Weekly News Review - European Union Security Watch spot

18.01.2021 – 24.01.2021

With Joe Biden being sworn in as the next U.S. president, E.U. leaders extended the invitation to cooperate more closely, warning that four years of the Trump administration have changed the nature of transatlantic ties. The President of the European Parliament David Sassoli welcomed Biden’s first decisions and stated that the E.U. is ready to work together with the new U.S. administration and build a stronger transatlantic partnership to cope with global challenges. The Biden administration can help reduce the European Union’s energy dependence on Russia. Utilizing the opportunities in the South Caucasus, the Caspian Sea and Central Asia an effective E.U.-U.S. cooperation will increase the prospects for the EU to improve its energy security.

Moreover, Secretary-General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg also called for strengthened ties between the U.S. and Europe to face their everyday challenges. Moreover, certain analysts advocate that in order to remain relevant and robust in a dynamic threat landscape, NATO needs to adapt. There are four key areas for adaptation: redefining defence and deterrence; agreeing “on the math”, that is, agreeing on the allocation of responsibilities amongst its members; internal renewal; and rebuilding public support. Future security cooperation between the European Union and the United Kingdom requires goodwill from both sides after the Brexit agreement. Thus, reaching a complete agreement on the particularities related to their security cooperation is vital if the two parties want to tackle common security threats in the current complicated international security environment.

Tensions between Iran and the E.U. continue to intensify, due to Tehran’s decision to accelerate nuclear activities in recent weeks as a counter-measure to U.S. sanctions. French diplomat Jean-Yves Le Drian stated that “tough discussions” would be required over Iran’s ballistic missile program and destabilization activities in the region.

In his visit to Brussels, Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu pointed out the importance of a pleasant atmosphere between Turkey and E.U. relations, adding that to be sustainable, both parties must take concrete steps. Spain’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, stressed that he wants to strengthen Turkey’s relationship not only with his country but with the European Union as a whole. In addition, he stated that since Turkey is a strategic partner, an E.U. candidate and a NATO partner, a positive agenda needs to be built.