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Together we stand. The European Defence Force.
Europe United considers that the European Union should have a military capacity of its own. We believe that efforts to create such an integrated European Defence Force (EDF) force have thus far been rather timid.
Europe's military capability should be built alongside a strong and dynamic Common European Foreign Policy and should be based on the principles of non-aggression, integrity, and transparency and should uphold international laws and agreements. It should also remain true to democratic standards and protect human rights.
Europe United believes that the European Union should, first and foremost, resolve international conflicts through diplomatic means. If such attempts fail and the military option remains the last resort, Europe should seek, as a matter of priority, the backing of the international community, notably the United Nations, for its involvement in overseas military operations. If such backing cannot be had and the Union believes the urgency of an international crisis warrants intervention, Europe United believes the Union should act of its own accord to defend human rights.
Europe’s defensive military capability should be built on solidarity between Member States. Nevertheless, if Member States decide not to participate in a common European Defence Force at first, they still have the option to take part later on in the process. Their wish for neutrality shall be accepted and respected by the other Member States.
The European Defence Force should not be used within the borders of the European Union, unless it is to prevent the Union and its Member States from outside aggression, to impede civil wars from breaking out within a Member State, and to avert genocide from taking place in a Member State. However, the EDF should never be used to prevent a Member State from leaving the Union.
Europe United strongly believes that the independent capability of the Union in matters of defence should be strengthened. The overriding objective of the EDF should be to safeguard the territory of the Union and that of its Member States. Such a force should also serve to defend the political and economic stability of the European Union and neighbouring regions.
We believe that the European Union's influence in the world should be more balanced. Since its creation the EU has achieved an unsurpassed level of economic prosperity which has given its citizens a high standard of living. Through international cooperation and agreements the European Union has sought to share this economic prosperity and wealth with other countries and regions around the world. Consequently, the EU has attained a certain level of economic influence internationally. In comparison, the military influence of the Union is virtually non-existent.
A common military structure
The EU should be given the legal and logistic wherewithal to operate outside its borders to maintain the stability of the Union. To this end the European Union should have effective political and military structures to oversee and coordinate the activities of the EDF. The European Defence Force should be established independently from the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) without undermining it.
The role of the European Defence Agency (EDA) should be strengthened if an efficient and effective European Defence Force is to see the day. The deployment capabilities of the Union should be reinforced.
For a European Union Security and Defence Policy to function properly and efficiently the use of unanimity should be dropped and qualified majority used as the basis for approving security and defence policy.
Military action abroad
A European Defence Force should be used for international conflict prevention and crisis management. Such a force should be trained and used for humanitarian and peacekeeping missions and other military actions sanctioned by the United Nations.
In the field of security and defence, cooperation between the European Union and other nations should focus on upholding international law.
The European Union should closely monitor and regulate the sale of arms to non-EU countries. This should be based on ethical considerations, with special emphasis on democratic standards and human rights, and transparency of sales.
Europe United believes that the civilian capability of the Union to resolve conflicts through non-violent, diplomatic, and civilian means should be enhanced.
Research and development
Research and development in the defence field remains fragmented across the European Union. Europe United is of the view that resources in this area should be pooled so as to avoid duplication of costs and resources. The role of the EDA should also include the coordination and development of EDF military equipment.