EU requires strategic autonomy from US policy

Europe needs strategic autonomy from the US in global politics, says Jean Defraigne, head of the Madariaga College of Europe Foundation. 

“It requires a certain strategic autonomy with respect to the US. If it doesn’t, your (international) partners will directly address the US, undermining Europe’s authority. If Europe wants to be listened to and have a weight in negotiations, it must be strategically autonomous.” 

Answering the question about what the European Union needs to become a world power, he said that the key to this is a common defense system. “Europe has economic, trade, and even technological potential, but is not a strategic power. The key to this is a common defense system within NATO, but under European control,” said Defraigne. 

French President Emmanuel Macron has previously proposed the creation an independent “all-European army”, including to ensure cyber security. The idea was supported by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The head of European diplomacy Federica Mogherini, for her part, said that the EU is not engaged in the construction of a “European army” and is not going to compete with NATO. 

The summit’s conclusion approved by the EU leaders in December stated that the EU’s own defense initiatives strengthened the Union’s strategic autonomy, but in addition to NATO activities.

Tom Tompson

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