Alice Billon-Galland participated in the PS21 panel “The Changing Face of Conflict” at the UK Ministry of Defence on 11 June 2018. She discussed EU-NATO collaboration, European strategic autonomy, as well as the recent EU defence initiatives.
“Alice Billon-Galland, Policy Fellow at the European Leadership Network, then led the discussion over to the question of current and future European strategic autonomy. 2016 marked a political turning point which has since sparked a steady increase in defence cooperation between the European Union and NATO. Currently, the EU’s global strategy decidedly does not strive for collective defence, but focuses on providing tools for capability development to each member state. While Billon-Galland highlighted PESCO (Permanent Structured Cooperation), the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence and the European Defence Fund, she also addressed continuous fears of competition and capability overlap between NATO and the EU.
Set against the political challenge of Brexit, the push to build a EU defence cluster with a weapons procurement independent from non-European allies may cause further political tension as it shifts from U.S. and UK arms industries to entirely intra-European Union defence spending. And similarly, the United Kingdom is faced with exclusion from other defence cooperation benefits such as the notorious example of Galileo, the EU project building an alternative to the US-controlled GPS.”
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