Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

EU's military structures: state of play and future prospects

Delivered in Plenary - 12 September 2013

Mr President

Acting in times of humanitarian and global crisis as a united EU while simultaneously respecting the sovereign rights of individual Member States is no easy task. By acting alongside NATO, the CSDP has proved to be broadly helpful, when it involves civilian missions, in meeting such a delicate balance and allowing the EU to play a successful role in, for example, Afghanistan and the Balkans. It would therefore be foolish to make any attempt to extend the scope of the CSDP which would see it duplicate the role of NATO.

It is with this in mind that I find it necessary to vote against the recommendations of the report, particularly with regard to its proposal on establishing an EU military operational headquarters within the EEAS. Furthermore, the attack it made on individual Member States for cutting their military budgets at a time of austerity is totally unjustified. Any EU defence policy must be based on the principle of intergovernmental cooperation over the communautaire method which, sadly, this report has little respect for.