Common European defense, many countries prefer NATO
Geopolitics

Common European defense, many countries prefer NATO

 BelgiumBelgium – The EU is proving to be fragile in its relationship with NATO. The European components of the Alliance have appeared irrelevant in strategic choices. A situation that requires a step forward by the Union. In the awareness that the relationship with the USA and the Atlantic pact cannot be broken. And therefore, to give life to a different but “complementary” commitment.

Europe is therefore looking for the first step towards a “common defense.” Perhaps an initial emergency battalion that is expanded and made faster than the existing one. As the President of the Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen announced in Strasbourg in recent weeks.

And at times, the European components of the Alliance have appeared irrelevant in strategic choices. A situation that requires a step forward by the Union. In the awareness that the relationship with the USA and the Atlantic pact cannot be broken. And therefore, to give life to a different but “complementary” commitment. Europe is therefore looking for the first step towards a “common defense.” Perhaps an initial emergency battalion that is expanded and made faster than the existing one. As the President of the Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen announced in Strasbourg in recent weeks.

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The Commission will develop a project over the next six months. Yesterday, however, during the Brdo European Council, member states again focused on the need to open an innovative path in this field. Precisely because the choices recently made by Washington – starting with the so-called Aukus agreement – have made it clear that the Old Continent and the Mediterranean are no longer central as they once were. Indeed, American strategic interest is rapidly shifting east towards the Indo-Pacific.

And European partners have too often appeared to be marginalized. “However, if Europe does not have a common foreign policy – warned Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi – it is complicated for it to have a common defense.” Indeed, this is the idea of ​​Rome: any choice cannot and will not weaken NATO. If anything, the problem arises because “there is a feeling of having lost geopolitical centrality within NATO.” Therefore, the tightest knot concerns how to achieve greater autonomy in the military field.

All 27 member States urged High Representative Josep Borrell to accelerate on this front. Ahead of the Defense Summit scheduled for February 2022. NATO is the most robust military organization in the world. The European Union will never be a military alliance – said Ursula Von der Leyen – but there are scenarios where we do not see NATO, and there may be a need for the EU to act.

It is about improving our capabilities as the EU for interoperability, strengthening industrial bases, and adapting our capacity to new threats. And this is the issue of safety”. But the basic concept remains: “complementarity” with the Atlantic Pact. Because «we consider NATO – echoes the president of the European council, Charles Michel – the cornerstone of our security. But, at the same time, it is important to understand how we can act more autonomously, in line with our alliances”.

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