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Members of the international EURODEFENSE network have called upon EU authorities for a pan-European Security and Defence review in the light of recent events, icluding the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris on the evening of 13 November, for they expressed their sympathy and solidarity with the victims.
Discussions centred on the medium term security situation in Europe. While praising significant efforts by the European Union, NATO and Member States in the realm of security and defence cooperation, members stressed :
- the destabilization of States in the eastern and south eastern regions of Europe, i.e. Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan... and to the south of Europe, especially in Syria, Iraq, also in the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa. Crises are multiplying, which lead to unacceptable security situations for the indigenous populations as well as creating both migration and refugee problems for Europe.
- EU Member States are prey to an unprecedented migratory crisis, both by size - more than a million people in 2015 - and by complexity, plus refugees as well as economic migrants in great numbers from the Middle East and Africa.
- external insecurity and the destabilization of these States have direct consequences for European internal security including terrorist attacks on European States.
- measures taken by the European States to close their borders have had an immediate effect on their neighbours, such that a State unilaterally opening its borders creates a surge in migrant incursions.
- relations between Europe and Russia have deteriorated, gravely, since the start of the Ukrainian crisis. The unilateral change of borders by Russia is in direct contravention of the mutual agreement in the OSCE context, and a threat on the rule based European security.
- energy resources linked to climatic change also have direct consequences for European security.
EURODEFENSE believes that at this level an extensive analysis of security questions affecting EU states must be conducted, without delay, leading to an overall European security strategy, as the basis of a Security and Defence White Paper. This will serve to cement coherence providing a benchmark for Member States' White Papers.
Members believe that an effective EU depends on solidarity and the clear and present support of an informed public. This implies that European countries must not reason merely in terms of what Europe can give them but also in terms of what they can give Europe. Time has come for further investments in European security and defence.
EURODEFENSE reaffirms its determination to continue to reinforce the goal of an efficient and credible European defence, they have told the Presidents of the European Council, European Commission and European Parliament, and theÂ High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
EURODEFENSE is a network of Associations from 14 EU Countries. Its President during 2015 is Jacques Santer, who is also President of EURODEFENSE- Luxembourg and an Honorary Prime Minister of that country, and who chaired the conference. in Luxembourg form 12th-14th November