European Union leaders have failed to overcome divisions over the opportunity to develop an independent defense force, despite outrage over the chaotic withdrawal of Western forces from Afghanistan and France’s new offensive after its exclusion from a US geostrategic pact, according to an analysis Reuters.
The presidents and heads of government of the EU Member States, who they met for dinner on Tuesday night at the informal summit in Brdo (Slovenia), they had divergent positions already known in the discussions. Eastern European countries remained supportive of NATO consolidation vis-à-vis Russia, while Western European states, led by Germany, France, Italy and Spain, called for a more robust European capability, said two European diplomats who participated in the discussions.
EU leaders looking in completely different directions ahead of the official photo of the informal summit in Slovenia. Photo source: Profimedia Images
The European Union needs to be more accountable in the face of crises
Ahead of the closed-door dinner at Brdo Castle, about 30 kilometers east of Ljubljana, French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters that the EU bloc must do more to manage the crises that are and are occurring at the borders. as well as being more responsible for their own security.
On Wednesday, EU leaders will be joined by six Balkan leaders – Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Northern Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania – as part of the bloc’s strategy to create a „friends circle”, from south-eastern Europe to North Africa, reports Agerpres.
„We Europeans need to be clear about ourselves. What is important for our security, our borders, our independence?”, said Macron, who questioned the reliability of Europe’s US protection ahead of last month’s dispute over the Indo-Pacific Pact.
The transatlantic divergences were triggered last month by secret negotiation by the US of a military agreement, known as AUKUS, with Australia and Britain to counter China, leading to the cancellation of a mega-contract for the delivery of 12 conventional French submarines to Australia.
Later, after a telephone conversation between French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Joe Biden, tensions eased and the Elysee Palace leader sent his ambassador back to Washington after his White House counterpart acknowledged that a consultation with France before the announcement of the security pact with Australia would have prevented a diplomatic dispute.
It was also announced that the two leaders will meet at the G20 meeting in Rome, scheduled for October 30 and 31.
What is the plea of European common defense advocates?
Proponents of a stronger European defense say the warnings are numerous. „Pivoting to Asia of the United States, Britain’s exit from the EU, the America First doctrine of former US President Donald Trump, which undermined EU priorities, failed states on the European border, but also an increasingly aggressive Russia” are challenges that the EU must confuse.
ÎDespite progress in building a common defense fund for the joint development of armaments, the EU has not yet deployed its battalion-level battlegroups.
„The debate among European leaders has been whether, from the point of view of force, we should choose between our economic or military power.”, said a senior EU official, referring to the role of the European Union as the largest donor of aid and trade bloc in the world.
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Editor: Marco Badea