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Archives for Defence

The triumph of Libya’s National Transitional Council culminating in the death of Colonel Gaddafi owes everything to the support provided by NATO air operations under UN Resolution 1973, yet the UN involvement and the military action which followed would never have happened without the determination of President Nicolas Sarkozy and Prime Minister David Cameron. Their… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt

Europe is blind to its longer-term interests in defence and foreign affairs, claim two speeches in London this week. Former NATO Secretary General George Robertson and Douglas Alexander, foreign affairs spokesman for the British Labour Party, both castigate the failure of European policy-makers to look ahead and prepare for impending dangers. US Defense Secretary Robert… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt

The European Union has hardly covered itself with glory over the Libyan crisis, but as events unfold we may be witnessing a far more effective performance than seemed likely just two weeks ago. One thing has become clear though: hopes of creating a serious EU defence capability for the future have taken a serious knock.… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt

The big cuts in Britain’s defence capabilities announced in London earlier this week will have far-reaching consequences for European defence policy. The decision of Britain’s coalition government to reduce defence spending by 8 per cent over the next four years condemns the UK to closer co-operation with European allies, and especially with France. British Prime… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt

So the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee has approved the set-up of Europe’s foreign service, as negotiated in Madrid two weeks ago. Formal agreement is expected in plenary after the holidays, allowing the European External Action Service (EEAS) to be operational by the end of the year. Creation of the EEAS is potentially the most… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt

Against the backdrop of a European economic crisis of monumental proportions, the creation of the UK’s coalition government must seem like “noises off” to the rest of the European audience. But at least the deal reached between Conservative leader David Cameron and Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats could provide political stability in Britain for… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt

We live in the age of media celebrity. So no surprise at the critical and sometimes bitter press reaction to the nomination of Herman Van Rompuy and Catherine Ashton, virtually unknown beyond their own parishes, as Council President and High Representative respectively. As someone said, it was like a TV talent show where the choice […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

A fundamental purpose of the Treaty of Lisbon is to make the European Union an effective force in the modern world, a global player with a power and influence far greater than the sum of its parts. The appointment of a High Representative bestriding Commission and Council, served by the European External Action Service (EEAS), […]

Posted by Michael Berendt