Armed drones – and their usage – are a topic extremely relevant for the EU. Several developments testify to this argument: the recent emergence of targeted killings as a common counter-terrorism technique; the existence of several EU member states using armed and surveillance drones in military scenarios; the presence of member states troops in areas where armed drones have been active; the US use of European-originated intelligence to execute targeted killings; and the broader status of international law, to mention a few. Yet, the EU still does not have an official position on armed drones. In 2014 the European Parliament recognized that this is problematic, adopting a Resolution that expressed “grave concern over the use of armed drones outside the international legal framework” and that urged the EU to “develop an appropriate policy response at both European and global level”. This Forum answers the European Parliament Resolution's call for the development of strategies for enhancing the international regulation of armed drones. It is composed of six articles that expand the contours of this debate aiming at presenting concrete ideas and policy recommendations for an EU position on armed drones, which in turn could contribute to the international regulation of this contending issue.
Martins, Bruno Oliveira (2015) The European Union and Armed Drones: Framing the Debate, Global Affairs 1 (3): 247–250.