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Common European defense is imperative

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In the run-up to the elections for the election of the new European Parliament next June, it is imperative to highlight the major issues that concern the EU. Such an issue is one of the fundamental pillars of the Union that has been pending for decades. That of European defense and security.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen recently reiterated with her statements the need to implement this main pillar of EU policies

The common European defense, inextricably linked to the common foreign policy.

Let's start with a basic highlight. The European Union is certainly an economic superpower. Politically, however, it still has serious weaknesses. Its potential to have a serious impact on world politics is limited. The reason is simple. It has no common foreign policy or common defense.

The wars in the Balkans, the war in the Gulf, the chaos in Afghanistan, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Middle East war crisis, have confirmed this European problem. If Europe had a collective foreign and defense policy it would not have asked for American intervention in the former Yugoslavia. The absence of a truly common foreign policy on an issue so personal, in Europe's neighborhood, has led European leaders to ask Washington to intervene. In the same way Europe if it existed as a coordinated political entity could play an important role in an area that concerns it even more than the USA. In the Middle East and the Persian Gulf.

This apparent European weakness does not only concern international crises, however. It also concerns the very way of development and certain political problems, but also the global economy itself. In contrast to a European rigidity and boldness, the US promotes development and interventionist measures in the economic sector, sealing global economic developments.

Features  the European Union is competitive with the USA only in aviation with Airbus and while 60% of European funds are invested in American companies. Apparently under  these  conditions, the de-dependence of European policies will be a very difficult task. It goes without saying that in the coming years a gigantic effort will be needed in Europe to develop an economy competitive with the US, with a strong industrial base that will also extend to the field of high-tech equipment.

A fundamental condition for such a development in the economic and political field is a European Union of a federal character that is democratically controlled by a strong European Parliament and that can participate decisively in the international political game.

This in turn presupposes abandoning the phobia and anxiety about national cultural identities, the panic about the nation-state and all sorts of Eurosceptic notions that have succeeded in seriously delaying substantial European political integration.

If these trends, perceptions and mindsets are not abandoned and indeed quickly, we will have an economically united Europe, the largest market on the planet, but we will not have a coordinated political force, strong political power and therefore no common foreign policy and security and defense policy.< /p>

Conclusion. In order to defend its interests, peace, stability and democracy in the world, Europe must form itself into a real political entity, i.e. acquire a common foreign and security and defense policy and the means to implement this policy.

The CFSP comes exactly, albeit with a delay, to cover this deficit.

The CFSP was established by the Maastricht Treaty in 1993 and basically expresses the will of the EU. to confirm its identity on the international stage. According to the same treaty, the CFSP includes the progressive formation of a common defense policy which may lead to a common defense if the European Council so decides. After the Maastricht Treaty, the CFSP constitutes the 3rd pillar of the EU. (1st pillar citizenship – EMU and 2nd pillar, internal  law and harmonisation).

Then the European Council in June 99 in Cologne proceeded with decisions to obtain the possibility of the existence of armed forces  for crisis management and prevention purposes. In December 1999 in Helsinki, the European Council went a step further by defining a numerical framework for the creation of a European army by 2003. At the Council of the Portuguese city of Feira in June 2000, the military and political bodies that will have political direction and strategic control were jointly decided of the military operations of the Union.

The relations with NATO are defined on the basis of an “instituted cooperation”, while it is important to mention that with the proposal of Greece, Sweden, Finland and Ireland, a clear reference to the UN authorities regarding the military action of the CFSP was achieved. That is, actions within the framework of the resolutions and decisions of the International organization.

The exact plan is that until 2003 the member states had to be able to deploy within 60 days for at least one year a military force of 50 – of 60 thousand men capable of responding to the entire spectrum  of the so-called PETERSBERG missions ie:

–    Humanitarian and rescue missions

–    Peacekeeping missions.

–    Missions of armed forces for crisis management including peacekeeping operations. Under the auspices of the UN.

Of course all these decisions and declarations remained largely inactive as the EU is still absent from the international political scene and remains a passive spectator in major crises.

Source: www.philenews.com

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