Before the coronavirus pandemic, European security and defense cooperation reached a new level of ambition. With dark clouds building on many fronts, the EU must safeguard strategic autonomy and ensure democratic quality in defense integration.
While the principal concern about democracy during the coronavirus pandemic has been that European governments will be tempted to hold on to their new executive powers, pressure to restore democracy may now be propelling a predatory and polarized politics.
The EU’s new geopolitical narrative is based on some questionable assumptions about EU foreign policy. To avoid uncertainty over Europe’s international identity, its leaders must define a modern and innovative form of geopolitics.
Lehne is a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe in Brussels, where his research focuses on the post–Lisbon Treaty development of the European Union’s foreign policy, with a specific focus on relations between the EU and member states.