European Defense Interviews – 3rd edition: between utopia and challenges

(B2) These third 'Interviews' bear witness to a Europe at a crossroads. Ready for anything, provided you want it and are able to move from rhetoric to practice... 

Covid-19 obliges, the third Defense Talks were held this year at a distance, concentrated on half a day, Wednesday (4.11), and provided masterfully by the various facilitators (Stéphane Rodriguez, Federico Santopinto, Frédéric Mauro) , live from the 'Walster Hallstein' room at the Berlaymont, which is used for meetings of the European Commission. A day divided into four highlights.

 Commissioner Breton's ambitions

Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market (and in charge of Space and Defence), opened the debates by presenting his plan for give Europe a 'hard power'. A twelve-step plan, built around Defense, investments, where we also talk about cyber and space.

A favorable context, provided you dare

The first panel of experts in geopolitics, gathered around one question - " What geopolitics for the European Union – is categorical: Europe must raise its voice. This is the only way for the European Union and its Member States to make themselves heard in the global turmoil.

Immediate challenges ahead

The 'defence' experts of the second panel are affirmative: if theUnion represents the last hope for European defense, progress is much too timid.

In particular, it lacks good defense planning, as detailed by Jean-Paul Palomeros (former Chief of Staff of the French Air Force and Head of ACT, NATO's Transformation Command).

Defense Europe is still looking for itself. The conclusion is self-explanatory. It is signed by the president of the defense sub-committee of the European Parliament, and former Minister for European Affairs, Nathalie Loiseau (LREM / Renew).

The utopian flight of Jolyon Howorth

How not to forget, in the role of the great witness, the Briton Jolyon Howorth, of the Harvard Kennedy School, which stirred the pot as expected. If he believes in strategic autonomy, this first obliges the Europeans to recognize the current impasse in the CSDP as well as in the functioning of NATO. There will then only be rebuild a 'New Alliance !

(ES and B2 writing)

(photo credits: Thierry Breton / European Commission; Jolyon Howorth / Sorbonne / IREDIES; Jean-Paul Palomeros / Def12 )

The texts were published either on the blog or on our B2 Pro edition reserved for members/subscribers. But in order to make them accessible, they are in an 'open' format for everyone.

Emmanuelle Stroesser

A journalist for magazines and the press, Emmanuelle specializes in humanitarian issues, development, asylum and migration and human rights.

One thought on “European Defense Interviews – 3rd edition: between utopia and challenges"

  • November 20 2020 to 09: 14

    Thank you for this realistic assessment and this necessary awareness. But are we able in the current Euro-Atlantic system to carry out collective strategic planning? The current NATO CSDP institutional framework has created an impasse from which we cannot escape. The notion of strategic alliance no longer makes sense in today's multiple world. Only the neighborhood can consolidate common interests and responsibilities. European civilization exists, it has a history, a geography and a common culture which give it an unequaled depth, but it has allowed itself to be enlisted by deadly biases and the EU can no longer carry the necessary European project. Each of its major players defends a different collective project... and our state or non-state competitors know how to divide us so well. Is the EU repairable? We can doubt it. Because if geopolitics invites us to constitute a large specific political entity from the Atlantic to the Urals and from the North Cape to the Sahel, geoeconomics thinks of much else that happens to many States and favors a large society of peoples normalized by a market that brings them together… the planet of the XNUMXst century needs a modern Europe, a point of balance between Asia, Africa and America… we are not taking the path and neither the EU nor NATO are there drive… to work! Other

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