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Motion for a resolution on the implementation of Article 42(7) of the Treaty on European Union – B8-2016-0045

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 21 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU),

–  having regard to Article 42(7) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU),

–  having regard to Article 222 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and the definition of arrangements for the implementation by the EU of the solidarity clause through Council Decision 2014/415/EU and the EU Integrated Political Crisis Response arrangements (IPCR),

–  having regard to the European Union Counter-Terrorism Strategy, the EU Action Plan on combating terrorism, the EU strategy for combating radicalisation and recruitment and related guidelines,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on the EU Regional Strategy for Syria and Iraq as well as the ISIL/Da’esh threat adopted on 16 March 2015,

–  having regard to the statement made by the President of the French Republic before the French Congress on 16 November 2015 invoking Article 42(7) TEU and tasking the French Defence Minister to begin consultations on implementation of the article,

–  having regard to the conclusions of the EU Defence Ministers meeting of 17 November 2015 at which ministers expressed their unanimous and full support for France and their readiness to provide all necessary aid and assistance,

–  having regard to statements made by the High Representative on 17 November 2015 at the EU Defence Ministers meeting which emphasised that this is not a CSDP operation, but the activation of bilateral aid and assistance,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas on 13 November 2015 a series of coordinated terrorist attacks occurred in Paris, taking the lives of at least 130 people from more than 26 nations and injuring 368 others;

B.  whereas recent attacks by Islamist terrorists in EU Member States, including in Paris (Charlie Hebdo, Hyper Casher, 13 November 2015), Copenhagen (Synagogue, Cultural Centre) and Brussels (Jewish Museum), were mainly carried out by EU citizens who were born and lived in EU Member States;

C.  whereas at an informal meeting on counter-terrorism on 30 January 2015 in Riga, EU interior ministers agreed to strengthen cooperation between police and security services, to improve the exchange of information about dangerous individuals, and to take joint action against the spread of illegal firearms and the financing of terrorism;

D.  whereas it appears that prior to the 13 November 2015 Paris attacks several national police and intelligence services in the EU failed to cooperate and coordinate in an appropriate manner;

E.  whereas on 16 November 2015 the French President decided to opt for a military response to the Paris attacks by invoking Article 42(7) TEU;

F.  whereas, as a consequence, the French Ministry of Defence and relevant French embassies significantly increased bilateral contacts with some EU Members States such as the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands in order to seek military support and replacements in Syria, Iraq and the Sahel region;

G.  whereas the High Representative and the EEAS have reportedly not been involved in any activities linked to the activation of Article 42(7) TEU and specialised EU bodies and working groups such as the EU Military Committee have not been consulted so far;

H.  whereas the EU has adopted a counter-terrorism strategy which relies on both Community instruments and intergovernmental assets in the field of CFSP; whereas this strategy proposes that EU actions are organised around four objectives, namely prevention, protection, pursuit and response;

I.  whereas the EU response to terrorism includes the promotion of democracy, dialogue and good governance in order to tackle the root causes of violent extremism; whereas the EU approach can be characterised as a criminal justice approach;

J.  whereas Article 222 TFEU is specifically designed to trigger well-coordinated EU action in response to a terrorist attack, with a special focus on police cooperation and civil protection, while making use of many Community instruments and funds;

1.  Is deeply shocked by the brutal and inhumane nature of the 13 November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris;

2.  Expresses its deepest sympathy and condolences to the families and friends of the victims of all attacks by Islamist terrorists in EU Member States; strongly expresses its solidarity to the people of Paris and the whole French nation;

3.  Strongly condemns the 13 November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris and calls on all Europeans to respond with more democracy, openness, freedom and respect for human rights;

4.  Calls for a truly European response to terrorist attacks; believes that as a consequence there is a need for more European cooperation in countering terrorism; urges the EU Member States, the Council and the Commission to use the many strategies, guidelines, instruments, funds and procedures that already exist in order to bring those responsible to justice and to prevent further terrorist attacks;

5.  Recalls that the majority of those involved in the attacks by Islamist terrorists in EU Member States are reported to be, or are, EU citizens and were born and lived in the EU;

6.  Calls for increased efforts in the field of de-radicalisation, but also for the monitoring of those who are considered dangerous and are ready to use force or recruit others for terrorist purposes;

7.  Strongly believes that the EU Member States should respond to terrorism by complying fully with the UN Charter, international law, international humanitarian law, international human rights law, the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and the values and principles enshrined in their national constitutions;

8.  Notes with concern the purely military nature of the response to the activation of Article 42(7); questions the very strong bilateral nature of the current approach which weakens common EU institutions, instruments, principles and values;

9.  Is deeply convinced that the many extremist groups and actors in the Middle East and North Africa, including the so-called Islamic State, will only be defeated or significantly weakened through a very strong and coordinated engagement by the EU and its Member States in finding a political solution to the conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and between Saudi-Arabia and Iran; calls on High Representative Mogherini and the EU Foreign Ministers to strengthen their diplomatic efforts in this respect;

10.  Calls on the Council and the Member States to urgently develop and adopt a policy framework which helps to guide the implementation of Article 42(7) TEU and contains a time frame, a review clause and monitoring mechanisms; is deeply convinced that all national, bilateral or multilateral actions following the activation of Article 42(7) should be notified to the Council and be made public at the same time;

11.  Recalls that Article 42(7) cannot oblige any EU Member State to intervene militarily in a third country;

12.  Insists on a comprehensive approach towards de-radicalisation, the prevention of violent extremism and counter-terrorism which focuses on strengthening social cohesion, crime prevention, targeted policing and security activities based on an individual suspicion or specific threat determined by people, not machines; emphasises moreover the need to tighten up rules on the acquisition and possession of weapons, export rules and the fight against the illegal trafficking of weapons;

13.  Promotes the future use of the Article 222 TFEU solidarity clause instead of the Article 42(7) mutual assistance clause, as Article 222 TFEU is specifically designed to counter terrorist threats in Europe and addresses poor levels of cooperation and coordination between national law enforcement agencies in Europe; recalls that Article 222 TFEU cannot initiate further military contributions to ongoing UN and EU missions; calls on the EU Member States to increase contributions to UN and EU missions, especially in Mali and the Central African Republic in view of a possible reduced French contribution;

14.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and the UN Secretary‑General.

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