15 Sep. 2021 19:23
According to EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the European Union must better protect itself militarily against global crises and security threats. After the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, the EU should have its own defense capabilities.
The proposal for a rapid EU reaction force existed as early as the 1990s. Since 2007 there have been EU combat troops in which soldiers from the member states take part. Every six months there are two combat troops for first missions in a crisis region. This is not enough for EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
On Wednesday, von der Leyen presented her State of the Union address in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The topic of pandemic kicked off. Her speech began with the words:
“Many people feel that their lives are paused while the world goes on in fast-forward mode. The speed of events and the magnitude of the challenges are sometimes difficult to grasp.”
In the biggest global health crisis of this century, the EU shone and ensured that all member countries had equal access to the life-saving vaccines.
She expressed her support for the Afghans on behalf of the EU. Especially those judges who are now afraid of the men they helped convict. The country will continue to provide humanitarian support. For this purpose, 100 million euros are made available.
In close cooperation with NATO, it wants to further expand the strength of the alliance militarily. In the future, the EU should become a leader in cybersecurity and participate in operations that do not take place within the framework of NATO or the UN:
“It is time for Europe to take the next level.”
She referred to the defense conference in France next year. French President Emmanuel Macron has long been in favor of creating an EU force. In the opinion of the EU Commission President, there has not yet been a lack of capacities, but a lack of political will.
In an agreement with the Taliban, the United States had sealed the withdrawal of its own and all foreign troops. The Taliban came to power almost indefinitely. The forced withdrawal had once again put a joint EU defense force at the center of the discussion.
The German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer also shares the view of her predecessor von der Leyen. In her opinion, the Union should become a “strategic actor” “to be reckoned with”. Towards the end of the year, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will present a joint EU-NATO declaration:
“But that’s only part of the equation. Europe can – and clearly should – be able and willing to do more on its own. But if we want to do more, we must first explain why.”
Firstly, one must ensure more stability in the European neighborhood and in various regions. The nature of the threats is also evolving. These ranged from hybrid or cyber attacks to the growing arms race in space:
“The third reason is that the European Union is a unique security provider. There will be missions where NATO or the UN will not be present, but where the EU should be present.”
Von der Leyen is positive about the future of the European Union. She wrote on Twitter:
“When I look at the State of the Union, I see a strong soul in everything we do Century crise we decided to do it together. As a Europe. The next year will be another test. “
more on the subject – Survey: Should the EU have its own armed forces?