Strategic autonomy of the European Union: on the way to «European Sovereignty» in defense?
2019 marked 20 years since EU Member States decided to create a joint EU approach to security and defense. The paper raises the question on finding new approaches to provide security and defense in Europe in the current context, as well as the formation of a new paradigm for research on regional security in Europe. Traditional approaches to the study of European integration (neofunctionalism and intergovernmentalism) are of little use for theorizing the development of European defense in conditions of new challenges and threats to national and regional security, as well as transatlantic solidarity violations. The article studies European Strategic Autonomy (ESA), which refers to the ability of the European Union, in conjunction with Member States, to independently determine its own priorities according to which to take decisions and implement them in the fields of foreign policy, security and defense. ESA is not synonymous with independence, nor does it deny membership in military-political alliances, since a more realistic scenario implies positioning itself as a European pillar of NATO. The implementation of the idea of building a "european sovereignty" in the field of security and defense implies that the European Union should take bigger responsibility for its own security, the security of its neighbors, andshould strengthen its role in transatlantic relations without opposing NATO. In order to move from rhetoric to concrete policy steps, the EU needs to develop a plan of measures for political, institutional and industrial action. It means that achieving real autonomy requires time and joint efforts by EU institutions and Member State governments. However, political and institutional autonomy can be built exclusively within the whole Union, while military-industrial autonomy can be initiated and implemented by a group of the most economically and technologically advanced EU Member States.
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