Why and how the EU should act on armed drones

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Martins, Bruno Oliveira & Benedikt Backhaus (2015) Why and how the EU should act on armed drones, Global Affairs 1(3): 259–267.

​This article systematizes the reasons that demand EU action on the issue of armed drones and advances a set of parameters that should frame the Union’s policy on the topic. It argues that a clear positioning of Brussels is required due to legal and strategic demands, and also for reasons of consistency with both previous practices in similar events and fundamental vectors of EU foreign and security policy. The current absence of a shared position is explained by several factors that need to be taken into account when addressing the possible paths for that position to materialize. We argue that EU’s policy should follow a two-tier logic that focuses on EU member states, in a first phase, and on the international sphere, in a second one. If fully and strictly respected within the EU territory, a clear EU position on armed drones, adopted in the form of a Council decision, would have the potential to influence international practices and to contribute to limiting armed drone proliferation. The guiding principles of a future EU policy should be reinforced externally by the creation of the role of a special representative for armed drones and targeted killings.

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