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EU defence: it’s now or never

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Trump’s attitude may help the EU to come up with a common defence strategy, overcoming the risk that each state will keep minding its own business.

On the day of Donald Trump’s election as US president, a colleague who works in European defence policy made two dry comments: “That’s the end of NATO”, and “It’s a great opportunity for European defence integration”. Adding Trump to Brexit, the spectre of an ‘anglosphere’, separate from continental European security and hostile to the EU, has begun to worry both Atlanticists and pro-Europeans. The former, from Warsaw to Riga, have abandoned the principle of “NATO first” and suddenly discovered the virtues of European defence as a substitute for the safety of the American security umbrella against the threat of the Russian bear. The latter, from Berlin to Paris (and obviously Brussels), have raised the banner of European defence integration as both friends in Washington and fifth columnists within the EU (from perfidious Albion) seem to be sailing away over horizon.

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