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A stronger Union in a world of challenges. What strategic autonomy for Europe?
Meeting with Isabel Wiseler-Lima and Bernard Guetta organised by the European Parliamentary Association, preceded by thematic reflection workshops on EU monetary policy, the EU in international relations and European defence; led by the Young Europeans of Strasbourg.
76 allée de la Robertsau, 76000 Strasbourg
Event reportThe presence of Isabelle Wiseler-Lima and Bernard Guetta has given the opportunity to discuss European strategic autonomy in a world in which powers hostile to the Union’s interests are strengthened. The speakers agreed to see the American withdrawal from the Old Continent. At the same time, China and Russia were explicitly presented as the EU’s strategic rivals. Although its model appears to be in decline, Russia seems to be stepping up its destabilisation activities against the EU, which in particular poses a threat on the EU’s eastern border. In the face of this situation, the Union must step up its cooperation in foreign policy. Thus, better alignment on the international scene would be necessary to effectively defend Europe’s interests and values against the democratic powers. Nevertheless, Bernard Guetta does not think it necessary to revert to the rule of unanimity in foreign policy decisions, as this would lead to the risk of leaving some isolated Member States on the road, while the continent needs unity in order to exist on the international stage. Foreign policy is necessarily correlated with the question of defence. Refusing to mention an overly divided European army, the guests preferred to argue that the Union must embark on the defence projects of the future. The digital and space capabilities have been listed, both necessary to deal with Russian attacks against elections held in European states, as well as to maintain a balance of forces in the face of Russia’s ability to destroy satellites. The speakers remained reserved for the optimism to be displayed in the face of such projects. Nevertheless, it might be easier to cooperate to build new capabilities under pressure from the US withdrawal than to pool existing capacities, as a result of the political disagreements attached to it.
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