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Unlocking European Defence. In Search of the Long Overdue Paradigm Shift


The European Union’s range of new EU security and defence initiatives are ground-breaking, but they can only deliver on their potential if member states shift the paradigm towards truly thinking, acting and working together as Europeans, based on a strategic consensus regarding the future of European defence in the changing global context. The new Strategic Compass, to be adopted by the Council in early 2022, provides a framework to develop such a shared vision. It should help to operationalise the EU’s strategic autonomy in concrete terms, in mutual reinforcement and coherence with NATO, while seizing the opportunity to strike a new transatlantic bargain with the Biden Administration. In this context, the Union should agree on concrete steps forward to become a more active security provider abroad, reinforce its resilience and protection at home, enhance its operational readiness for different scenarios, and develop new capabilities through deeper cooperation while stepping up its cooperation with partners.