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European defense and security policy

EUROPE / How can the EU, or the Council of Europe, play a leading role in power politics, and should the EU strengthen its security and defense policy cooperation? Or now with the Ukraine crisis, for example, to promote a pragmatic multilateralism rather than to hold on to all principles?

The world is dominated by unpredictability, tensions and conflicts between the United States, China and Russia. One of Norway's leading voices in the defense debate, lieutenant colonel and researcher at the Norwegian Defense College, Tormod Heier, points to the dilemmas a more assertive EU faces:

"If the EU wants to take the lead in promoting a liberal world order, a difficult dilemma will also arise: Should the EU stand with its back straight and promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law in the face of authoritarian rivals from China and Russia? Or should the EU rather promote a pragmatic multilateralism, since the EU is better served by the great powers of the United States, China and Russia coming to an agreement? Because if the EU is burdened with its liberal heritage, the world will probably become more polarized. Thus, the multilateral system of which the EU is a part will also risk being paralyzed. But on the other hand: if this pragmatism is echoed in Brussels, the EU's fundamental values, such as freedom of expression and respect for the rule of law, will also be weakened. Thus, the very foundations of the European Community may be eroding. Not because of pressure from the authoritarian rivals in the east, but because the union is rotting from within. "

"It is not without reason that Ukraine means 'border country' in Slavic."
Tormod Heier

Heier believes that the EU should prioritize its foreign and security policy: "Such prioritization can, for example, start by going back to the roots of why the EU forerunner – the European Coal and Steel Community. . .

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Paal Frisvold
Writer for MODERN TIMES on Europe issues.

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