European Security: Time for New Steps

Europe’s security is under pressure from new threats, fundamental geopolitical shifts and changes in the transatlantic relationship. Europe has become vulnerable. The EU needs its own capacity to act in order to independently deal with security issues that do not give rise to a NATO response or involve direct US interests.

With both Germany’s EU Presidency (from 1 July 2020) and France’s EU Presidency in 2022 ahead the time has come – in terms of both opportunity and necessity – to translate Europe’s ambitions in the field of security and defence into actual policies. The initiatives aimed at discussing the EU’s ‘strategic compass’, the Franco-German proposal for a European Security Council, the pursuit of a more homogeneous strategic culture within EI2 and the plan to operationalise the EU’s mutual defence clause all point in this direction. It seems possible that a decisive breakthrough will be achieved in the coming year.

The Netherlands would be well advised to align itself as closely as possible with the Franco-German initiatives for European security.

If the Netherlands wishes to preserve its ability to influence the configuration of European security, it is time for new steps.