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 future framework of the European defence should include a strong social dimension. Hundred thousand of men and women serve in the European armed forces under conditions that widely differ from one country to another. It is therefore essential that the EU Institutions work towards the harmonisation and standardisation of European armed forces to facilitate the cooperation of their military personnel. This process should however not only focus on capabilities but also on the development of common standards for the living and working conditions of the “Citizens in Uniform”.

Vote on the European Parliament Resolution on the European Defence Union

Vote Breakdown









313 votes required to pass.

The vote on the resolution on the European Defence Union by rapporteur Urmas Paet (ALDE), took place on 22 November 2016.

Key Issues

The EU as a global actor

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A common defence

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Social dimension in European defence

The European Parliament Resolution on the European Defence Union of 22 November 2016 includes the essential element EUROMIL is calling for, namely a reference to the social dimension of a future European defence. More particularly, 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.”

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Standout MEPS

Michael Gahler
Group of the European People's Party

In the parliament, MEP Michael Gahler has continuously shown support for the rights and interests of armed forces personnel in Europe. Through reports, hearings, plenary votes and personal engagement with representatives of military personnel, he actively contributed to raising up the condition of military personnel in Europe.