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EU Summits: Time for a Stronger Team

EU Summits: Time for a Stronger Team

The chaotic situation surrounding the Taliban’s rapid takeover of Kabul has prompted countless EU politicians and experts to consider what went wrong and must be improved. Not least, it is a question of how the European Union and its member states are fully dependent on what the United States decides on.

“In the end, the time and method of departure was decided in Washington. We Europeans found ourselves completely dependent on American decisions, not only in terms of evacuations from Kabul airport but also in general. It should serve as a wake-up call,” Borrell says in an article on the debate in the New York Times. American Times.

Swedish Defense Minister Peter Holtqvist is also critical of how the United States behaves toward the European Union and other allies.

– In fact, it was not a matter of consultations, it was just information, and then everyone had to comply with it. If you want to leave, you should discuss it responsibly so that you can also bear the consequences, partly immediately and partly what the consequences will be for the outside world in general. This is actually the way to go, says Hultqvist by phone to TT after the informal meeting of EU defense ministers on Thursday in Slovenia.

“turning point”

The question is what are the consequences now for the European Union. At the meeting in Slovenia, Borrell is now speaking to strengthen military positions.

– Sometimes things happen that lead to a historical turning point and I think Afghanistan is such a case. We need to create something more effective. Borrell says in Slovenian Brdo that the need for a European defense is stronger and more visible than ever.

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One idea being discussed is the creation of a rapid reaction military force in the European Union. Although a ready-made battle group system has been in existence in the European Union for a long time, it has never been used until now. Borrell now hopes for new momentum in the debate as EU countries in the coming years will try to agree on a “strategic compass” in the direction that foreign and security policy should take.

Militants from the European Union?

Claudio Graziani, president of the European Union Military Committee (EUMC), likes the idea of ​​a working group.

The situation in Afghanistan, Libya, the Middle East and the Sahel shows that it is time to act and, above all, to create a European rapid reaction force that can demonstrate the EU’s readiness to act as a global strategic partner. When if not now? asks the Italian general on his way to a defense meeting in Slovenia.

In countries such as Italy, France and Portugal, there is strong political support for the development of defense cooperation into a future EU army. However, interest in it is weakest in Eastern and Northern Europe, which do not want to build EU units in areas where there are already NATO bodies.

Peter Hultqvist says that many question marks still need to be sorted out regarding a potential business team.

– It is likely that this will be discussed again and again in the future, but at the moment there are no decisions at all, but an idea more was put forward, the Minister of Defense told TT.

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Facts: EU defense ministers meeting

European Union countries held an informal meeting of defense ministers in Brdo, Slovenia, on Thursday. The agenda included discussions about the situation in Afghanistan, but also about the consequences of Belarus deliberately sending refugees and migrants to the borders with EU countries Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, something which Swedish Defense Minister Peter Holtqvist described as a “mixed activity”.

A preliminary discussion was also held about the possible launch of an EU effort to train the military in Ukraine.

In Brdo, EU foreign ministers joined defense ministers, who will continue their informal meetings on Friday.