EU global strategy: ‘We must be ready to go beyond NATO’

High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the Commission Federica Mogherini | John Thys/AFP via Getty Images


Federica Mogherini set to propose stronger new role for the bloc on the world stage.

Europe must be able to develop its own military autonomy by going beyond NATO, says a new foreign policy and security proposal to be presented Tuesday to European leaders.

“When it comes to collective defense, NATO remains the primary framework for most member states” but “as Europeans we must take greater responsibility for our security,” states the Global Strategy, a document from EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

The proposal seeks to solidify the EU’s role as a global force for stability and security, even as Mogherini admitted there are questions about the future of the bloc itself as it reels from the result of the decision by Britain — a leading EU nation on defense matters — to leave.

“While NATO exists to defend its members — most of which are European — from external attack, Europeans must be better equipped, trained and organized to contribute decisively to such collective efforts, as well as to act autonomously if and when necessary,” reads the strategy document, a copy of which was obtained by POLITICO.

“A more credible European defense is essential also for the sake of a healthy transatlantic partnership with the United States,” the document stresses.

Mogherini was given the task last year to propose a new security framework for the EU. The document touches on several points, from counterterrorism to Russia, from China to migration, that EU leaders are expected to discuss at a summit Tuesday.

The proposal states that for the EU to reach the goal of being autonomous, the key factors are money and a strong defense industry.

The strategy is the product of months of work from the EU’s diplomatic body, the European External Action Service, in consultation with other governments and parliaments. But much of the work has been kept under wraps during the U.K.’s Brexit debate out of fears that calling for more military integration could have negatively affected the outcome.

The strategy also addresses the EU’s relations with Russia — a key point as the union is set to continue economic sanctions against Moscow for another six months. To keep Europe united on the issue the document contains both carrot and stick.

“We will not recognize Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea nor accept the destabilization of eastern Ukraine,” it reads. But it also advocates “selective engagement” with Russia on “matters of European interest” — including climate, maritime security, research and cross-border cooperation.

Full article: EU global strategy: ‘We must be ready to go beyond NATO’ (Politico)

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