Seville Summit: Future EU army will fight terrorism

The EU is expected to adopt a declaration at the Seville Summit, opening the way for the participation of the future European army in fighting terrorism.

The declaration, proposed by the Spanish Presidency, should
lay the basis for the contribution of the Common foreign and
security policy (CFSP) and the European security and defence policy
(ESDP) in the fight against terrorism. The declaration was approved
by the 15 EU Foreign Ministers on 17 June and will be passed on to
the heads of state, meeting in Seville on 21-22 June.

The contribution of the CFSP to the
counter-terrorism operations will be limited to three areas in the
beginning:

  • co-ordination of intelligence services of the Member States in
    order to detect risks of terrorist attacks;
  • co-operation to prevent attacks with weapons of mass
    destruction against Europe;
  • protection of European military forces, participating in peace
    missions.

The Spanish Presidency had originally proposed
that the EU Rapid Reaction Force should participate in
counter-terrorism operations. However, it had to give up this idea
due to strong resistance from Britain and the Nordic countries.
These countries argue that NATO should remain the main instrument
of European defence.

Nevertheless, the Spanish Government intends to
continue to work towards the objective of using the EU Rapid
Reaction Force or another specialised force in actions to combat
terrorism. The Spanish Defence Minister, Federico Trillo, has
announced that Spain will make a proposal to the European
Convention to include new military missions to fight terrorism in
the future EU Treaty.

At the General Affairs Council of 17 June, the
EU Foreign Ministers updated the blacklist of terrorist
organisations. They included three Palestinian terrorist
organisations in the list: the Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigade, which has
links with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah, the Palestine
Liberation Front (PLF) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of
Palestine (PFLP). All the assets of these terrorist groups in
Europe will be frozen.

 

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