I wish to explain that I abstained on the final vote of this report due to the following:
Where in this text, security cooperation and joint action by the EU as a whole in collaboration or in tandem with NATO is contemplated and endorsed, I am not in agreement, so long as it is clear that such references do not include or cover neutral states that are members of the EU, unless these autonomously decide to be so associated; and this not least with particular reference to Malta, which as a neutral country, is specifically barred by its Constitution from participating in the programmes of a military alliance.
The Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Budgets adopted the joint own-initiative report by Eduard KUKAN (EPP, SK) and Indrek TARAND (Greens/EFA, EE) on financing the Common Security and Defence Policy. The report noted that the EU and its Member States were major funders of the various peace and crisis management operations throughout the world, while CSDP civilian and military missions and operations constitutes a very small share of all funding. Members regretted the modest nature of CSDP interventions, especially the military ones, consisting mainly of small-scale military training missions instead of substantial European contributions to peacekeeping and peace enforcement. They were convinced that the EU cannot allow itself to focus exclusively on instruments for a post-crisis context or for supporting exit from crisis, but must, rather, be capable of intervention across the full spectrum of crisis management.
In this context, budget cuts in defence spending and existing duplications required the rethinking of the financing of CSDP missions and operations by using budget allocations in a better and more cost-efficient way while ensuring proper democratic scrutiny at EU institutional level of all missions and operations, whether civil or military. Cost saving/efficiency-increasing initiatives: given the still significant delays in procuring essential equipment and services to the CSDP missions under the CFSP framework, the Commission was asked to mitigate these shortfalls by preparing a specific template for the financial rules for civilian CSDP missions and by adapting existing guidelines to their needs, in order to facilitate the rapid, flexible and more efficient conduct of missions, while guaranteeing sound financial management of EU resources and an adequate protection of the Union’s financial interests. Members took the view that the budget should be delegated to the Civilian Operation Commander.
The Commission and Member States were asked to conduct an annual evaluation of the overall costs of security and defence policies, including a transparent presentation of procurement procedures, with a view to managing the budget allocated to this field as efficiently as possible in the future. Members strongly encouraged the setting-up of a Shared Services Centre, together with an Integrated Resource Management System as a way to improve the speed of deployment and cost-efficiency of civilian missions.