The EU’s new defense strategy runs the risk of adopting a bleak worldview while suggesting measures that are inadequate to address such a world of dangers. A much better investment would be to strengthen Europe’s capabilities within NATO.
The new German government has made an energetic start in foreign affairs. Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his ministers have a good chance to shine on the international stage, if they play their part in deterring Russia from another military attack.
No matter who succeeds Angela Merkel in the chancellery, Germany will need to focus on building stronger European strategic autonomy in order to be a strong and valued partner to the United States—and to other liberal democracies around the world.
On various occasions in the past, Berlin has offered political support for international military missions only, citing the German constitution to rule out its own participation. This policy has run its course.
The EU needs to improve its capacity to act. The new German government is ready to play its part in order for Europe to be seen as a strong actor on the international stage, says the SPD's foreign affairs spokesperson.
What should the EU’s role in the world be? It should aim for confident realism, argues Christoph Heusgen, who will take over the leadership of the Munich Security Conference at the close of this year’s MSC in February.
Forced into negotiations with Moscow at gun point, the United States and its European allies need to get out of the corner that President Vladimir Putin has pushed them into. NATO should state its own preconditions and not shy away from applying economic sanctions.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has made it clear that he does not accept Ukraine as a state and wants the United States in particular to recognize his self-claimed “spheres of influence." While all-out war remains unlikely, Berlin needs to find answers.