Several European countries are in the process of equipping their armies with armed MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) drones. These new weapons are not without controversy. They are redefining military practices and the contours of war as we know it. This analysisexamines the position that the European Union has adopted with regard to these controversial weapons, which belong to its Member States, and the measures taken (or not taken) as a result at the European level. It first notes that the EU has supported the use and acquisition of armed drones and more. This support does not appear to be the result of an institutionalised decision upstream, but rather of a de facto acceptance of a fait accompli established by the Member States. It then examines the legal and ethical considerations that result from this effective support, and which seem to have been left out of a hypothetical debate.
Author: Solène Jomier
Date: 19 May 2021