EU: Experts clash over Common Foreign and Security Policy
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Emmanuel Macron reacted to the AUKUS security pact snub last month by doubling down on his plans for an European Union army. Australia scrapped a £45 billion contract for diesel-powered French submarines in September and instead signed the AUKUS security pact with the US and UK. In response, the French President said Europe needed to stop being naive when it comes to defending its interests and must build its own military capacity.
But these hopes were dismissed on RT’s Crosstalk, as Damian Wilson, a former European Parliament communications advisor, said this was “never going to happen”.
He explained: “It is never going to happen. It is never what the EU was about.
“The European people do not want people in Brussels to be making their foreign policy decisions.
“You only have to see when Ursula von der Leyden shows up at the G7 summits and she sits on the sidelines, almost like a bridesmaid.
“They look a little bit lost. They are not wanted on that stage.”
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Donald Sassoon, a professor of comparative European history in London, echoed this: “There is no common European foreign policy, end of story.
“In order for there to be one, you need to work with 27 member states, and each has a different electorate.
“The degree of Euroscepticism has increased enormously in the last 20 years.
“Italy, which was the most pro-European country in the EU, their leading parties are now eurosceptic.
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“Marine Le Pen in France has nearly fifty percent of the vote, and she is also eurosceptic.
“And of course, Poland and Hungary. They are not dying to have a common foreign policy.”
Denmark’s prime minister Mette Frederiksen is one of the first EU leaders to already publicly dismiss President Macron’s plans.
She pledged to resist any proposals for an EU military force, stating that she will “go up against those who try to undermine transatlantic cooperation”.
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President Macron has sought to pressure other member-states into backing his plans for an EU army.
He is keen to take control of the EU as the former power broker of the EU, Angela Merkel, prepares to leave politics.
The French leader recently said: “The Europeans must stop being naive.
“When we are under pressure from powers, which at times harden their stance, we need to react and show that we have the power and capacity to defend ourselves.”
Other leading EU figures are calling for a unit of up to 20,000 troops able to deploy quickly across the globe, with officials expected to present a draft proposal for a “first-entry force” in November.
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