Articles and analysis


By Tatiana Rita de Moraes MA
Tatiana-foto-ver-5Given the pressures, challenges, external threats and feelings of insecurity, will the evolution of the European security system, currently moving towards greater integration, eventually lead to the formation of shared defence or even a "European Army"? Is the latter a practical or politically possibility? (Throughout this paper, EU and Europe now mean the 27 member states – MS - of the European Union after the UK has left at the end of 2020)
Over the last 5 years, rapid steps so far involve the establishment of a European Defense Fund; the development of the Capacity Development Plan to define short, medium and long-term priorities; the adjustment of structures, including greater centralisation of information and a command structure for military operations initially non-executive, the Capacity for Planning and Conducting Military Actions; the Coordinated Annual Defense Review with a view to better coordination between countries; the Common Security and Defence Policy (see paper EDGE3 An introduction to CSDP by Edoardo del Principe) and, finally, the establishment of Permanent Structured Cooperation.

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EDlogodownloadThe COVID-19 pandemic, which has rocked the world, could prove to be one of those major upheavals capable of changing the face of the planet. Time alone will tell. At the very least, the pandemic raises issues with regard to the principles of solidarity, human dignity, freedom, democracy, rule of law and peace that are the founding values of the European Union.

The measures suggested here are designed to attenuate the impact of economic recession, while at the same time optimising defence and security capacities without encroaching on individual Member State's sovereignty.

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nickwattsIMG 20170907 0924504Europe's political landscape is in a state of profound flux, one that presents real challenges to those continental nations who see their interests best served by a combination of effective, geopolitically balanced European institutions and a robust transatlantic alliance. This is true for countries like Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands, countries notably effective in maintaining a sound balance between these two strategic principals.

The continent faces a plethora of disruptive and divisive dynamics. It is a focal point of Great Power aggression. Russia is using military force to revise European borders, and both Moscow and Beijing are using economic, cyber, and social media to sow discord within and across nations – and to pillage their economic assets. Populist movements, many fueled by Moscow, are undercutting commitment to both the European Union and NATO. On top of all this, economic fragility looms like a dark storm cloud over Europe.

In the future the EU political and economic power will decrease, but also the trans-Atlantic relation can deteriorate. This will affect the role of NATO. In the EU France and Germany will become more influential, if not preponderant, drivers of decisions within that institution. That too will leave the EU more vulnerable to bouts of anti-Americanism and to those who pursue EU "strategic autonomy" to weaken the role of NATO.

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