Taking into account the lessons of the events in Ukraine, the European Union should strengthen and build up the defense component in close cooperation with NATO, partner countries and other "like-minded countries," according to the report of the European Parliament (EP) adopted on Wednesday says.
The MEPs "recommend to the Council and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy reiterate strong support for Ukraine's territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence within its internationally recognised borders."
They recommend that the EU should "provide all necessary material, military, financial and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, and prepare to contribute as much as possible to rebuilding the country post-war, as democracy and freedom are dependent on prosperity and economic stability; establish a legal instrument allowing frozen Russian assets and funds to be confiscated and used for reparations and the reconstruction of Ukraine."
During the discussion held the day before, the position prevailed, according to which the EU should support Ukraine in every possible way in the military, economic, political and diplomatic sense and condemn Russia.
The main conclusion from Russia's actions in Ukraine is the recommendation to toughen EU decisions in the field of foreign and security policy, to strengthen the sovereignty of Europe as a union through concessions in national sovereignties.
The MEPs recommend "introduce qualified majority voting for certain foreign policy areas, as already provided for in the Treaties, for example the adoption of EU personal sanctions regimes, and strive to extend qualified majority voting to foreign policy in the Council, in order to increase the effectiveness of EU foreign policy."
This means lifting the veto of one or several EU members, such as Hungary, on foreign policy and defense decisions. Moreover, it is recommended to oblige EU candidates to "actively and unreservedly" implement such decisions (the case of Serbia).
Other recommendations outlined in the lengthy MEP document include establishing a regular EU defence minister council, setting up a fully functional EU military headquarters, give the EU the ability to act alone when needed and with partners, achieving, as soon as possible, food sovereignty and full security of energy supplies to reduce energy dependencies, fighting and countering Russian propaganda and disinformation campaigns.
EU countries are also encouraged to seek to bring the UK into a framework for common cooperation on defence and foreign policy matters.
Such documents of the European Parliament are not binding on the decision-making bodies of the EU and member states of the Union. However, they reflect the state of public opinion and usually serve as the basis for political decision-making.