Security and Defence

Policy briefs

European strategic autonomy: Going it alone?

08 Aug 2018 - 10:37
Source: European Council President/flickr

With the boost that has been given to the EU’s defence policy, some of the St. Malo reflexes have reoccurred in Washington. Mostly, there are some misgivings in the United States about the exact meaning of ‘European strategic autonomy’, as it featured in the 2016 EU Global Strategy. But also in Europe, it is not clear what strategic autonomy means. In light of the increasing uncertainty among the EU and European NATO-members about the solidity of the American security guarantees, strategic autonomy gains a new quality. If Europe were forced ‘to go it alone’, what would that take, both in terms of conventional and nuclear capabilities?

In her latest Policy Brief author Margriet Drent concludes that European countries face a dilemma: they have to simultaneously invest in their strategic autonomy and in keeping the United States committed to their security.