Doc. 11337

27 June 2007

Private military and security firms and the erosion of the state monopoly on the use of force

Motion for a resolution

presented by Mr Wodarg and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only the members who have signed it

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) resolves to study the problem of the proliferation of private military and security firms with a view to its impact on the state monopoly on the use of force and the erosion of state structures and the potential need for new regulation at the national and/ or international level.

At present there are over one million mercenaries operating around the globe, for more than a thousand companies, creating a turnover of approximately 200 billion US- Dollar last year.

This particular branch of the economy realizes a high level of growth and profitability. The major clients of these operators are governments, followed by multinational industrial corporations, predominantly operating in the exploration of natural resources.

As a result of privatisation, the market for private military and security firms (PMF) boomed during the last decade. Especially “strong" states legitimate the outsourcing of their military capacities to private military operators by cutting costs and their aim to increase the own security standards.

PMF's offer a whole range of services which are generally assigned to national militaries.

The military activities of the PMF‘s include combat assignments, armed protection services and logistics, including supply and maintenance. Also the PMF's operate in the fields of training, consulting and secret services.

The dependence of regular military forces on the PMF's services increases among both western and third world countries. In some cases the dependence rose so drastically that the regular military forces can no longer fulfil their duty without the support by PMF's.

The outsourcing process causes many problems, which have not yet been reflected in a satisfactory manner. Actions taken by PMF's contribute to the erosion of governmental sovereignty and authority especially in „weak" states. Thus, the precarious public good “security" may be distributed to the disadvantage of big parts of the population and may be only provided to those who can afford private services. This destabilizes the monopoly of law and public order in all countries.

A particularly severe problem from the perspective of PACE is the weakening of parliamentary control and the erosion of the state monopoly on the use of force due to the increasing number of non-governmental actors with military means at their disposal. In consequence there are numerous problems regarding a lack of transparency, and undefined responsibilities for actions taken by PMF‘s.

This problem has to be regarded thoroughly by the PACE, to analyze possible threats for our democracies.

Signed 1:

WODARG Wolfgang, Germany, SOC

ATEŞ Abdülkadir, Turkey, SOC

AUSTIN John, United Kingdom, SOC

BARNETT Doris, Germany, SOC

ČURDOVÁ Anna, Czech Republic, SOC

DAČIĆ Ivica, Serbia, SOC

DÄUBLER-GMELIN Herta, Germany, SOC

FLYNN Paul, United Kingdom, SOC

GAJDŮŠKOVÁ Alena, Czech Republic, SOC

GRAF Angelika, Germany, SOC

GROSS Andreas, Switzerland, SOC

GÜLÇİÇEK Ali Riza, Turkey, SOC

HÖFER Gerd, Germany, SOC

JEFTIĆ Miloš, Serbia, SOC

JIVKOVA Evguenia, Bulgaria, SOC

JURGENS Erik, Netherlands, SOC

KESKIN Hakki, Germany, UEL

LINTNER Eduard, Germany, EPP/CD

MARTY Dick, Switzerland, ALDE

McCAFFERTY Christine, United Kingdom, SOC

MEALE Alan, United Kingdom, SOC

MELČÁK Miloš, Czech Republic, SOC

MIĆUNOVIĆ Dragoljub, Serbia, NR

PANGALOS Theodoros, Greece, SOC

POLLOZHANI Azis, ''the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia'', SOC

PRENTICE Gordon, United Kingdom, SOC

REIMANN Maximilian, Switzerland, ALDE

RIESTER Walter, Germany, SOC

RUPPRECHT Marlene, Germany, SOC

SHYBKO Vitaliy, Ukraine, SOC

SKOPAL Ladislav, Czech Republic, SOC

STEENBLOCK Rainder, Germany, SOC

STRÄSSER Christoph, Germany, SOC

VIS Rudi, United Kingdom, SOC

VRETTOS Konstantinos, Greece, SOC

VUČKOVIĆ Nataša, Serbia, NR

WURM Gisela, Austria, SOC


1        SOC: Socialist Group

      EPP/CD: Group of the European People’s Party

      ALDE: Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe

      EDG: European Democratic Group

      UEL: Group of the Unified European Left

      NR: not registered in a group