Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Common Foreign and Security Policy

Delivered in Plenary - 11th September 2012

Madam President,

The ECR Group has consistently asserted that CFSP must always be subject to unanimity in the Council. Britain, for instance, is a major military power with a permanent seat in the UN Security Council and must always, of course, retain sovereignty in its foreign policy.

That said, we do recognise that the CFSP can play a value added role where Member States’ interests converge, such as over Iran, which is hell-bent on acquiring nuclear weapons and remains probably the greatest threat to global peace.

The CFSP is also a useful platform engaging China’s emergence as a global power over issues like North Korea and standing up to Russia where necessary, for instance, over Georgia or its support for Syria in the current insurgency, or engaging within the Quartet to further the Middle East peace process.

I happen to be the rapporteur for the Horn of Africa and again this is a region with failed states like Somalia and new fragile states like South Sudan and the issue of the emerging role of the African Union. Again, this is an area where the CFSP is a useful tool for the EU and its Member States, to better project their national interests and promote democracy and human rights throughout the globe.