Europe's New Defence Agenda:
Major hurdles still remain
Tuomas Iso-Markku & Niklas Helwig
Finnish Institute of International Affairs
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December European Council will discuss a bundle of measures to strengthen the
EUís security and defence policy. While the Brexit vote and the US elections
raised the ambitions of some member states, the measures largely represent a
readjustment and repackaging of existing policies rather than a conceptual
without the UK, EU member states continue to have diverse views on the
relationship between the EU and NATO, the priorities of the EUís security and
defence policy and the level of EU involvement in defence in general.
implemented, the proposed steps may help member states to coordinate their
capability development plans and to jointly finance research into and
procurement of key defence technologies. This development would not question
NATOís role in defending Europe but, on the contrary, would help contribute
towards transatlantic burden-sharing.
As some of
the member states are more ambitious in pooling defence capabilities, the
emergence of a multi-speed Europe in defence matters is a real possibility.
This could deepen the divides that already exist between the member states.