Weekly News Review - European Union Security Watch spot

19.04.2021 – 25.04.2021

German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and her French counterpart Florence Parly agreed to finalize a deal between the two countries on the future joint development of a next-generation stealth fighter jet by the end of April. The Future Combat Air System (FCAS) is meant to demonstrate the E.U.’s ability to integrate its diverse security forces and strengthen its military sovereignty. Emerging disruptive technologies (EDTs) are expected to have a turbulent impact on defense and revolutionize future military capabilities, strategy, and operations. Consequently, the E.U. needs to sustain and further increase investment in EDTs to develop state-of-the-art defense capabilities.

In his blog, E.U. High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission (HR/VP) Josep Borrell reports that the E.U. members collectively supported Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity at the monthly Foreign Affairs Council to which the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba was invited. He also mentions Ukraine’s progress through political reforms and stresses the E.U.’s intention to support like-minded partners.

Bulgaria has been consistently defending itself against the Russian hybrid warfare, which prevents the country from building a solid defense system and becoming a more capable NATO and E.U. member. Thus, a fast modernization of armed forces and military capabilities is essential for Bulgaria to build up its capacity to counter hybrid threats and ensure stability in the region. Over the weekend, the Czech Republic ordered 18 Russian officials to depart from the country due to potential ties to an arms factory explosion in 2014. Also, they urged E.U. and NATO allies to expel Russian diplomats in the context of “solidarity”. Russia retaliated by expelling 20 Czech diplomats and providing them just over 24 hours to leave the country.

The diplomatic efforts of the European Council President Charles Michel to resolve the long-lasting political crisis in Georgia produced an agreement between the ruling party and opposition groups, paving the way for electoral and judicial reforms.

The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan can potentially lead to further violence that will increase the number of people fleeing the country. This aspect will be crucial for the E.U., which needs to reform its migration regime to avoid another crisis since Afghans constitute the second-largest group of asylum seekers arriving in Europe.

The E.U. has imposed sanctions on 10 of Myanmar’s military leaders and two military corporations. According to the member states of the bloc, individuals were held responsible for undermining democracy and the rule of law in Myanmar/Burma.