Europe of defence or Europe of security?

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Linkiesta, 20 October 2021

It was a good deal – too good to be true. The supply of 12 conventionally powered submarines to Australia, a contract worth nearly € 55 billion, half of which seemed set to go to France’s Naval Group. Australia cancelled the contract, purely and simply, in favour of acquiring nuclear-powered submarines from the United States and the United Kingdom. “Betrayal”, “stab in the back”, “attempt to eliminate the French defence industry”, “strategic break”, “slap in the face for France”, “breach of trust”, recall of ambassador, and so on. Jean-Yves Le Drian, France’s foreign minister, was the most melodramatic, describing the USA and Australia as “former partners”. 1 Lire la suite

Notes:

  1. France 2, 18 September, 2021

Europe’s strategic suicide

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Geopolitica, May, 2021

The People’s Republic of China’s rise in economic, technological and military power and at the same the time, the transformation of its regime from authoritarian to totalitarian is the first threat to the free world and therefore to Europe in terms of preserving a global environment based on freedom (and freedoms).

The second is the strengthening of the Russian Federation’s power to destroy and destabilise, a power which does not translate so much into a new military threat to the Union since the NATO cooperation, which is important and strategic, has been renewed. But rather it has a very strong capacity to harm the interests of the European Union (and its member States) not only in its immediate vicinity, notably in Ukraine, Belarus, the South Caucasus, the Middle East and the Maghreb, but also in Africa. Lire la suite

A Union or the sex of angels

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On 15 November last, Die Welt reported on the initiative of SPD members of the Bundestag for the creation of a 28th European army: a Common European Army.

Contrary to others who believe that the “Europe of Defence, which we thought unthinkable, we have done it”, Fritz Felgentreu and his colleagues consider that Europe still has a lot to do, and they provide a concrete outline of a way forward. The first merit of their proposal is doubtless that it shows unambiguously how the Union might achieve a real sharing of sovereignty in a particularly sensitive area, that of the common security of the 27. Their scenario proposes that this army should be common and “community-based”, meaning that it should come under the authority of the Union’s institutions and comprise European soldiers and not contingents from national armies. Another undeniable merit of their proposal is that it is both compatible with, and complementary to, an approach to European defence based on national armies and NATO membership, an idea brilliantly restated by German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer in her recent speech at the Bundeswehr University in Hamburg. Lire la suite

Stopping the war: the EU must recognize Nagorno-Karabakh

Far from the world’s attention, the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia is raging. The dispute is over Nagorno-Karabakh, a land historically populated by Armenians. Civilian and military casualties continue to pile up. Until now, the European Union, its member states, the United States and the other major democracies have remained silent or even washed their hands of the affair by opting for convenient neutrality between the two belligerents.

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