Shabka hosted its first webinar on Wednesday, 13th of May 2020, titled “From Civilian Power to Defence Union. Do we need to rethink peace policy in the EU?”.
The debate was opened by Marie-Curie doctoral fellow Johann Wolfschwenger. He gave the audience a broad insight about the ambitions and aims of the European Union regarding security and defence. He outlines the narrative of the EU as a civil power and what effects current political developments have on this label. Various topics from Brexit to the integration process in the Western Balkans were addressed, so that a lively discussion followed Johann Wolfschwenger’s introductory lecture.
A central topic was the Permanent Security Cooperation (PESCO) and the Commsion´s goal to push ahead with the geopolitical integration by strengthening Strategic Autonomy of the EU – even it seems to be rather ambitious than realistic goal for now. Various arguments developed during the webinar taking into account any ambiguities that may arise with regard to the EU-NATO relations, the role of the battlegroups, different strategic cultures along France and Germany as well as if their actions are bringing the process forward or slowing it down. Moreover, the fundamental crucial question “Do we even need a ‘Defence’ Union’?” had been debated. Regarding to that, it could also mean that we need a different understanding culture of common security programmes within the member-states.
“What would be needed is a stronger global peace movement and not more geopolitics, let alone a ‘geopolitical Commission’”, so Johann Wolfschwenger commented.
We would like to thank all participants in our online discussion for making this debate – with your distinct perspectives – lively and constructive. For recapturing the webinar, see the link below: