Spanish Presidency plans to boost EU security policy

The Spanish Presidency intends to give a boost to the European
Security and Defence Policy as a means to increase Europe’s
presence on the international stage. The Spanish Prime Minister,
José María Aznar said that fight against terrorism should become
one of the policy’s objectives.

Mr Aznar stressed in his recent address to the European Parliament
in Strasbourg that “there will be no point in providing a European
presence if we lack the capacity for effective crisis management
and, specifically, military forces for limited operations requiring
a rapid response.”

Mr Aznar said the Spanish Presidency wishes to
launch a discussion on whether to make the fight against terrorism
an objective of the European Security and Defence Policy. He said
that the EU needs to press ahead with its own Action Plan against
terrorism in the EU.

The Presidency believes that these new
instruments can only be effective if the Member States achieve
closer cooperation between their security forces. The main
priorities of the Presidency in this area are to:

  • set up joint investigation teams;
  • make Europol’s work more effective;
  • take action to prevent the funding of terrorists and their
    supporters.

Other initiatives of the Presidency in the area
of security and defence include:

  • checking the functioning of the new structures declared
    operational in December 2001;
  • exercising and adjusting the relevant crisis management
    procedures;
  • pushing forward the practical measures needed for the EU to
    make fully available, by 2003, the civil and military capabilities
    needed in order to effectively carry out “Petersberg
    Operations”;
  • deepening relations with NATO and other interested European
    countries in order to coordinate EU actions and acquire access to
    additional operational capabilities, including the collective
    resources which already exist in the Alliance.

 

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