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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Policy or Project? France, Germany, and EU Defense

Shortly after the British vote to leave the European Union on June 23, the French and German foreign ministers produced a joint statement reaffirming their countries’ strong commitment to the EU. Among other things, they called for a “European Security Compact” to beef up the EU’s contribution to international security, including with military means, as well as to improve the union’s ability to tackle internal security threats such as terrorism.
However, even though France and Germany agree on much on paper, differences in their respective strategic cultures may hinder the progress and effectiveness of their proposals, especially on EU defense.
Internal security has taken on more importance with the terrorist attacks in France and Germany in late July. Even though the local specificities of the threat, the types of attacks, and the reactions have been different in the two countries, there will likely be renewed determination in Berlin and Paris to further develop European policing, judicial, and intelligence cooperation.

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