Borrell: Europe needs defence mechanism, because 'war is on the horizon'

Josep Borrell, the EU's high representative for Foreign Affairs, has called for the creation of a European financial mechanism dedicated to security and defence. "War is on the horizon," he said on Tuesday. "It will not start tomorrow, but we cannot deny the reality."

Speaking at the New Economy Forum in Brussels, Borrell said increasing competition between superpowers, high-stakes conflicts between states, the militarisation of economic dependencies, cyber warfare and disinformation are all part of the new European reality.

"The war in Ukraine has shown the world as it is and not as we wanted it to be," he said. "The possibility of an intense conventional war in Europe is no longer a fantasy. We must do all we can to prevent it."

"The possibility of an intense conventional war in Europe is no longer a fantasy"

Borrell warned against Europe's dependence on the US. Presidential candidate Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to withdraw the US from NATO. According to Borrell, this "US umbrella" has protected Europe since the Cold War, but it will not last forever.

This dependence also includes defence equipment. Currently, eight out of 10 arms purchases are made outside Europe, and 80 per cent of those purchases come from the US. "We cannot afford this dependency," said Borrell.

A new phase

He said the EU had entered a new phase in its development, a Europe focused on defence, and predicts a race between the European institutions on the issue during the next legislature. The European Commission will argue for more powers for the EU, while member states will be reluctant to cede their sovereignty.

The commission launched its industrial defence strategy in early March, calling on member states to invest half of their military procurement budgets in Europe by 2030.



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