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EUROPEAN COUNCIL : SARKOZY: EUROPE CANNOT BE A DWARF ON DEFENCE.

The EU's 27 heads of state and government endorsed, on 12 December, without much debate, the conclusions on a Europe of defence, the main aspects of which have been summed up by Europolitics in earlier issues: target figures, an update of the European security strategy, capability building and international security (3657, 3654, 3650).

The outgoing EU President, Nicolas Sarkozy, did not comment specifically on the content of the conclusions but focused instead on the orientation of the past six months on defence: "Europe must exist, be ambitious, stop being naive and shake up the changing world. [...] That is what has been missing in Europe: ambition, the determination to champion the European model, without being aggressive towards others, including on European defence. I do not at all mind saying [that we have to work] in cooperation with NATO, our friends from NATO, but Europe must have its own defence policy with its allies. Europe cannot be a dwarf when it comes to defence and a giant in the economic sphere. That just isn't possible."

Sarkozy welcomed the progress in the US attitude to this issue: "At the latest NATO summit in Bucharest, even President Bush said a European defence policy was necessary." He added: "I have the next NATO summit in Strasbourg in mind. We have to move forward. Our English friends are ready to press forward. Our Polish friends will play their full role. All Europeans understand that this is not a matter of choosing between friendship with the United States or Europe's security independence. We can do both. Moreover, we must do both together."

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Publication:European Report
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4E
Date:Dec 16, 2008
Words:265
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