Is European Strategic Autonomy Over?

Strategic Europe – Judy Asks - 19/01/2023

Carme Colomina, Senior Research Fellow at CIDOB, answers to this question at the latest blogpost of Judy Dempsey’s Strategic Europe, hosted by Carnegie Europe: “The very nature of the concept of strategic autonomy is undergoing transformation, along with European defense itself. The Russian invasion of Ukraine became the unpredictable trigger that has pushed the European Union as a whole and many of its members in particular, to rethink their own security. The old dilemma between Europeanists versus Atlanticists has been altered by this urgency, the mutual need, and the new balances of power illuminated by a process of rearmament in which NATO seems to have won the game. Europeans continue to be aware of the limits of their deterrent capacity in a scenario of armed peace. However, strategic influence does not derive automatically from robust weapons but from the will to act. It is a political option. And the EU, beyond EU High Representative Josep Borrell’s appeals to the use of the “language of power,” knows that its contribution to global security has been built on its economic and regulatory power, on its commitment to a rules-based international order, long eroded and now threatened with its dismantlement depending on the outcome of the war in Ukraine. That is why, in this context, Brussels tries to develop a concept of strategic autonomy that goes far beyond defensive integration, and one that is built through initiatives and legislation to strengthen resilience and aimed at reducing the external dependence of the EU in key matters such as energy, rare earths or technology.”

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