The idea was presented by MEP Hannah Neumann in the European Parliament today and could see the European Commission ban arms exports to a specific country outside the EU for the entire bloc. This decision could cause a split between France and Germany, as the two countries have already clashed in the past over conflicts of interest in each other’s defense agreements.
The move was not well received by France as the ban compromised joint military efforts.
The new proposal would create an EU ‘common risk assessment body’ which could analyze which countries should receive the burden.
The executive of the bloc would then give the green light to exports or ban them for the entire bloc.
And if Brussels was not satisfied with the explanation, then the EU state could be brought before the European Court of Justice.
The proposal comes at a time when EU leaders are pushing for the bloc to have more strategic autonomy after the US decision to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan and sign an Indo-Pacific defense accord with Australia and the United Kingdom.
France, with overseas territories in the Pacific and Indian Oceans and 7,000 troops stationed there, sees itself as an Indo-Pacific power. France had concluded armaments and security agreements with India and, until recently, Australia, to protect its interests.
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“It certainly has more to do with the pursuit of narrow national interests than with Europe. “
When asked if the deal risks increasing tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, Macron said the deal was not aimed at one country in particular, but Greece, as the European Union’s external border needed to be protected. .
“I don’t feel that in the summer of 2020 it was Greece that was belligerent in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Macron said, alluding to Turkish actions in the region.
He added: “Europeans must stop being naive. When we are under pressure from powers, which sometimes harden (their position), we must react and show that we have the power and the capacity to defend ourselves.
“Don’t make things worse, but protect ourselves.
“This is not an alternative to the United States alliance.
“This is not a substitution, but taking responsibility for the European pillar within NATO and drawing the conclusions that we are asked to ensure our own protection. “