Saturday 10 September 2011

Common European defence: some questions

In the blog post EU common defence: Military HQ first choice we continued to look at the main groups of European Union members with regard to military cooperation.

Few political developments are as self-evident as a common European defence, until European politicians get involved.

Coulisses de Bruxelles

Last spring, Jean Quatremer on the Coulisses de Bruxelles blog painted a woeful background picture of how the EU governments lack the military resources and the political will to achieve results in the military field: Quelle défense pour l'Europe et pour la France ? (18 April 2011)

European Geostrategy

On the European Geostrategy blog, Sarwar Kahmeri argued that the answer to NATO’s woes is to bridge the alliance with the European Union’s common security and defence policy, and shift the responsibility for the defence of Europe and its periphery to the European Union: CSDP – the Atlantic Alliance's Saviour? (27 April 2011)


Nicolas Gros-Verheyde on the Bruxelles2 blog, dedicated to EU foreign, security and defence policy, noted the Europe day speech of commissioner Michel Barnier at the Humboldt University in Berlin: Barnier rallume la flamme de la Communauté de la Défense ! (9 May 2011)

There is an English version of the speech 'Towards a New Europe' (SPEECH/11/317), where Barnier discussed many common challenges. He pleaded for a truly European defence policy:

60 years on, work on a European defence community needs to be restarted, if necessary through the “structured cooperation” which is now possible under the Lisbon Treaty. A true military staff structure, systematically bringing together research efforts and resources, and favouring European products when purchasing equipment. All of this goes far beyond the necessary, but insufficient, cooperation between France and the United Kingdom, or between Germany and Sweden.


If there are good reasons for a common European defence, why are we still so far from achieving it?

Ralf Grahn

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