Strategic Compass: a blueprint for the EU?

The EU must "learn the language of power", EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen demanded after her election. As High Representative for EU Foreign and Security Policy, Josep Borrell has presented the Strategic Compass, a blueprint for the EU's military defence and security strategy. EU foreign ministers will discuss the draft in the coming weeks. The press already points to lines of conflict.

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Diário de Notícias (PT) /

Don't miss this opportunity

In a guest commentary published in Diário de Notícias and other media, Borrell explains what the EU must do to protect its citizens:

“That means anticipating fast-changing threats and safeguarding its citizens against them; investing in the necessary capabilities and technologies; and cooperating with partners to achieve common goals. ... It is for the EU member states to determine whether today's geopolitical shifts will be yet another unheeded wake-up call. ... The Strategic Compass is an opportunity to meet Europe's security responsibilities directly, in front of our citizens and the rest of the world.”

El País (ES) /

Major obstacles to overcome

Writing in El País, political scientist Sami Naïr calls for more decisiveness from Europe:

“Experience shows that most of the 27 EU states have more confidence in the US and Nato than in an independent European defence project, because such a project would entrench France's military leadership role and entail long-term financial investments. ... Added to this is Germany's inability to translate its economic hegemony into political and military power. ... From the beginning of his term in office, Josep Borrell has stressed the need for Europe to be strengthened politically and militarily so it can find its place in the world. The Strategic Compass opens the way towards this, but it will be a long path.”

De Volkskrant (NL) /

A step towards military autonomy

The Netherlands wants to participate in a future rapid reaction force. The EU cannot continue to just rely only on the US, De Volkskrant stresses:

“Close to the flashpoints in Africa and Asia, Europe has become aware of its vulnerability. Relations with Russia are bad, and the migrant crisis on the border with Belarus shows how easily the EU can be pressured from the east. US support for Europe is now far less self-evident than it was in the past. ... In an increasingly insecure world, Europe must develop its own strengths in order to protect its way of life. For all the understandable scepticism, a European intervention force is a key step towards strategic autonomy.”