Europe needs the United States. We often (loudly) disagree with American foreign policy, yet we remain totally reliant on the security umbrella our friends across the Atlantic provide. Which is why European leaders have been so alarmed by the anti-NATO rhetoric coming from the White House, and possibly why the recent “defence pact” between 23 EU Member States (the so-called “Permanent Structured Cooperation”, or PESCO) was signed.

Without American support, European military capabilities are severely limited. The 2011 intervention in Libya (which was, on the face of it, a European-led campaign) relied heavily on the US for “intelligence-gathering aircraft, aerial refueling tankers and precision-guidance kits for bombs”. Some commentators point to the Libya intervention as proof that Europe lacks the capabilities to launch or sustain significant military operations without the US propping them up.

Yes, many people believe the Libya mission was a mistake (or, at least, that greater support should have been offered after the regime collapsed). Nevertheless, it raises awkward questions about whether Europe can confidently look after its own defences.

US presidents have been chastising Europeans for failing to take defence seriously for years. In the meantime, the security situation has deteriorated – with the Syrian civil war and rise of Islamic State, the Russian annexation of Crimea and Ukrainian civil war, and political instability in North Africa in the wake of the Arab Spring.

Curious to know more about European defence capabilities and spending? We’ve put together some facts and figures in the infographic below (click for a bigger version).

US President Donald Trump has been very critical of European defence spending. He’s taken plenty of flack for this, but some of our commenters think it’s actually quite a reasonable position. For example, Paul says: “EU countries need to start putting their hands in their pocket and contribute to their own defence instead of relying on the few that do take their security seriously.”

To get a response, we put Paul’s comment Sir Richard Shirreff, former NATO Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (2011-2014). How would he react?

Well, I would agree with both Paul and Mr Trump. European nations do need to start putting their money where their mouth is on defence. All the member nations of NATO have signed up to the notion of 2% of GDP being spent on defence, and there are only some five nations in NATO that do that. Most European nations do not. Even the UK needs to ensure that the money it spends on defence is going on defence, not civil service pensions and intelligence agency budgets as a result of some creative accounting.

So, it is really important. In fact, I would say that given the cumulative disarmament of the last at least two decades in Europe, European nations need to spend rather more than 2% on defence in order to generate real, genuine defence capability.

Having said all that, while I agree that Mr Trump was right to highlight this, it would also be very important to hear a resounding commitment from Mr Trump to NATO, to the concept of Article 5, and to his willingness to come to the aid of a NATO member under attack. Because, as you’ll remember, as a candidate he cast doubt upon that.

For another perspective, we also put Paul’s comment to Mihnea Motoc, who was previously Romanian Minister of Defence until January 2017. What would he say?

Yes, they should. But just to set the record straight, President Trump is the fourth American president in a row to make that point. That having been said, I think we can all agree that Europe has itself grown increasingly more aware that it needs to take more of its security into its own hand for other, more pressing reasons. Chief among which being the unprecedented combination of conventional threats in basically all of our neighbourhoods, and also asymmetric risks we saw striking through European territory, and everyone could feel that quite directly from 2014 onward.

So, I would say there is both the need to spend more and the need to spend better. Most of the EU Member States are bound by NATO’s recommendations to set defence expenditure at 2% of GDP. If all EU Member States achieved that level of spending, the EU’s total military expenditure would increase by no less than 85 billion euros, which would be a considerable expansion of defence expenditure.

On the other hand, the process the Commission launched around the European Defence Fund is not necessarily about spending more. It is rather about spending together, spending better. It is about economies of scale, and it is about encouraging Member States to get out of the present fragmentation and overlaps that result from conducting defence research or procurement strictly at the national level, and resort more to defence co-operation across Europe. So, it’s not necessarily about spending more in this process, although that would be far from hurting anyone. It is rather about spending more wisely.

So what about recent developments? Several EU countries recently signed up to a joint notification on the Permanent Structured Cooperation, or PESCO. On the other hand, EU states have been talking about closer defence cooperation for literally decades. Will it really be any different this time?

Some of our commenters are optimistic. Mugur, for example, thinks Brexit might finally allow meaningful progress to be made in EU defence co-operation. Is he right? How would Sir Richard Shirreff respond?

Well, I say that I don’t think it will make a great deal of difference. It might sound as if things are going to be different and, of course, Brexit will change the equation. The concern I have is that it will be seen as a sort of political get-out to avoid having to really deliver proper effective military capability. The best way ahead for European defence remains NATO, the most successful alliance the world has ever seen. The reason we’ve been lucky enough to maintain peace in Europe for 70 years is, of course, partly the effect of the European Union in breaking down the internecine squabbles between European nations, but ultimately European defence – particularly from outside threats – has rested on NATO, and will continue to rest on NATO.

My other concern is that, with Brexit and with Britain no longer around the European Council table, you’re going to have the brakes taken off on the development of what you might call the unnecessary duplication of military capabilities, such as operational headquarters, etc., which can already be done very effectively through NATO as a result of the Berlin Plus agreement between the EU and NATO… So, I’m afraid I’m pretty cynical about PESCO. I think it sounds good, but I’m not convinced it’s going to deliver.

Finally, what would Mihnea Motoc‘s reaction be to Mugur?

Yes, I do think it will be different. I’m sure we will get it right, making defence co-operation the norm between Member States and not the exception as is currently the case. That is not true only for the PESCO that was recently launched, but also for the whole process that the Commission initiated last June with the EU Security and Defence Package.

Let me give you a few reasons why I think it’s not going to be yet another false start on defence co-operation. Firstly, there is an exceptionally favourable political context. There is clear and massive support from Member States. We saw not less than 23 Member States already at the starting line for PESCO. These notifications come with a relatively far-reaching list of binding commitments for Member States that subscribe to it. Furthermore, there are considerable financial incentives for deeper co-operation that the Commission has put forward, including in the PESCO context. The European Defence Fund can thus co-finance up to 30% of projects that are submitted under PESCO. So, these are just a few reasons why there is widespread confidence, and I for one certainly trust that we will get it right this time.

As for Brexit… Well, it might be that we would not even have this cooperation if it wasn’t for Brexit, which of course is a painful event for all of us. Brexit was followed by a very positive and substantial Position Paper that the UK has put together on defence and security co-operation for after Brexit. However, Brexit is just one of the factors that explains the current dynamics on European defence. Let us recall that it was for the first time in 2014 when the then-candidate for EU Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, made defence policy a political priority for his campaign. Later on it has become a political priority for this Commission and for the EU as such. That was long before the Brexit referendum.

Why can’t Europe take care of its own defence? Will Brexit clear the way for deeper EU defence cooperation? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – European External Action Service


141 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. José Bessa da Silva

    Because is a continent and not a country. Each european country can and must take care of it’s own defence though.

    • Oliver Hauss

      At least in the fantasies of people whose respect for the law and human lives is just as abysmal as that of any terrorist. In the real world, Europe has rarely been safer.

    • Jan Kowalski

      Dear Oliver, how many terrorist attacks with how many victims per year in scale of europe would convince You something might be wrong with your lovely muslim friends? Look, sunshine, here in Poland we had none terrorist attacks over last two decades, no berlin, parisx2, nice, londonx2, manchester, madrid, barcelona and so on and so on. Why is that so?

    • Matej Zaggy Zagorc

      Europe has been safer from ourselves, yes. I don’t recall Europe existing this long without a war, but what I believe Marko means is that we’re letting to many religious fanatics and different cultures roll into Europe.
      I guess we just like it not being a war zone and are prepared to kneel to that as long as there is no full out war.

    • Marko Martinović

      Europe is safer then countries like Congo, but things are getting worse and worse. People are dieing and being assaulted, sprayed with acid and raped while governments dont do anything significant out of fear of not being politically correct. This is not acceptable. Those politicians are accomplicess to terror and traitors to their people. People still die and suffer and we are supposed to accept it. What when our number comes up?

  2. Petar Shumanov

    So, its generally not true… First step:
    1. Common command – at over national level
    2. Emergency centers at strategic points – over national
    3. Special task forces command by the over national directorate
    4. Union agreed policies in case of emergency
    5. AND the very specific point…, over national task attachment, what is the problem so far, cos lack of trust… (possible solution: short-term: integrity in form of training and information campaigns. : long-term common training facilities and programs)

    Impossible is nothing, just the brain-box is the border, continent or planet is all a matter of mas-stab! And Europe and the Union should break this border to planetary society, otherwise we’re all lost to be forgotten in time and space…

    • Ivan Burrows

      Named the ‘Oberkommando der Wehrmacht’ no doubt. You pro EU Europeans have learnt nothing from your history and are destined to repeat it, we will not save you from yourselves this time. Have fun :)

    • Petar Shumanov

      Ivan Burrows Mister Burrows, :) fine position, but i dont think thats the situation nowadays bro… The both sides, east and west are empty…, east is empty of money, west (over the sea) is empty of intellect…(…OK, saying it so, seems familiar, but still… ;) …

      So what exactly brought you to the idea is 1938? Excuse me, if i push an open wound!

      Sincerely yours, one proud defender of Doiran 1918 :D :D :D

    • Jan Kowalski

      You pitiful man, Petar Shumanov: Which single politician in eu or in western european member states has more intellect than that one despised living across the sea? Merkel letting in a horde of uneducatable and unemployable barbarians into the west, toothless verhofstadt wanting to punish poland and hungary but having too short hands. Where is this Your famous western european elite? Uk and eastern europe will all do better without the garbage eu trying to impose on everyone letting in hordes of terrorists and buying them back from their inferior idelogy by using the welfare state. Message from whole of eastern europe+uk for today for eu: Please f off and go directly to demise but do not try to drag us with You into the chasm.

    • Petar Shumanov

      Jan Kowalski Haha… touche… i moved your peanut to blame me as pitiful :) +1 …2nd, my dear peasant as you talking to me, a member of the global village, you should know i dont care about your so called UK and Eastern European opinion as i know you are not able to present their opinion fully…, so please step off the stage quietly as your funny comment deserves it. :) Thanks!

    • Jan Kowalski

      Local retard, global retard. Still a retard.

  3. Ivan Burrows

    ‘Europe’ can, its the EU that can’t. Hand your security over to an unelected European Politburo in Brussels and you know what the outcome will be.

    • Petar Shumanov

      i suppose this lack of faith destroyed the bridges between us, but you know Madagascar is still with you, good choice, perspective and wise ;)

    • Ivan Burrows

      Petar Shumanov You consider a dictatorship to be a bridge ?

    • Ivan Burrows

      Edvinas Leonavičius Did you vote for your president Juncker or his law making commission ? Look it up, Brussels is the very definition of a dictatorship.

    • Ivan Burrows

      Geoffrey Howard (Troll) Whatever comrade, whatever. :)

  4. David Scott

    They should spend money on what does the job, rather than paying more for something that is not needed.

    • Petar Shumanov

      and the their job is??? to confront your spam or to build a common society? o_0 sweet :)

    • David Scott

      I have no idea what you said Petar, even Google translate would struggle with that.

    • Jan Kowalski

      Petar is some ruski parrot babbling incoherently a mixup of alde, verhofstadt and mackarel slogans. Nothing to see here, David.

  5. Oliver Hauss

    Disagree with the assessment. Quite the contrary, US operations over the past few decades have chiefly degraded our security. Security is far more than just military security, and it is precisely the overreliance on military means which has produced by now numerous failed states that have turned into hotbeds and proving grounds for fundamentalists and fanaticals.

    A comprehensive security policy includes diplomatic and economic means. The very point of the EU is to secure peace not through military means but through integration.

    • Jan Kowalski

      Western european diplomatic and economic means are worth pretty much shit. Without military in case of external intervention the tanks will go all way through from Oder river up to Portugal. Poland and majority of eastern Europe wont block the invaders from going west just like Your idol mackarel did with invaders from the south.

    • Jan Kowalski

      What a bloody idiot. Dont invest in defence and Turks will come from the sea and rip through Your pitiful state like a knife through a butter.

    • Michał Borkowski

      It is 2017 and you still have not discovered maintaining military has to do more with power projection and deterrence than a real threat.

    • Μάρκος Κουντουρούδας

      Jan Kowalski We saw how EU reacted with the refugees crisis from Turkey : Instead of punish Turkey with embargo’s, ecc. they shut-down the north borders of Greece, meaning by Isolating a member-state and leave it abandoned to any external dangers. And you Dare to speak about “common defense of EU” or “threaten” Greece and Greeks with Turkey’s offensiveness ? Cowards and Incompetents !

    • Rémi Martin

      And is continuing to give money to Turkey to join it… Jan Kowalski, next time, shut up before saying bullshits and learn how EU works before paying your taxes and ignoring where your money is going. A defence? What for? Europe is peace, they said… We don’t need to stay in an union who wants to prepare us for war!

    • Nicolette Ladoulis

      We dont want NATO anymore. Fix your own problems. Thanks.

    • Jan Kowalski

      Where Ya from, Nicolette? If Us, Id like to ask without any a priori assumptions whether its official line of Washington now etc.

  6. Zsolt Barczy

    First of all, nobody is threatening Europe. Secondly, sure as hell Europe has enough armed forces to take care of itself would such an impossible scenario unfold that someone would attack Europe (nobody wants, to, nobody cares, really). Such a pathetic, stupid, arrogant worldview that still thinks that anyone still cares about Europe… For your information, the real wealth and civilization is in Asia and the Middle East. Alas the Middle East is being systematically destroyed by European imperialist remnants even today, fortunately though Asia is still defending itself against this hubris and violent nonsense. So this topic about Europe “defending” itself against an imaginary, non-existent enemy is only showing the paranoid, sick nature of the souls here, and their severely distorted worldview (mostly due to poor education). Learn, learn, learn… education is important, and TRAVEL to see how insignificant Europe is on the world stage. Peace

    • Arthur Gustin

      the problem isn’t nation forces but rather global efficiency and upkeeps against centralised armies (US, Russia, China,…) if we have to cooperate among the U.E.

    • Zsolt Barczy

      The key word is “against”. Nobody is “against” anyone today, in 2017. All what you see is happening is the remnants of some arrogant, sick people who still think they have the right to “rule the world” (a pathetic, stupid, impossible attempt, but they are stupid enough to believe they can ever accomplish it), and strong CIVILIZED countries, nations and unions of nations defending themselves against this EVIL. That’s all. NOBODY (no civilized, educated, intelligent nations) strive to achieve global hegemony, only some primitive, barbaric ones who have a historical track record of destroying half the world in their futile endeavor. So, without these morons there would be world peace, but alas the same arrogant fools who created the mayhem of the last centuries are still walking around freely and instigating hatred, violence, division, etc in the world, and mongering wars. Now, the civilized nations have already united against this Evil and will eventually put them back into the straight jackets where they belong to, but currently you can still see local skirmishes as the result, alas, resulting in the death of millions of innocent people (who only want to retain their sovereignty). So, my point is, it is irrelevant if the European armies are united or not, efficient or not. The CENTRALIZED Russian army will never attack Europe: it never did in history, and Russia is a civilized country, unlike Europe, and would never do such a heinous thing. The opposite happened in the past: Europe attacked Russia, and we know the result. Don’t try it again, don’t even think about such things. So, in lack of a credible external threat, Europe can stay as it is, and perhaps it is time to send the Yanks home, because they don’t belong here. Europe doesn’t need their primitive, paranoid “culture” where “if you are not with us, you are against us”. How barbaric is that? I believe Europe is a lot more intelligent than that, we don’t need their warmongering against our peaceful neighbors, Just my two cents, of course… correct me if I’m wrong. :) Peace

    • Jan Kowalski

      Russia, China and Iran peaceful. Are You an idiot or russian troll?

    • Zsolt Barczy

      Jan, let me give you a factual and a moral answer. Factually yes, Russia, China and Iran belong to the oldest and most sophisticated civilizations on this planet, and (although there is no causal relationship between this fact and the next), at the same time, they are indeed the countries where you can feel the safest on this planet, for various reasons (no place here to elaborate, just take it for granted unless you _think_ you know better). Morally, zooming out and realizing what we are doing here (social media, discussing a subject), your comment revealed your blatant disrespect to people here (in this case: me) by calling me names, and similarly, you revealed your level of understanding of the world (low) by echoing a media-generated nonsensical bovine excrement: “russian (sic!) troll”. Obviously you have no idea what is going on in the REAL world out there, so for your attitude I have to reward you with a solid spot on my Block list. I hope you understand, I am a busy man, I have no more time to entertain you here. Sayoonara… :)

    • Rémi Martin

      Jan Kowalski, can you tell me how may countries these 3 nations bombed in the last 70 years please?

    • Zsolt Barczy

      Rémi Martin, you’re spot on (indeed these arrogant bullies are the problem), but Jan Kowalski won’t see your remark because I put him on my Block list, so he cannot see any of my posts (and thus comments made to my posts either)… but I can tell you that indeed the FUKUS Axis of Evil had bombed dozens of innocent countries in the past and keep doing this as long as colonialism and imperialism still exists there. It does, alas, in all ex-colonialist countries, the mentality of hubris is still there… Peace

    • Rémi Martin

      i’ve understood! It’s easy to argue against such guys, they just repeat what they saw on TV, good night! ;)

    • Ivan Burrows

      Do you mean George Soros ?

    • Máté János

      Ivan Burrows I mean the Orwellian Big Brother but you’ve got a point because the two Uncles – Sam and and George – have a booming business partnership :-( ,,,

    • Jan Kowalski

      Mate moron much? George would dissolve all euro armies and force europe to melt the borders and nations and make population sing kumbaya all day. Uncle sam isnt comparable b1tch – they dont have anything against europe being prepared for possible intervention by our bear on the east.

    • Máté János

      Well you should walk back to Hobbiton to dream on and leave the real actions to those who have experienced totalitarian regimes and occupations before and had the courage to revolt…

  7. Αναγέννηση

    The European Union desperately needs its own all professional EU Defense Force , to protect the Institutions of the European Union that are the foundation for the European Union , beginning with the European Institution of Schengen which allows for the free movement of people goods and services between the European Union. The European Union desperately needs its own all professional EU Defense Force to thwart and stop the Turkish state sponsored flood of illegal immigrants into the European Union from Turkey , designed by Turkish authorities to undermine the European Institution of Schengen that leads to the destruction of the European Union.

    • EU Reform- Proactive

      Αναγέννηση, OMG! Again? Not learned anything in the meantime?

      “…..needs its own all professional EU Defense Force- to protect the Institutions of the European Union……..”? Attacked by what & by whom?

      Surely, EU or CoE Institutions can only be abused or infringed by its own signed up members- not by a foreign army- or?

      Ever heard of (peaceful) “diplomacy”? The laid down CoE47 or EU28 judiciary processes or NATO’s collective defense- “Article 5”…..etc.

      https://www.coe.int/en/web/human-rights-rule-of-law/home

    • Μάρκος Κουντουρούδας

      We saw how EU reacted with the refugees crisis from Turkey : Instead of punish Turkey with embargo’s, ecc. they shut-down the northern borders of Greece, meaning choose to Isolate a member-state and leave it Abandoned to any external dangers. And you Dare to speak about “common defense of EU” or “threaten” Greece and Greeks with Turkey’s offensiveness ? Cowards and Incompetents !

    • Rémi Martin

      And is continuing to give money to Turkey to join it… Next time, shut up Αναγέννηση? before saying bullshits and learn how EU works before paying your taxes and ignoring where your money is going. A defence? What for? Europe is peace, they said… We don’t need to stay in an union who wants to prepare us for war!

  8. Craig Willy

    1) Because individual European nations are small and declining, with steadily declining military budgets.
    2) The EU, as an intergovernmental organization, simply is not and cannot be a State-like military actor, in the absence of massive federalization effort akin to the U.S. Founding. The EU will always be a military non-actor so long as the troops answer to Merkel & Orbán as opposed to whoever sits in the Berlaymont. And I doubt that will change any time soon.

    Europeans need to really change their behavior if they do not want to decline into irrelevance this century.

    • Jan Kowalski

      Can You see the link between growing welfare burden and diminishing military/defence budgets already?

    • Ivan Burrows

      The EU is a repeat of the European disasters of the past, it is not the solution. Fascism, Nazism, Communism and now Europeanism, different flags but the same crazed lust for power over Europe. Thank god we are leaving :)

    • Mitsos Daniel

      Ivan Burrows sayonara! I’ll just stand by watching Scotland leaving and NI reuniting with the rest of Ireland 🙂

    • Jose Quintans

      Good point Jan Kowalski.
      We need to defend our external borders.

    • Markos Tzimas

      Mitsos Daniel Τον δίκασες χαχα
      The “United” Kingdom have to change the name I think. Ivan, wish you a nice Brexit but find at first a solution to keep the country united otherwise the UK will have big problems after a short time of feeling happy (cause of Brexit)

  9. Róbert Bogdán

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. We have NATO. Let the US spend the big bucks on weapons. Of course, a position of force gives other advantages too, but it’s fair. We can’t outpace them in spending, we’ll always be on inferiority compared to them, so why bother? Spend the money on something else, just not on welfare.

    • Nicolette Ladoulis

      Then we can keep blaming NATO and the US for all our problems! Perfect!!

    • Peré Kox

      Until the US witdraws from Nato and we are screwed.

    • Matthew Griffing

      The US won’t withdraw from NATO. Even Trump isn’t doing that.

  10. Guillem Martí Bou

    Because Europe is sadly crowded by a bunch of progressives that hate spend money on defense.

    It’s easy.

    • Sylvain Duret

      I’m progressive but i love defense :) .

    • Guillem Martí Bou

      Then you’re the brave exception ✌🏻

      Good for you!

    • Jose Quintans

      A vossa industria da defensa semelha ter muitos seculos tamben, abonda o exemplo do glorioso drone da Marinha.

      Why Portugal is so calm?

      Think globally Mr Costa.

  11. Kokonas George

    Stupidity has no limit …. Obviously there are lots of trillions involved.
    After all … “Government is the Entertainment division of the military-industrial complex.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  12. Alfredo Iannuzzi

    Because there is not a common defense policy or a common foreign policy delegated to EU nor a a Command Structure with effective forces permanently assigned to it. Moreover it would be a useless duplication of NATO representing a danger to the unicity of Command required for an effective defense

    • Craig Willy

      USA and Russia should join a reformed EU.

    • Matthew Griffing

      The US joining the EU? Laughable. The US would be stupid to give up that degree of sovereignty, and the individual EU nations would be stupid to allow a country the size of the US to enter the EU, as it would dominate. In other words, it makes no sense for either side.

  13. Geoffrey Howard

    We have Cultural Regions in the European Union….not Countries/NationStates/Nation.

    Say NO to Nationalism and the Westphalian principle and mentally.

    #OneEurope #onepeople #ManyCultures #Onelove

    • Peeter Lõo

      Whatever floats your boat…

    • Ivan Burrows

      Geoffrey Howard What is your EU fanaticism if not a new fake Nationalism ?

    • Geoffrey Howard

      Read up on Nationalism……and have a nice day.

    • Rémi Martin

      Simply, you don’t unite peoples under a flag, a common currency and laws they didn’t vote for! Geoffrey Howard, you’re a little euronazi who wants to invents an imaginary people, it won’t work, they tryer the same at the East, with the homo sovieticus…

  14. Ludvik Jirovec

    EU don’t fullfil its transatlantic NATO obligations and they come with own army now. Probably Wehrmacht?

  15. Barbara Szela Lesniak

    Why? What a question :D Because of the policy of the irresponsible EU leaders with Angela Merkel inviting potential terrorists, people who nobody knows who they really are and where they really come from.

  16. Thomas Beavitt

    Turkey, on its present trajectory, will soon find itself, whether by choice or circumstance, outside NATO. And a jolly good thing too. Except… well, of course, if Germany were to militarise to the extent that its undoubted economic capacity allows…

    • Rémi Martin

      Germoney? Occupied since over 72 years by US, you’re jokong I hope.

    • Rémi Martin

      Then leave NATO and EUSSR!

    • George Guydosh

      But we are. It’s not a matter of choosing, it’s a matter of fact. Then think what can you do about it and do.

  17. Huey Montana

    From a military aspect. You do not need interwoven armies beloning to one headquarters. For instance. To pretect a frontline, squads, platoons,compagnies, batalions, brigades, divisions have interlocking firezones. So in short, you observe in front of you so does the guy next to you but by a wide spectrum you also guard your buddies zone as he does yours. The military top know that but they are part of the elite as well.

  18. Rob Eastham

    I support the EU creating a common military, but not yet. We need to make sure we learn from our mistakes, this means making sure the institutions of the EU are democratic and accountable by and for the European Peoples, not sanctioned by beaurocrats and government hacks playing power games in Brussels.

  19. Μάρκος Κουντουρούδας

    Naives ! To have a common Defense, first you must have a common Army. To have a common Army, first you must have a common Ground. To have a common ground to defend, first you must have a United People, people with common values and principles, with solidarity, parity and respect among them. Does this “Tyrannic-EU” of today have all this ? I think Not. And a simple question to prove the argument above: Tell me what can connect a German with a Greek, since the first acts and reacts in a discriminatory (racist) way against the other … ? Or tell me what “common” can have a German and a Greek or Italian ? …None ! Germans just fooling around again all the other European people by presenting themselves like “tolerant”, “easygoing”, “humanists”, ecc. but don’t indulge yourselves, they want only to be “first among equals” (“primus inter pares”), meaning only them the “First” ! So…”common European defense” appears a nice Joke !

    • Rémi Martin

      Exactly, you don’t unite peoples under a flag, a common currency and laws they didn’t vote for! There’s no common point between all the 27, why dare should they have the same destiny? Nobody can tel it me!

    • Μάρκος Κουντουρούδας

      And to get to that point, first you have to teach Respect and Tolerance between the People of the member-states, erasing the Stereotypes, the Prejudice agenda and clearing Historic diversities, like e.p. the German compensations towards Greece for the Destruction that Germans brought to the country, and Not pass-by them with racist insults.

  20. Giuseppe Sergi

    We have been umiliated for the 1st time in our 2700 plus history for the last 70 years. Half a billion Europeans have not only the right but also the duty to take care of their own security, alliances yes, dependance no more.

  21. Μάρκος Κουντουρούδας

    And how you Dare to speak about “common defense of EU”, since all the World saw, how EU reacted with the refugees crisis from Turkey : Instead of punish Turkey with embargo’s, ecc. they shut-down the northern borders of Greece, meaning choose to Isolate a member-state and leave it Abandoned to any external dangers…?

  22. Mindaugas Valentukevicius

    Because USA does it for them. As a consequences of lack of defence, coastal or land, eu gets flooded by fake refugees, blackmailed by turkey and has a part of one of the countries which wants to join them (Ukraine) annexed and shits out a bunch of ineffective sanctions to russia. Europe is losing its relevance in the world by trading with war criminals from Russia and human rights offenders from Saudi Arabia. It wanted to sell itself further by signing that dumbass free trade agreement with the US – TTIP. Overall, the greatest enemy the EU currently has is its own retarded leadership of unelected officials and banksters.

  23. randomguy2017

    I can only support Eu under a couple necessary conditions,
    none of which are atm.

    Until then I will remain nationalistic minded, but still carrying about Europe as a whole.

    Europe DOES NOT need USA army.

    The problem is the you have a split in Western/South Europe
    and opinions on NATO vary. They are majority liberal minded.

    You have the states in East Europe bordering in Russia, which are more conservative minded,
    yet they depend on a globalist liberal instrument like NATO and US help. the US changes from neocon (yuck) to liberal (yuck).

    So what does Europe need to do?
    Western Europe needs to assure those countries
    they will help, and Western Europe needs to reduce immigration and stop losing its old culture before the changes in the last few decades.
    East Europe bordering Russia needs to be more diplomatic with both the EU
    and Russia.

    Hungary, Czech, Italy have decent policies on Russia.
    These sanctions hurt the EU more than the US.

    the rest of Europe needs to lower the neocon and soros type mindset on that big nation in the East.
    If Russia invades all of Ukraine (which would be sad and horrible) then the aggressive rherotic would make more sense.

    I refuse to believe any of the liberal or neocon nonsense
    that dominates the media in majority of countries.

    • Jose Quintans

      Mostly agree, well said.

  24. Jarmo Tverin

    I rather ally with americans than some suicidal european nations that are trying to drag us all down to abyss

    • Rémi Martin

      It’s your choice if you want to stay submitted…

    • Jarmo Tverin

      Trump is a better choice than junckermerkel and the rest of the commie bunch

    • Rémi Martin

      Choice for what? Independant and deceide everything in the country is the best!

  25. Zap Van Der Berg

    Oh the day any EU citizen can apply for membership of the EU army, like the legion operates in france… It will be a glorious day

    • Jose Quintans

      Indeed

    • Rémi Martin

      EU is peace, they said… For your Knowledge, the legion in France doesn’t have the right to operate in metropolitan France.

  26. Zap Van Der Berg

    Jarmo the americans say they dont want to drag you into the abyss… But if its convenient for them thwyll kick you in

  27. Jose Quintans

    Does Europe need USA?
    For the global scale challenges yes, we need the USA in the NATO.

    NATO is a great organization that we the Europeans and the Americans can be proud of. And effectively ensured peace and progress in the west for decades, it is there now, and it is ready, #WeAreNATO.

    Nevertheless there are conflicts of interest between the USA and Europe. When there are conflicts of interest between USA and Russia, are we able to recognize and defend our own interests when are not aligned with neither USA or Russia? Or are we dragged down into an escalation that harms us?

    There are also conflicts of interest with another NATO member, Turkey.
    Turkey’s interests diverge from those of Europe, and the stronger Turkey becomes, the more assertive will be.

    If all the countries of the world were NATO members, then NATO would be rendered useless.
    Every global region shall be able to articulate its commercial and political interests, and defend them with diplomacy and military means.

    A stronger Europe would mean a complete change in the relationship USA-EU-Russia, for the better I believe.
    And what Russia will do to counter China?

    In the years and decades to come China will force us to realize we shall cooperate.
    After the collapse of the USSR, Russia didn’t have a marshal plan, and some argue that was an error, that then we lost Russia, we lost the opportunity of integrating Russia with the west, and now we pay for it.

    Now we cannot even defend our external borders or the borders of our brother European nations, neither impose order and peace in the shores of Mare Nostrum.

    Europe needs to promote and defend its interests in global scale, and projecting military power is a tool that we cannot renounce to.

    Some fear that an European Army would mean duplication of structures, but think twice, now we have 27 parallel chains of command.

    Plus an European framework for defense spending and rules for awarding contracts for research, development, and supply weapons, would mean the begining of a smarter spending, getting more power per euro spent.
    That’s the first logical step. If otherwise we increase spending first, then probably the mess would be bigger and harder to optimize.
    Once we have a smart efficient spending framework, we could think in spending more.

    Also, it is clear for me that the biggest barriers are:
    – Lack of trust for renouncing to some state-level defense powers in favor of a central authority.
    – The influence regional defense industries have over governments, and their fear of losing market share.

    The second one is a matter of money — well and status, since they might prefer to be kings in their (future grave)yard, while I guess the solution to the first one begins with aligning strategies.
    It is clear what a European defense strategy would mean, and it is not incompatible with state level defense strategies.

    Are the EU politicians willing to accept it?
    I know some are.
    Others prefer to play nice to save the face in front of their electorate — isn’t that populism as well? –. These shall be awaken before we run out of time.

    God bless Europe.

    • Caleb DeMarco

      It was stupid to fight back against Nazi Germany? News to me.

  28. Raivis

    @Zsolt Barczey “The CENTRALIZED Russian army will never attack Europe: it never did in history, and Russia is a civilized country, unlike Europe, and would never do such a heinous thing.“
    Are u drunk?
    They invaded Baltic states several times over history. They occupied and then destroyed all intelligence at that time.
    And what about Moldavia, Ukraine (Crimea) and Abhazia today? Jesus god, turn on brains.
    Russia is far from civilization. First and greatest civilizations was in Egypt, Iraque (Babylon), Greece, Persia, Later Rome. Then probably Japan and China.

    I think best solution in centralized EU defence pact, wich consists from european Nato members.
    Only external threat is Russia via hybridwar or cyberwar as situation in Italy, Greece and Spain shows.
    About some negative comment on refuugees –
    Actions was right from many perspectives (demographics, economy, humane). Statistics also shows that refugees is involved in less crimes than citizens, even if overal crime rises (bcause more humans), terrorisms of course is huge problem, but it is problem also in US). Even if so, i still dont want to see in my country refugees, even if this is right and humane action, because of different culture. That will rise long term issues.

  29. Maia Alexandrova

    Defence against whom? There is no country that wants to attack Europe. This mentality belongs in the past. The world has moved on, apart from a few remaining troubled spots, but in time they will also establish peace. This is the future. No one wants to fight, kill and die any more, people just want to live. There has been too much blood spilled through the centuries to have any appetite to spill more. The exception is probably USA who have not had much casualties in any conflict in their history, so they have not yet learned the lesson about what is more important – war or peace. They are lagging behind in that, but we don’t have to be stuck to them, since we know the answer from our own bitter experience from two World Wars and many others before that. Europe is not in danger from an army any more. The danger comes from an evil ideology. This is where we need to focus. For this we don’t need an army to defend us.

    How do you fight an evil ideology? By exposing its true face and showing exactly where it is wrong and why it is wrong, so less and less people are fooled by it. At the moment there are absolutely no public debates and discussions, challenging those aggressive, evil beliefs that are at the root of an increasing number of terrorist attacks in Europe. This is because of the pathetic fear of offending religions… As long as that fear exists, we will not be able to defend ourselves against the new threat – terrorism. Neither NATO, nor any common EU army can fight against an ideology. For that battle, the only weapon you need is your mind and words. Just like there are cunning masters of radicalisation, there can be an effective anti-radicalisation force which exposes the lies and traps of the evil ideology and in this way saves any future victims. Anyone of us can be a part of it as philosophy is not exclusive only to “experts” and “professionals”.

    • Jose Quintans

      Dear Maia, I love your ideals, although I also believe that ideological battles take many time.
      Have you ever earned a victory over a politically biased person? Did you change his/her mind?
      Not impossible though, but it is not a straight path.

      If you want peace, be ready to win the war.
      That’s why you, we, don’t feel the direct threat of war, in western Europe.

      Best regards.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Maia Alexandrova
      Cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo!

    • Maia Alexandrova

      Tarquin Farquhar, this is a forum, not a forest. Go cuckoo somewhere else.

    • Maia Alexandrova

      Jose Quintans, do we have a choice not to fight the ideological battles? If we choose not to, then there will be no one to stop those with harmful ideologies from applying them in practice. The police can stop only a few. This is not enough as there are too many extremists at the moment, walking free and probably planning their terrorist attacks. Besides, more are being radicalised every day through different means – internet, prisons, etc. The whole point is to destroy evil in people’s minds, before that evil has destroyed more innocent people. It is possible for those with terrorist beliefs to change, if the truth of these beliefs is challenged and they realise how blind they were, although it depends on the level of brainwashing that a person has experienced. Sometimes it is too late and only death can prevent that person from doing harm, but before that happens, we should use the chance to change them while they are still alive. For example, in the prisons there can be philosophy lessons and discussions about life and death, what makes people commit crimes, talks about the abuse they experienced as children – whatever is necessary to heal the souls of those people, so that when they get out of there, they are changed for the better. They need positive programming, learning, reading books and doing some kind of work in the prison, so they discover their own value as humans and then are able to value others’ lives more. At the moment many criminals actually become worse when they get out of prison and are often radicalised. It is a hard battle, but I think unavoidable, if we want to prevent the loss of more innocent lives in future.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Maia Alexandrova
      LOL!
      Where is your sense of humour?

    • Maia Alexandrova

      Tarquin Farquhar, terrorism, wars and dead people is not something I laugh about.

  30. Ģirts Līcis

    Some countries help ppl who needed. US need feed own ppl too???? Not always make weapons.

  31. Jankovics Márk

    America needs europe to threat russia:D but on every side the devil is behind and always the innocent sucks.More justice,less propaganda and fanatic psycho groups with power through nations.

  32. Michael Paraskevas

    Because, it is clear that you cannot trust other people to secure your borders when they have ties with the enemy.

  33. EU Reform- Proactive

    YES it can!

    Another highly disingenuous question by the DE & the EU! Why?

    * “Europe” can comfortably take care of its own defense because 27 countries are European and are all part of the NATO Alliance.

    * NATO Article 10 states that NATO membership is open to any “European State”.

    * It is the “EU” who has no own defense treaty (yet) in its collection of treaties!

    * It is the “EU” who is fishing & longing for EU military power.

    * It is the “EU” who NEVER should be militarily empowered outside NATO!

    What more is needed?

    The mischievous EU27 dreamers must be told in no uncertain terms to stay away from its own army but instead fully support NATO (29) in spirit, letter and contributions!

    What a fake question that is!
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Member_states_of_NATO

  34. George

    Because we are not yet organised. There’s no plan and no institutions in place for decision making.

    • EU Reform- Proactive

      George, really? NATO (“EUROPE”) counts for nothing than? Very interesting!

  35. George Guydosh

    Large entities are willingly or unwillingly involved in security matters. The order of the world has to be maintained.

  36. Ivan Burrows

    Because its run by a bunch of unelected egomaniacs who will do anything to create their Greater German Empire, they must be stopped before they repeat European history.

    • Christos Boras

      Look what is happening in the Aegean Sea every day. The European Borders being violated multiple times per day.

    • Ivan Burrows

      Which ‘European’ borders ? there are 51 ‘European’ Nation States each with their own borders so which one are you talking about ?

    • Erik Verbrugge

      The border around the nations within the EU.

    • Ivan Burrows

      Erik Verbrugge The whole EU or the Schengen area ?

    • Jokera Jokerov

      Erik, you don`t mean the borders between Switzerland and Germany or France, do you? :P

    • Liz Lyz

      He is from China :) , the hater in charge. Every day, every where…

required
required Your email will not be published

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of new comments. You can also subscribe without commenting.