AG Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik/EU-Defence-Discussion

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European Defence Fund

Do we support the European Defence Fund in its current form? Under what conditions do we support the EDF - do we want to formulate any? Do we support both the research and capability development strands of the EDF? Do we support the concept of Europe’s strategic autonomy as a legitimate and necessary ambition? Under any conditions?

  • Launched in June 2017 through a Commission communication, the EDF is to coordinate, supplement and amplify national investments in defence research, in the development of prototypes and in the acquisition of defence equipment and technology. [1]
  • The proposal for a regulation establishing the EDF (COM(2018) 476) was published on 13 June 2018[2]
  • Two strands:
    • Research - offering grants for collaborative research in innovative defence technologies and products, fully and directly funded from the EU budget
      • 500 EURO million per year after 2020
      • Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR) – aimed at assessing and demonstrating the added-value of EU supported defence research and technology
    • Development and acquisition (capability) - creating incentives for MSs to cooperate on joint development and the acquisition of defence equipment and technology through co-financing from the EU budget and practical support from the Commission.
      • 1 EURO billion per year after 2020
  • European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) – a part of the EDF’s capability strand
    • Established in August 2018 by the Commission with a 500 EURO million budget for 2019-2020[3]
    • Supporting competitiveness and innovation capacity of EU’s defence industry
  • Grant mechanism[4]
    • Funds shall be awarded mainly through grants following annual calls for proposals
    • Eligibility – actions have to be carried out in cooperation between at least three legal entities based in at least three different MSs and/or associated countries
      • The EU will only co-finance the development of common prototypes if MSs commit themselves to buying the final product.
      • More eligibility criteria in Art. 11, award criteria in Art. 13 of the EDF Proposal[5]
  • The EDF budget
    • The Commission originally proposed a budget of 11,5 EURO billion in constant 2018 prices (13 billion EURO in current prices) for the 2021-2027 period.[6]
      • 4.1 EURO billion to directly finance competitive and collaborative research projects
      • 8.9 EURO billion to co-finance with MSs the costs for prototype development, the ensuing certification and testing requirements
    • The Council proposes a budget for the EDF of 7 EURO billion (in constant 2018 prices) and the Commission changed its proposal to 8 EURO billion, the EP however advocates for the original budget proposed by the Commission (i.e. 11,5 EURO billion)
  • The EDF budget under the MFF is still to be finalised
  • Role of the EP
    • The Parliament essentially cannot scrutinise or control the EDF
    • The Commission will communicate the conclusions of the EDF evaluation to the EP (Art. 32 (4) of the EDF Proposal)
    • The Commission shall notify the EP of any adoption of a delegated act, the EP may also revoke the power of the Commission to adopt delegated acts in relation to the EDF (Art. 36 of the EDF Proposal)

Topic Plenary File type File details Greens voting position Pirate voting position
CSDP, EDF Jan I 2020 INI Annual report on the implementation of the common security and defence policy Against Abstention
EDF Jul II 2020 Resolution Conclusions of the extraordinary European Council meeting of 17-21 July 2020 – deletion of EDF from list of flagship programmes to be toped up Abstention Against
EDF Nov I 2020 Budget Draft general budget of the European Union for 2021 - all sections – deletion of EDF funding In favour PB in favour, CZ PP against
EDF Nov I 2020 Resolution General budget – deletion of a call for increased EDF funding In favour PB in favour, CZ PP against
  • Military mobility is the issue of moving military personnel and equipment across any border of the EU in the event of an unpredictable crisis.[7]
  • The goal is to develop appropriate infrastructure and avoid cumbersome custom procedures by reducing physical, legal and regulatory obstacles.
  • The Commission adopted a joint communication on improving military mobility in the EU (November 2017) and an Action plan on military mobility (March 2018).[8]
  • In December 2018 the EP adopted a resolution on military mobility in which it expressed its support for the initiative.
  • Military mobility under PESCO
    • One of PESCO’s projects, which ‘aims to address legal barriers and bureaucratic requirements such as reducing the time for obtaining diplomatic clearances‘[9]
      • Main focus is the simplification and standardisation of cross-border military transport
      • 24 out of 25 PESCO members take part in this project under Dutch coordination (France observing)
      • Currently focused on sharing of best practises, implementing the deliverables of the FAC-Defence Council conclusions of 25th June 2018 and strategic communication[10]
    • Military mobility is also a binding commitment for PESCO members (Commitment 12)
      • Requires members to simplify and standardise 'cross border military transport in Europe for enabling rapid deployment of military material and personnel'
  • NATO established an 'enablement plan', which aims to adjust regulatory processes, enhance command and control, and increase transport capabilities in support of military mobility (July 2018 Brussels Summit).[11]
  • Military mobility budget (under Title 6 Revenue, contributions and refunds related to Union policies - Resilience, security and defence – Defence)[12]– to be implemented through the Connecting Europe Facility[13]
    • Was set to get 6,5 EURO billion in the original Commission proposal,[14] then 1.5 EURO billion under Council president Charles Michel’s proposal (slashed due to the pandemic)
    • The budget is yet to be finalised

Topic Plenary File type File details Greens voting position Pirate voting position
Military mobility Nov I 2020 Budget Draft general budget of the European Union for 2021 - all sections – deletion of military mobility funding In favour PB in favour, CZ PP against
Military mobility Nov I 2020 Resolution General budget – deletion of a call for increased military mobility funding In favour PB in favour, CZ PP against

See ENAAT criticism

Greens/EFA position

Defence policy should not be about increasing defence spending and giving subsidies to the defence industry

We are in favour of the further development and strengthening of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) but do not support the way this is currently discussed/implemented. The focus of the discussion is almost entirely on the industrial and defence spending dimension but we strongly believe that the first step to be taken in this area is a strategic one: we want a very precise European strategy on how the common defence policy should be used. When should the EU intervene? Under which conditions and for which objectives? It makes no sense to plan enormous amounts of EU subsidies to the defence industry without first having a strategic discussion, followed by clear decisions. Based on such a strategy, very concrete scenarios should be created, to help develop an overview of military capabilities needed, how military co-operation between armed forces of Member States should be structured, and which precise functions it should generate. In this respect, we should walk away from the current ad hoc structures, which are costly and unreliable, and opt instead for permanent multi-national units of modest size.

The current surge in European defence lacks this logical sequence of steps. The only question seems to be how to dramatically increase defence spending at collective level and heavily subsidise the defence industry. For instance, the establishment of the European Defence fund is currently being discussed at EU level. This proposal would increase funds in this policy area from around €600 million for the period 2014-2020 to €13 billion for the period 2021-2027. This will make the EU the fourth biggest investor in military research on EU territory!

We are opposing the European Defence proposal because it does not respond to current problems such as high levels of defence industrial fragmentation, duplication and overcapacity. These structural problems cost the European taxpayer between €25 and €100 Billion a year (according to the Commis- sion). The European Defence Fund is not focussed on the needs of the EU’s own CSDP, has no mechanism to prevent further inefficiencies such as duplication and fragmentation. It is highly probable that the new EU fund might even add to the duplication problem, further increase industrial overcapacity and thus trigger further arms exports. It intends to massively subsidise an industry which is not at all short of money.

To put it differently: the current approach of the European Defence fund is to increase defence spending in Europe and to heavily subside a sector which does not need money, but rather guidance. We strongly believe that we could save taxpayers money and give the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy reliable and strong capabilities by pooling parts of the national defence expenditure and existing national capabilities. Member States should use that pooled money to do joint research, development, procurement, maintenance and training together. And the Commission should finally start to regulate the sector and impose norms, standards and public procurement rules, to generate efficiency and real competition inside the EU. We don’t need to spend more EU money to develop a reliable and common Defence policy.

Possible conditions

  • Substitute national defence R&D funds, no overall increase, no substitution of civilian areas of work
  • exclude nuclear arms, autonomous weapons, weapons of mass destruction
  • much stronger ethical control with independent NGOs, MEPs etc., transparency of assessments, possibility to abort unethical projects
  • EP in control of implementation


What should be the budget for the EDF and for EU defence spending in general - as it is currently, increased or decreased?

Greens/EFA Group position

  • The EU budget should be consistent with its international commitments and objectives. To do so, we have to scrap all nuclear, fossil fuel, asphalt and defence-related expenditures from the EU budget.”
  • While the Greens/EFA support overcoming the many structural problems in the defence sector, they strongly oppose injecting EU budget money into a sector which already consumes 200 EURO billion annually.
  • The Greens/EFA group wants to triple funds available for civilian conflict prevention within the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace budget and to spend at least € 85 million ( €850 million for the 2021-2030 period) and to double the budget for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CSFP) to €700 million annually (€7 bn over the next decade). [15]
  • The EU does “not need unnecessary parallel structures for the defence of European territory,” which “has led to unnecessary duplication and wasted money”, “but closer cooperation between EU Member States”. “We do not need more money for the defence industry, much less a new arms fund. When the EU Member States pool projects, money is saved and our defence is better and more efficient.” “The European Union should remain a peace project, with a focus on crisis prevention, mediation and diplomacy.”[16]

Proposal: we pursue disarmament

Permanent Structured Cooperation

Do we support the Permanent Structured Cooperation? Under any specific conditions? Do we support military mobility in the EU (simplification and standardisation of cross-border military transport, currently as a PESCO project)?

PESCO is a programme for those Member States (MSs) willing to take on greater commitments on common security and defence.

* Launched in December 2017

  • Currently 25 states participating (without Denmark and Malta)
  • Initial list of 17 projects (training, capability development, operational readiness, etc.) and 47 currently in place[17]
  • The Council adopted a recommendation (5 October 2018) defining the different stages in completion of the most binding commitments taken as part of PESCO and determining more specific objectives. The recommendation will be re-examined and updated, where necessary, in 2021.
  • On 5 November 2020, the Council adopted a Decision on the general conditions under which third States could exceptionally be invited to participate in individual PESCO projects.
  • On 20 November 2020, the Council approved conclusions on the PESCO Strategic Review 2020
    • The review assesses the progress made and provides guidance for the next phase of 2021-2025
    • The review stresses the need to work towards a coherent Full Spectrum Force Package

Topic Plenary File type File details Greens voting position Pirate voting position
PESCO Oct II 2020 INI Recommendation to the Council and the VPC/HR concerning the Implementation and governance of Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) Abstention PB abstention, CZ PP in favour


How to vote in a situation where the military instruments don't correspond to our requirements?

Pirate Positions

It would also be useful to see what PPEU, PPCZ and PPDE already have in their programmes on military.

PPEU Programme

Conflicts Resolution

Pirates want to pay special attention to the stabilization of conflict outbreaks and fragile states, as their instability is a source of problems for the entire international community. Conflict resolution has to be based on respect for International Law which is the base for a peaceful international community.

Armed forces

Pirates support joint efforts to protect nations of the European Union. Any European Armed forces (existing or newly created) must be put under supervision and/or control of the European Parliament through the parliamentary reservation. It is necessary to ensure that they will not be used against the Parliament’s will.

Use of Weapons

Pirates are striving for more stringent regulation of the world arms trade and banning arms exports to conflict areas.

The Pirates seek a more peaceful world, and support more stringent regulation in arms trade. The Pirates will therefore strive for better information sharing on arms export licence decisions and denials, to ensure a coherent EU arms export policy. The EU should further increase its support for Arms Trade Treaty implementation and universalisation to reduce the possibility of export of arms into areas of conflict via countries with loose arms trade regulation.

Artificial Intelligence

The Pirates support starting negotiations in the framework of the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons on a regulatory instrument to ban “Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems”, or weapons that can select and engage targets without human supervision.

Cyber Defense

Cyberwar is a threat to international peace and stability especially due to the lack of transparency and the difficulties of attributing responsibility.

In accordance with our principles of technical development and transparent conduct of power, the Pirates support an international treaty on cyber warfare. The treaty will bind signatories to declare any use of cyber weapons. Under cyber weapons falls all software and IT systems that, through ICT networks, monitor, manipulate, deny, disrupt, degrade or destroy targeted information systems or networks of both foreign governments and individuals. Additionally, signatories will commit themselves to not actively undermine the security of civilian systems.


  • The Pirates want to strengthen outer borders of the EU and the common defence policy.[18]
  • Schengen borders need to be protected effectively and jointly among Member States. The Pirates are in favour of international cooperation within the CSDP and in favour of developing common armed forces of the EU.[19]


Program PPDE

We PIRATES have sympathy to the idea of ​​a common European army. We see the European Joint Army as an independent part of a transatlantic security and defense alliance. Integrated into an ever-growing global security alliance that helps overcome the power and security dilemma between the members of the alliance.

We PIRATES are committed to ensuring that the transatlantic security and defense alliance created and reformed in this way is designed according to the principle of subsidiarity, in which the nation states, the EU or a designated body of the alliance continue to decide on the operations. The decision on a possible deployment requires a democratic legitimation by the EU Parliament.


There will no big difference at this point in PPDE next Program Release with the PPEU Programm. The Draft version of the next Programm. There were only amendments to other parts of the foreign and security program


Common defense policy

Defense policy should create stability and strengthen security in Europe through joint action with partners and allies. A sustainable defense policy should be multidimensional, multilateral and unilateral. For this it is essential to formulate an objective in order to be able to meet these requirements and goals. To this end, the Bundeswehr must be put in a position to be able to act together with its EU partners and NATO allies and to be able to fulfill the alliance obligations and tasks assigned to it without reservation.

European armed forces

The Pirate Party Germany is committed to the integration and transformation of the armed forces of all EU member states into a common, democratically legitimized EU armed force within the framework of a common European foreign and security policy. The use of armed forces to resolve conflicts must be and remain the exception. Before the creation of European armed forces, a parliamentary scrutiny reservation must be introduced by the EU Parliament. Until then, the German armed forces must be able to - be put in a position within the framework of the German constitution, to be able to act together with their EU partners and NATO allies in order to be able to fulfill the alliance obligations and tasks assigned to them. During and after the end of the transformation phase, integration and cooperation with NATO and cooperation in the collective security system of the OSCE must be continued.

However, there are Position papers that oppose the program and therefore have no effect / The Foreign and Security Department of PPDE can't support it in this case


19.3 Ban on arms exports

We PIRATES demand higher standards of transparency when it comes to licensing the export of armaments. We also demand that no state guarantees be granted for arms export transactions. The granting of production licenses for military equipment to companies in countries outside the European Union should generally be prohibited.

In the long term, we are striving for a ban on exports of military equipment to countries outside the EU. Until this goal is achieved, the resale of weapons exported from Germany to third countries must be prohibited.

For the countries of the European Union, there is no realistic danger that they will be attacked from outside. In our opinion, the European Union should become a global leader with clear steps towards disarmament.

19.5 European Foreign and Security Policy

We PIRATES demand transparency in European decisions, also in the area of foreign and defense policy. Military operations in particular require special democratic control. Since the current structures of the EU are far from adequate democratic control, we are currently opposed to an active Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP), especially with regard to the use of armed forces abroad. We are convinced that a resolution of the Bundestag as a necessary condition for the deployment of Bundeswehr soldiers abroad must not be dropped under any circumstances. A common European foreign and security policy based on democratic foundations must be committed to human and civil rights. It should not be oriented towards individual national interests, but should focus on the needs of all people.

AG_Friedenspolitik/Positionspapier (not voted Position Paper from 20.02.2013 the AG Friedenspolitik do not exist anymore) 04 EU

1) The Pirate Party opposes an expansion of the defense agency's tasks in the EU. Military integration can and should only be advanced further when the EU represents a mature democratic political entity. Otherwise there is a danger that Germany will increasingly lose control over the actions of the security forces, thus undermining the requirements of the Basic Law.

2) The Pirate Party demands that the European Armaments Agency be transformed from a pure arms agency into a European armaments and disarmament agency. According to the ideas of the Pirate Party, this agency supports modernization and restructuring measures that make the defensive character of defense policy clear, on the one hand, and enables missions within the framework of the UN, on the other. On the other hand, it also supports disarmament efforts in the EU area. The EU Battle Groups, which were primarily created for deployment outside of the EU's own borders, may be used exclusively within the framework of UN missions. In the long term, the Pirate Party advocates a policy that makes the EU Battle Groups unnecessary.

3) The Pirate Party demands that the participation of German troops in European military missions be subject to the same conditions as direct own military operations. There must also be no concealment of operations, e.g. through logistical assistance, overflight rights for combat missions, etc.

4) As a Pirate Party, we stand for a consistent return to the values of the fathers and mothers of the Basic Law. We therefore demand that the militarization of foreign policy and its subordination to the new security doctrine be partially reversed. Neither should it be a principle that the defense of one's own territory takes place all over the world, nor should "defense" be defined as the defense or safeguarding of economic interests, e.g. the securing of raw materials abroad, outside of actions that have been legitimized by the General Assembly or the UN Security Council. In this case it is an internationally legitimized peace mission.

5) In addition to the comprehensive strengthening of the UN to deal with global problems, the peoples of Europe also need regional systems of mutual, collective security. The Pirate Party will work for this. Such a regional security collective is desired by the UN in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity (Art. 52 UN Charter) and is expressly called for by the EU's Maastricht Treaty of 1992. This regional system of collective security must be based on national defense, common security obligations and disarmament and confidence-building measures. In addition, non-military procedures, structures and instruments must be established in this organization with which security risks can be successfully dealt with preventively or reactively. This approach can then also involve countries that previously regarded NATO as a threat. This will soften the frontline situation created by NATO and also create more trust and security on the edges of Europe. In the medium and long term, the Pirate Party advocates that NATO tasks for Europe should increasingly be transferred to these regional systems.

7) The Pirates Party advocates democratizing and strengthening the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The pirates demand that the German government follow up on the last meeting of the OSCE in 2010 and seek dialogue with all countries involved in order to revalue the organization and give it a greater role in the search for solutions to conflicts, in accordance with the principles in point 6).

10 b Arms control: Measures for arms export control

1) In the long term, after an appropriate transition period, we demand as an economic policy goal a direct and indirect export ban on military military equipment to countries outside the EU and support for the conversion of military production into civilian production.

Future defence policy

The future of European defence depends on the choices lawmakers make in the future. The White paper on the future of Europe[20] lays out three possible scenarios for the future of EU defence policy.* Security and Defence Cooperation

    • Member States would still decide on the need for security and defence cooperation on a voluntary and case-by-case basis, while the EU would continue to complement national efforts.
    • The EDF would help develop some new joint capabilities but Member States would still oversee the bulk of defence capabilities' development and procurement individually.
    • EU – NATO relationship stays the same.
  • Shared Security and Defence
    • Member States would pool together certain financial and operational assets to increase solidarity in defence.
    • The EU would take on a greater role in areas like cyber, border protection or the fight against terrorism, and strengthen the defence and security dimension of internal EU policies like energy, health, customs or space.
    • EU and NATO would increase mutual cooperation.
  • Common Security and Defence
    • Leads to a common defence based on Article 42 of the EU Treaty.
    • The EU would be able to run high-end security and defence operations, underpinned by a greater level of integration of Member States' defence forces. The EU would support joint defence programmes with the European Defence Fund, as well as set up a dedicated European Defence Research Agency. This would also foster the creation of a genuine European defence market, able to protect its key strategic activities from external takeovers.

EU intentions

  • The EU “needs further bold steps in the next five years towards a genuine European Defence Union”. The Commission President “intends to strengthen the European Defence Fund to support research and capability development.” [21]She however did not mention “defence” or “military” in her State of the Union speech to the European Parliament given on 16 September 2020.[22]
  • In April 2020, the Commission opened calls for proposals to finance more than €160 million in joint defence industrial projects in 2020 (financed under EDF - EDIDP), and announcing seven new defence research projects selected for more than €19 million of funding under the 2019 budget (financed under EDF - PADR).[23]
    • EDIDP 2020 calls include topics of Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (CBRN) detection capabilities and medical countermeasures, Counter-Unmanned Air Systems (UASs) or Cyber situational awareness and defence capabilities, defence networks and technologies for secure communication and information sharing[24]
    • PADR 2019 selected proposals:[25]
      • Artificial Intelligence for Detection of Explosive Devices (AIDED)
      • European Active electronically scanned Array with Combined Radar, Communications, and Electronic Warfare functions for military applications (CROWN)
      • Interoperability Standards for Unmanned Armed Forces Systems
      • Innovative Positioning system for defence in GNSS-denied areas
      • Autonomous Rough-terrain Transport UGV Swarm
      • Projectiles for Increased Long-range effects Using Electro-Magnetic railgun
      • Quantum Secure Communication and Navigation for European Defence
  • The Commission Work Programme 2021
    • Action plan on synergies between civil, defence and space industries (non-legislative, planned for Q1 2021)
    • Follow-up to the EU security strategy, f.e. Communication on an EU Agenda to tackle organised crime (2021-2025), An EU agenda on counter-terrorism: prevent, protect, respond, anticipate
    • Revision of Regulation 258/2012 on export authorisation, and import and transit measures for firearms (REFIT, legislative, planned for Q4 2021)
    • Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Cybersecurity Industrial, Technology and Research Competence Centre and the Network of National Coordination Centres (pending)
  • Strategic autonomy
    • A project aimed to strengthen the EU’s independence in areas including trade, digital, sustainability and defence
    • Council President Charles Michel:
      • Deepening common defence is necessary
      • To be carried out within NATO
      • Fully in line with PESCO and EDF
  • Strategic Compass – a document to be adopted by the Council in 2022
    • The document aims to further contribute to developing the common European security and defence culture, will define policy orientations and specific goals and objectives in areas such as crisis management, resilience, capability development and partnerships
    • The VP/HP is to present a comprehensive, 360 degrees analysis of the full range of threats and challenges by the end of 2020[26], which will provide the background for the Compass[27]
  • Council Conclusions on Security and Defence[28] (17 June 2020)
    • Encourages MSs to fill the remaining gaps in the roster of the EU Battlegroups
    • Calls for the urgent return of personnel, temporarily withdrawn from the area of operation as a precautionary measure during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic
    • Calls for the full implementation of the Civilian CSDP Compact by early summer 2023
    • Underlines the urgent need to agree an effective European Peace Facility, in which it is proposed to include inter alia the provision of military equipment and strong safeguards measures, to be ready by January 2021
    • Calls for adequate funding for the EDF and the military mobility envelope in the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) to be agreed
    • Urges swift implementation of the Action Plan on Military Mobility at the EU level