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Tuesday 23.05.2017 | Name days: Leontīne, Ligija, Lonija, Leokādija

EP wishes for closer cooperation between EU and NATO, especially in the east

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUTerrorism, hybrid threats, cyber and energy insecurity leave members states of the European Union with no choice but to step up their security and defence cooperation to pave the way for a European Defence Union, said members of the European Parliament on 22 November.

In the approved resolution, MEPs suggest allocating 2% of GDP to defence, establishing multinational forces and EU headquarters for crisis management operation planning to ensure EU is able to react to tough situations if NATO is unwilling, as reported by EP Information Bureau in Latvia.

«Our Union is not equipped to face overwhelming defence challenges. For almost 30 years, most of its member states have been cutting their defence budgets, leading to smaller armed forces. Cooperation among member states is occasional and Europe continues to rely heavily on NATO capabilities and on the US solidarity,» – said rapporteur Urmas Paet (ALDE, ET).

The resolution on the European Defence Union approved by the European Parliament states the security situation in and around Europe has worsened significantly in recent years, due to challenges like terrorism, hybrid threats or cyber and energy insecurity. «Solidarity and resilience require the EU to stand and act together», it mentions.

MEP want EU to be able to respond to real threats more quickly and more effectively, which, according to them, requires closer cooperation of European armed forces. «Duplication, overcapacity and barriers to defence procurement result currently in annual waste of EUR 26.4 billion,» – MEPs say.

They urge member states to perform joint procurements of defence resources. They also suggest introducing a «European Defence Semester, whereby member states would consult each other’s planning and cycles and procurement plans» and advocate strengthening the European Defence Agency’s coordination role.

The resolution also urges the European Council to take the lead in the creation of «common Union defence policy and to provide additional financial resources ensuring its implementation».

MEPs also emphasize the need for closer and more efficient cooperation between EU and NATO, especially in the east and south, in order to prevent hybrid and cyber threats, improve marine transport security and further enhance their defensive capabilities. EU forces should also be prepared to act in cases when NATO is unwilling to, MEPs add.

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