In the current security landscape, European armed forces need to collaborate closer. However, soldiers serve under conditions that widely differ between countries. The EU Institutions should, therefore, work towards the harmonisation and standardisation of socio-professional conditions of military personnel. This process should not only focus on capabilities but also on the development of common standards for the living and working conditions of the “Citizens in Uniform”. The future framework of European defence should include a strong social dimension.

Therefore, the upcoming European Parliament should:

Enhance the social security and medical care of military personnel.

Reintegration in the civilian labour market for military personnel with short-term contracts, harmonisation and standardisation of the living and working conditions of the military personnel. PTSD recognised as an occupational sickness of peace-keeping veterans.

Best possible and free medical and psychological care before, during and after the mission abroad. Long-term medical surveillance and treatment of returning soldiers and veterans fully guaranteed through military medical facilities and/or the civilian healthcare system.

Upscale the regulations for training and equipment of military personnel.

Extensive training as joint forces, including comprehensive education on languages, national and international laws as well as cultural awareness; training and exchange initiatives aimed at enhancing the interoperability and the development of a common strategic culture. Provision of appropriate personal combat equipment and high standard of armour protection of vehicles, effective and appropriate logistic supply structures considered priorities, especially in CSDP missions. The emphasis put on the safety of soldiers using the equipment: a high-quality one means better protection!

Secure equal wages as well as legal security and protection of military personnel.

Equal wages financed from the EU budget to increase solidarity and motivation (in multinational and more particularly CSDP missions). Legal security for soldiers by reality checked mandates, caveats and rules of engagement. Legal protection in the execution of their function also during missions abroad.

The On Our Watch project brings together Civil Society Organisations working on all kind of topics. As representatives of and in direct contact with citizens, organisations have a strong role to play in holding the European Parliament accountable to the public. By joining forces in the context of the #EUelections2019 (23-26 May), On Our Watch offers a comprehensive overview of the key issues that European citizens care about.

Want to join? Get in touch! Contact: christian.skriverik[@]  | Address: Place du Luxembourg 2, B-1050, Brussels | Phone: +32 2 508 30 83