– The government thinks it is good for Norway, for the Nordic countries and for Nordic defense co-operation. France, on the other hand, was a little disappointed that EU solidarity was not enough for Finland and Sweden, said State Secretary Eivind Vad Petersson in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, when the two countries had submitted an application for NATO membership.
PROGRESS: – EU President Ursula van der Leyen said that the Russian invasion of Ukraine led to the EU’s security policy making greater progress in three days another 20 years before, said State Secretary Eivind Vad Petersson in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Photo: Martin Toft
On 1 June, Denmark will decide in a referendum whether the country should stay out of defense co-operation in the EU. At the same time, the two EU countries and the Nordic neighbors Sweden and Finland are on their way into NATO, frightened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February this year. In the midst of this, can the EU also become an important security policy actor and not just an economic superpower? It was between the issues that were raised at a meeting under the auspices of Partnarforum at UiO and BI at the Faculty of Law on Monday this week.
State Secretary Eivind Vad Petersson in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs drew in the speech from the EU’s own discussion of the security policy development.
– EU President Ursula van der Leyen said that the Russian invasion of Ukraine led to the EU’s security policy making greater progress in three days than the 20 years before, he registered.
Eivind Vad Petersson also came with a strong defense of the EEA agreement:
– The EU has the right to impose punitive tariffs on countries outside the EU, but this does not apply to Norway and the other EEA countries. The EU did not make such an exception for Switzerland. And the EEA agreement will also have security policy consequences, thought Eivind Vad Petersson.
– Has given full support to Ukraine’s neighbors
Then he came back to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the consequences it has had for the EU.
If the pictures from Ukraine had been in black and white, this war would have been set out as scenes from the Second World War in the 1940s. The war has led to Europe’s biggest refugee crisis since World War II. In this situation, the EU has given full support to neighboring countries that have received refugees. The EU has coordinated arms aid to Ukraine worth more than 2.4 billion euros. Since the war began, the EU has also made six sanction decisions, he pointed out.
The State Secretary also pointed out how most of the weapons assistance is going.
– EU countries that were formerly Warsaw Pact countries give their old weapons to Ukraine, weapons with which the country has good experience. And then the EU replaces the old weapons with new and modern weapons in these countries. When it comes to weapons assistance, most of it still happens through the United States, Eivind Vad Petersson emphasized.
“Exactly when it comes to weapons assistance, Putin has a point in that it is the United States / NATO against Russia,” he added.
– France was a little disappointed
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, both Finland and Sweden have submitted an application for NATO membership.
– The government thinks it is good for Norway, for the Nordic countries and for Nordic defense co-operation. France was a little disappointed that EU solidarity was not enough for Finland and Sweden, Vad Petersson revealed.
Neither he nor the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can clearly see what the outcome of the war will be.
– The major consequences of the war may be different in a few months. The EU’s niche is still there, but it is NATO that plays the main role, he said.
Eivind Vad Petersson pointed out that if Finland and Sweden joined NATO, there would only be 4 EU countries that are not NATO members; Austria, Malta, Cyprus and Ireland.
– The EEA agreement is there and I have to make sure that it is upheld. We must keep up, and Norway must continue with the closer defense co-operation. Because it is important that Norway is part of the society in Europe. And for the EU, Norway is the most important cooperation outside the EU, he quickly concluded.
– Turkey has its legitimate security needs
When asked what is happening in Turkey when it comes to applying for membership in Sweden and Finland, he replied diplomatically.
– Turkey has its own legitimate security needs. Now diplomatic activity is taking place, and I hope that it will not be many days before a solution is found. And when the two countries enter NATO’s open doors, they will be welcomed with open arms, Secretary of State Eivind Vad Petersson warned.
– The EU defines member states’ responses to Russia’s invasion
Helene Sjursen, is a professor at ARENA – Center for European Research, UiO. He also looked at the consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for European insurance policy. Sjursen listed important reasons for the EU’s strong role as an insurance policy actor.
– The UN ban on taking on another country, which is to be the guiding principle of international politics and Russia’s bread on this international court. That sister represents the realpolitik with return that the best I can hope for is that there is a kind of stability of lack of agreements between great powers which govern such some themselves within so-called self-interest. The EU has not taken a leading role in defining the member states’ responses to Russia’s invasion, said Helene Sjursen.
Former employees have been blamed by the EU for speaking to up to several tongues on political issues.
– Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger claimed that EU member states could not agree on anything in the area of security policy. What phone number can I call to get in touch in the EU? he asked. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has changed this. The EU has adopted extensive financial sanctions and has been behind the coordination of arms aid. The EU has cooperated much more closely with NATO, while Germany has implemented drastic changes in defense policy, stated Helene Sjursen.
– Afraid of their own safety
He also pointed to several incidents in connection with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which have not sat out the EU’s future place in Europe’s security policy architecture.
– It is a violation of international law that no Member State can bear that they do not support. Those who have hesitated have been pressured by the other member states. Another issue is Germany and energy policy. The EU countries bordering Ukraine are afraid for their own security. That explains why the EU has reacted so quickly, she emphasized.
Helene Sjursen pointed out that in the EU, our big problem is getting countries like Poland and Hungary to agree on the political role the EU has played and the refugee policy that the EU has pursued in the past.
“Now there is great support from all parties to receive refugees from Ukraine, to a great difference from the reception of refugees from countries outside Europe in the past,” she emphasized.
– The election of Donald Trump made the EU more political
The ARENA professor pointed out that after the end of the Cold War, the EU had ambitions to develop its own defense and security policy.
– The EU wanted to show that it was not only an economic, but also a political project. There was also a discussion about what security policy the EU should have, such as conflict prevention and peace operations under the UN mandate. At the same time, the EU had a broader toolbox and that NATO had. The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States led to the EU becoming more political, Helene Sjursen pointed out.
Not long ago, the EU also established its own force of 5,000 soldiers.
– I reckon that the number of that force will increase, Sjursen thought.
This is how the parts of the EU’s security policy have met, something she thinks has happened to an even greater extent since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February this year.
– Today, those countries that want a more political EU have common interests with those that want a tougher security policy, for example Poland. There has been an alliance between the two attitudes due to the war in Ukraine, she stated.
– The EU’s biggest advantage is still the large toolbox, with diplomacy as the most important travel cape, she added.
– Denmark is left alone in the hallway
Political science professor Ian Manners from Lund University saw a very exciting referendum in Denmark on 1 June, when the Danish people will decide whether Denmark should stay out of the EU’s defense policy cooperation. He referred to the number of votes from 1 June 1992, when 51 per cent voted in favor and 49 per cent against Denmark being excluded from defense co-operation.
– Since this happened, Britain has left the EU and Denmark is left alone in the hallway when such issues are discussed. Ireland has often saved Denmark. The paradox is that Denmark has not been able to take part in EU-led peace operations, but agreed to participate in the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. The country has also participated in the NATO operation in Afghanistan. Right now, Denmark’s defense policy exclusion in the EU is actualized after the entire Nordic region will become an ally in NATO since Finland and Sweden are on their way in, he stated.
On Wednesday, the Danes go to the polls to decide whether Denmark should join the EU’s defense policy cooperation. If they vote yes, Denmark will be able to participate in the EU’s military operations and help finance them. The country will thus also be able to participate in the part of the EU’s foreign and security policy that influences defense policy.
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Published 27 May 2022 19:09
– Sister change 27 May 2022 19:18