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Text adopted – EU political relations with ASEAN – P8_TA-PROV(2017)0367 – Tuesday, 3 October 2017 – Strasbourg – Provisional edition

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the founding of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on 8 August 1967,

–  having regard to the main legal framework for EU-ASEAN relations, namely the ASEAN-EEC Cooperation Agreement, signed in March 1980(1)
,

–  having regard to the ASEAN Charter, signed in November 2007, establishing legal personality and a legal and institutional framework for ASEAN, including the creation of the Committee of Permanent Representatives (CPR) to support and coordinate the work of ASEAN,

–  having regard to the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), established in 1993 to foster dialogue and consultation on political and security issues and to contribute to confidence-building and preventive diplomacy in the Asia-Pacific region,

–  having regard to the various ASEAN frameworks for regional trust-building: the ARF, the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM-Plus), the East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Plus Three (ASEAN plus China, Japan and South Korea) and ASEAN Plus Six (ASEAN plus China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand),

–  having regard to the trade agreements existing between ASEAN and Japan, China, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand,

–  having regard to the ongoing negotiations and/or the conclusion of seven Partnership and Cooperation Agreements between the European Union and certain ASEAN member states, namely Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam,

–  having regard to the negotiations for Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) under way with Indonesia and the Philippines, to the negotiations for FTAs with Malaysia and Thailand, both of which are currently on hold, to the expected conclusion of FTAs with Singapore and Vietnam in the coming months, and to the negotiations for an investment agreement with Myanmar;

–  having regard to the meeting between the Commissioner for trade, Cecilia Malmström, and the ASEAN finance ministers held in Manila on 10 March 2017,

–  having regard to the 9th Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting (ASEP9), held in Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) on 21 and 22 April 2016,

–  having regard to the Nuremberg Declaration on an EU-ASEAN Enhanced Partnership of March 2007 and its Plan of Action of November 2007,

–  having regard to the Bandar Seri Begawan Plan of Action to Strengthen the ASEAN-EU Enhanced Partnership (2013-2017), adopted in Brunei Darussalam on 27 April 2012,

–  having regard to the Joint Communication by the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to the European Parliament and the Council of 18 May 2015, entitled ‘The EU and ASEAN: a partnership with a strategic purpose’ (JOIN(2015)0022),

–  having regard to the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions on EU-ASEAN relations of 22 June 2015,

–  having regard to the Bangkok Declaration on Promoting an ASEAN-EU Global Partnership for Shared Strategic Goals of 14 October 2016,

–  having regard to the accession of the European Union to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) in Phnom Penh on 12 July 2012(2)
,

–  having regard to the 11th Summit of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM11) held in Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) on 15 and 16 July 2016,

–  having regard to the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), established in February 1997 to provide a forum for non-governmental dialogue,

–  having regard to the ASEAN-EU Programme of Regional Integration Support (APRIS), the ASEAN Regional Integration Support Programme (ARISE), and the Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument (READI) in support of the harmonisation of policies and regulations in non-trade-related sectors,

–  having regard to the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint agreed in 2007,

–  having regard to the 14th ASEAN summit held in 2009 and to the establishment of a roadmap for creating the ASEAN single market (ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)), the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC) and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC),

–  having regard to the 28th and 29th ASEAN Summits held in Vientiane (Laos) on 6 and 7 September 2016 and to the 30th ASEAN Summit held in Manila (Philippines) from 26 to 29 April 2017,

–  having regard to the 24th meeting of the ASEAN-EU Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC), held on 2 March 2017 in Jakarta (Indonesia),

–  having regard to the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, adopted at the 27th ASEAN Summit held in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) from 18 to 22 November 2015, and to the announcement of the establishment, on 31 December 2015, of the ASEAN Economic Community, aiming to create an internal market for over 600 million people,

–  having regard to the 11th East Asia Summit (EAS) held in Vientiane (Laos) on 8 September 2016, bringing together the leaders of 18 countries – the ASEAN member states, China, Japan and South Korea (ASEAN+3), India, Australia and New Zealand (ASEAN+6), and Russia and the US,

–  having regard to the first ASEAN Human Rights Declaration of 18 November 2012 and to the establishment of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) in 2009,

–  having regard to ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR), a body founded in 2013 with the objective of promoting democracy and human rights in all ASEAN member states,

–  having regard to the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR),

–  having regard to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which have been ratified by all ASEAN member states,

–  having regard to the ‘Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework’, adopted by the UN Human Rights Council on 16 June 2011,

–  having regard to the ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, signed by all ASEAN member states in November 2015,

–  having regard to the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Reviews (UPRs), in which all ASEAN member states have participated,

–  having regard to its recent resolutions on ASEAN, in particular that of 15 January 2014 on the future of EU-ASEAN relations(3)
,

–  having regard to its recent resolutions on ASEAN member states, in particular those of 9 June 2016 on Vietnam(4)
, of 17 December 2015 on the EU-Vietnam Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation (resolution)(5)
, of 17 December 2015 on the EU-Vietnam Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation (consent)(6)
, of 8 June 2016 on the EU-Philippines Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation (consent)(7)
, and of 8 June 2016 on the EU-Philippines Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation (resolution)(8)
,

–  having regard to its recent human rights urgency resolutions on ASEAN member states, in particular those of 14 September 2017 on Myanmar, in particular the situation of Rohingyas(9)
, of 21 May 2015 on the plight of Rohingya refugees, including the mass graves in Thailand(10)
, of 15 December 2016 on the situation of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar(11)
, of 7 July 2016 on Myanmar, in particular the situation of the Rohingya(12)
, of 14 September 2017 on Cambodia, notably the case of Kem Sokha(13)
, of 9 June 2016 on Cambodia(14)
, of 26 November 2015 on the political situation in Cambodia(15)
, of 9 July 2015 on Cambodia’s draft laws on NGOs and trade unions(16)
, of 6 October 2016 on Thailand, notably the situation of Andy Hall(17)
, of 8 October 2015 on the situation in Thailand(18)
, of 17 December 2015 on Malaysia(19)
, of 19 January 2017 on Indonesia(20)
, of 15 June 2017 on Indonesia(21)
, of 15 September 2016(22)
and 16 March 2017(23)
on the Philippines, and of 14 September 2017 on Laos, notably the cases of Somphone Phimmasone, Lod Thammavong and Soukane Chaithad(24)
,

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A8-0243/2017),

A.  whereas this year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of ASEAN, the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome, and the 40th anniversary of EU-ASEAN formal relations;

B.  whereas the ASEAN region has emerged as one of the world’s most dynamic and fastest-growing, particularly in terms of the economy, technology and research, has a geopolitically and geo-economically strategic position, has rich resources, is pursuing a goal of increased economic integration and an ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda, notably on education, and is a strong advocate of multilateralism; whereas closing the development gap within ASEAN will be vital in pursuing further integration and ensuring security, stability and the protection of social, economic and political rights;

C.  whereas the integration processes of the EU and ASEAN are different, arising from different contexts and having different visions and missions; whereas each follows its own logic but the two are comparable, as both rules-based organisations have been fostering peaceful coexistence, regional integration, and international cooperation and development, and have aimed at building trust among their members for many decades; as such, the EU is a unique type of partner for ASEAN;

D.  whereas the two regions have attained a considerable level of interaction, and EU-ASEAN relations are comprehensive and cover a wide range of sectors including trade and investment, development, economic matters and political affairs; whereas ASEAN is the EU’s third trading partner and the EU ASEAN’s second, with annual bilateral trade in goods worth more than EUR 200 billion, and the EU is the first provider of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the ASEAN region; whereas for European undertakings ASEAN represents a gateway to the wider region; whereas over the period 2014 to 2020 the EU and its Member States are the first provider of development assistance in the region and the EU has pledged over EUR 3 billion to reduce poverty and address development gaps in low-income ASEAN countries;

E.  whereas the EU experience has in the past served as a source of inspiration for other regional integration processes;

F.  whereas the EU has consistently supported the work of ASEAN and in particular the ASEAN Secretariat, and has, in recognition of ASEAN’s importance, appointed a dedicated EU Head of Delegation to ASEAN who took office in 2015;

G.  whereas at present the integration processes in both regions are being challenged but are at the same time opening up new opportunities; whereas the EU is facing several crises; whereas ASEAN, in spite of the goal of fostering ASEAN centrality, saw intra-ASEAN trade decline in 2016 and has been beset with problems, including diverging foreign policy orientations and spillover effects from domestic problems relating to threats to democracy and the rule of law, inter-religious relations, ethnic minorities, social inequalities and human rights violations, including with crossborder implications;

H.  whereas the EU has determined that it will place human rights at the centre of its relations with third countries;

I.  whereas in December 2014 the EU granted GSP+ status to the Philippines, as the first ASEAN country to enjoy such trade preferences; whereas this enables the Philippines to export 66 % of its products tariff-free to the EU;

J.  whereas the withdrawal of the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) may give new impetus to negotiations for a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP); whereas a more assertive China is launching initiatives such as ‘One Belt, One Road’ that challenge all countries in the neighbourhood and beyond;

K.  whereas tensions in the South China Sea (SCS) constitute a threat and a risk to security and stability in the region; whereas the most worrying trend is the militarisation of the SCS; whereas the ASEAN-China Dialogue on a Code of Conduct remains ASEAN’s primary mechanism for exchanges with China on the SCS; whereas Chinese activities – from military patrols and drills to construction activities, in disregard of the principles outlined in the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea of 2002 – remain an issue of concern;

1.  Congratulates the ASEAN member states on the 50th anniversary of ASEAN, and fully supports all efforts for regional integration; expresses equally its appreciation for 40 years of EU-ASEAN relations, and reiterates its recommendation that relations should be upgraded into a Strategic Partnership based on concrete actions, tangible deliverables and stronger substantive cooperation; underlines the EU’s interest in enhancing its cooperation with this pivotal player in a region of strategic importance; stresses that the strategic partnership will provide an opportunity for the EU to reinforce its contribution to the implementation of shared objectives in the Indo-Pacific sphere;

2.  Highlights the political value of strong trade and investment relations between ASEAN and the EU, and exhorts both partners to further strengthen their economic and political relations; stresses that there is significant potential for EU-ASEAN trade relations to grow; highlights that the EU is the top foreign investor in ASEAN; also highlights the opportunities for cooperation in implementing the SDGs; calls for stepping up cooperation to close the development gap that exists within ASEAN; believes that cooperation could be strengthened and good practices shared in various areas, such as addressing global challenges, including climate change, transnational organised crime and terrorism, border management, maritime security, financial sector development, transparency and macroeconomic policies; emphasises the pursuit of a high level of EU-ASEAN cooperation in multilateral institutions such as the UN, but also the WTO, with reference to preserving, strengthening and further developing the multilateral international trade architecture and fair trading relationships;

3.  Commends the VP/HR and the Commission for adopting a Joint Communication, endorsed by the Member States, setting out a roadmap for deepening the partnership in political, security and economic matters, as well as in connectivity, the environment, natural resources and other domains, such as the promotion and protection of human rights; stresses the importance of strengthening political dialogue between the EU and ASEAN; recalls that the EU’s active support for deepening ASEAN integration contributes to its resilience and to the stability of the region; stresses that the EU provides technical assistance and capacity-building in creating an internal market;

4.  Welcomes the appointment of an EU Head of Delegation to ASEAN and the opening of an EU mission to ASEAN in 2015, in a development which recognises the importance of the relationship between the EU and ASEAN;

5.  Notes that, as the UK has over the years played an important and valuable role in fostering EU-ASEAN bonds, there will be a need and an opportunity for ASEAN and the EU and its Member States to actively reinforce relations in the light of the new reality of Brexit; calls on the UK to continue to cooperate closely with the EU-ASEAN partnership; calls for stepped-up EU engagement with the existing ASEAN-led fora; considers that the EU should upgrade and intensify its diplomatic efforts with ASEAN in order to contribute to greater stability and security in conflict areas with renewed tensions, working closely with partners in the region and upholding international law;

6.  Regrets the late and reserved reaction of the EU to the UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) award in the South China Sea dispute, and calls for the EU to promote respect and compliance with the provisions of UNCLOS; reiterates that the EU supports peaceful negotiated solutions to international disputes; insists on freedom of navigation; calls on China to accept the tribunal’s award; encourages the parties to aim for a peaceful settlement of the disputes, based on the principles of international law under UNCLOS; supports the efforts of ASEAN member states to work towards the early conclusion of an effective Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea;

7.  Regrets actions such as extensive land reclamation and the placing of military installations and arsenal on reclaimed land, which risks militarising the conflict; expresses serious concern over the increasing defence spending in the region and its neighbourhood and the growing militarisation of conflicts, notably in the South and East China Seas; notes the need for the EU to continue supporting the development of peaceful relations between China and its neighbours around the South China Sea through inclusive multilateral mechanisms; supports all actions enabling the South China Sea to become a ‘Sea of Peace and Cooperation’; calls on the Member States to strictly abide by the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports; insists on the importance of the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, notably in view of the latest developments in the DPRK;

8.  Supports the EU-ASEAN security partnership and the sharing of experiences and best practice on a host of mostly non-conventional security issues, with a view to stepping up regional capabilities, with particular regard to strengthened dialogue and cooperation on maritime security, piracy, the fight against organised crime and support for cooperation between Europol and the Inter-ASEAN Police (Aseanapol), counter-terrorism, cybersecurity, climate security, confidence-building measures, preventive diplomacy and mediation, crisis management, disaster preparedness and relief and humanitarian assistance; supports greater contribution and involvement on the part of the EU in the ARF;

9.  Welcomes the holding of the 3rd ASEAN-EU High Level Dialogue on Maritime Security Cooperation in Thailand on 15 and 16 September 2016, which identified and proposed future areas of concrete cooperation between ASEAN and the EU in the domain of maritime security and preventive diplomacy; looks forward to the convening of the 4th ASEAN-EU High Level Dialogue on Maritime Security Cooperation, to be held in 2017 in the Philippines;

10.  Reiterates the EU’s support for ASEAN centrality and for its important role in promoting dialogue and cooperation for peace, security, stability and prosperity, in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond; calls for the creation of operational and efficient dispute settlement mechanisms as provided for in Chapter 8 of the ASEAN Charter and in a 2010 Protocol to the Charter, including legally binding measures and regulations; draws attention to the experience which has been gained over 40 years on the continent of Europe with an approach to security which, in addition to a political and military dimension, also embraces the economic, environmental and human dimensions; is convinced that this experience can be exploited in ASEAN´s efforts for the peaceful development of its region; underscores the interest of the EU in furthering engagement with the region through all ASEAN-led processes;

11.  Underlines the EU’s particular experience in institution-building, the single market, regulatory convergence, conflict and crisis management, maritime security, mediation, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, as well as its recent progress on defence integration and its successful experience with regional norm-setting and strong regional architecture for human rights and democracy, together with its willingness to share such experience where useful; highlights the negotiations for an EU-ASEAN Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement (CATA) and the broader connectivity agenda; notes that for the period 2014-2020 half of the EU’s financial assistance to ASEAN is devoted to supporting ASEAN’s connectivity;

12.  Highlights the need to engage at the multilateral level with other jurisdictions in the region, such as ASEAN observers Papua New Guinea and Timor Leste, as well as China, Japan and Taiwan;

13.  Believes that from a geopolitical point of view there is a very good reason to advocate the relaunching of negotiations for a regional EU-ASEAN free trade agreement, and welcomes the conclusions of the recent meeting between the EU’s Commissioner for trade, Cecilia Malmström, and the ASEAN Economic Ministers concerning a scoping exercise in that regard, as well as the steps taken in pursuit of the final objective of a region-to-region agreement; encourages from a strategic point of view any efforts to explore the options for concluding free trade agreements with all ASEAN countries; recalls that ASEAN represents the EU’s third largest trading partner outside Europe, and that the EU is ASEAN’s second largest trading partner;

14.  Stresses that national and foreign enterprises operating in ASEAN countries must act in accordance with the principles of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR); urges the ASEAN countries to make sure that social, environmental and labour rights are fully respected; calls for the full and effective implementation of the ILO conventions and for respect of core labour standards; calls on ASEAN and its member states to effectively implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, to promote appropriate employment protection and decent working conditions, and to establish an environment that is more conducive to the development of trade unions; calls on the Commission and the EEAS to use all available instruments to enhance compliance with the above; highlights, furthermore, the need to ensure the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour and of child labour;

15.  Calls on European companies investing in the ASEAN region to live up to their corporate social responsibilities and to respect European standards concerning consumer, labour and environmental rights, as well as to uphold the rights of the indigenous populations;

16.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to facilitate an institutionalised social dialogue between the Asia-Europe People’s Forum (AEPF) and corresponding civil society structures in the EU;

17.  Notes that ASEAN has declared itself to be people-oriented and people-centred and that the legitimacy and relevance of the regional integration processes, both in the EU and ASEAN, depend on associating as many stakeholders as possible in the process and communicating its achievements; considers people-to-people contacts, particularly for young people, to be a very important instrument of cultural exchange, and calls for a considerable enlargement of the Erasmus+ facility for ASEAN; underlines that there is much room in the ASEAN countries for vocational training, and highlights prospects of cooperation in the area of the dual formation system practised in certain EU Member States; urges also developing cultural diplomacy activities in line with the June 2016 communication on an EU Strategy for International Cultural Relations and the recent report of Parliament on the subject; highlights the important function of the Asia-Europe Foundation and believes that support for its work should be expanded;

18.  Underlines the notion that structured exchanges and cooperation on the level of regions and localities (city twinning) offer an interesting instrument to enhance mutual practical experience, and draws attention to concrete initiatives such as the Covenant of Mayors or the Under2 MOU, which should be actively promoted;

19.  Suggests celebrating this year’s ASEAN-EU anniversary with an EU initiative for an EU-ASEAN young leaders’ exchange programme, to be realised in 2018 when Singapore occupies the ASEAN chair; suggests that if this is successful an annual forum should be created to allow young leaders from the EU and ASEAN to exchange ideas and build relationships in order to support EU-ASEAN relations in the future; suggests, further, examining with the ASEAN partners the practical scope for the reciprocal funding of research institutes or academic programmes whose purpose would be to study the integration processes, and experiences of those processes, in the respective partner region;

20.  Underlines the need to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment and to improve the lives of girls and women; highlights that access to education is therefore vital and could lead to social and economic transformation;

21.  Stresses that the EU should also intensify policy dialogues and cooperation on issues such as fundamental rights, including the rights of ethnic and religious minorities and on matters of common concern including the rule of law and security, protection of freedom of expression and the free flow of information, the fight against transnational crime, corruption, tax evasion, money laundering and trafficking in people and drugs, counter-terrorism, non-proliferation, disarmament, maritime security and cybersecurity;

22.  Welcomes the holding of the first EU-ASEAN Policy Dialogue on Human Rights in October 2015 and looks forward to further dialogues of this kind; is deeply concerned at the erosion of democracy and the violations of human and minority rights and continued repression and discrimination in countries of the region, and the failure to allow sufficient space for refugees and stateless persons or for civil society, particularly for environmental, land rights and labour rights activists, human rights defenders, and media workers; warns that failure to confront the issues related to the marginalisation of minorities would challenge the sustainability and long-term success of ASEAN; deplores the fact that a repressive attitude to drug users has resulted in high human costs and extrajudicial killings; highlights the need for empowering civil society in ASEAN by ensuring meaningful consultation with NGOs and grassroots movements in the context of regional policymaking;

23.  Is concerned at the setbacks with regard to the abolition of the death penalty in the region, and calls on all ASEAN countries to refrain from reinstating the death penalty and to abide by their international obligations; welcomes the efforts being made in the fight against trafficking in human beings and forced labour, and calls on all governments to step up the protection of victims and cross-country cooperation;

24.  Calls on ASEAN to dedicate adequate resources to its Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR); hopes that specific and verifiable targets and measures will be included in the AICHR’s five-year work plan and that its mandate will be strengthened so that it can actively monitor, investigate, prosecute and prevent human rights violations; encourages the AICHR to consider and discuss the establishment of a complementary ASEAN Court of Human Rights, on similar lines to those existing in other regions of the world;

25.  Urges the EU and its Member States to seek out all opportunities for cooperation with the ASEAN countries on strengthening democracy; supports the work of the Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument Human Rights Facility office, which aims to publicise human rights issues and actions and increase awareness about human rights; urges all ASEAN member states to ratify further UN human rights conventions and their optional protocols, as well as the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), and to support initiatives for transitional justice, reconciliation and the fight against impunity across the region;

26.  Is concerned that a million stateless persons reside in the ASEAN member states; notes that the Rohingya in Myanmar are the single largest stateless group in the world, with over 1 million persons under UNHCR´s statelessness mandate, but that large communities of stateless people are also to be found in Brunei, Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and elsewhere; encourages the ASEAN member states to work together and to share good examples and efforts in order to end statelessness in the entire region;

27.  Recognises the importance of the EU’s role in the progress achieved to date by the ASEAN countries, and calls on the EU always to maintain dialogue in order to support the region in its progress towards democratisation, development and integration;

28.  Is concerned that climate change will have a major impact on ASEAN; recalls that the ASEAN region remains one of those most vulnerable to the phenomenon; urges the ASEAN member states to accelerate the shift towards low-carbon economies and to rapidly reduce deforestation, effectively curb forest fires and adopt more environment-friendly technologies for transport and buildings; welcomes the EU’s initiative of a new dedicated EU-ASEAN Dialogue on Sustainable Development; notes in this context the EU’s support for the task of clearance of unexploded ordnance in some countries in the region; urges EU-ASEAN cooperation on sustainable tourism, food security and the protection of biological diversity and in particular of coral reefs and mangrove forests, and action to effectively address overfishing in the region; highlights the need to provide assistance to ASEAN countries in order to enhance the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity and the systematic rehabilitation of forest ecosystems; urges the ASEAN member states to make efforts to enhance their rapid response capacity to natural disasters, under the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER);

29.  Calls for the EU institutions and Member States to give adequate priority to a high frequency of political contacts, notably at ministerial level, and to take full advantage of the ASEAN member state responsible for coordinating ASEAN’s Dialogue Relations with the EU and for chairing ASEAN; recalls the demands that have been made for a region-to-region EU-ASEAN parliamentary assembly, and urges greater use of parliamentary public diplomacy in various policy areas; insists in the meantime on strengthening cooperation with the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) through regular and structured exchanges; calls for the EU institutions and Member States also to take advantage of the opportunities for intensive exchanges on regional issues presented at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue Forum;

30.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the European External Action Service, the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, the ASEAN Secretariat and the governments and parliaments of the ASEAN member states.

(1) OJ C 85, 8.4.1980, p. 83.
(2) OJ L 154, 15.6.2012, p. 1.
(3) OJ C 482, 23.12.2016, p. 75.
(4) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0276.
(5) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0468.
(6) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0467.
(7) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0262.
(8) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0263.
(9) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0351.
(10) OJ C 353, 27.9.2016, p. 52.
(11) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0506.
(12) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0316.
(13) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0348.
(14) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0274.
(15) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0413.
(16) OJ C 265, 11.8.2017, p. 144
(17) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0380.
(18) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0343.
(19) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0465.
(20) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0002.
(21) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0269.
(22) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0349.
(23) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0088.
(24) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0350.

Report – EU political relations with ASEAN – A8-0243/2017 – Committee on Foreign Affairs

on EU political relations with ASEAN

(2017/2026(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the founding of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on 8 August 1967,

–  having regard to the main legal framework for EU-ASEAN relations, namely the ASEAN-EEC Cooperation Agreement, signed in March 1980(1),

–  having regard to the ASEAN Charter, signed in November 2007, establishing legal personality and a legal and institutional framework for ASEAN, including the creation of the Committee of Permanent Representatives (CPR) to support and coordinate the work of ASEAN,

–  having regard to the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), established in 1993 to foster dialogue and consultation on political and security issues and to contribute to confidence-building and preventive diplomacy in the Asia-Pacific region,

–  having regard to the various ASEAN frameworks for regional trust-building: the ARF, the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM-Plus), the East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Plus Three (ASEAN plus China, Japan and South Korea) and ASEAN Plus Six (ASEAN plus China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand),

–  having regard to the trade agreements existing between ASEAN and Japan, China, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand,

–  having regard to the ongoing negotiations and/or the conclusion of seven Partnership and Cooperation Agreements between the European Union and certain ASEAN member states, namely Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam,

–  having regard to the negotiations for Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) under way with Indonesia and the Philippines, to the negotiations for FTAs with Malaysia and Thailand, both of which are currently on hold, to the expected conclusion of FTAs with Singapore and Vietnam in the coming months, and to the negotiations for an investment agreement with Myanmar;

–  having regard to the meeting between the Commissioner for trade, Cecilia Malmström, and the ASEAN finance ministers held in Manila on 10 March 2017,

–  having regard to the 9th Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting (ASEP9), held in Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) on 21 and 22 April 2016,

–  having regard to the Nuremberg Declaration on an EU-ASEAN Enhanced Partnership of March 2007 and its Plan of Action of November 2007,

–  having regard to the Bandar Seri Begawan Plan of Action to Strengthen the ASEAN-EU Enhanced Partnership (2013-2017), adopted in Brunei Darussalam on 27 April 2012,

–  having regard to the Joint Communication by the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to the European Parliament and the Council of 18 May 2015, entitled ‘The EU and ASEAN: a partnership with a strategic purpose’ (JOIN(2015)0022),

–  having regard to the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions on EU-ASEAN relations of 22 June 2015,

–  having regard to the Bangkok Declaration on Promoting an ASEAN-EU Global Partnership for Shared Strategic Goals of 14 October 2016,

–  having regard to the accession of the European Union to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) in Phnom Penh on 12 July 2012(2),

–  having regard to the 11th Summit of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM11) held in Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) on 15 and 16 July 2016,

–  having regard to the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), established in February 1997 to provide a forum for non-governmental dialogue,

–  having regard to the ASEAN-EU Programme of Regional Integration Support (APRIS), the ASEAN Regional Integration Support Programme (ARISE), and the Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument (READI) in support of the harmonisation of policies and regulations in non-trade-related sectors,

–  having regard to the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint agreed in 2007,

–  having regard to the 14th ASEAN summit held in 2009 and to the establishment of a roadmap for creating the ASEAN single market (ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)), the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC) and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC),

–  having regard to the 28th and 29th ASEAN Summits held in Vientiane (Laos) on 6 and 7 September 2016 and to the 30th ASEAN Summit held in Manila (Philippines) from 26 to 29 April 2017,

–  having regard to the 24th meeting of the ASEAN-EU Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC), held on 2 March 2017 in Jakarta (Indonesia),

–  having regard to the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, adopted at the 27th ASEAN Summit held in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) from 18 to 22 November 2015, and to the announcement of the establishment, on 31 December 2015, of the ASEAN Economic Community, aiming to create an internal market for over 600 million people,

–  having regard to the 11th East Asia Summit (EAS) held in Vientiane (Laos) on 8 September 2016, bringing together the leaders of 18 countries – the ASEAN member states, China, Japan and South Korea (ASEAN+3), India, Australia and New Zealand (ASEAN+6), and Russia and the US,

–  having regard to the first ASEAN Human Rights Declaration of 18 November 2012 and to the establishment of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) in 2009,

–  having regard to ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR), a body founded in 2013 with the objective of promoting democracy and human rights in all ASEAN member states,

–  having regard to the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR),

–  having regard to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which have been ratified by all ASEAN member states,

–  having regard to the ‘Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework’, adopted by the UN Human Rights Council on 16 June 2011,

–  having regard to the ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, signed by all ASEAN member states in November 2015,

–  having regard to the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Reviews (UPRs), in which all ASEAN member states have participated,

–  having regard to its recent resolutions on ASEAN, in particular that of 15 January 2014 on the future of EU-ASEAN relations(3),

–  having regard to its recent resolutions on ASEAN member states, in particular those of 9 June 2016 on Vietnam(4), of 17 December 2015 on the EU-Vietnam Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation (resolution)(5), of 17 December 2015 on the EU-Vietnam Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation(consent)(6), of 8 June 2016 on the EU-Philippines Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation (consent)(7), and of 8 June 2016 on the EU-Philippines Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation (resolution)(8),

–  having regard to its recent human rights urgency resolutions on ASEAN member states, in particular those of 6 October 2016 on Thailand, notably the situation of Andy Hall(9), of 9 June 2016 on Cambodia(10), of 26 November 2015 on the political situation in Cambodia(11), of 9 July 2015 on Cambodia’s draft laws on NGOs and trade unions(12), of 8 October 2015 on the situation in Thailand(13), of 21 May 2015 on the plight of Rohingya refugees, including the mass graves in Thailand(14), of 15 December 2016 on the situation of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar(15), of 7 July 2016 on Myanmar, in particular the situation of the Rohingya(16), of 17 December 2015 on Malaysia(17), of 19 January 2017 on Indonesia, notably the case of Hosea Yeimo and Ismael Alua and the Governor of Jakarta(18), and of 15 September 2016(19) and 15 March 2017(20) on the Philippines,

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A8-0243/2017),

A.  whereas this year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of ASEAN, the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome, and the 40th anniversary of EU-ASEAN formal relations;

B.  whereas the ASEAN region has emerged as one of the world’s most dynamic and fastest-growing, particularly in terms of the economy, technology and research, has a geopolitically and geo-economically strategic position, has rich resources, is pursuing a goal of increased economic integration and an ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda, notably on education, and is a strong advocate of multilateralism; whereas closing the development gap within ASEAN will be vital in pursuing further integration and ensuring security, stability and the protection of social, economic and political rights;

C.  whereas the integration processes of the EU and ASEAN are different, arising from different contexts and having different visions and missions; whereas each follows its own logic but the two are comparable, as both rules-based organisations have been fostering peaceful coexistence, regional integration, and international cooperation and development, and have aimed at building trust among their members for many decades; as such, the EU is a unique type of partner for ASEAN;

D.  whereas the two regions have attained a considerable level of interaction, and EU-ASEAN relations are comprehensive and cover a wide range of sectors including trade and investment, development, economic matters and political affairs; whereas ASEAN is the EU’s third trading partner and the EU ASEAN’s second, with annual bilateral trade in goods worth more than EUR 200 billion, and the EU is the first provider of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the ASEAN region; whereas for European undertakings ASEAN represents a gateway to the wider region; whereas over the period 2014 to 2020 the EU and its Member States are the first provider of development assistance in the region and the EU has pledged over EUR 3 billion to reduce poverty and address development gaps in low-income ASEAN countries;

E.  whereas the EU experience has in the past served as a source of inspiration for other regional integration processes;

F.  whereas the EU has consistently supported the work of ASEAN and in particular the ASEAN Secretariat, and has, in recognition of ASEAN’s importance, appointed a dedicated EU Head of Delegation to ASEAN who took office in 2015;

G.  whereas at present the integration processes in both regions are being challenged but are at the same time opening up new opportunities; whereas the EU is facing several crises; whereas ASEAN, in spite of the goal of fostering ASEAN centrality, saw intra-ASEAN trade decline in 2016 and has been beset with problems, including diverging foreign policy orientations and spillover effects from domestic problems relating to threats to democracy and the rule of law, inter-religious relations, ethnic minorities, social inequalities and human rights violations, including with crossborder implications;

H.  whereas the EU has determined that it will place human rights at the centre of its relations with third countries;

I.  whereas in December 2014 the EU granted GSP+ status to the Philippines, as the first ASEAN country to enjoy such trade preferences; whereas this enables the Philippines to export 66 % of its products tariff-free to the EU;

J.  whereas the withdrawal of the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) may give new impetus to negotiations for a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP); whereas a more assertive China is launching initiatives such as ‘One Belt, One Road’ that challenge all countries in the neighbourhood and beyond;

K.  whereas tensions in the South China Sea (SCS) constitute a threat and a risk to security and stability in the region; whereas the most worrying trend is the militarisation of the SCS; whereas the ASEAN-China Dialogue on a Code of Conduct remains ASEAN’s primary mechanism for exchanges with China on the SCS; whereas Chinese activities – from military patrols and drills to construction activities, in disregard of the principles outlined in the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea of 2002 – remain an issue of concern;

1.  Congratulates the ASEAN member states on the 50th anniversary of ASEAN, and fully supports all efforts for regional integration; expresses equally its appreciation for 40 years of EU-ASEAN relations, and reiterates its recommendation that relations should be upgraded into a Strategic Partnership based on concrete actions, tangible deliverables and stronger substantive cooperation; underlines the EU’s interest in enhancing its cooperation with this pivotal player in a region of strategic importance; stresses that the strategic partnership will provide an opportunity for the EU to reinforce its contribution to the implementation of shared objectives in the Indo-Pacific sphere;

2.  Highlights the political value of strong trade and investment relations between ASEAN and the EU, and exhorts both partners to further strengthen their economic and political relations; stresses that there is significant potential for EU-ASEAN trade relations to grow; highlights that the EU is the top foreign investor in ASEAN; also highlights the opportunities for cooperation in implementing the SDGs; calls for stepping up cooperation to close the development gap that exists within ASEAN; believes that cooperation could be strengthened and good practices shared in various areas, such as addressing global challenges, including climate change, transnational organised crime and terrorism, border management, maritime security, financial sector development, transparency and macroeconomic policies; emphasises the pursuit of a high level of EU-ASEAN cooperation in multilateral institutions such as the UN, but also the WTO, with reference to preserving, strengthening and further developing the multilateral international trade architecture and fair trading relationships;

3.  Commends the VP/HR and the Commission for adopting a Joint Communication, endorsed by the Member States, setting out a roadmap for deepening the partnership in political, security and economic matters, as well as in connectivity, the environment, natural resources and other domains, such as the promotion and protection of human rights; stresses the importance of strengthening political dialogue between the EU and ASEAN; recalls that the EU’s active support for deepening ASEAN integration contributes to its resilience and to the stability of the region; stresses that the EU provides technical assistance and capacity-building in creating an internal market;

4.  Welcomes the appointment of an EU Head of Delegation to ASEAN and the opening of an EU mission to ASEAN in 2015, in a development which recognises the importance of the relationship between the EU and ASEAN;

5.  Notes that, as the UK has over the years played an important and valuable role in fostering EU-ASEAN bonds, there will be a need and an opportunity for ASEAN and the EU and its Member States to actively reinforce relations in the light of the new reality of Brexit; calls on the UK to continue to cooperate closely with the EU-ASEAN partnership; calls for stepped-up EU engagement with the existing ASEAN-led fora; considers that the EU should upgrade and intensify its diplomatic efforts with ASEAN in order to contribute to greater stability and security in conflict areas with renewed tensions, working closely with partners in the region and upholding international law;

6.  Regrets the late and reserved reaction of the EU to the UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) award in the South China Sea dispute, and calls for the EU to promote respect and compliance with the provisions of UNCLOS; reiterates that the EU supports peaceful negotiated solutions to international disputes; insists on freedom of navigation; calls on China to accept the tribunal’s award; encourages the parties to aim for a peaceful settlement of the disputes, based on the principles of international law under UNCLOS; supports the efforts of ASEAN member states to work towards the early conclusion of an effective Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea;

7.  Regrets actions such as extensive land reclamation and the placing of military installations and arsenal on reclaimed land, which risks militarising the conflict; expresses serious concern over the increasing defence spending in the region and its neighbourhood and the growing militarisation of conflicts, notably in the South and East China Seas; notes the need for the EU to continue supporting the development of peaceful relations between China and its neighbours around the South China Sea through inclusive multilateral mechanisms; supports all actions enabling the South China Sea to become a ‘Sea of Peace and Cooperation’; calls on the Member States to strictly abide by the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports; insists on the importance of the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, notably in view of the latest developments in the DPRK;

8.  Supports the EU-ASEAN security partnership and the sharing of experiences and best practice on a host of mostly non-conventional security issues, with a view to stepping up regional capabilities, with particular regard to strengthened dialogue and cooperation on maritime security, piracy, the fight against organised crime and support for cooperation between Europol and the Inter-ASEAN Police (Aseanapol), counter-terrorism, cybersecurity, climate security, confidence-building measures, preventive diplomacy and mediation, crisis management, disaster preparedness and relief and humanitarian assistance; supports greater contribution and involvement on the part of the EU in the ARF;

9.  Welcomes the holding of the 3rd ASEAN-EU High Level Dialogue on Maritime Security Cooperation in Thailand on 15 and 16 September 2016, which identified and proposed future areas of concrete cooperation between ASEAN and the EU in the domain of maritime security and preventive diplomacy; looks forward to the convening of the 4th ASEAN-EU High Level Dialogue on Maritime Security Cooperation, to be held in 2017 in the Philippines;

10.  Reiterates the EU’s support for ASEAN centrality and for its important role in promoting dialogue and cooperation for peace, security, stability and prosperity, in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond; calls for the creation of operational and efficient dispute settlement mechanisms as provided for in Chapter 8 of the ASEAN Charter and in a 2010 Protocol to the Charter, including legally binding measures and regulations; draws attention to the experience which has been gained over 40 years on the continent of Europe with an approach to security which, in addition to a political and military dimension, also embraces the economic, environmental and human dimensions; is convinced that this experience can be exploited in ASEAN´s efforts for the peaceful development of its region; underscores the interest of the EU in furthering engagement with the region through all ASEAN-led processes;

11.  Underlines the EU’s particular experience in institution-building, the single market, regulatory convergence, conflict and crisis management, maritime security, mediation, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, as well as its recent progress on defence integration and its successful experience with regional norm-setting and strong regional architecture for human rights and democracy, together with its willingness to share such experience where useful; highlights the negotiations for an EU-ASEAN Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement (CATA) and the broader connectivity agenda; notes that for the period 2014-2020 half of the EU’s financial assistance to ASEAN is devoted to supporting ASEAN’s connectivity;

12.  Highlights the need to engage at the multilateral level with other jurisdictions in the region, such as ASEAN observers Papua New Guinea and Timor Leste, as well as China, Japan and Taiwan;

13.  Believes that from a geopolitical point of view there is a very good reason to advocate the relaunching of negotiations for a regional EU-ASEAN free trade agreement, and welcomes the conclusions of the recent meeting between the EU’s Commissioner for trade, Cecilia Malmström, and the ASEAN Economic Ministers concerning a scoping exercise in that regard, as well as the steps taken in pursuit of the final objective of a region-to-region agreement; encourages from a strategic point of view any efforts to explore the options for concluding free trade agreements with all ASEAN countries; recalls that ASEAN represents the EU’s third largest trading partner outside Europe, and that the EU is ASEAN’s second largest trading partner;

14.  Stresses that national and foreign enterprises operating in ASEAN countries must act in accordance with the principles of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR); urges the ASEAN countries to make sure that social, environmental and labour rights are fully respected; calls for the full and effective implementation of the ILO conventions and for respect of core labour standards; calls on ASEAN and its member states to effectively implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, to promote appropriate employment protection and decent working conditions, and to establish an environment that is more conducive to the development of trade unions; calls on the Commission and the EEAS to use all available instruments to enhance compliance with the above; highlights, furthermore, the need to ensure the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour and of child labour;

15.  Calls on European companies investing in the ASEAN region to live up to their corporate social responsibilities and to respect European standards concerning consumer, labour and environmental rights, as well as to uphold the rights of the indigenous populations;

16.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to facilitate an institutionalised social dialogue between the Asia-Europe People’s Forum (AEPF) and corresponding civil society structures in the EU;

17.  Notes that ASEAN has declared itself to be people-oriented and people-centred and that the legitimacy and relevance of the regional integration processes, both in the EU and ASEAN, depend on associating as many stakeholders as possible in the process and communicating its achievements; considers people-to-people contacts, particularly for young people, to be a very important instrument of cultural exchange, and calls for a considerable enlargement of the Erasmus+ facility for ASEAN; underlines that there is much room in the ASEAN countries for vocational training, and highlights prospects of cooperation in the area of the dual formation system practised in certain EU Member States; urges also developing cultural diplomacy activities in line with the June 2016 communication on an EU Strategy for International Cultural Relations and the recent report of Parliament on the subject; highlights the important function of the Asia-Europe Foundation and believes that support for its work should be expanded;

18.  Underlines the notion that structured exchanges and cooperation on the level of regions and localities (city twinning) offer an interesting instrument to enhance mutual practical experience, and draws attention to concrete initiatives such as the Covenant of Mayors or the Under2 MOU, which should be actively promoted;

19.  Suggests celebrating this year’s ASEAN-EU anniversary with an EU initiative for an EU-ASEAN young leaders’ exchange programme, to be realised in 2018 when Singapore occupies the ASEAN chair; suggests that if this is successful an annual forum should be created to allow young leaders from the EU and ASEAN to exchange ideas and build relationships in order to support EU-ASEAN relations in the future; suggests, further, examining with the ASEAN partners the practical scope for the reciprocal funding of research institutes or academic programmes whose purpose would be to study the integration processes, and experiences of those processes, in the respective partner region;

20.  Underlines the need to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment and to improve the lives of girls and women; highlights that access to education is therefore vital and could lead to social and economic transformation;

21.  Stresses that the EU should also intensify policy dialogues and cooperation on issues such as fundamental rights, including the rights of ethnic and religious minorities and on matters of common concern including the rule of law and security, protection of freedom of expression and the free flow of information, the fight against transnational crime, corruption, tax evasion, money laundering and trafficking in people and drugs, counter-terrorism, non-proliferation, disarmament, maritime security and cybersecurity;

22.  Welcomes the holding of the first EU-ASEAN Policy Dialogue on Human Rights in October 2015 and looks forward to further dialogues of this kind; is deeply concerned at the erosion of democracy and the violations of human and minority rights and continued repression and discrimination in countries of the region, and the failure to allow sufficient space for refugees and stateless persons or for civil society, particularly for environmental, land rights and labour rights activists, human rights defenders, and media workers; warns that failure to confront the issues related to the marginalisation of minorities would challenge the sustainability and long-term success of ASEAN; deplores the fact that a repressive attitude to drug users has resulted in high human costs and extrajudicial killings; highlights the need for empowering civil society in ASEAN by ensuring meaningful consultation with NGOs and grassroots movements in the context of regional policymaking;

23.  Is concerned at the setbacks with regard to the abolition of the death penalty in the region, and calls on all ASEAN countries to refrain from reinstating the death penalty and to abide by their international obligations; welcomes the efforts being made in the fight against trafficking in human beings and forced labour, and calls on all governments to step up the protection of victims and cross-country cooperation;

24.  Calls on ASEAN to dedicate adequate resources to its Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR); hopes that specific and verifiable targets and measures will be included in the AICHR’s five-year work plan and that its mandate will be strengthened so that it can actively monitor, investigate, prosecute and prevent human rights violations; encourages the AICHR to consider and discuss the establishment of a complementary ASEAN Court of Human Rights, on similar lines to those existing in other regions of the world;

25.  Urges the EU and its Member States to seek out all opportunities for cooperation with the ASEAN countries on strengthening democracy; supports the work of the Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument Human Rights Facility office, which aims to publicise human rights issues and actions and increase awareness about human rights; urges all ASEAN member states to ratify further UN human rights conventions and their optional protocols, as well as the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), and to support initiatives for transitional justice, reconciliation and the fight against impunity across the region;

26.  Is concerned that a million stateless persons reside in the ASEAN member states; notes that the Rohingya in Myanmar are the single largest stateless group in the world, with over 1 million persons under UNHCR´s statelessness mandate, but that large communities of stateless people are also to be found in Brunei, Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and elsewhere; encourages the ASEAN member states to work together and to share good examples and efforts in order to end statelessness in the entire region;

27.  Recognises the importance of the EU’s role in the progress achieved to date by the ASEAN countries, and calls on the EU always to maintain dialogue in order to support the region in its progress towards democratisation, development and integration;

28.  Is concerned that climate change will have a major impact on ASEAN; recalls that the ASEAN region remains one of those most vulnerable to the phenomenon; urges the ASEAN member states to accelerate the shift towards low-carbon economies and to rapidly reduce deforestation, effectively curb forest fires and adopt more environment-friendly technologies for transport and buildings; welcomes the EU’s initiative of a new dedicated EU-ASEAN Dialogue on Sustainable Development; notes in this context the EU’s support for the task of clearance of unexploded ordnance in some countries in the region; urges EU-ASEAN cooperation on sustainable tourism, food security and the protection of biological diversity and in particular of coral reefs and mangrove forests, and action to effectively address overfishing in the region; highlights the need to provide assistance to ASEAN countries in order to enhance the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity and the systematic rehabilitation of forest ecosystems; urges the ASEAN member states to make efforts to enhance their rapid response capacity to natural disasters, under the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER);

29.  Calls for the EU institutions and Member States to give adequate priority to a high frequency of political contacts, notably at ministerial level, and to take full advantage of the ASEAN member state responsible for coordinating ASEAN’s Dialogue Relations with the EU and for chairing ASEAN; recalls the demands that have been made for a region-to-region EU-ASEAN parliamentary assembly, and urges greater use of parliamentary public diplomacy in various policy areas; insists in the meantime on strengthening cooperation with the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) through regular and structured exchanges; calls for the EU institutions and Member States also to take advantage of the opportunities for intensive exchanges on regional issues presented at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue Forum;

30.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the European External Action Service, the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, the ASEAN Secretariat and the governments and parliaments of the ASEAN member states.

(1)

  OJ C 85, 8.4.1980, p. 83.

(2)

  OJ L 154, 15.6.2012, p. 1.

(3)

  OJ C 482, 23.12.2016, p. 75.

(4)

  Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0276.

(5)

  Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0468.

(6)

  Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0467.

(7)

  Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0262.

(8)

  Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0263.

(9)

  Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0380.

(10)

  Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0274.

(11)

  Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0413.

(12)

  Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0277.

(13)

  Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0343.

(14)

  OJ C 353, 27.9.2016, p. 52.

(15)

  Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0506.

(16)

  Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0316.

(17)

  Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0465.

(18)

  Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0002.

(19)

  Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0349.

(20)

  Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0088.

Text adopted – Space capabilities for European security and defence – P8_TA-PROV(2016)0267 – Wednesday, 8 June 2016 – Strasbourg – Provisional edition

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Title V of the Treaty on European Union (TEU),

–  having regard to Titles XVII and XIX of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to the request by France of 17 November 2015 for aid and assistance under Article 42(7) TEU,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 20 November 2015 on enhancing the criminal justice response to radicalisation leading to terrorism and violent extremism,

–  having regard to the European Council conclusions of 18 December 2013 and of 25-26 June 2015,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 25 November 2013 and of 18 November 2014 on the common security and defence policy,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 20-21 February 2014 on space policy,

–  having regard to the progress report of 7 July 2014 by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) and the Head of the European Defence Agency on the implementation of the European Council conclusions of December 2013,

–  having regard to the Commission’s report of 8 May 2015 on the implementation of its communication on defence,

–  having regard to the joint communication of 11 December 2013 by the VP/HR and the Commission entitled ‘The EU’s comprehensive approach to external conflicts and crises’ (JOIN(2013)0030), and to the related Council conclusions of 12 May 2014,

–  having regard to the statement made by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at the European Parliament on 30 March 2015 on closer EU-NATO cooperation,

–  having regard to the statements made by US Deputy Defence Secretary Bob Work on 28 January 2015 and 10 September 2015 on the third US Offset Strategy and its implications for partners and allies,

–  having regard to the joint communication of 18 November 2015 by the VP/HR and the Commission entitled ‘Review of the European Neighbourhood Policy’ (JOIN(2015)0050),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 377/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 establishing the Copernicus Programme and repealing Regulation (EU) No 911/2010(1) ,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1285/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on the implementation and exploitation of European satellite navigation systems(2) ,

–  having regard to Decision No 541/2014/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 establishing a Framework for Space Surveillance and Tracking Support(3) ;

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (A8-0151/2016),

A.  whereas the security environment is becoming increasingly dangerous and challenging, both within and outside the Union, characterised by terrorist attacks and mass murder which affects all Member States and to which Member States must respond by adopting a joint strategy and a coordinated response; whereas those security challenges call for the strengthening of the EU’s security through the continued development and support of the EU Common Security and Defence policy to make it a more effective policy instrument and a real guarantee of the safety of EU citizens and the promotion and protection of European norms, interests and values as enshrined in Article 21 TEU;

B.  whereas the EU needs to increase its role as a security provider at home and abroad, ensuring stability in its neighbourhood and globally; whereas the Union needs to contribute to the fight against security challenges, in particular those arising from terrorism both at home and abroad, including by supporting third party countries in combating terrorism and its root causes; whereas the Member States and the Union need to work together on an effective and coherent border management system to secure external borders;

C.  whereas the Union needs to enhance its cooperation and coordination with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and with the United States, which both remain warrantors of Europe’s security and stability, with the United Nations, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the African Union, and other neighbours and regional partners;

D.  whereas the Union needs to address the root causes of the challenges to our security, of unrest and armed conflict in our neighbourhood, of migration, of the degradation of people’s livelihoods by state and non-state actors, and of the erosion of states and regional orders, including as a result of climate change and poverty, through a comprehensive rules- and values-based approach to managing crises both inside and outside the Union;

E.  whereas satellite capabilities could be used to better assess and identify the flow of illegal immigrants and their routes, and, in the case of those coming from Northern Africa, to identify the ship-boarding areas in order to engage with them faster and save more lives;

F.  whereas the European Council of June 2015, which focused on defence, called for the fostering of greater and more systematic European defence cooperation with a view to delivering key capabilities, including through the coherent and efficient use of EU funds and existing EU capabilities;

G.  whereas space policy is an essential component of the strategic autonomy which the EU must develop in order to safeguard sensitive technological and industrial capabilities and independent capabilities to carry out assessments;

H.  whereas space capabilities for European security and defence are important and, in some cases, even vital for a multitude of situations, ranging from day-to-day peacetime use to crisis management and more acute security challenges, including full-scale warfare; whereas the development of such capabilities is a long-term venture; whereas the development of future capabilities needs to be programmed when current capabilities are being deployed;

I.  whereas the proliferation of space technologies and the rising dependency of societies on satellites increase competition over space assets (paths, frequencies) and make satellites a critical infrastructure; whereas the development of anti-satellite (ASAT) technologies by a number of actors, including orbital weapons capabilities, signals the weaponisation of space;

J.  whereas in the area of defence and security the Union might act through, among others, such institutions as the European Defence Agency and the EU Satellite Centre;

K.  whereas European space assets have been developed over the last five decades thanks to the coordinated efforts of national space agencies and, latterly, the European Space Agency (ESA); whereas the Outer Space Treaty, the basic legal framework for international space law, was bought into force in October 1967;

L.  whereas developing and sustaining space capabilities for security and defence in Europe necessitates effective cooperation and synergy among Member States and with the European and international institutions;

M.  whereas the EU’s space capabilities should be compatible with the capabilities of NATO and the US, so they can be fully used as a network in the event of crisis;

N.  whereas research and development in space technology is a sector with a high investment return that also produces high-quality software and hardware by-products with various commercial use;

1.  Considers that space-based capabilities and services play an important role in, among other areas, the context of European security and defence; is convinced that current and future space-based capabilities and services will provide Member States and the Union with improved dual-use operational capacity for the implementation of the common security and defence policy and of other EU policies in areas such as external action, border management, maritime security, agriculture, the environment, climate action, energy security, disaster management, humanitarian aid and transport;

2.  Considers that further implementation of the CSDP is needed; reaffirms the need to increase the effectiveness, visibility and impact of the CSDP; reaffirms the importance and the added value of the Space Policy to the CSDP; considers that space should be included in future Union policies (e.g. internal security, transport, space, energy, research) and that synergies with space should be further strengthened and exploited; underlines that the use of space capabilities in the war against terrorism and terrorist organisations, through the ability to locate and monitor their training camps, is vital;

3.  Believes that national governments and the Union should improve access to space-based satellite communication, space situational awareness, precision navigation and Earth observation capabilities, and ensure European non-dependence as regards critical space technologies and access to space; considers that space situational awareness in particular will continue to play a vital role in military and civilian affairs; underlines the commitment to the non-militarisation of space; recognises that in order to achieve this goal, sufficient financial investment is needed; in this connection urges the Commission and the Member States to guarantee the autonomy of the EU as regards space structures, while providing the resources necessary for that purpose; takes the view that this aim is vitally important for civilian activities (in Western countries it is estimated that between 6 and 7 % of GDP is dependent on satellite positioning and navigation technology) and for security and defence; believes that cooperation should be initiated on an intergovernmental basis and through the ESA;

4.  Underlines the security dimension of the Copernicus programme, particularly its applications aimed at preventing and responding to crisis, humanitarian aid and cooperation, conflict prevention entailing the monitoring of compliance with international treaties, and maritime surveillance; urges the High Representative, the Commission and the Member States to strengthen the conflict prevention objective of space capabilities;

5.  Stresses that the EU’s space policy promotes scientific and technical progress, industrial competitiveness and the implementation of EU policies, in accordance with Article 189 TFEU, which includes security and defence policy; recalls that the two EU flagship programmes – Galileo and Copernicus – are civil programmes under civil control and that the European nature of Galileo and Copernicus has made these programmes possible and ensured their success; urges the Council, the VP/HR and the Commission to ensure that European space programmes develop civilian space-based capabilities and services with relevance for European security and defence capabilities, particularly through the allocation of adequate funds for research; believes that dual-use capacity of space capabilities is important in order to make the most effective use of resources;

6.  Stresses that space programmes have security and defence benefits that are technologically linked to civil benefits and highlights in this connection the dual-use capacity of Galileo and Copernicus; believes this capacity should be fully developed in the next generations, including for example better precision, authentication, encryption, continuity and integrity (Galileo); emphasises that high-resolution earth observation data and positioning systems are useful for applications in the civil and security domains, for instance in the areas of disaster management, humanitarian actions, refugee aid, maritime surveillance, global warming, energy security and global food security, and in the detection of and response to global natural disasters, notably droughts, earthquakes, floods and forest fires; notes the need for better interaction between drones and satellites; calls for sufficient provision in the mid-term review for all satellite systems’ future development;

7.  Considers that a holistic, integrated, long-term approach to the space sector at EU level is necessary; believes that the space sector should be mentioned in the new EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy, bearing in mind the current development of EU dual-use space programmes and the need to further develop EU civil space programmes that can be used for both civil security and defence purposes;

8.  Welcomes the EU-sponsored multilateral initiative towards an International Code of Conduct for Space Activities as a way of introducing standards of behaviour in space as it seeks to achieve enhanced safety, security, and sustainability in space by emphasising that space activities should involve a high degree of care, due diligence and appropriate transparency, with the aim of building confidence in the space sector;

9.  Asks the Commission to come up swiftly with a definition of EU needs regarding the potential contribution of the space policy to the CSDP for all the main aspects: launching, positioning, imagery, communication, space weather, space debris, cyber security, jamming, spoofing and other intentional threats, security of the ground segment; considers that future space features of the current European systems should be set according to the CSDP requirements and covering all above related aspects;

10.  Calls for the necessary requirements for future systems, private or public, which contribute to safety-of-life applications (e.g. positioning, air traffic management (ATM)) to be defined with regard to protection against possible security attacks (jamming, spoofing, cyber attacks, space weather and debris); considers that such safety requirements should be certifiable and under the surveillance of a European entity (such as EASA);

11.  Underlines in this regard that the development of European space capabilities for European security and defence should follow two key strategic objectives: security on the planet through in-orbit space systems designed to monitor the earth’s surface or to provide positioning, navigation and timing information or satellite communications and security in outer space as well as space safety, i.e. security in orbit and in space through ground-based and in-orbit space situational awareness systems;

12.  Identifies the dangers of cyber warfare and hybrid threats for European space programmes, taking into account that spoofing or jamming can disturb military missions or have far-reaching implications for daily life on earth; believes that cyber security requires a joint approach by the EU, its Member States, and business and internet specialists; calls on the Commission, therefore, to include space programmes in its cyber security activities;

13.  Considers that the coordination of space systems deployed in a fragmented way by the various Member States for various national needs should be enhanced in order to be able to anticipate promptly the disruption of different applications (e.g. for ATM);

14.  Stresses that cooperation between the Commission, the European External Action Service, the GNSS Agency, the European Defence Agency, the European Space Agency and the Member States is crucial to improving European space capabilities and services; takes the view that the Union, namely the VP/HR, should coordinate, facilitate and support such cooperation in the area of space, security and defence through a specific operational coordination centre; express its conviction that the European Space Agency should play a significant role in the definition and implementation of a single European space policy which includes security and defence policy;

15.  Calls on the European Commission to present results of the established European Framework Cooperation for Security and Defence Research on space and asks for recommendations on how to develop it further; calls on the Commission to clarify how civilian-military research under Horizon 2020 served in the area of space capabilities the implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy;

16.  Welcomes the Framework for Space Surveillance and Tracking Support; calls on the Commission to inform Parliament on the implementation of the framework and its impact on security and defence; calls on the Commission to set up an implementing road map covering the definition of the architecture envisaged;

17.  Stresses the strategic importance of stimulating space innovation and research for security and defence; acknowledges the significant potential of critical space technologies such as the European Data Relay System, which enables real-time and persistent earth observation, the deployment of mega-constellations of nanosats and, lastly, building up a responsive space capacity; underlines the need for innovative big data technologies to make use of the full potential of space data for security and defence; invites the Commission to incorporate these technologies in its Space Strategy for Europe;

18.  Calls for the development of the EU’s various diplomatic initiatives in space issues, in both a bilateral and a multilateral context, in order to contribute to the development of the institutionalisation of space and an increase in transparency and confidence-building measures; stresses the need to intensify work on the promotion of an International Code of Conduct for Outer-Space Activities; encourages the EEAS to consider the space component in negotiations in other areas;

19.  Encourages the Member States to carry out and finalise joint programmes and initiatives, such as the Multinational Space-Based Imaging System for Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Observation, the Government Satellite Communication (GovSatcom) and the Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) programmes, and to pool and share in the area of defence and security, and declares its support for such joint programmes and initiatives;

20.  Welcomes the ongoing project of the EDA and ESA on Governmental Satellite Communications (GovSatcom), which is one of the EDA’s flagship programmes identified by the European Council in December 2013; calls in this regard on the actors involved to set up a permanent programme and to use the European added value of the EDA for military satellite communication as well; welcomes the successful completion of the DESIRE I project and the launch of the DESIRE II demonstration project for the future operation of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) in non-segregated airspace by the EDA and the ESA;

21.  Considers that EU-US cooperation on future space-based capabilities and services for security and defence purposes would be mutually beneficial; considers that EU-US cooperation is more efficient and compatible when both parties are at the same technology and capacity level; calls upon any potential technological gap to be identified and addressed by the Commission; notes the work undertaken towards the third US Offset Strategy; urges the Union to take this development into account when preparing its own Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy, and to include space-based capabilities for security and defence within the remit of that strategy; believes that pre-existing bilateral relationships between Member States and the US could be utilised where appropriate; invites the VP/HR to discuss with defence ministers the strategic approach to be taken, and to inform Parliament as that debate unfolds;

22.  Believes that the EU should continue to facilitate the establishment of an international code of conduct on outer space activities, in order to protect space infrastructure while preventing a weaponisation of space; considers that the development of the space situational awareness (SSA) programme is vital to this; calls for the Union to work towards this objective in cooperation with the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and other relevant partners;

23.  Recalls the necessary close cooperation between the EU and NATO in the area of security and defence; expresses its conviction that EU-NATO cooperation should cover the building of resilience by the two bodies, in conjunction with EU neighbours, as well as defence investment; considers that cooperation on space-based capabilities and services could offer prospects for improving compatibility between the two frameworks; is convinced that this would also strengthen NATO’s role in security and defence policy and in collective defence;

24.  Points out, however, that the EU must continue to try to ensure to the highest possible degree space-related and military autonomy; points out that in the long term the EU must have its own instruments establishing a Defence Union;

25.  Considers that the protection of space-based capabilities and services for security and defence against cyber-attacks, physical threats, debris or other harmful interference could offer prospects for EU-NATO cooperation that would result in the necessary technological infrastructure to secure assets, as otherwise the multi-billion investment of taxpayers’ money in the European space infrastructure could be wasted; acknowledges that commercial satellite telecommunications and their increasing use for military purposes put them at risk of attack; invites the VP/HR to keep Parliament informed as EU-NATO cooperation in this area evolves;

26.  Considers that the civilian EU programmes in the space domain provide a range of capabilities and services that are of potential use in many sectors including the next stages of evolution of the Copernicus and Galileo systems; notes the need to consider any security- and defence-related concerns from their inception; considers that space situational awareness / space weather, satellite communication, electronic intelligence and early warning are areas that could benefit from greater cooperation between the public and private sectors, additional EU-level support and continuous investment by, and support for, agencies in the space, security and defence fields;

27.  Notes the importance of Galileo’s Public Regulated Service (PRS) for navigation and guidance of military systems; calls on the High Representative and the EU Member States to increase their efforts regarding a possible revision of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty or to initiate a new regulatory framework that takes account of technological progress since the 1960s and aims to prevent an arms race in space;

28.  Notes that transparency and effective public awareness-raising among Europeans of the applications of EU space programmes that have a direct impact on users, such as Galileo and Copernicus services, are crucial to the success of the programmes; thinks that these programmes could be used to increase the effectiveness of strategy-making and operations, in the framework of CSDP; encourages the identification and development of security- and defence-related capacity needs for the next generations of the Galileo and Copernicus systems;

29.  Points out the existence of the Galileo Public Regulated Service (PRS), which is restricted to government-authorised users and is suitable for sensitive applications where robustness and complete reliability must be ensured; considers that the capacity of the PRS should be further developed in the next generations in order to respond to evolving threats; calls on the Commission to ensure that the operational procedures are as efficient as possible, particularly in the event of a crisis; stresses the need to continue developing and promoting applications based on Galileo capabilities, including the necessary ones for CSDP, in order to maximise the socio-economic benefits; recalls moreover the need to strengthen the security of the Galileo infrastructure, including the ground segment, and invites the Commission to take the necessary steps in this direction in cooperation with the Member States;

30.  Underlines the high level of security for the EU GNSS systems; emphasises the successful execution of tasks assigned to the European GNSS Agency, in particular through the Security Accreditation Board and the Galileo Security Monitoring Centres; calls, in this respect, for use to be made of the expertise and security infrastructure of the European GNSS Agency for Copernicus also; calls for this issue to be addressed in the mid-term review of Galileo and Copernicus;

31.  Notes in particular the operational need for very high resolution earth observation data under the Copernicus programme and invites the Commission to assess how this need could be met, taking into account CSDP requirements; highlights developments such as near real-time observation and video-streaming from space, and recommends the Commission to investigate how to take advantage of these, including for security and defence purposes; recalls moreover the need to strengthen the security of the Copernicus infrastructure, including the ground segment, and the security of the data, and invites the Commission to take the necessary steps in this direction in cooperation with the Member States; points in addition to the importance of considering how industry might become involved in the management of Copernicus operations;

32.  Draws attention to the need to improve the process of disseminating information from satellites to users, including by building the necessary technological infrastructure; notes the fact mentioned in the Commission communication that 60 % of electronics on board European satellites are currently imported from the US; calls for an initiative on how to protect sensitive and personal data in this context;

33.  Welcomes the work being done to provide the EU with autonomous access to governmental satellite communications (GovSatcom) and invites the Commission to continue to make progress on this file; recalls that the first step in the process was the identification of civil and military needs by the Commission and the European Defence Agency, respectively, and considers that the initiative should entail the pooling of demand and should be designed in a way that best meets the needs identified; calls on the Commission to make, on the basis of beneficiaries’ needs and requirements, a cost-benefit evaluation of different solutions:

   the provision of services by commercial operators,
   a system relying on current capabilities with the possibility of integrating future capabilities, or
   the creation of new capacities through a dedicated system;

invites in this regard the Commission to address the issue of ownership and liability; notes that, whatever the final decision, any new initiative should be in the public interest and benefit European industry (manufacturers, operators, launchers and other industry segments); considers that GovSatcom should also be considered as an opportunity to boost competitiveness and innovation by taking advantage of the development of dual technologies, in the extremely competitive and dynamic context of the SATCOM market; underlines the need to reduce the reliance on non-EU suppliers of equipment and services;

34.  Points to the development of Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) as a good initiative in space cooperation and a step towards security in space; calls for the further development of its own SST capacities as a priority of the Union for the protection of the economy, society and citizens’ safety and in the area of space capabilities for European security and defence; considers that SST should become an EU programme with its own budget while ensuring that the funds for ongoing projects are not thereby reduced; believes in addition that the EU should develop a more holistic space situational awareness (SSA) capacity, with more predictive capabilities, involving the surveillance of space and the analysis and assessment of potential threats and hazards to space activities; invites the Commission therefore to build on SST, by developing a broader SSA concept that would also address intentional threats to space systems and, in cooperation with ESA, take account of space weather and near-Earth objects and the need for research into technological systems for the prevention and elimination of space debris; believes that a holistic coordination of space activities should be reached without hampering the freedom of using space; invites the Commission to examine the possibility of enabling the private sector to play an important role in further developing and maintaining the non-sensitive part of the SST system, for which the two-sided governance structure of Galileo could serve as an example;

35.  Underlines the need to develop policies and research capabilities in order to provide future applications and develop a competitive European industry, capable of commercial success based on a healthy economic environment; notices the increasing importance of private entities in the space market; underlines the need for, and the benefits flowing from, the involvement of SMEs in the processes of research, development and production connected to space technologies, particularly those that are relevant in ensuring security; remains cautious regarding the risks related to unregulated private initiatives with security and defence implications; stresses that the balance between risks and benefits may vary from segment to segment of space activities, and therefore needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis, in particular in the light of its specific characteristics in terms of sovereignty and strategic autonomy; calls on the Commission and the VP/HR to provide the necessary means to contain those risks;

36.  Emphasises that where space is concerned, and given its strategic importance, the onus with regard to investment efforts must be on the public sector; takes the view that the high costs of developing space programmes and infrastructure mean that the only way of ensuring the viability of such projects is through decisive public sector efforts to channel private initiatives;

37.  Points out, as regards the future financing of European space programmes, that it would be desirable to determine when it might be possible to use forms of public-private partnership;

38.  Points out that the correct regulatory and policy frameworks must be established in order to give industry further impetus and incentives to pursue technological development and research into space capabilities; calls for the necessary funding for space-related research to be ensured in the domains mentioned above; notes the important role that Horizon 2020 can play in helping the EU reduce its dependence in terms of critical space technologies; recalls, in that connection, that the space part of Horizon 2020 falls within the ‘Industrial leadership’ priority, and in particular within the specific objective of ‘Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies’; takes the view therefore that Horizon 2020 should be used to support Europe’s space technology base and space industrial capabilities; calls on the Commission to provide sufficiently for critical space technologies for security and defence during the mid-term review of Horizon 2020;

39.  Believes that the EU could play a role in making European space capabilities and services more robust, resilient and responsive; is convinced that a rapid reaction capability to replace or restore damaged or degraded assets in space as a crisis unfolds should be developed effectively through multi-state partnerships, including at European level; commends the ESA’s work on developing a Space Situational Awareness (SSA) programme to detect and predict space debris or satellite collision; underlines the urgent need to reduce the risk of collision arising from the growing number of satellites and space debris; calls on the Commission and the Council to continue the funding of this capability after 2016; welcomes, therefore, the Commission’s initiative on a European space surveillance and tracking system (SST), which will secure EU non-dependence in space; questions whether appropriate governance structures are in place to manage PRS and other key space infrastructure in the event of an armed attack or other major security crisis;

40.  Encourages the Commission and the European agencies in the space, security, and defence fields to join forces to develop a White Paper on training requirements vis-à-vis the use of space-based capabilities and services for security and defence; takes the view that EU resources should be mobilised for pilot courses in those areas in which Member States and the competent European agencies have identified an imminent need;

41.  Believes that further financial and political support for the development and use of the EU launchers and of the Programme for Reusable In-Orbit Demonstrator in Europe (PRIDE) is of strategic importance, as the demonstrator is more cost-effective and provides independence in space access, as well as a plan for space crisis management;

42.  Expresses its concerns about the increased cost of the Copernicus and Galileo programmes far beyond the initial budgetary allocations; express its support for the further development of EU space capabilities, while asking for appropriate management of the financial resources;

43.  Calls on those Member States that have not ratified the Outer Space Treaty to do so, given its importance in maintaining law in space;

44.  Welcomes the process and plans for the development of new European launchers Ariane 6 and VEGA, and considers the development of these launchers to be crucial to the long-term viability and independence of the European space programmes that serve defence and security purposes; is firmly of the opinion that maintaining the predominant position of European launchers must be a strategic European objective at a time when new competitors are emerging that are strongly backed by competitive funding models; takes the view that in order to achieve that objective, appropriate structural, legislative and funding changes need to be made in order to foster the development of innovative, competitive projects at European level; advocates, among other things, innovation in the reuse of components, as this represents a significant step forward in terms of both efficiency and sustainability; believes that the EU should pay special attention to the impact of certain projects concerning the non-dependence of the EU, such as cooperation with Russia in sensitive areas like satellite launching with Soyuz rockets;

45.  Notes the strategic importance of independent access to space and the need for dedicated EU action, including with regard to security and defence, since this capacity would allow Europe to gain access to space in the event of a crisis; calls on the Commission, in collaboration with the ESA and the Member States, to:

   coordinate, share and develop planned space projects and European markets, so that European industry can anticipate demand (thereby boosting jobs and industry based in Europe) and also generate its own demand in terms of business-driven utilisation,
   support launch infrastructure, and
   promote R&D, including through the instrument of public-private partnerships, particularly in breakthrough technologies;

considers that these efforts are necessary to allow Europe to compete in the global launch market; considers in addition that the EU must ensure that it has a solid space technology base and the necessary industrial capabilities to allow it to conceive, develop, launch, operate and exploit space systems, ranging from technological autonomy and cyber-security to supply-side considerations;

46.  Considers that the Union should encourage all actors in the technology and know-how supply chains to turn their attention to space-based capabilities and dual-use technologies of relevance to security and defence, and should promote the development of innovative applications and new business ideas in this area, with a particular focus on small and medium-sized companies and on developing entrepreneurship in this sector; notes that continued financial investment is needed to sustain technological research and development; firmly believes that the public sector must provide incentives for the creation of specialist incubators and funds designed to provide financing for innovative start-ups, so as to ensure that the high costs of space research do not hinder the emergence of innovative projects; calls for a plan for the use of dual-use space technologies in the space sector, aimed at contributing to the development of the European defence industry and to greater competition;

47.  Stresses the need to support efforts to strengthen European cooperation in the sector in order to overcome the high level of fragmentation, especially with regard to the institutional demand side; is convinced that only a more cost-effective, transparent and consolidated European space industry can be internationally competitive; stresses that European space industrial policy must be further developed in coordination with the European Space Agency (ESA) in order to ensure complementarities;

48.  Recalls that in order to maintain and strengthen the security, defence and stability of Europe it is important to prevent the export of sensitive space technology to countries that endanger regional or global security and stability, pursue an aggressive foreign policy, directly or indirectly support terrorism or repress their people internally; urges the High Representative, the EU Member States and the Commission to make sure that the eight criteria of Common Position 944 and the rules of the Dual-Use Regulation are being fully respected as regards the export of sensitive space-related technology;

49.  Stresses the need for better coordination of EU space capacities, by developing the necessary system architectures and procedures to ensure a proportionate level of security, including data security; invites the Commission to draw up and promote a model of governance for each system providing security and defence related services; considers that, in order to provide an integrated service to end users, EU space capacities dedicated to security and defence should be managed by a specific operational service coordination centre (Command and Control Centre as referred to in the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2014-2015); considers that, for reasons of cost efficiency, this should, if possible, be incorporated into one of the existing EU bodies, such as the European GNSS Agency, the EU Satellite Centre or the European Defence Agency, taking into account the capabilities already offered by those agencies;

50.  Considers that creating in the long term a legal framework permitting sustained EU-level investments in security and defence capabilities could foster greater and more systematic European defence cooperation with a view to delivering key capabilities; notes, therefore, the European Council conclusions of June 2015; urges the Council, the VP/HR and the Commission to develop the necessary framework for EU-level funding;

51.  Notes that the European space industry is deeply concentrated, with a high degree of vertical integration where four companies are responsible for more than 70 % of total European space employment and where 90 % of European space-sector manufacturing employment is located in six countries; stresses that the potential of countries with good track records in high-technology patent filings but lacking a tradition of space activities should not be overlooked, and calls for policies to encourage participation of these countries in the European space sector, using inter alia the tools of the ‘Horizon 2020’ programme;

52.  Believes also that research and development in the field of space technology and services should be strengthened within a consistent EU policy framework;

53.  Takes the view that an EU-level White Paper on security and defence could be the appropriate means of structuring future EU engagement in space-based security and defence capabilities; calls on the HR/VP to start a debate on defining the EU’s level of ambition in the overlapping fields of space capabilities and security and defence; takes the view that this could also allow coherent development across all capability domains in relation to peace-keeping, conflict prevention and strengthening international security, in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter; calls on the Commission to outline in the future European Defence Action Plan its plans on space activities in support of security and defence; recognises simultaneously the benefits of security-related international cooperation with the EU’s reliable partners in the area of space;

54.  Recalls that space debris is a growing problem for space security, and calls on the EU to support research and development in active debris removal (ADR) technologies; encourages the EU to invest in the establishment of an international agreement providing a legal definition of space debris, establishing rules and regulations concerning its removal, and clarifying liability issues; stresses the need for an enhanced global space situational awareness mechanism, and calls for the European SSA system to be linked up with partners such as the US, and for more confidence-building measures and information exchange with other counterparts;

55.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the European Council, the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the EU agencies in the space, security and defence fields, and the national parliaments.

(1) OJ L 122, 24.4.2014, p. 44.
(2) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 158, 27.5.2014, p. 227.

Report – Space capabilities for European security and defence – A8-0151/2016 – Committee on Foreign Affairs

on space capabilities for European security and defence

(2015/2276(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Title V of the Treaty on European Union (TEU),

–  having regard to Titles XVII and XIX of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to the request by France of 17 November 2015 for aid and assistance under Article 42(7) TEU,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 20 November 2015 on enhancing the criminal justice response to radicalisation leading to terrorism and violent extremism,

–  having regard to the European Council conclusions of 18 December 2013 and of 25-26 June 2015,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 25 November 2013 and of 18 November 2014 on the common security and defence policy,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 20-21 February 2014 on space policy,

–  having regard to the progress report of 7 July 2014 by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) and the Head of the European Defence Agency on the implementation of the European Council conclusions of December 2013,

–  having regard to the Commission’s report of 8 May 2015 on the implementation of its communication on defence,

–  having regard to the joint communication of 11 December 2013 by the VP/HR and the Commission entitled ‘The EU’s comprehensive approach to external conflicts and crises’ (JOIN(2013)0030), and to the related Council conclusions of 12 May 2014,

–  having regard to the statement made by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at the European Parliament on 30 March 2015 on closer EU-NATO cooperation,

–  having regard to the statements made by US Deputy Defence Secretary Bob Work on 28 January 2015 and 10 September 2015 on the third US Offset Strategy and its implications for partners and allies,

–  having regard to the joint communication of 18 November 2015 by the VP/HR and the Commission entitled ‘Review of the European Neighbourhood Policy’ (JOIN(2015)0050),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 377/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 establishing the Copernicus Programme and repealing Regulation (EU) No 911/2010(1),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1285/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on the implementation and exploitation of European satellite navigation systems,

–  having regard to Decision No 541/2014/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 establishing a Framework for Space Surveillance and Tracking Support(2);

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (A8-0151/2016),

A.  whereas the security environment is becoming increasingly dangerous and challenging, both within and outside the Union, characterised by terrorist attacks and mass murder which affects all Member States and to which Member States must respond by adopting a joint strategy and a coordinated response; whereas those security challenges call for the strengthening of the EU’s security through the continued development and support of the EU Common Security and Defence policy to make it a more effective policy instrument and a real guarantee of the safety of EU citizens and the promotion and protection of European norms, interests and values as enshrined in Article 21 TEU;

B.  whereas the EU needs to increase its role as a security provider at home and abroad, ensuring stability in its neighbourhood and globally; whereas the Union needs to contribute to the fight against security challenges, in particular those arising from terrorism both at home and abroad, including by supporting third party countries in combating terrorism and its root causes; whereas the Member States and the Union need to work together on an effective and coherent border management system to secure external borders;

C.  whereas the Union needs to enhance its cooperation and coordination with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and with the United States, which both remain warrantors of Europe’s security and stability, with the United Nations, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the African Union, and other neighbours and regional partners;

D.  whereas the Union needs to address the root causes of the challenges to our security, of unrest and armed conflict in our neighbourhood, of migration, of the degradation of people’s livelihoods by state and non-state actors, and of the erosion of states and regional orders, including as a result of climate change and poverty, through a comprehensive rules- and values-based approach to managing crises both inside and outside the Union;

E.  whereas satellite capabilities could be used to better assess and identify the flow of illegal immigrants and their routes, and, in the case of those coming from Northern Africa, to identify the ship-boarding areas in order to engage with them faster and save more lives;

F.  whereas the European Council of June 2015, which focused on defence, called for the fostering of greater and more systematic European defence cooperation with a view to delivering key capabilities, including through the coherent and efficient use of EU funds and existing EU capabilities;

G.  whereas space policy is an essential component of the strategic autonomy which the EU must develop in order to safeguard sensitive technological and industrial capabilities and independent capabilities to carry out assessments;

H.  whereas space capabilities for European security and defence are important and, in some cases, even vital for a multitude of situations, ranging from day-to-day peacetime use to crisis management and more acute security challenges, including full-scale warfare; whereas the development of such capabilities is a long-term venture; whereas the development of future capabilities needs to be programmed when current capabilities are being deployed;

I.  whereas the proliferation of space technologies and the rising dependency of societies on satellites increase competition over space assets (paths, frequencies) and make satellites a critical infrastructure; whereas the development of anti-satellite (ASAT) technologies by a number of actors, including orbital weapons capabilities, signals the weaponisation of space;

J.  whereas in the area of defence and security the Union might act through, among others, such institutions as the European Defence Agency and the EU Satellite Centre;

K.  whereas European space assets have been developed over the last five decades thanks to the coordinated efforts of national space agencies and, latterly, the European Space Agency (ESA); whereas the Outer Space Treaty, the basic legal framework for international space law, was bought into force in October 1967;

L.  whereas developing and sustaining space capabilities for security and defence in Europe necessitates effective cooperation and synergy among Member States and with the European and international institutions;

M.  whereas the EU’s space capabilities should be compatible with the capabilities of NATO and the US, so they can be fully used as a network in the event of crisis;

N.  whereas research and development in space technology is a sector with a high investment return that also produces high-quality software and hardware by-products with various commercial use;

1.  Considers that space-based capabilities and services play an important role in, among other areas, the context of European security and defence; is convinced that current and future space-based capabilities and services will provide Member States and the Union with improved dual-use operational capacity for the implementation of the common security and defence policy and of other EU policies in areas such as external action, border management, maritime security, agriculture, the environment, climate action, energy security, disaster management, humanitarian aid and transport;

2.  Considers that further implementation of the CSDP is needed; reaffirms the need to increase the effectiveness, visibility and impact of the CSDP; reaffirms the importance and the added value of the Space Policy to the CSDP; considers that space should be included in future Union policies (e.g. internal security, transport, space, energy, research) and that synergies with space should be further strengthened and exploited; underlines that the use of space capabilities in the war against terrorism and terrorist organisations, through the ability to locate and monitor their training camps, is vital;

3.  Believes that national governments and the Union should improve access to space-based satellite communication, space situational awareness, precision navigation and Earth observation capabilities, and ensure European non-dependence as regards critical space technologies and access to space; considers that space situational awareness in particular will continue to play a vital role in military and civilian affairs; underlines the commitment to the non-militarisation of space; recognises that in order to achieve this goal, sufficient financial investment is needed; in this connection urges the Commission and the Member States to guarantee the autonomy of the EU as regards space structures, while providing the resources necessary for that purpose; takes the view that this aim is vitally important for civilian activities (in Western countries it is estimated that between 6 and 7 % of GDP is dependent on satellite positioning and navigation technology) and for security and defence; believes that cooperation should be initiated on an intergovernmental basis and through the ESA;

4.  Underlines the security dimension of the Copernicus programme, particularly its applications aimed at preventing and responding to crisis, humanitarian aid and cooperation, conflict prevention entailing the monitoring of compliance with international treaties, and maritime surveillance; urges the High Representative, the Commission and the Member States to strengthen the conflict prevention objective of space capabilities;

5.  Stresses that the EU’s space policy promotes scientific and technical progress, industrial competitiveness and the implementation of EU policies, in accordance with Article 189 TFEU, which includes security and defence policy; recalls that the two EU flagship programmes – Galileo and Copernicus – are civil programmes under civil control and that the European nature of Galileo and Copernicus has made these programmes possible and ensured their success; urges the Council, the VP/HR and the Commission to ensure that European space programmes develop civilian space-based capabilities and services with relevance for European security and defence capabilities, particularly through the allocation of adequate funds for research; believes that dual-use capacity of space capabilities is important in order to make the most effective use of resources;

6.  Stresses that space programmes have security and defence benefits that are technologically linked to civil benefits and highlights in this connection the dual-use capacity of Galileo and Copernicus; believes this capacity should be fully developed in the next generations, including for example better precision, authentication, encryption, continuity and integrity (Galileo); emphasises that high-resolution earth observation data and positioning systems are useful for applications in the civil and security domains, for instance in the areas of disaster management, humanitarian actions, refugee aid, maritime surveillance, global warming, energy security and global food security, and in the detection of and response to global natural disasters, notably droughts, earthquakes, floods and forest fires; notes the need for better interaction between drones and satellites; calls for sufficient provision in the mid-term review for all satellite systems’ future development;

7.  Considers that a holistic, integrated, long-term approach to the space sector at EU level is necessary; believes that the space sector should be mentioned in the new EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy, bearing in mind the current development of EU dual-use space programmes and the need to further develop EU civil space programmes that can be used for both civil security and defence purposes;

8.  Welcomes the EU-sponsored multilateral initiative towards an International Code of Conduct for Space Activities as a way of introducing standards of behaviour in space as it seeks to achieve enhanced safety, security, and sustainability in space by emphasising that space activities should involve a high degree of care, due diligence and appropriate transparency, with the aim of building confidence in the space sector;

9.  Asks the Commission to come up swiftly with a definition of EU needs regarding the potential contribution of the space policy to the CSDP for all the main aspects: launching, positioning, imagery, communication, space weather, space debris, cyber security, jamming, spoofing and other intentional threats, security of the ground segment; considers that future space features of the current European systems should be set according to the CSDP requirements and covering all above related aspects;

10.  Calls for the necessary requirements for future systems, private or public, which contribute to safety–of-life applications (e.g. positioning, air traffic management (ATM)) to be defined with regard to protection against possible security attacks (jamming, spoofing, cyber attacks, space weather and debris); considers that such safety requirements should be certifiable and under the surveillance of a European entity (such as EASA);

11.  Underlines in this regard that the development of European space capabilities for European security and defence should follow two key strategic objectives: security on the planet through in-orbit space systems designed to monitor the earth’s surface or to provide positioning, navigation and timing information or satellite communications and security in outer space as well as space safety, i.e. security in orbit and in space through ground-based and in-orbit space situational awareness systems;

12.  Identifies the dangers of cyber warfare and hybrid threats for European space programmes, taking into account that spoofing or jamming can disturb military missions or have far-reaching implications for daily life on earth; believes that cyber security requires a joint approach by the EU, its Member States, and business and internet specialists; calls on the Commission, therefore, to include space programmes in its cyber security activities;

13.  Considers that the coordination of space systems deployed in a fragmented way by the various Member States for various national needs should be enhanced in order to be able to anticipate promptly the disruption of different applications (e.g. for ATM);

14.  Stresses that cooperation between the Commission, the European External Action Service, the GNSS Agency, the European Defence Agency, the European Space Agency and the Member States is crucial to improving European space capabilities and services; takes the view that the Union, namely the VP/HR, should coordinate, facilitate and support such cooperation in the area of space, security and defence through a specific operational coordination centre; express its conviction that the European Space Agency should play a significant role in the definition and implementation of a single European space policy which includes security and defence policy;

15.  Calls on the European Commission to present results of the established European Framework Cooperation for Security and Defence Research on space and asks for recommendations on how to develop it further; calls on the Commission to clarify how civilian-military research under Horizon 2020 served in the area of space capabilities the implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy;

16.  Welcomes the Framework for Space Surveillance and Tracking Support; calls on the Commission to inform Parliament on the implementation of the framework and its impact on security and defence; calls on the Commission to set up an implementing road map covering the definition of the architecture envisaged;

17.  Stresses the strategic importance of stimulating space innovation and research for security and defence; acknowledges the significant potential of critical space technologies such as the European Data Relay System, which enables real-time and persistent earth observation, the deployment of mega-constellations of nanosats and, lastly, building up a responsive space capacity; underlines the need for innovative big data technologies to make use of the full potential of space data for security and defence; invites the Commission to incorporate these technologies in its Space Strategy for Europe;

18.  Calls for the development of the EU’s various diplomatic initiatives in space issues, in both a bilateral and a multilateral context, in order to contribute to the development of the institutionalisation of space and an increase in transparency and confidence-building measures; stresses the need to intensify work on the promotion of an International Code of Conduct for Outer-Space Activities; encourages the EEAS to consider the space component in negotiations in other areas;

19.  Encourages the Member States to carry out and finalise joint programmes and initiatives, such as the Multinational Space-Based Imaging System for Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Observation, the Government Satellite Communication (GovSatcom) and the Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) programmes, and to pool and share in the area of defence and security, and declares its support for such joint programmes and initiatives;

20.  Welcomes the ongoing project of the EDA and ESA on Governmental Satellite Communications (GovSatcom), which is one of the EDA’s flagship programmes identified by the European Council in December 2013; calls in this regard on the actors involved to set up a permanent programme and to use the European added value of the EDA for military satellite communication as well; welcomes the successful completion of the DESIRE I project and the launch of the DESIRE II demonstration project for the future operation of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) in non-segregated airspace by the EDA and the ESA;

21.  Considers that EU-US cooperation on future space-based capabilities and services for security and defence purposes would be mutually beneficial; considers that EU-US cooperation is more efficient and compatible when both parties are at the same technology and capacity level; calls upon any potential technological gap to be identified and addressed by the Commission; notes the work undertaken towards the third US Offset Strategy; urges the Union to take this development into account when preparing its own Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy, and to include space-based capabilities for security and defence within the remit of that strategy; believes that pre-existing bilateral relationships between Member States and the US could be utilised where appropriate; invites the VP/HR to discuss with defence ministers the strategic approach to be taken, and to inform Parliament as that debate unfolds;

22.  Believes that the EU should continue to facilitate the establishment of an international code of conduct on outer space activities, in order to protect space infrastructure while preventing a weaponisation of space; considers that the development of the space situational awareness (SSA) programme is vital to this; calls for the Union to work towards this objective in cooperation with the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and other relevant partners;

23.  Recalls the necessary close cooperation between the EU and NATO in the area of security and defence; expresses its conviction that EU-NATO cooperation should cover the building of resilience by the two bodies, in conjunction with EU neighbours, as well as defence investment; considers that cooperation on space-based capabilities and services could offer prospects for improving compatibility between the two frameworks; is convinced that this would also strengthen NATO’s role in security and defence policy and in collective defence;

24.  Points out, however, that the EU must continue to try to ensure to the highest possible degree space-related and military autonomy; points out that in the long term the EU must have its own instruments establishing a Defence Union;

25.  Considers that the protection of space-based capabilities and services for security and defence against cyber-attacks, physical threats , debris or other harmful interference could offer prospects for EU-NATO cooperation that would result in the necessary technological infrastructure to secure assets, as otherwise the multi-billion investment of taxpayers’ money in the European space infrastructure could be wasted; acknowledges that commercial satellite telecommunications and their increasing use for military purposes put them at risk of attack; invites the VP/HR to keep Parliament informed as EU-NATO cooperation in this area evolves;

26.  Considers that the civilian EU programmes in the space domain provide a range of capabilities and services that are of potential use in many sectors including the next stages of evolution of the Copernicus and Galileo systems; notes the need to consider any security- and defence-related concerns from their inception; considers that space situational awareness / space weather, satellite communication, electronic intelligence and early warning are areas that could benefit from greater cooperation between the public and private sectors, additional EU-level support and continuous investment by, and support for, agencies in the space, security and defence fields;

27.  Notes the importance of Galileo’s Public Regulated Service (PRS) for navigation and guidance of military systems; calls on the High Representative and the EU Member States to increase their efforts regarding a possible revision of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty or to initiate a new regulatory framework that takes account of technological progress since the 1960s and aims to prevent an arms race in space;

28.  Notes that transparency and effective public awareness-raising among Europeans of the applications of EU space programmes that have a direct impact on users, such as Galileo and Copernicus services, are crucial to the success of the programmes; thinks that these programmes could be used to increase the effectiveness of strategy-making and operations, in the framework of CSDP; encourages the identification and development of security- and defence-related capacity needs for the next generations of the Galileo and Copernicus systems;

29.  Points out the existence of the Galileo Public Regulated Service (PRS), which is restricted to government-authorised users and is suitable for sensitive applications where robustness and complete reliability must be ensured; considers that the capacity of the PRS should be further developed in the next generations in order to respond to evolving threats; calls on the Commission to ensure that the operational procedures are as efficient as possible, particularly in the event of a crisis; stresses the need to continue developing and promoting applications based on Galileo capabilities, including the necessary ones for CSDP, in order to maximise the socio-economic benefits; recalls moreover the need to strengthen the security of the Galileo infrastructure, including the ground segment, and invites the Commission to take the necessary steps in this direction in cooperation with the Member States;

30.  Underlines the high level of security for the EU GNSS systems; emphasises the successful execution of tasks assigned to the European GNSS Agency, in particular through the Security Accreditation Board and the Galileo Security Monitoring Centres; calls, in this respect, for use to be made of the expertise and security infrastructure of the European GNSS Agency for Copernicus also; calls for this issue to be addressed in the mid-term review of Galileo and Copernicus;

31.  Notes in particular the operational need for very high resolution earth observation data under the Copernicus programme and invites the Commission to assess how this need could be met, taking into account CSDP requirements; highlights developments such as near real-time observation and video-streaming from space, and recommends the Commission to investigate how to take advantage of these, including for security and defence purposes; recalls moreover the need to strengthen the security of the Copernicus infrastructure, including the ground segment, and the security of the data, and invites the Commission to take the necessary steps in this direction in cooperation with the Member States; points in addition to the importance of considering how industry might become involved in the management of Copernicus operations;

32.  Draws attention to the need to improve the process of disseminating information from satellites to users, including by building the necessary technological infrastructure; notes the fact mentioned in the Commission communication that 60 % of electronics on board European satellites are currently imported from the US; calls for an initiative on how to protect sensitive and personal data in this context;

33.  Welcomes the work being done to provide the EU with autonomous access to governmental satellite communications (GOVSATCOM) and invites the Commission to continue to make progress on this file; recalls that the first step in the process was the identification of civil and military needs by the Commission and the European Defence Agency, respectively, and considers that the initiative should entail the pooling of demand and should be designed in a way that best meets the needs identified; calls on the Commission to make, on the basis of beneficiaries’ needs and requirements, a cost-benefit evaluation of different solutions:

–  the provision of services by commercial operators;

–  a system relying on current capabilities with the possibility of integrating future capabilities; or

–  the creation of new capacities through a dedicated system;

  invites in this regard the Commission to address the issue of ownership and liability; notes that, whatever the final decision, any new initiative should be in the public interest and benefit European industry (manufacturers, operators, launchers and other industry segments); considers that GOVSATCOM should also be considered as an opportunity to boost competitiveness and innovation by taking advantage of the development of dual technologies, in the extremely competitive and dynamic context of the SATCOM market; underlines the need to reduce the reliance on non-EU suppliers of equipment and services;

34.  Points to the development of Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) as a good initiative in space cooperation and a step towards security in space; calls for the further development of its own SST capacities as a priority of the Union for the protection of the economy, society and citizens’ safety and in the area of space capabilities for European security and defence; considers that SST should become an EU programme with its own budget while ensuring that the funds for ongoing projects are not thereby reduced; believes in addition that the EU should develop a more holistic space situational awareness (SSA) capacity, with more predictive capabilities, involving the surveillance of space and the analysis and assessment of potential threats and hazards to space activities; invites the Commission therefore to build on SST, by developing a broader SSA concept that would also address intentional threats to space systems and, in cooperation with ESA, take account of space weather and near-Earth objects and the need for research into technological systems for the prevention and elimination of space debris; believes that a holistic coordination of space activities should be reached without hampering the freedom of using space; invites the Commission to examine the possibility of enabling the private sector to play an important role in further developing and maintaining the non-sensitive part of the SST system, for which the two-sided governance structure of Galileo could serve as an example;

35.  Underlines the need to develop policies and research capabilities in order to provide future applications and develop a competitive European industry, capable of commercial success based on a healthy economic environment; notices the increasing importance of private entities in the space market; underlines the need for, and the benefits flowing from, the involvement of SMEs in the processes of research, development and production connected to space technologies, particularly those that are relevant in ensuring security; remains cautious regarding the risks related to unregulated private initiatives with security and defence implications; stresses that the balance between risks and benefits may vary from segment to segment of space activities, and therefore needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis, in particular in the light of its specific characteristics in terms of sovereignty and strategic autonomy; calls on the Commission and the VP/HR to provide the necessary means to contain those risks;

36.  Emphasises that where space is concerned, and given its strategic importance, the onus with regard to investment efforts must be on the public sector; takes the view that the high costs of developing space programmes and infrastructure mean that the only way of ensuring the viability of such projects is through decisive public sector efforts to channel private initiatives;

37.  Points out, as regards the future financing of European space programmes, that it would be desirable to determine when it might be possible to use forms of public-private partnership;

38.  Points out that the correct regulatory and policy frameworks must be established in order to give industry further impetus and incentives to pursue technological development and research into space capabilities; calls for the necessary funding for space-related research to be ensured in the domains mentioned above; notes the important role that Horizon 2020 can play in helping the EU reduce its dependence in terms of critical space technologies; recalls, in that connection, that the space part of Horizon 2020 falls within the ‘Industrial leadership’ priority, and in particular within the specific objective of ‘Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies’; takes the view therefore that Horizon 2020 should be used to support Europe’s space technology base and space industrial capabilities; calls on the Commission to provide sufficiently for critical space technologies for security and defence during the mid-term review of Horizon 2020;

39.  Believes that the EU could play a role in making European space capabilities and services more robust, resilient and responsive; is convinced that a rapid reaction capability to replace or restore damaged or degraded assets in space as a crisis unfolds should be developed effectively through multi-state partnerships, including at European level; commends the ESA’s work on developing a Space Situational Awareness (SSA) programme to detect and predict space debris or satellite collision; underlines the urgent need to reduce the risk of collision arising from the growing number of satellites and space debris; calls on the Commission and the Council to continue the funding of this capability after 2016; welcomes, therefore, the Commission’s initiative on a European space surveillance and tracking system (SST), which will secure EU non-dependence in space; questions whether appropriate governance structures are in place to manage PRS and other key space infrastructure in the event of an armed attack or other major security crisis;

40.  Encourages the Commission and the European agencies in the space, security, and defence fields to join forces to develop a White Paper on training requirements vis-à-vis the use of space-based capabilities and services for security and defence; takes the view that EU resources should be mobilised for pilot courses in those areas in which Member States and the competent European agencies have identified an imminent need;

41.  Believes that further financial and political support for the development and use of the EU launchers and of the Programme for Reusable In-Orbit Demonstrator in Europe (PRIDE) is of strategic importance, as the demonstrator is more cost-effective and provides independence in space access, as well as a plan for space crisis management;

42.  Expresses its concerns about the increased cost of the Copernicus and Galileo programmes far beyond the initial budgetary allocations; express its support for the further development of EU space capabilities, while asking for appropriate management of the financial resources;

43.  Calls on those Member States that have not ratified the Outer Space Treaty to do so, given its importance in maintaining law in space;

44.  Welcomes the process and plans for the development of new European launchers Ariane 6 and VEGA, and considers the development of these launchers to be crucial to the long-term viability and independence of the European space programmes that serve defence and security purposes; is firmly of the opinion that maintaining the predominant position of European launchers must be a strategic European objective at a time when new competitors are emerging that are strongly backed by competitive funding models; takes the view that in order to achieve that objective, appropriate structural, legislative and funding changes need to be made in order to foster the development of innovative, competitive projects at European level; advocates, among other things, innovation in the reuse of components, as this represents a significant step forward in terms of both efficiency and sustainability; believes that the EU should pay special attention to the impact of certain projects concerning the non-dependence of the EU, such as cooperation with Russia in sensitive areas like satellite launching with Soyuz rockets;

45.  Notes the strategic importance of independent access to space and the need for dedicated EU action, including with regard to security and defence, since this capacity would allow Europe to gain access to space in the event of a crisis; calls on the Commission, in collaboration with the ESA and the Member States, to:

–  coordinate, share and develop planned space projects and European markets, so that European industry can anticipate demand (thereby boosting jobs and industry based in Europe) and also generate its own demand in terms of business-driven utilisation;

–  support launch infrastructure; and

–  promote R&D, including through the instrument of public-private partnerships, particularly in breakthrough technologies;

  considers that these efforts are necessary to allow Europe to compete in the global launch market; considers in addition that the EU must ensure that it has a solid space technology base and the necessary industrial capabilities to allow it to conceive, develop, launch, operate and exploit space systems, ranging from technological autonomy and cyber-security to supply-side considerations;

46.  Considers that the Union should encourage all actors in the technology and know-how supply chains to turn their attention to space-based capabilities and dual-use technologies of relevance to security and defence, and should promote the development of innovative applications and new business ideas in this area, with a particular focus on small and medium-sized companies and on developing entrepreneurship in this sector; notes that continued financial investment is needed to sustain technological research and development; firmly believes that the public sector must provide incentives for the creation of specialist incubators and funds designed to provide financing for innovative start-ups, so as to ensure that the high costs of space research do not hinder the emergence of innovative projects; calls for a plan for the use of dual-use space technologies in the space sector, aimed at contributing to the development of the European defence industry and to greater competition;

47.  Stresses the need to support efforts to strengthen European cooperation in the sector in order to overcome the high level of fragmentation, especially with regard to the institutional demand side; is convinced that only a more cost-effective, transparent and consolidated European space industry can be internationally competitive; stresses that European space industrial policy must be further developed in coordination with the European Space Agency (ESA) in order to ensure complementarities;

48.  Recalls that in order to maintain and strengthen the security, defence and stability of Europe it is important to prevent the export of sensitive space technology to countries that endanger regional or global security and stability, pursue an aggressive foreign policy, directly or indirectly support terrorism or repress their people internally; urges the High Representative, the EU Member States and the Commission to make sure that the eight criteria of Common Position 944 and the rules of the Dual-Use Regulation are being fully respected as regards the export of sensitive space-related technology;

49.  Stresses the need for better coordination of EU space capacities, by developing the necessary system architectures and procedures to ensure a proportionate level of security, including data security; invites the Commission to draw up and promote a model of governance for each system providing security and defence related services; considers that, in order to provide an integrated service to end users, EU space capacities dedicated to security and defence should be managed by a specific operational service coordination centre (Command and Control Centre as referred to in the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2014-2015); considers that, for reasons of cost efficiency, this should, if possible, be incorporated into one of the existing EU bodies, such as the European GNSS Agency, the EU Satellite Centre or the European Defence Agency, taking into account the capabilities already offered by those agencies;

50.  Considers that creating in the long term a legal framework permitting sustained EU-level investments in security and defence capabilities could foster greater and more systematic European defence cooperation with a view to delivering key capabilities; notes, therefore, the European Council conclusions of June 2015; urges the Council, the VP/HR and the Commission to develop the necessary framework for EU-level funding;

51.  Notes that the European space industry is deeply concentrated, with a high degree of vertical integration where four companies are responsible for more than 70 % of total European space employment and where 90 % of European space-sector manufacturing employment is located in six countries; stresses that the potential of countries with good track records in high-technology patent filings but lacking a tradition of space activities should not be overlooked, and calls for policies to encourage participation of these countries in the European space sector, using inter alia the tools of the ‘Horizon 2020’ programme;

52.  Believes also that research and development in the field of space technology and services should be strengthened within a consistent EU policy framework;

53.  Takes the view that an EU-level White Paper on security and defence could be the appropriate means of structuring future EU engagement in space-based security and defence capabilities; calls on the HR/VP to start a debate on defining the EU’s level of ambition in the overlapping fields of space capabilities and security and defence; takes the view that this could also allow coherent development across all capability domains in relation to peace-keeping, conflict prevention and strengthening international security, in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter; calls on the Commission to outline in the future European Defence Action Plan its plans on space activities in support of security and defence; recognises simultaneously the benefits of security-related international cooperation with the EU’s reliable partners in the area of space ;

54.  Recalls that space debris is a growing problem for space security, and calls on the EU to support research and development in active debris removal (ADR) technologies; encourages the EU to invest in the establishment of an international agreement providing a legal definition of space debris, establishing rules and regulations concerning its removal, and clarifying liability issues; stresses the need for an enhanced global space situational awareness mechanism, and calls for the European SSA system to be linked up with partners such as the US, and for more confidence-building measures and information exchange with other counterparts;

55.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the European Council, the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the EU agencies in the space, security and defence fields, and the national parliaments.

(1)

OJ L 122, 24.4.2014, p. 44.

(2)

OJ L 158, 27.5.2014, p. 227.

Factsheet on EU Development Cooperation with Niger

The EU is a key political, humanitarian and development actor in Niger. Niger currently ranks last in the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Human Development Index and faces numerous challenges, such as food and nutrition recurrent crises, a population growth rate of 3.9%, and regional instability.

Niger is hosting refugees and displaced people from Nigeria and Mali. It is also one of the most critical transit hubs for migration flows to Europe.

Under the 11thEuropean Development Fund (2014-2020), the EU is supporting Niger with a national allocation of €596 million, which is one of the highest amounts per capita among African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.

The €596 million funding budget will be distributed as follows:

  • €180 million for food security, nutrition and resilience. EU support aims to increase food security and the level of income through individual or collective production. It will also improve water management and responses to food crises.
  • €200 million for reinforcing state capacities to deliver social services. EU support will improve the financial capacity of the Government to implement public policies, and will also reinforce public finance management and help fight against corruption. It will also contribute to improving access to basic public services in key sectors and to social services.

  • €100 million for security, governance and consolidation of peace. EU funding in this area will support reforms, and decentralisation and capacity-building.

These funds will also support Niger to better manage migration flows, through improved border management and increased support to fight against trafficking and smuggling networks.

  • €90 million for road access to areas affected by insecurity and conflict. The EU aim is to helpunlock areas of agriculture production and to improve access to social services in those areas. Investment in infrastructure should also facilitate economic exchange between North and South and help with mobility of people and goods in these areas.

Support to these sectors is underpinned by support for civil society (€16m) and institutional strengthening of the relevant ministries and public institutions, including the National Audit Office (€10m).

EU Emergency Trust Fund

 

The newly set-up EU Emergency Trust Fund will complement the existing EU efforts and contribute to addressing the root causes of destabilisation, forced displacement and irregular migration, in particular by promoting resilience, economic and equal opportunities, and development.

Niger is an example of the EU comprehensive approach (i.e.the deployment of EU instruments and resources, as well as the shared responsibility of EU-level actors and Member States)”in action”: 

On the development side, Niger is receiving one of the highest per capita aid allocations under the 11th European Development Fund (€596m). Niger also receives funding from regional instruments (Regional Indicative Plan for West Africa, intra-ACP programmes) and other instruments such as the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace and the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights.

On the political side, the EU and Niger regularly exchange views on issues of common interest, including the recent high-level dialogue launched by the HR/VP Mogherini on migration. 

On the security side, an EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) mission (EUCAP Sahel Niger) has been deployed since 2012 to provide advice and training to Nigerien internal security forces.

Humanitarian support

The Commission mobilised €47m in humanitarian funding in 2015 for the treatment and prevention of severe acute malnutrition, as well as for displaced persons and refugees.

Some key results of past EU cooperation with Niger:

 

  • EU support to health and education. €119 million in general budget support have been disbursed since 2012 under the 10th European Development Fund, with a major focus on actions and results in education and health.

     

    For example, child mortality (Millennium Development Goal 4) has been halved to 63 per 1000 in 2010, putting Niger on track to attain the 2015 goal. Gross school enrolment rates increased by 3.6 points per year on average and have already reached 73.6% in 2015. Primary school completion rates increased from 54.1% to 72.7% in 2012 and prenatal care rates rose from 15% to 33%.

  • EU support to food security. Support to the national system of risk prevention and disaster management amounted to €97.4m between 2010 and 2016. Niger’s most vulnerable have been assisted through free food distribution, cash for work, food for work, food sales at moderate prices, provision of livestock feed and seeds.
  • EU support to access to water. Regarding access to water, the European Development Fund funded the construction of 110 drinking water facilities for 300,000 beneficiaries. In the current phase of the program, nearly 200 drinking water supply systems are in progress to support an additional population of 450,000 people.
  • EU support to transport infrastructure. EU work in this area focused on the rehabilitation of 612 km of paved roads (96 km already completed, 260 km being rehabilitated and 256 km in the preparatory phase) and 170 km of rural roads (in preparation phase). EU technical support activities in this sector have also supported the management and maintenance of the road network and initiated reforms to ensure the necessary resources for the road maintenance fund in Niger. The EU also supported the revision of the National Transit Strategy (2012-2025).
  • EU support to governance and to justice: The Justice Support Programme (€29.5m) is supporting the implementation of a sectorial policy for justice and a four-year action plan adopted in 2010. It also supported the establishment of the National Agency for Legal and Judicial Assistance, to allow free access to justice for the most vulnerable categories of the population. The programme also supports the improvement of living conditions in prison, especially for women and young people, as well as the judicial protection for children and the rehabilitation of eight High Courts in the regions.

For more information

Press release: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-15-5986_en.htm