German defence minister: EU security without US is an ‘illusion’

The CDU leader rated the suggestion of a European army as “one vision among many”, despite it having gained traction in some political circles including among the SPD, and came out against the common French refrain of “strategic autonomy.” [EPA-EFE/FOCKE STRANGMANN]

“Without America’s nuclear and conventional capabilities, Germany and Europe cannot protect themselves,” German Defence Minister and current leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (AKK) told students at the Bundeswehr University in Hamburg on Tuesday.

However, going forward, this should change with Europe acting “partner at eye level” instead of a “mentee in need of protection“. 

Read also: Macron: Europe needs its own sovereignty in defence, even with new US government

In her speech, AKK also highlighted the unequal amounts of defence spending. Key to this “new deal” is increasing defence spending, a common US criticism even before President Donald Trump. Berlin must also commit to its role in nuclear sharing in NATO, something that some of the country’s Social Democrats (SPD) called into question earlier this year. 

The CDU leader rated the suggestion of a European army as “one vision among many”, despite it having gained traction in some political circles including among the SPD, and came out against the common French refrain of “strategic autonomy.”

“The idea of a strategic autonomy for Europe goes too far if it nurtures the illusion that we can guarantee security, stability and prosperity in Europe without NATO and without the United States,” AKK added. (Sarah Lawton | EURACTIV.de

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