Dienstag, 25.09.2018 04:51 Uhr

NATO-EU strategic partnership and Brexit

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome, 16.07.2018, 12:18 Uhr
Presse-Ressort von: Dr. Carlo Marino Bericht 5068x gelesen

Rome [ENA] According to the recent Brussels Declaration on Transatlantic Security and Solidarity (11 JUL. 2018 ) the “NATO-EU strategic partnership is essential for the security and prosperity of our nations and of the Euro-Atlantic area. The European and North American Allies contribute significantly to European security and defence. We recognize that a stronger and more capable European defence will lead to a stronger NATO.

We therefore welcome the Joint Declaration signed by the NATO Secretary General and the Presidents of the European Council and Commission, which sets out the unprecedented progress being made in NATO-EU cooperation, including on military mobility. We welcome the significant contributions of the members of both organisations to Euro-Atlantic security”. On the other side, the breakdown of the western coalition promoting global governance has left a power vacuum that other key players such as China are forced to react to. There are a sort of tectonic shifts in power and foreign policy positions impacting on every country and every individual in the early 21st century.

Many governments are endeavoring to maintain international cooperation and further integration, though it seems to be an unpredictable era. The geopolitical future of the EU is being necessarily affected by the UK’s departure. Hence Eurosceptics hope that Brexit would lead the EU to collapse entirely, while others see this as an opportunity for the EU to reform and improve the way it works. The UK’s departure is likely to transmute into higher growth figures for the bloc as well as stronger export figures and savings rates.

The UK is the second biggest economy in the EU, accounting for 12 per cent of EU GDP, losing the UK means that the EU will also mean losing 13 per cent of its population. In 2017, the UK’s estimated net public sector contribution to the EU was GBP 8.9 billion. The EU will consequently have to find new sources of growth. Militarily, the UK has been one of the EU’s strongest defense powers, as one of the only two member states possessing ‘full-spectrum’ military capabilities, including a nuclear deterrent, spending 2 per cent of GDP on defence. The UK, alongside France, also holds a permanent seat on the UN Security Council and has the largest military budget within the EU.

Yet notwithstanding the UK’s military power, it is not the biggest contributor to EU defence missions. UK engagement in Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions has been relatively modest in comparison to its defence capabilities – ranking just fifth amongst contributors to CSDP military operations and seventh for CSDP civilian missions. Without Britain, CSDP cooperation will remain strong, and there will be less opposition to the establishment of a European defence policy. The UK has traditionally vetoed closer integration and cooperation in EU defence. Since 2011, the UK has contested increases to the European Defence Agency Budget and has vetoed the development of a single military headquarters in Brussels.

Thus, although the UK’s military power currently makes it an important contributor, removing the UK from the CSDP could facilitate greater integration and ambition in EU defence policy. Since Brexit, the UK Government has desired to assure EU partners that the UK will continue to play a ‘proactive role’ in confronting security threats, including illegal migration. While the European Commission has noted that it is in the EU’s interest to continue cooperation in these areas, the UK can no longer host EU military operational headquarters or remain in command of EU operations.

The EU’s global strategy is to uphold and further develop the existing global rules based order in the face of unprecedented challenges, such as the 2008-2012 financial crisis, the rise of protectionism and the loss of US leadership of the post-World War Two international order. In its commitment to international cooperation, the EU governments signed up to a G20 coordinated programme to support the global economy with more robust global rules to regulate financial markets and fight tax avoidance. The EU also supports the UN 2030 agenda for sustainable development, endorsing the UN Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 and has committed itself to the 2015 Paris Climate Change Accord.

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