Global Policy Forum

Resolution Adopted by the European Parliament on the EU as a Global Actor: Its Role in Multilateral Organizations


May 11, 2011

The European Parliament ,

–  having regard to the Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee entitled ’For a new Governance of International Organisations’(1) ,

–  having regard to the principle of sincere cooperation between the Union and the Member States, expressed in Article 4 (3) of the Treaty on European Union,

–  having regard to Article 21(1) and (2)(h) of the Treaty on European Union, which call on the Union to promote multilateral solutions to common problems, in particular in the framework of the United Nations, and to achieve a high degree of cooperation to promote an international system based on stronger multilateral cooperation and good global governance,

–  having regard to the UNGA resolution on participation of the European Union in the work of the United Nations(2) adopted on 3 May 2011,

–  having regard to the EU priorities for the 65th United Nations General Assembly adopted by the Council on 25 May 2010(3) ,

–  having regard to the internal arrangements set out by the European Council of September 2010 to improve the European Union's external policy through a more integrated approach(4) ,

–  having regard to the European Security Strategy (ESS) entitled ’A secure Europe in a better world’, adopted by the European Council on 12 December 2003, and its implementation report by the Council entitled ’Providing Security in a Changing World’ of 12 December 2008,

–  having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament entitled ’The European Union and the United Nations: The Choice of Multilateralism’ (COM(2003)0526),

–  having regard to its resolution of 11 November 2010 on strengthening the OSCE – a role for the EU(5) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 20 October 2010 with recommendations to the Commission on improving the economic governance and stability framework of the Union, in particular in the euro area(6) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 19 May 2010 on the institutional aspects of the accession of the European Union to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms(7) ,

–  having regard to its recommendation of 25 March 2010 to the Council on the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly(8) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 19 February 2009 on the role of NATO in the security architecture of the EU(9) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 March 2006 on the strategic review of the International Monetary Fund(10) ,

–  having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on International Trade (A7-0181/2011),

  1. whereas the processes of globalisation carry a wide range of opportunities, challenges and threats for global governance whilst revealing social loopholes and failures, including in financial markets, energy security, the fight against poverty, climate change policy and the violation of human rights; whereas global challenges and threats require worldwide cooperation and collective action to tackle them, as well as effective institutions and legitimate rules; whereas, if international organisations are to be legitimate and effective, they will have to reflect the interests of all states in the multipolar world,
  2. whereas the EU's commitment to effective multilateralism, as stated in the European Security Strategy of 2003, is the guiding principle of European external action; whereas the EU – drawing on its internal experience with cooperation among nations and institutions, rules-based order and multi-scale multilateralism – has a special global responsibility that it should continue to uphold; whereas the EU is equipped with the set of values – e.g. respect for human rights, freedom, democracy, equality, fraternity and the rule of law – and policy tools, including a single legal personality, needed to strengthen multilateral structures,
  3. whereas the added value of EU membership in multilateral organisations lies in the fields where it has exclusive or shared competences: economic and trade matters, environmental policy, development aid, and security and defence policy: whereas the EU can also have an added value in those multilateral organisations or summits in which not all of its members are represented,
  4. whereas the Treaty of Lisbon, by introducing the Union's legal personality, enhances the EU's capacity to join various international organisations, entrusts it with a wider range of competences in its external action, provides, notably by the creation of the post of a Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) and the European External Action Service (EEAS), the Union with an opportunity for a clearer and stronger single voice in the world, as well as encouraging all types of mutually beneficial cooperation with relevant international and regional organisations and groups of states, and whereas it enables the Union to organise itself in such a way as to be able to become an effective global player,
  5. whereas the Union, under Article 21.2.h. TEU, is to promote an international system based on stronger multilateral cooperation and good global governance and whereas the EU Member States, on the basis of Article 32 TEU, are to ensure, through the convergence of their actions, that the Union is able to assert its interests and values on the international scene; whereas the EU's commitment to becoming a global actor requires the capacity and the will to propose thoroughgoing reforms of the multilateral organisations and fora,
  6. whereas new permanent structures were created by the Treaty of Lisbon for the EU's external representation, providing for the new EU representatives to take over functions previously carried out by the rotating Presidency of the EU and whereas the creation of the EEAS provides an opportunity to exercise efficient multilateral diplomacy,
  7. whereas the representation of the EU and its Member States in multilateral organisations, informal summits and international regimes is fragmented, often ineffective, and still varies considerably; whereas the Union's external representation has developed in a dispersed, inconsistent and rather ad hoc manner; whereas a highly fragmented external representation is likely to undermine the EU's message and commitment to effective multilateralism and global governance, and whereas weak EU competences and ineffective coordination mechanisms may prevent the EU from speaking with a single voice in the international arena, thereby limiting its decisiveness and undermining its credibility; whereas the maximisation of the Treaty's full potential in the international sphere will require strong political will and flexibility on the part of the Member States concerning their representation, and whereas the EU's status in international organisations often lags behind the development of the EU's competences,
  8. whereas the EU's external representation on the multilateral scene ranges from instances where all Member States are full members and the EU is an observer (e.g. IMFC, Development Committee, Council of Europe), via cases where all Member States plus the EU are full members (e.g. FAO, WTO) or full participants (e.g. G-8/G-20), to organisations in which some EU Member States act as full members and the EU has no status at all (UN Security Council, some international financial institutions (IFIs)); whereas the most complex situations arise where the EU and its Member States have shared competences, or combine exclusive and shared competences,
  9. whereas the global financial crisis has accelerated the shift of relative economic weight from advanced economies to emerging markets, and whereas against this background the EU will only have a strong and effective voice in the world if it delivers a single message,
  10. whereas the EU Member States are prioritising the reform and strengthening of the UN in order to provide a more equitable geographical representation, to reflect today's shifting geopolitical realities in the membership of the Security Council, and to make it capable of fulfilling its responsibilities and acting effectively in providing solutions to global challenges and responding to key threats; whereas the EU provides more than one third of the UN regular budget, more than two fifths of UN peace operations, and about half of all contributions to UN funds and programmes, and whereas its financial commitment should therefore be consistent with its political weight,
  11. whereas institutional mechanisms such as ever closer and more effective coordination between the EU Member States can be seen as a way to the objective of joint external representation of the EU and its Member States, and whereas consultations between national parliaments and the European Parliament in the areas of CFSP/CSDP could become a catalyst in this process,
  12. whereas the 2010 voice and quota reform in the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank resulted in an increase in the voice and representation of emerging markets and developing countries in the IFIs, which was facilitated by European contributions, whereas the role played by the EU – notwithstanding the size of its contribution to the capital of those institutions – does not entirely correspond to its weight in the world economy and in world trade, and whereas the current set-up of external representation carries high transaction and coordination costs,
  13. whereas the EU and NATO's common objective of achieving a ’strategic partnership’ should allow for effective synergies and greater maximisation of the assets of both organisations and ensure effective cooperation; whereas the EU and NATO should ensure efficient crisis management in order to identify the best possible response to a crisis, acting in a truly coordinated manner and making the most of the expertise and resources of both organisations, in line with the conclusions of the 1999 NATO Washington Summit, the 2002 Nice European Council, the EU-NATO Joint Declaration of 16 December 2002, and taking into consideration the outcome of the NATO Lisbon Summit of November 2010,
  14. whereas international summit diplomacy should strengthen its potential to stimulate broader multilateral cooperation, with a view to building global security through the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and the enhancement of human security,
  15. whereas the ongoing dramatic demographic changes, both in and outside the EU, will have consequences for multilateralism, as new realities are creating pressure to call for the adjustment of membership, seats and voting rights in multilateral organisations; whereas, accordingly, the EU, in the context of rebalancing its representation, which will inevitably have a substantial effect on EU countries, should request – by making full use of its diplomatic instruments – a commitment from the emerging economies to constructive and transparent behaviour in the evolving multilateral system, namely in the areas of sustainable development, the eradication of poverty, the fight against terrorism and international organised crime and climate change; whereas the EU's participation in emerging structures for global governance and the negotiation of new rules and principles will require compromises with those countries and new actors pushing for their voices to be heard on the international scene,
  16. whereas the promotion of democracy and human rights, specifically women's and children's rights and freedom of expression, the rule of law, strengthening of security, democratic stability, prosperity, and a fair distribution of income, wealth and opportunities in society should be at the core of all EU external action; whereas a further strengthening of the international criminal justice system, to promote accountability and put an end to impunity, and the promotion of the important work of the International Criminal Court (ICC) as the only permanent and independent judicial institution, should be an integral part of all EU external action,

Reinforcing the role of the EU in the multilateral system

  1. Notes that the EU's mechanisms for building consensus and taking concerted action make it a model for a rules-based international order and therefore stresses the need for the EU to cooperate with leading regional powers and actively participate in the building and improvement of an international environment that enables the EU to promote, as required by the Treaty, its values and interests; in particular in those fields where it has exclusive or shared competences, considers essential, with regard to the EU's aspiration and need to be an effective global actor and to safeguard its position, a strengthening of the internal coordination necessary to speak with one voice, the ability to shape multilateral cooperation and lead collective action in addressing international challenges, namely those arising from the responsibility to protect, and the need to enhance human security as a means of achieving global security;
  2. Underlines the sharp increase in political and humanitarian crises in the world, which calls for improved and more preventive EU multilateral action; highlights, therefore, the need for the EU to seize the moment and make better use of its foreign policy instruments so as to ensure better use of its leverage in multilateral organisations and to take the lead in addressing current and future international crises more effectively;
  3. Believes there is a need to further involve non-state actors in multilateral policy-making, to promote and facilitate improved consultation of civil society organisations and social partners in the future governance structures of international organisations; recognises their expertise, resources and outreach as key to enhancing the legitimacy and effectiveness of multilateral cooperation; recalls that a bottom-up approach is needed to address crisis situations;
  4. Stresses that the EU – by enhancing cooperation, improving institutions and engaging all stakeholders – should play an active and leading role in global governance reform to make international institutions and organisations more legitimate, effective and conducive to shared responsibility, while strengthening its position, pursuing its objectives and priorities and promoting its principles, values and interests to shape this process; insists that the VP/HR and the Commission should, in close cooperation with the European Parliament, periodically evaluate their contribution to global governance reform and how reforms can be beneficial to the EU in identifying and establishing a stronger role for itself;
  5. Takes the view that EU Member States should increasingly consider and rely on the EU as a multiplier of power in achieving the objectives they cannot achieve independently, and that speaking with one EU voice not only increases the chances of success but also improves the legitimacy and credibility of the EU as an important international actor in the emerging interpolar world;
  6. Underlines the need to apply a strategic approach and a coherent rationale in external representation by developing a tailored EU strategy vis-à-vis each multilateral organisation aimed at enhancing the EU's role and strengthening of its position; asks the VP/HR and the Commission to draw up a White Paper on the role of the EU in multilateral organisations which proposes a comprehensive and strategic approach both for the short run and the medium-term future through to 2020;
  7. Recalls that the role of the VP/HR is to represent, and be the voice of, European Union diplomacy and that for this reason her position must be affirmed in multilateral organisations;
  8. Calls on the EU and its Member States to systematically and strategically review the present arrangements for the role and institutional representation of the Union in multilateral organisations and to find ways in which the external representation of the EU can be progressively strengthened in line with the extent of its competences and the institutional innovations of the Treaty of Lisbon, with the striking of new balances between the EU institutions and its Member States; in addition, urges the EU and its Member States to identify the bodies where the status quo arrangements are obsolete, anomalous or inefficient, and deserve reconsideration and change; therefore emphasises the need for more consistency regarding the different types of the EU's status in multilateral organisations and treaty schemes as a matter of institutional logic, and calls upon the Council to draft a clear framework;
  9. Considers that in the current times of fiscal austerity and budget cuts European cooperation is not an option but a necessity; welcomes economies of scale aimed at upgrading, rationalising and concentrating Member States’ collective diplomacy through the EEAS, the Commission and EU Delegations with the objective of eliminating unnecessary procedural complications and expensive duplication of presences in many international fora; considers it essential, in this regard, to gain support for this endeavour from other members of multilateral organisations, which requires careful preparation;
  10. Takes the view that, as a general rule and in the spirit of the Lisbon Treaty, in cases of exclusive competences the EU should be the pre-eminent actor with full membership of the given multilateral organisation while its Member States may also – but need not necessarily – be present as members, but usually without an independent role; takes the view that, if Member States keep their national representation in organisations where the EU enjoys exclusive competences, they should support the position expressed by the EU speaking on their behalf; takes the view, furthermore, that where shared Union competences prevail the norm should be for the EU and its Member States both to be members, while avoiding different voting behaviours by the EU and individual Member States;
  11. Stresses the need, in light of EU Member States’ delayed and disjointed reaction to the political turmoil spreading through North Africa and the Middle East, to make better use of the institutional innovations of the Lisbon Treaty in order to act in a more rapid and coherent manner; in addition, highlights the need for the EU to improve its conflict prevention and crisis management skills in order to proactively address future crises;
  12. Acknowledges the key role of the EU in the ATALANTA anti-piracy mission, where the EU naval force is taking a leading role in a multilateral context by supporting the African Union mission (AMISOM) and through in-theatre coordination with NATO and national navies;
  13. Points out that EU Delegations servicing clusters of international organisations, i.e. in New York, Geneva, Paris, Rome, Vienna and Nairobi, need particularly substantial reinforcement in terms of skilled human resources, without prejudice to other EU Delegations, in order to successfully and efficiently represent EU interests; emphasises, at the same time, the need for complementary resources to be provided at EEAS headquarters, particularly in its crisis-management structures and in DG Global and Multilateral Issues;

The EU's role in the UN system

  1. Calls on the EU and its Member States, given that the UN is the only international organisation in which all the world's states are represented and the primary forum within which effective multilateralism can be achieved and enforced, to seek to enhance the EU's role and capacity within this global multilateral framework; underlines the need for the EU to translate into action its strategic support for the UN, particularly as regards its policy and means of action in the humanitarian field (crisis and emergency response, development aid, action to combat poverty, mobilisation of emergency relief and resources to deal with natural disasters) and in the area of conflict resolution; calls on the EU to take a consistent stand to urge reinforcement of the United Nations’ civilian instruments and strict compliance with, and application of, international law by all states, groups of states and multilateral partners;
  2. Calls on the EU and its Member States, given that in several UN programmes and conferences (UNDP, UNCTAD, OHCHR, UNHRC) the EU is a mere observer, despite being an important financial contributor and having major policy interests, to seek solutions to this discrepancy;
  3. Insists on the need to strike a new institutional balance between the emerging role of the G-20, the UN and its agencies as well as the IFIs; in this regard, urges the EU and its Member States to enhance global governance and to seek solutions to further improve coordination between the G formations and the UN system, whereby the economic dimension could usefully be covered by these groups, provided that the UN maintains its central role and remains the legitimate body for global action; while considering the G-8 and G-20 as important fora for the definition of global responses to which the EU must continue to actively contribute through coordinated positions, calls on the EU and its Member States to seek improvements to global governance that make the most out of synergies and complementarities and do not run the risk of eroding the UN system;

The UN General Assembly (UNGA)

  1. While retaining the EU's observer status in the UNGA, and in accordance with the UN Charter and the intergovernmental nature of the UN, urges the EU to ensure – in order to allow the new EU representatives to speak effectively and in a timely manner on global issues – that the necessary arrangements for the EU's effective participation in the work of the UN General Assembly are put in place, while making full use of all the powers conferred on it by its status as a regional integration organisation, by consulting fully and comprehensively with UN Member States;
  2. Warmly welcomes the adoption on 3 May 2011 of the UN General Assembly Resolution on the EU's participation in the work of the UN, which takes account of the institutional changes brought about by the Lisbon Treaty and enables EU representatives to present and promote the EU's positions in the UN in a timely and efficient manner via a set of modalities granting the delegation of the EU the right to make interventions, as well as the right of reply and the ability to present oral proposals and amendments;
  3. Given the increased role of regional blocks in international affairs, and in full respect of the intergovernmental nature of the UN, calls on the EU Member States to promote a change in the structure of UNGA membership, enhancing the status of the regional integration organisations (RIOs) with an advanced level of integration, such as having their own legal personality, making them enhanced observers;

The UN Security Council (UNSC)

  1. Stresses the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council, on the basis of the first ever negotiation text and widespread support for UNSC reform, in order to achieve greater clarification on the UNSC's competences in relation to other UN bodies and a review of the UNSC's working methods; underlines, furthermore, the need to reinforce the UNSC's legitimacy, regional representation and effectiveness and to create a more cohesive position among EU Member States on these issues;
  2. Reiterates the view, in keeping with the purposes of the Lisbon Treaty in enhancing EU foreign policy and the role of the EU in global peace, security and regulation, that an EU seat in an enlarged UNSC remains a central, long-term goal of the European Union; calls on the VP/HR to take the initiative to develop a common position of the Member States to that end; suggests, in order to achieve that goal in the future, working on prior coordination of positions in the Council of the EU on the introduction of new members of the UNSC and reform of the UNSC's decision-making towards the possible use of a super-qualified majority;
  3. Calls on the VP/HR, in her capacity as chair of the Foreign Affairs Council, to seek common EU positions on issues to be decided in the UNSC in order to have such positions implemented through joint voting practice; encourages the VP/HR, the EEAS and the EU Member States to play a more active role in establishing cooperation mechanisms aimed at ensuring that EU Member States that sit on the UNSC defend common EU positions therein;
  4. Invites EU Member States with seats on the UNSC to keep other EU Member States adequately informed of their positions and activities and to share information about developments in the UNSC with other EU Member States; welcomes the newly established practice whereby a representative of the EU is generally invited to attend most scheduled UNSC deliberations and participate with some limited right to speak at the UNSC;

The UN Human Rights Council (UN HRC)

  1. Stresses the need to coordinate the positions of EU Member States and increase the coherence, visibility and credibility of EU action in the UN HRC; welcomes the establishment of the Directorate for Human Rights and Democracy in the EEAS system and urges the VP/HR to ensure that the new arrangements increase the EU's capacity for cross-regional outreach and cooperation with countries from other blocs on common initiatives; takes the view that clear membership criteria in the UN HRC should be established and that countries where human rights violations are frequent and widespread should not be allowed to become members of this body; encourages the EEAS and the VP/HR to take action to finalise as soon as possible the merger of the former Council and Commission delegations in Geneva;

The EU's role in the International Financial Institutions (IFIs)

  1. Underlines the need to review arrangements for the representation of the euro area/EU in international bodies in the area of economic, monetary and financial stability in line with its role as one of the world's foremost economic powers;

The International Monetary Fund (IMF)

  1. Insists, given the EU's economic and monetary competences, the euro area's global reach and its increased responsibility with respect to the stability of the global economy, that a single view should be presented when contributing to international economic and financial governance;
  2. While Germany, the UK and France hold single seats in the IMF at the moment and the remaining EU Member States are spread across seven constituencies, urges the EU and its Member States to address the issue of ineffective external economic and financial representation, which is limiting the influence of the EU although the EU Member States combined hold more than 30 percent of the votes within the IMF; considering that monetary policy is an exclusive EU competence for those Member States sharing a single currency, urges the EU and its relevant Member States to promptly agree on a common seat and constituency on the IMF Executive Board, possibly starting as a euro constituency, with a view, in the longer term, to securing consistent EU representation, involving the Commission, subject to the European Parliament's scrutiny;
  3. Reminds the EU and its Member States to use the opportunity of the next regular election of IMF Executive Directors in 2012 for rationalisation and to pursue concerted efforts to pool all the Member States into a single euro area seat for the monetary union and a constituency for the rest of the Member States not having the euro;
  4. Considering that neither the Commission, the rotating Council Presidency nor the euro zone finance ministers’ group has any formal representation on the IMF Executive Board, and the ECB is only an observer for agenda items of relevance to it, points out the need for the Commission and the ECB, as the Union bodies competent for monetary and economic policies, to be granted full observer status on the IMF Executive Board in order to tackle the outstanding anomaly of inadequate representation therein;

The World Bank (WB) and the main Multilateral Development Banks

  1. Calls on the EU and its Member States to address, in agreement with its partners, the institutional anomaly whereby the EU is a major contributor to the WB Trust Funds, in fact a bigger aid donor than any of its Member States, and its operational partnerships with the Bank in the European and African regions are important, yet it has not even observer status on the WB Executive Board (only on its ministerial policy committee); stresses the importance of the EU as a whole as the largest global donor and highlights the efforts made by the Union to coordinate, align and reduce the fragmentation of its aid programmes, most notably through the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the European Consensus on Development; in the light of this, recognises the importance of pursuing efforts to achieve a seat as an observer on the Executive Board and aspiring to reform politically obsolete groupings of countries, by grouping EU Member States together under the same constituency; recalls that the same principle of pooling Member States together under an EU constituency should apply to the main Multilateral Development Banks, most notably the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and the African Development Bank;

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

  1. Noting that the BIS is an international financial institution which gathers the central banks of the most advanced countries, with the more recent inclusion of those of China, Brazil and India as well, and given the exclusive competence of the ECB over monetary policy, proposes that the ECB be the only representative of the euro area on the BIS Board, and that the Commission be the only EU representative on the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision;

The EU's role in multilateral security organisations
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)

  1. Calls on the EU and NATO, given that regular meetings already take place at all levels, permanent military liaison arrangements have already been established and occasional joint meetings are held between the EU's Political and Security Committee (PSC) and NATO's North Atlantic Council (NAC), to redouble their efforts towards the establishment of a framework for integrated cooperation, including permanent structures for cooperation; calls for systematic contacts between the Secretary-General of NATO and the VP/HR; proposes that the implications of the establishment of mutual observer status at the level of the NAC and the PSC be studied in order to improve cooperative arrangements in the spirit of the Treaty of Lisbon, following the adoption by NATO of its new strategic concept and given the ambition to develop an EU-NATO strategic partnership; welcomes in this respect the existing cooperation with the European Parliament and its participation in the NATO Parliamentary Assembly;
  2. Takes the view that arrangements allowing the EU to have recourse to NATO assets and capabilities need to be enhanced; underlines the need for the two organisations to develop a comprehensive approach to crisis management, which often requires a multifaceted civilian-military response; reaffirms its belief that the latter is compatible with building on an autonomous Europe of Defence via permanent structured cooperation and the European Defence Agency (EDA);

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)

  1. In the context of a formal agreement between the EU and the OSCE, calls for serious reflection on how the EU can take on greater responsibilities and participate more efficiently in achieving joint objectives, for which implementing a mechanism of permanent, agreeing on joint initiatives and coordinating local activities may be appropriate instruments; calls on the EU and its Member States and the OSCE Permanent Council to jointly develop a mechanism aimed at enhancing cooperation, coordination and consultation between the two organisations; given, also, that Article 220(1) TFEU explicitly added the OSCE to the list of international organisations with which ’appropriate forms of cooperation’ are to be established, emphasises the need for the VP/HR to coordinate the position of the EU Member States on OSCE matters; emphasises the need to establish effective cooperation mechanisms in the field of election missions between the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and the European Parliament with a view to overcoming some of the shortcomings that have arisen on certain occasions;
  2. Expresses once again its wish to see the emergence of a European defence policy, for which there is an increasingly urgent need at a time when the world faces significantly increasing instability and threats;

The EU's role in other multilateral organisations
The Council of Europe (CoE)

  1. In order to enhance EU-CoE multilateral cooperation in fields that are important for the EU as well as the CoE, e.g. the rule of law, democracy, education, protection of human rights, freedom of expression and freedom of the press, and good governance, given that the EU is the largest contributor to joint operating programmes with the CoE, underlines the need to reform the EU's presence and observer status in the CoE; recommends to the EU that it better coordinate its work with the CoE in the areas of rule of law, democracy and human rights with the aim of enhancing the effectiveness of both institutions in the aforementioned fields; particularly in view of the upcoming EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR), emphasises the right to attend, with voting rights on behalf of the EU, meetings of the CoE Committee of Ministers when it performs, inter alia, its task of monitoring the execution of judgments given by the European Court of Human Rights; underlines, furthermore, the EU's right to be represented in the Steering Committee for Human Rights - especially after its accession to the ECHR, which should give the EU a general right to participate fully in the CoE Committee of Ministers and to vote - , the right to nominate a judge to the European Court of Human Rights, as well as the right for the European Parliament to participate in the CoE Parliamentary Assembly when the latter elects judges; underlines that, in order to increase its effectiveness in the field of human rights at pan-European level, the EU should also accede to other CoE bodies such as the Committee on the Prevention of Torture (CPT), the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) and the European Commission on the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ);

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

  1. Recognises the need, in the light of Article 220(1) TFEU, which calls for ’appropriate forms of cooperation’ with the OECD, to aspire to an upgrading of the EU's current observer status in the OECD to that of full member, given the EU's substantial exclusive and shared competences in almost all of the OECD's committees;

The World Trade Organisation (WTO)

  1. Considers that the role of the EU within the WTO serves as one model for EU actions in other international organisations (including UNCTAD and OECD), given that through its exclusive competence the EU is a full member of the WTO and negotiates on behalf of all the EU Member States, while at the same time all Member States are WTO members in their own right and work together to act as a single block;
  2. Takes the view that the establishment of two separate EU delegations in Geneva as a result of the Lisbon Treaty, one to the WTO and the other to the UN, should reinforce the EU's coordination capacity, presence and visibility, but stresses the importance of ensuring coherence in actions between the two delegations so that any duplication of work can be avoided;
  3. Calls on the EU to take into account and uphold specific European interests within the WTO; considers that it should in particular insist on special treatment for agricultural issues and act to defend certain sensitive European regions or sectors and to promote fair trade that fosters sustainable development;
  4. Calls for thorough consideration of the issue of better accommodating non-trade concerns within the scope of WTO rules, in order to allow members to pursue legitimate policy objectives, while safeguarding market access; in this context, stresses the need to ensure the consistency of trade policy with other EU policies and international law, and that WTO actions are consistent and mutually supportive with actions of other international organisations;
  5. Identifies the implementing powers of the WTO created through its dispute settlement body as a key element of the success of this organisation;

The EU's role in ’summit diplomacy’ – ambitions in the G-8 and the G-20

  1. Noting the EU's global economic and financial weight, the need to protect the EU's strategic interests on the international scene and the fact that the summit agendas of the G-8 have broadened considerably to address a series of politico-security issues ranging from human rights through regional security to arms control, takes the view that the EU should fully participate in the G-7/G-8 process and should be fully represented in the meetings of the G-7 finance ministers; points out the need for enhanced EU coordination before G-7 and G-8 meetings, in particular by ensuring that the European Parliament is closely involved;
  2. Considering the EU's exclusive or shared competences in areas where the G-20 exerts significant and growing influence (i.e. financial market regulation, economic policy coordination, including exchange rate issues, the international monetary system, development aid, multilateral trade issues, combating the financing of terrorism and money laundering, environment or energy security), calls on the EU and its Member States to work with partners towards achieving full coordination and alignment of messages among the five European countries and the EU representative sitting at the G-20 table in order to ensure effective participation of the EU at G-20 ministerial meetings;
  3. Notes the increased cooperation in ’mini-lateral’ fora related to specific crisis situations, from the G-8 to the Contact Group on the Balkans, from the Middle East Quartet to the 5+1 on Iran; recalls that the European Union is built on solidarity between its members and, therefore, that Member States should consult with partners on decisions of common interest, which should ultimately deliver effective and consistent multilateral solutions for the benefit of all parties concerned; calls, therefore, on the VP/HR to address the current challenges to effective multilateralism and believes that a revised strategy on this matter should aim at achieving more visibility and clout for the EU, including the obligation for the ’mini groups’ to consult EU partners and seek a mandate from the EU;
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  5. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the European Council, the Council, the Commission, the EU Member States and the national parliaments.


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