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EU says "soft power is not enough" as German and French ministers call for "European Security Compact"
06 July 2016
The new 'Global Strategy for the European Union's Foreign and Security Policy' issues the same demands that some leading EU officials have been making for years: that greater unity in defence and security issues is required, not just politically but also financially. "Member States must channel a sufficient level of expenditure to defence," says the report, because "soft power is not enough." A statement issued by the German and French foreign ministers following the British referendum on EU membership makes some similar demands.
Shared Vision, Common Action: A Stronger Europe - A Global Strategy for the European Union's Foreign and Security Policy (pdf)
Jean-Marc Ayrault and Frank-Walter Steinmeier,
A strong Europe in a world of uncertainties (pdf)
The EU "strategy" is not solely concerned with military adventures abroad, but rather an all-encompassing view of what is required to "secure" the EU:
"First, European security hinges on better and shared assessments of internal and external threats and challenges. Europeans must improve the monitoring and control of flows which have security implications. This requires investing in Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, including Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, satellite communications, and autonomous access to space and permanent earth observation. As regards counter-terrorism, Member States must implement legislation concerning explosives, firearms and Passenger Name Records (PNRs), as well as invest in detection capabilities and the cross-border tracing of weapons. Second, Europeans must invest in digital capabilities to secure data, networks and critical infrastructure within the European digital space. We must develop capabilities in trusted digital services and products and in cyber technologies to enhance our resilience. We will encourage greater investments and skills across Member States through cooperative research and development, training, exercises and procurement programmes. Third, regarding high-end military capabilities, Member States need all major equipment to respond to external crises and keep Europe safe. This means having full-spectrum land, air, space and maritime capabilities, including strategic enablers."
In the military realm, the EU is moving towards its own research budget, a proposal recently backed-up by a "group of personalities" made up of largely of figures from the defence industry. See: New "Group of Personalities" (GoP) advance need for "military research" in EU following the "security research" initiative (Statewatch News Online, March 2016)
The new 'Global Strategy' is the follow-up to the European Security Strategy, agreed in 2003. See: European Security Strategy, drafted by Javier Solana and approved today (12.12.03) by the European Council (Statewatch News Online, December 2003)