EU not to wait for Trump to start building its common security: Former diplomat

TEHRAN, Sep. 04 (MNA) – Marc Finaud, France former spokesman of Foreign Ministry says that “EU did not wait for Trump to start building its common security and defense policy, including by including in the Lisbon Treaty an assistance clause even stronger than the one in the NATO Treaty.”

Former Senior Resident Fellow at the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) adds “If the United States confirms Trump’s policy of distancing itself from Europe, for instance by withdrawing more forces from Europe, there could be a rebalance of power in favour of Europe.”

Senior member of Geneva Centre for Security Policy also says that “history has shown that Russia is necessarily linked to the security of Europe.”

Following is the full text of the interview:

How do you evaluate “speeches of Macron, President of French about that Europe should no longer rely on America In terms of security“?

In a sense, it is a return to the traditional position of France under De Gaulle, who did not trust the United States for ensuring the security of Europe and developed France’s autonomous nuclear deterrent. This analysis, also shared to some extent by Germany, is the result of Trump’s isolationist and unilateralist policy.

With the arrival of the Trump to the White House and his criticism of the European countries regarding NATO's share, Europe had begun its efforts to form a joint European army. According to Macron’s speeches, it seam formation of a joint European army take more seriousness. What is your opinion?

In fact, the EU did not wait for Trump to start building its common security and defence policy, including by including in the Lisbon Treaty an assistance clause even stronger than the one in the NATO Treaty. But the decision to move towards a common defence and even a common army would still require unanimity. It was opposed by the United Kingdom, but even after Brexit, some EU countries will still remain against it because they still trust NATO more than the EU.

Is Europe essentially capable of being independent of America in terms of security?  If so, what will be the future of NATO?

Even if there are non-NATO members within the EU, there was never any plan to replace NATO with the EU. The EU has developed civilian and military crisis management tools that have been useful, for instance in Africa or in the fight against piracy, but always in cooperation with and as a complement to NATO capacities. Only if the United States decides to withdraw from NATO, which does not appear likely in the near future, will the EU reconsider its relationship with NATO.

Some analysts have interpreted Macron's speeches as a new Western order. Will the West enter a new era of order and independence from the United States?

If the United States confirms Trump’s policy of distancing itself from Europe, for instance by withdrawing more forces from Europe, there could be a rebalance of power in favour of Europe. But in military terms, Europe (where defence budgets are around 1-2% of GDP) will never compete with the United States (with a defence budget of 4% of GDP). Europe will mostly remain a soft power.

Macron also said that Russia should also be involved in European security issues. How do you assess this position?

It is true that, since the end of the Cold War, many opportunities have been missed to bring Russia closer to Western values and shared interests. Now, after Russia tried to recover its global power and influence, often through the use of force (in Georgia and Ukraine and also in Syria), it is more difficult to do it without giving the impression of rewarding bad behavior. But history has shown that Russia is necessarily linked to the security of Europe. So the solution can only be achieved through negotiations, compromise, balance of interests and forces, and not by sanctions or isolation.

Interview by: Javad Heirannia

MNA/TT

News Code 137451

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