together and that its positive impact and long-term credibility in that region will depend on its ability to conduct a cohesive common foreign policy that is value-based and clearly sides with the new democratic forces;

Is therefore deeply disappointed by the lack of a unified and coherent EU position to the Libyan crisis, in particular within the UN Security Council;

Recalls its position that the EEAS must become an efficient, coherent, transparent democratically accountable European diplomatic service, and is given the necessary means for conducting an active European foreign policy, in particular in the areas of conflict prevention, peace-building, civilian and military crisis management and disarmament;

Regrets the scant results achieved by the Civilian Headline Goal 2010 process in particular in the fields of rule of law, civilian administration, dialogue and mediation and mission support and the military Headline Goal 2010 process calls on the VP/HR, the Council, and the Member States to take coordinated steps to reactivate the development of civilian and military capabilities;

Points out to the need to overcome the current imbalance in terms of planning and conduct capabilities of civilian and military operations and enhance the EU’s capacity to develop a comprehensive and strategic approach, by providing the EU with a permanent Civilian-Military Headquarter (OHQ);

Is convinced that any common defense policy intended to move gradually towards common defense must serve to strengthen the EU’s ability to respond to crises and to provide for long-term peace-building, and above all guarantee Europe’s strategic autonomy, averting the danger that its standing might decline on the world stage;

Calls therefore for a broader public debate on European defence on the basis of EEAS proposals (White Paper) and the full implementation of the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty on structured cooperation by a group of Member States, in order to forge, inter alia, a common defence, including the pooling of military spending and the incremental integration of their defence capabilities, which should be put at the permanent disposal of the UN;

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