The UK-US-Europe ‘bridge’ on which London rested has now, for the most part, gone. Britain must now look to new styles of engagement in order to ensure strategic relevance and effective defence coordination.
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As a no-deal Brexit becomes increasingly likely, the chronicle of EUFOR Althea exposes the operational, strategic and political challenges facing EU defence today.
Although the EU’s increased defence efforts and states’ diverging industrial interests will inevitably create tensions in the short-term, these should not be allowed to poison transatlantic relations.
With European elections upcoming and the shape of the next Commission unknowable, this report is not an agenda for the years to come but lessons for the next Commission from developments in European defence over the last two years.
ELN Director Sir Adam Thomson and Policy Fellow Alice Billon-Galland argue that a new approach to strategic autonomy is needed to provide a long-term framework to increase Europe’s ability to protect its security interests.