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Europe in a changing global order

The new Global Strategy for the European Union’s Security and Defence Policy presented in June 2016 by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini comes at a moment of high uncertainty and radical change in the international system www.transform-network.net

The new Global Strategy for the European Union’s Security and Defence Policy presented in June 2016 by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission Federica Mogherini, followed by the NATO Summit in Warsaw in July of the same year, come at a moment of high uncertainty and radical change in the international system. Traditional alliances are being questioned and both national and regional political and economic interests are taking shape along emerging fault lines, while new strategic perspectives are being outlined on various fronts.

In this context, the idea of the return of “cosmopolitics” in Europe emerge as one of the most overbearing themes in the current debate. European security and defence have been once again put on the political agenda as priority issues. Mogherini’s Global Strategy, while pledging for a stronger and more independent European Union “as a global security provider”, stressed that the EU has now “to cope with super-powers as well as with increasingly fractured identities” and, in doing so, it cannot be alone. For this reason, the new strategy, as well as a Joint Declaration by Donald Tusk, Jean-Claude Junker and NATO’s Secretary General, solemnly asserts the need of a strengthened cooperation and interdependence between the EU and NATO – and that, in both operational and ideological terms.

“The purpose, even the existence of our Union is being questioned. Yet, our citizens and the worlds need a stronger European Union like never before”. Yet, it seems, the EU institutions’ answer to Europe’s “identity crisis” is a military one, where the definition of common interests and needs is built again upon an imperialist vision of the world. If the process of reconstruction of the European identity is more and more anchored to the existence of “external threats”, while the measure of cooperation and solidarity among the Member States is based solely on an increasing level of militarization, how can Europe find a credible alternative to the offence-defence dipole?

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