European Parliament Supports Military Personnel in a Resolution on the European Defence Union

On 22 November 2016, Members of the European Parliament voted on a motion for a European Parliament Resolution on the European Defence Union, tabled by the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Confronted to a new financial and security context, European armed forces are required to collaborate closer and military personnel to train and work more and better together. The EU should therefore enable this process by developing its common defence policy.

The adopted resolution includes the essential element EUROMIL is calling for, namely a reference to the social dimension of a future European Defence Union. More specifically, the text, in §12, “Calls on the Member States to particularly recognise the right of military personnel to form and join professional associations or trade unions and involve them in a regular social dialogue with the authorities; invites the European Council to take concrete steps towards the harmonisation and standardisation of the European armed forces, in order to facilitate the cooperation of armed forces personnel under the umbrella of a new European Defence Union.”

The first time the European Parliament called on Member States to grant servicemen and –women the right to freedom of association was in 1984, in its Resolution on the rights of members of the armed forces to form associations. Since then, the Parliament has repeatedly promoted the fundamental rights and freedoms of military personnel.

Although the adoption of the resolution and its §12 is an important step for EUROMIL, the organisation recalls that, for what concerns the right of association, ensuring that military personnel fully enjoy their fundamental rights and freedoms, both in legislation and in practice, remains the sole responsibility of each Member State.

EUROMIL thus thanks the Members of the European Parliament who have been supporting the European armed forces personnel over the past years and sincerely hopes that EU Member States will seriously consider and follow up on the newly adopted resolution!

The official press release of the European Parliament is available here.

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