Alfred Sant against Malta joining European Defence & Security Policy
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Maltese MEP Alfred Sant told the European Parliament that Malta is a neutral country and that he would be in favour of opting out from any comprehensive European defence and security policy.
Dr Sant also stated that neutral countries within the EU might decide not to participate fully or partly in the proposed EU Common Security and Defence Policy.
The MEP made this statement before voting against a resolution which sets the framework for EU political and military structures. This proposal would reinforce the superior military importance of the larger member states over small EU member states.
Dr Sant said it might sound tempting to promote a common security and defence policy for the EU, but the likelihood is that it will be counterproductive. “Such an initiative would not help to relight enthusiasm for closer union as much as heighten divergences between member states.”
“It is preferable for the EU to concentrate on coordinating security measures within EU territory regarding terrorism, immigration and surveillance. Here the benefits could be reaped in the short to medium term, would be politically popular and easy to communicate,” he said.
The MEP added that, “the pursuit of a European defence policy as of now would inevitably highlight the greater military importance of the larger participating member states. This would contribute to sow distrust between partners regarded as “dominant” and others regarded as followers.Meanwhile, neutral countries might decide not to participate fully or partly in the policy.”
“The further prospect of two or three speed Europe here too, would further contribute to the disjointedness that, among other problems, is currently afflicting the European project. Given Malta’s status as a neutral country, I would be in favour of opting out from any comprehensive European defence and security policy. For these reasons, I have voted against the resolution,” said the Maltese MEP.
The resolution ‘Constitutional, legal and institutional implications of a Common Security and Defence Policy: possibilities offered by the Lisbon Treaty’ passed with 360 votes in favour, 212 against and 48 abstentions.