The background to the diplomatic failure was that the three secretly agreed to a tripartite security agreement – where the most expensive submarine deal with France was last banned (NY Times 17/9).
Protests from Paris were strong, so France invited its ambassadors home from Washington and Canberra. This is the first time in more than 200 years of Franco-Australian relations. It has been described by many that the French rage against Aux was high. For example, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson responded sourly to his French counterparts with the word “donஸ்s-moi unbreak”.
Generally well-developed Atlantic relations have now achieved real success. They did not improve during the informal EU summit (Politico 6/10). The French approach during the Security Council meeting (with the recent crisis in mind) was to strengthen European security cooperation. According to President Emmanuel Macron, the European Union should establish parallel military cooperation with NATO, the Atlantic Ocean Alliance.
This is the wrong way for many reasons. First, a common security system does not resolve intra-European differences. The form of various options, expectations and goals complicates matters beyond improving the EU’s ability to protect the Union against external threats.
Second, there is a significant risk that security cooperation towards Paris will take a real turn, partly because Britain is not a member of the Union, and partly because Germany is still interested in showing leadership in security and security issues. EU security is therefore a French strategic nightmare that considers itself overthrown by its Anglo-Saxon NATO allies.
It is therefore very welcome that Prime Minister Stephen Lofven (S) has raised his voice for the key role of Atlantic integration (DT 5/10) in European security. No matter how angry the French are at the Americans, NATO is an important player we cannot lose. An EU defense can never change NATO’s strategic superior capabilities.
However, it was Sweden that defended NATO cooperation, not France, which, unlike us, was in fact part of a security alliance. If NATO is so important to Sweden, we should definitely like an order that affects the alliance from the inside, rather than wanting an agenda outside the decision-making rooms. The lesson learned from the informal summit should be to affirm our own security policy interests through a full-fledged NATO membership.
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