New Defence Technologies: which legal and ethical implications?
A roundtable debate on "New Defence Technologies" took place at COMECE on June 19th, 2018, to discuss the current developments in this field and reflect on related legal, security and ethical questions. The meeting, organised in the context of the recent proposal of the European Commission on the future European Defence Fund, gathered representatives of the EU, the military, academia and the Church.
The 15 participants reflected on the priority areas in defence research and technology development, and discussed related new legal, security, humanitarian and ethical implications.
COMECE highlighted the need for a deeper reflection at EU level about the long-term goals of the common European security and defence policy.
As proposed in the recent COMECE contribution “Whose Security?, Whose Defence?”, these strategic objectives should adopt a rights-based approach and oriented towards enhancing the long-standing security of persons, families and communities.
The development of new defence technologies should go hand in hand with the elaboration of a common ethical and anthropological framework and - as stressed in the recent COMECE contribution on the future EU defence funding - be strictly bound with the respect for the rule of law and fundamental human rights.
COMECE promotes the understanding of defence as a global concept. As hard security alone cannot comprehensively address the multifaceted security challenges of today, the EU should better articulate the defence research and technology initiatives with other policy fields, including diplomacy, conflict prevention as well as promotion of human, socio-economic and ecological security.