Is NATO - 2 being created in Europe? - Experts share their views

Interviews 17:00 10.01.2024

Italy Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani has proposed the idea of establishing an EU army as an alternative to NATO.  Tajani also said that the 27-nation EU should streamline its leadership and have a single presidency, rather than the current structure of a European Council president and a European Commission president. How sensible does this "military" idea of Tajani look? What is the reason for the Italian politician to raise this issue now? What about current realities? Can such an army be established without Türkiye?

Foreign experts shared their opinion on this matter with Ednews:

Director of the Institute for Danube Region and Central Europe (IDM) and fellow of the Global Europe Center at the GLOBSEC Policy Institute in Bratislava Sebastian Schäffer:

"The discussion about an EU army has been flaring up time and again over the past decades and actually dates back to the 1950s. While in general I welcome a streamlining of capabilities, not only with regards to defence but also in relation to the top jobs, as proposed by the Italian Foreign Minister Tajani, we should also keep in mind not only the historical challenges in its realization, but also take a look at the existing structures outlined in the Berlin Plus Agreement with NATO as well as within the EU enhanced cooperation PESCO. Currently EU members have joined or will join NATO, a cooperation within this framework remains essential but of course continues the dependency on (and to a certain extent also relies on) the United States. While the support has not been as unwavering as it used to be, the relationship has been strengthened under President Biden and in light of the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine. This might change again, and in general, the strategic autonomy of the European Union should not only be a catch-phrase. It also remains to be seen what an EU army would actually look like, because as far as I understand from what Tajani has said, this is still very vague. As for challenges, I see neutral states within the EU and the relationship with the UK causing problems rather than the question you asked of whether this is possible without involving Turkey. Nevertheless, a discussion of genuine EU topics before the upcoming European Parliamentary elections is positive, as we too often lose focus on transnational policies, instead treating EU elections as an extension of national politics."

ANKASAM International Relations Specialist, Göktugh Calishkan:

"This suggestion, made by the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, was actually expressed by French President Macron several times last year. However, the idea of establishing a European army separate from Nato and the USA will initially receive a reaction from the USA. In addition, I think that this proposal aims to create a force against Russia and protect itself, as well as to increase its presence in the issues and regions where European states are involved by creating Europe's own army. However, for now, the idea of a European army will remain in the air, both because the United States is likely to react to this proposal and because it depends on how much countries such as Germany, Italy, France and Poland will contribute to this army if it is established. Perhaps such an army can be established without Turkey, but whether it will be long-lasting and stable is debatable."

Akbar Novruz

 

 

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