Petar Petrov & Iulian Romanyshyn (2020)
Policy Brief No. 2/2020
Over the last five years, the EU has made significant steps in bolstering security and defense cooperation among its member states. Traditionally viewed as the least promising area of the European integration, security and defense has become a priority matter for the former and current European Commission presidents. Europe’s willingness to flex its military muscle and to assume greater responsibility for its defense cannot be seen in isolation from a growing number of external security threats emanating from the conflict and instability in the Southern Mediterranean, Russia’s military adventurism and regional rivalries in the Middle East and East Asia. Internally, the UK’s departure from the EU removed a long-lasting obstacle for greater security and defense cooperation within the EU, while the European Commission’s activism coupled with French and German enthusiasm helped to uphold the momentum.