Home 2022: Strengthening the Franco-British European Defence Pivot

GEAB 151

The monthly bulletin of LEAP (European Laboratory of Political Anticipation) - 15 Jan 2021

2022: Strengthening the Franco-British European Defence Pivot

The post-election statement made by German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (“The idea of European strategic independence goes too far if it nurtures the illusion that we can ensure Europe’s security, stability and prosperity without NATO and the U.S.”)[1] requires France to revise its defence strategies and priorities. We anticipate that Macron’s desire to build a European defence policy with France at the helm and Germany behind as an ally, has come to an end, forcing France to turn (back) to Britain. And given the impending French presidential elections, the movement is likely to grow in the coming months.

2017-2019: France on manoeuvres

In September 2017, a few weeks after being elected, Macron gave his “Sorbonne Speech”[2] in which he denounced the European Union as “too weak, too slow, too ineffective”. On the basis of this observation, he decided to launch a whole series of projects which aimed, among other things, to make the EU a genuine geopolitical force. And what better strategy to achieve this than having some serious targets in the most important areas, defence being first and foremost? “I suggest we welcome volunteer personnel from all European countries into our national armies to work in intelligence and operational support”.

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