Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Minutes of Evidence

Annex V


  1.  The European Council reaffirms that terrorism is a real challenge for Europe and the world and poses a threat to our security and our stability. To this end, the extraordinary European Council meeting on 21 September 2001 decided to step up the action of the Union against terrorism through a co-ordinated and inter-disciplinary approach embracing all Union policies, including by developing the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and by making the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) operational.

  2.  The European Council has noted the significant achievements accomplished in the implementation of the Plan of Action to combat terrorism and reiterates that the fight against terrorism will continue to be a priority objective of the European Union and a key plank of its external relations policy. Solidarity and international co-operation constitute essential instruments to fight this scourge. The Union will continue to maintain the closest possible co-ordination with the United States and other partners. The Union will seek to contribute further to these international efforts, both internally and in its relations with third countries and international organisations, such as the UN, NATO and the OSCE.

  3.  The Common Foreign and Security Policy, including the European Security and Defence Policy, can play an important role in countering this threat to our security and in promoting peace and stability. Closer co-operation among the Member States is being put into practice to take account of the international situation after the terrorist attacks of 11 September.

  4.  The European Council welcomes the progress achieved since 11 September on incorporating the fight against terrorism into all aspects of the Union's external relations policy. The fight against terrorism requires a global approach to strengthen the international coalition and to prevent and contain regional conflicts. The Union is:

    —  strengthening the EU instruments for long-term conflict prevention;

    —  focusing political dialogue with third countries on the fight against terrorism as well as on non-proliferation and arms control;

    —  providing assistance to third countries in order to reinforce their capacity to respond effectively to the international threat of terrorism;

    —  including anti-terrorism clauses in EU agreements with third countries;

    —  re-evaluating relations with third countries in the light of their attitude towards terrorism and taking appropriate measures accordingly; and

    —  implementing specific measures in the fight against terrorism in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373, which laid down a wide range of comprehensive steps and strategies to combat terrorism, including financial measures.

  5.  The European Council also welcomes the progress achieved in the implementation of ESDP, following the Declaration on the operational capability of the European Security and Defence Policy. This progress has allowed the Union to take its first decision to establish a crisis management operation—the European Union Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUPM). The EUPM is one example of the European Union's commitment to stabilise post-conflict regions, and to help establish the rule of law. By promoting stability, including by strengthening local law enforcement capabilities, norms and standards, the European Union helps to deny terrorist organisations the opportunity to take root. As indicated at the Laeken European Council, through the military and civilian capabilities developed by the European Union for crisis management, the CFSP will become stronger and better contribute to the fight against terrorism for the benefit of the populations concerned.

  6.  ESDP will strengthen further as Member States enhance their military and civilian capabilities for crisis management. To this end, the European Council underlines again the importance it places on the timely achievement of the Headline Goal targets. In this context, the development of ESDP must take fuller account of the capabilities that may be required, in accordance with the Petersburg tasks and the provisions of the Treaty, to combat terrorism.

  7.  Priority action for the European Union, including in the field of CFSP and ESDP, concerning the fight against terrorism should focus on:

    —  devoting greater efforts to conflict prevention;

    —  deepening political dialogue with third countries to promote the fight against terrorism, including by the promotion of human rights and democracy as well as non-proliferation and arms control, and providing them with appropriate international assistance;

    —  strengthening arrangements for sharing intelligence and developing the production of situation assessments and early warning reports, drawing on the widest range of sources;

    —  developing our common evaluation of the terrorist threat against the Member States or the forces deployed under ESDP outside the Union in crisis management operations, including the threat posed by terrorist use of weapons of mass destruction;

    —  determining military capabilities required to protect forces deployed in European Union-led crisis management operations against terrorist attacks;

    —  exploring further how military or civilian capabilities could be used to help protect civilian populations against the effects of terrorist attacks.

  8.  The European Council requests the Presidency and the Secretary-General/High Representative, and the Commission as appropriate, to step up their efforts in these priority areas by promoting co-ordinating work within Council bodies and with relevant international organisations, notably the UN and NATO, in order to increase the effectiveness of the contribution of CFSP, including ESDP, in the fight against terrorism, as well as to report to the General Affairs Council on this matter.

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Prepared 16 October 2002