The Strategic Compass: The EU, ‘work in progress’ | Opinion

“Europe is in danger”, shrinking strategically and facing an increasingly hostile world, argued the high representative of community diplomacy, Josep Borrell, in the presentation of the first draft of the Strategic Compass. A document that is close to a formulation of security principles for the European Union, and that includes, among others, the proposal of a military force for rapid deployment in 2025. For the French newspaper The world, the name “compass” evokes the unfortunate idea of ​​finding ourselves lost. Rather the opposite: without a compass that tells us where the rays of light emerge and where they hide, in which direction the habitable temperate zones are located and in which place the inhospitable extreme poles, we are lost, especially in a moving scene such as the actual. However, it is not enough to be able to orient oneself, finally it is necessary to be clear about where you want to go, since, as the Roman philosopher Seneca stated, no wind is favorable for those who do not know which port they are sailing to.

The purpose is not without its pitfalls. It is necessary to accommodate the different national perspectives that are not always convergent (in the case of France, Germany and the Eastern countries), define the direction and make the way. Its theoretical core, the concept of “strategic autonomy”, arouses misgivings among some sectors of Washington who fear it will be incompatible with the strengthening of ties between the United States and Europe, including the commitment to reach the NATO spending quota if it were to be seen. affected by the allocation of money to a European Defense Fund. It should not be the case. Although the “compass” arises a reactive context to the pact between the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, Aukus, and the exhaustive withdrawal from Afghanistan, confirmed on another plane with the migration crisis caused by Belarus, the proposal is embedded in the transatlantic relationship. Greater European strategic responsibility is in the interests of the parties, and strengthens common security. Autonomy is not the same as self-sufficiency. The Union depends on and needs NATO, and the United States, focused on reorienting its foreign policy towards China, benefits from a strong Europe.

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The EU, which is not a country, is in the process of consolidation as a subject of will and action. Unitary subject beyond the sum of member states. The Strategic Compass responds to the imperative of ordering defensive space, starting with a doctrine and integrating other elements in a rationalization of existing structures. It’s a work in progress, advanced in the economic and political variables, shared in the ideological and now being tested by the military, the “hard power”. They are the four organizational dimensions of power from which to provide content to the European project. @Evabor3

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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