IN THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, « national unity » / sacred union behind NATO

An article published in La Tribune des Travailleurs (France) 

On 1 March, the elected members of the European Parliament were called upon by the president of the European Commission, Von der Leyen, to vote on a resolution « on Russian aggression against Ukraine« . 

This resolution: 

Welcomes the swift adoption of sanctions by the Council; 

Calls for the scope of sanctions to be broadened and for the sanctions to be aimed at strategically weakening the Russian economy and industrial base; 

Calls, in particular, for the import of the most important Russian export goods, including oil and gas, to be restricted; 

Emphasises the need for Member States to acknowledge and accept that severe sanctions against the Russian Federation will unavoidably entail negative effects on their economic situation; 

Insists that all future sanctions must continue to be closely coordinated with transatlantic allies and like-minded international partners in order to maximise their effectiveness; 

Calls for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to be definitively abandoned and therefore welcomes the decision of the German Government to halt the certification of Nord Stream 2; 

Reiterates that NATO is the foundation of collective defence for the Member States who are NATO allies; welcomes the unity between the EU, NATO and other like-minded democratic partners in facing the Russian aggression, but underlines the need to increase its collective deterrence posture, preparedness and resilience; encourages the strengthening of NATO’s enhanced forward presence in the Member States geographically closest to the Russian aggressor and to the conflict; highlights the EU’s mutual assistance and solidarity clauses and calls for common military exercises to be launched; 

Stresses that this attack requires the EU and NATO to prepare for all possibilities; welcomes, in that regard, the activation of NATO’s defence plans as well as the activation of the NATO response forces and their partial deployment, in addition to troop deployments from NATO allies including the UK, the US and Canada, in order to strengthen the eastern flank and deter any further Russian aggression; reiterates its call for the Member States to increase defence spending and ensure more effective capabilities and to make full use of the joint defence efforts within the European framework, notably the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) and the European Defence Fund, in order to strengthen the European pillar within NATO, which will increase the security of NATO countries and Member States alike; 

Strongly supports the historic decision to allocate significant additional funding to provide Ukraine with defensive weapons; 

Calls for the EU institutions to work towards granting EU candidate status to Ukraine. 

The resolution was adopted with 637 in favour, 26 abstentions and 13 against. No French elected representative voted against. (Four from the far right abstained) 

The European group The Left split into three chunks: 20 voted in favour (including LFI from France and Syriza from Greece), 10 abstained and 7 voted against (two from the Portuguese Communist Party, two from Die Linke from Germany, two from Change from Ireland and one from Anticapitalistas from the Spanish state) 

G. F.