Defence and security

22-11-2019

No progress in UN talks on regulating lethal autonomous weapons

Attempts to regulate lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWs), often dubbed as “killer robots”, have once again ended in a stalemate as UN talks in November produced few results. Europe, meanwhile, is struggling with its role in the regulation efforts.
Global Europe 21-11-2019

NATO braces for the new space age

NATO foreign ministers have formally recognised outer space as the fifth military frontier alongside air, land, sea and cyber on Wednesday (20 November), in response to growing concerns over protecting satellite and navigation assets from enemy interference.
Defence policy 20-11-2019

Amid NATO tensions, Estonian President highlights Russia risk

NATO should be ready to defend Estonia should the country face risks emanating from its neighbour Russia, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid has told EURACTIV. Her comments came following French President Macron's recent claim that the alliance is 'brain dead.'
Defence policy 18-11-2019

Russia’s EU ambassador: The fall of the Berlin Wall was ‘a victory of common sense’

In a wide-ranging interview, Russia’s Ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov spoke about gas transit talks with Ukraine, NATO and EU enlargement, nuclear arms control, Russia’s sales of the S-400 anti-aircraft system, the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and Brexit.
Global Europe 12-11-2019

EU expands military cooperation with 13 new joint projects

EU defence ministers on Tuesday (12 November) signed off on the third wave of 13 new proposals under the EU's Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) framework, raising the number of agreed joint military projects to 47 initiatives.
11-11-2019

Macron questioning NATO in Economist interview raises eyebrows about his methods

Emmanuel Macron presented his geopolitical vision in an interview with The Economist on Thursday (7 November), and it once again attracted a wide range of criticism. By speaking of a "NATO brain death", this recent diplomatic blunder is putting the French president's partnerships at risk.
Global Europe 08-11-2019

Question marks over third country participation in EU military projects

The EU is inching towards an agreement on the conditions under which third countries will be allowed to participate in the bloc's military projects, which would allow US and UK companies to take part in joint defence projects, potentially removing a source of friction in transatlantic ties.
07-11-2019

Germany commits to NATO spending goal by 2031 for first time

Germany will reach a NATO defence spending target by 2031, its defence minister said on Thursday (7 November), missing a 2024 deadline agreed by the allies who are under heavy US pressure to beef up their military budgets.
07-11-2019

France’s Macron decries NATO ‘brain death’ ahead of anniversary

European countries can no longer rely on the United States to defend NATO allies, French President Emmanuel Macron warned in an interview on Thursday (7 November), only weeks ahead of a meeting of NATO leaders in London, supposed to mend the widening cracks in the Western military alliance.
Global Europe 05-11-2019

Awaiting IAEA report, EU admits preserving Iran nuclear deal ‘increasingly difficult’

President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday (5 November) that Iran would resume uranium enrichment at an underground plant south of Tehran in its latest step back from a troubled 2015 agreement with major powers.
30-10-2019

Hungary blocks NATO statement on Ukraine over minority rights row

Hours before a Russian state visit to Budapest on Wednesday (30 October), Hungary vetoed a joint NATO statement about Ukraine because it did not mention the “deprivation of rights” of the Hungarian minority in the neighbouring country's Transcarpathia region.

Europe’s fighter jets of the future on collision course?

The European defence market is looking towards two sixth-generation aircraft programmes – the Franco-German-Spanish Future Combat Aircraft System (FCAS) and the British-led Tempest fighter project. While pressure is mounting on EU member states to pick sides, the question of whether both projects can ultimately coexist remains.
25-10-2019

Poroshenko calls on Zelenskyi to knock on NATO’s door

Ukraine's former pro-Western President Petro Poroshenko challenged his successor on Friday (25 October) to request the country’s accession to NATO's  Membership Action Plan, considered as the antechamber to the military alliance.
25-10-2019

NATO slams Turkey over Syria, lukewarm reactions to German ‘safe zone’ proposal

NATO defence ministers on Thursday (24 October) denounced Turkey for its military incursion in Northeast Syria, but acknowledged there was little they could do to restrain their strategically important ally.
24-10-2019

US defence secretary says Turkey ‘going in the wrong direction’ in NATO

Turkey’s recent behaviour "has put us all in a terrible situation", US Defence Secretary Mark Esper said in Brussels on Thursday. He said Ankara's "unwarranted" invasion into Syria jeopardised the security gains made as the US-led coalition and allied Kurdish forces battled the Islamic State (IS) in the area in recent years.
24-10-2019

Turkey, US to overcome F-35 problem, defence minister says

Turkey expects that disagreements with the United States over production of F-35 jets will be overcome, its defence minister said on Wednesday (23 October), adding that Ankara remained at the centre of NATO despite criticism from allies of its incursion into Syria.
23-10-2019

US welcomes German security plan for Syria, unlikely to take part

The United States and NATO cautiously welcomed on Wednesday (23 October) a German proposal for a security zone in northern Syria, though Washington's envoy to the alliance saying it should be for Europe to take charge and not US forces.
22-10-2019

Germany proposes security zone for northern Syria

German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer on Monday (21 October) suggested the creation of a security zone in northern Syria to protect displaced civilians and ensure that the fight continues against Islamic State militia.
21-10-2019

Erdogan accuses the West of ‘standing by terrorists’ in Syria

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday (21 October) lashed out at Western states, accusing them of "standing by terrorists" in failing to support Turkey's operation against Syrian Kurdish fighters.
21-10-2019

EU calls for Afghanistan ceasefire as US defence secretary visits Kabul

EU officials called Sunday (21 October) for a ceasefire in Afghanistan, saying the breakdown in US-Taliban talks presented an opportunity to push for a truce, as the US defense secretary made an unexpected visit to Kabul.
18-10-2019

EU should put human life over profits of arms industry

Almost five years after the start of the Saudi-led intervention, the war in Yemen still rages on. While thousands have died, one actor that has fared well: the European arms industry, write Hans Lammerant and Bram Vranken.
Global Europe 17-10-2019

Turkey’s incursion into Syria is making the EU and Kurds rethink their friends

The EU may condemn Turkey’s military incursion into Syria, yet it also has Turkey to thank for holding back the migrant crisis. Publicly, Europe wants to send a message. Privately, it knows it cannot say too much, writes Faisal Al Yafai.
17-10-2019

France and Germany ink compromise on arms export rules

After struggling to find a common line on arms exports, Paris and Berlin reached  a compromise on Wednesday (16 October) during a bilateral ministerial meeting in the French city of Toulouse.
Global Europe 16-10-2019

Turkey pushes offensive in Syria, while Russia moves in where US moved out

Turkey vowed to press ahead with its offensive in northern Syria on Tuesday (15 October) despite US sanctions and growing calls for it to stop, while Syria's Russia-backed army moved on the key city of Manbij that was abandoned by US forces.

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