EU defence fund under close scrutiny

The EU Commission wants to establish a defence fund into which all members pay, prompting member states to up their defence spending while making Europe less dependent on the US. Some commentators say such a move is long overdue while others see the Commission's plans as unrealistic.

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Le Monde (FR) /

Long-standing desire becoming reality

Finally things are moving forward with the defence union, Le Monde writes in delight:

“The vision of a 'European defence' presented by the EU Commission on Monday, June 7, in Brussels constitutes a historic step forward: in widening the European construction to include a military dimension it breaks with a decades-old taboo, namely that the European project is limited to non-military cooperation. The idea is not to replace the Atlantic alliance - which remains the key defence instrument - but to expand the capacities, efficiency and autonomy of European defence. ... Let's hope the political and industrial decision-makers follow the path laid out by the Commission and finally put into practice this long-standing desire that has now become an urgent necessity.”

Die Welt (DE) /

EU overshooting the mark

The EU's defence policy should aim to complement but not replace Nato, Die Welt admonishes:

“It's wrong to suggest that Europe could defend itself. That wouldn't be sensible either financially or politically. America must remain a constant for European foreign policy in the long term - without ifs, ands or buts. The EU should concentrate on those things it can do better than Nato: training police officers, helping to foster civil societies and participating in smaller military operations. The EU Commission's vision of the Europeans sooner or later developing their military capabilities and command structures to the point of carrying out high-end operations or imposing no-fly zones is quixotic.”