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Lofven: "We will not have a new cross-border defense in the EU"

Lofven: “We will not have a new cross-border defense in the EU”

French President Emmanuel Macron talks extensively about the European Union that can assert itself globally, both with and against other major powers such as China and the United States.

We must build a stronger Europe, says Macron on his way to Tuesday night’s working dinner in Slovenia with other EU leaders.

He is supported in the usual way by the President of the Council of the European Union, Charles Michel.

We must be able to act more independently so that our alliances become stronger. Michel says that strong allies create strong alliances.

According to an EU source inside the meeting, Michel wants, among other things, to get member states to agree in the coming months to a new declaration on how cooperation with NATO’s military will work. She has been waiting for a special EU summit on defense issues since March 2022.

Collaboration needs to be developed

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven also believes that the EU needs to strengthen its global positions when China and Russia do so. But he stresses the importance of continuing to keep the doors open for talks and cooperation.

– Under globalization, at this time, the European Union cannot stop. We must, of course, strengthen our positions, but not in a way that opposes other regions. We should develop cooperation with China and the USA, Lovin tells TT and Ekot in Brdo.

He is more skeptical of the increased defense cooperation that France is pushing, for example.

I share the view that we should, for example, enhance our ability to cooperate in the field of defense. But we believe that we should not have a new supranational defense of the European Union. This is not what we are looking for, says the prime minister.

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Call Biden

The summit late Monday night was preceded by a surprise phone call from US President Joe Biden to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

The half-hour discussion, initiated by Biden, can be seen as a clear call for peace after the high-profile battle over the new Aukus security cooperation in the Pacific this week.

It was jointly launched by the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom, without informing other allies within NATO and the European Union in advance. At least in France, outrage has been high, with Aukus causing Australia to end an earlier multibillion-dollar agreement on the purchase of French submarines.

“Red lines”

Now, however, Biden and von der Leyen both stress the benefits of working together, for example in advocating for human rights in relations with China. Stefan Lofven is the same.

The principle is simple: it shows where the red lines go – “that’s what we stand for” – but we are also open to discussing the collaborations we can have. Always looking for areas of collaboration — that’s important, Lovin says.

The launch of the Oaks, as well as the chaos surrounding the sudden US withdrawal from Afghanistan, led to a new French advance that the European Union must stand on its own two feet when it comes to defense and security, not just relying on the United States. States.

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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said national security interests must come first. Photo: Reuters/AFP