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EU defence: more Nato or closer cooperation between member states?


Europe is facing unprecedented security challenges. Will the traditional reliance on Nato suffice or should the EU invest more in its own defence and move towards stronger cooperation between member states? On Monday 24 October the foreign affairs committee votes on a report calling for a permanent and systematic defence cooperation between EU countries as part of a European Defence Union. Find out more in our video interview with prominent MEPs.

The report was written by Estonian ALDE member Urmas Paet, who is a former foreign affairs minister. He said that with a more independent EU defence strategy, the parntership with Nato would change: “First there are civilian, military or humanitarian missions, secondly there could be situations where the Nato flag is more irritating than EU and thirdly we should understand that not all EU members are Nato members.”

However, UK ECR member Geoffrey Van Orden, a former senior military officer who is following the file on behalf of his political group, said that existing models were successful and that cooperation with Nato should be developed.

“We have a strongly functioning defence organisation: Nato,” he said..”It guarantees the commitment of the United States to the security. That’s what is important, that’s what has credibility and that’s what we need to be strengthening.”

Watch our video and find out what else they had to say.