Europe must be able to defend itself on its own

2024-03-24 | Ukraine

“We must speed up the creation of the European defence pillar. We have seen the limits of Europe’s preparedness for wars and conflicts, and that’s why we need to upgrade our capacity quickly. The biggest security threat to Europe today is Russia, and we must be able to defend ourselves on our own, regardless of who is in the White House,” says Manfred Weber MEP, Chairman of the EPP Group ahead of the plenary debate on strengthening the European defence.

“We are living in extremely difficult times, and immediate action is needed to prevent even greater challenges in the near future. Firstly, a commitment of 0.25% of GDP from each EU Member State to arm Ukraine would be sufficient to ensure that it can win this war,” adds Rasa Juknevičienė MEP, the EPP Group’s Vice-Chair in charge of security and defence.

Juknevičienė is not only adamant that Europe must help Ukraine win the war, but also that “we must be fully prepared ourselves – to face both conventional and hybrid attacks. If we do not stop Putin in Ukraine, he will certainly be tempted to go even further and test red lines and our resolve. We must not fear the defeat of Putin’s regime, because it is the only way to achieve sustainable peace on the European continent,” concludes Juknevičienė.

The EPP Group’s longstanding calls for the creation of a stronger European defence capability have borne fruit. Very soon, the European Commission will announce a plan for a European defence pillar, which will start with the creation of a European market for defence goods.

“We should focus on real European added value, such as cyber defence, drones and Europe’s deterrence as a whole, including nuclear. This is where we need Europe because the national level alone cannot deliver these capabilities. If we want to keep the peace, we have to be strong together,” Weber stresses.