Die Pandemie hat gezeigt, wie wichtig unser Bundesheer in der Krise ist, aber auch wie verletzlich und abhängig wir sind. Wir müssen als EU in der Lage sein, selbstständig mit Krisen fertig zu werden. Um diese ‘strategische Autonomie’ zu erreichen, müssen wir die Zusammenarbeit zwischen den Mitgliedsstaaten stärken und Mittel effizienter nutzen. Dazu habe ich dem Parliament Magazine kürzlich ein Interview gegeben. Hier findet sich der Text in digitaler Form: https://library.myebook.com/theparliament/the-parliament-magazine-issue-525-23-november-2020-1/2995/#page/26
The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing crises and geopolitical rivalries. The EU needs to find its place in this increasingly unstable world. The pandemic has highlighted the important role of our armed forces but also revealed our vulnerability and dependency. We need to learn our lessons and make sure that we are better prepared for the next crises, be it a pandemic, a black out or a terrorist attack. The US, under President Biden, will probably continue to focus on the Asia-Pacific region. Therefore, we need to be able to deal with crises on our own and increase our efforts to achieve ‘strategic autonomy’. This will not be easy, as the Covid-19 pandemic puts additional strain on Member States’ defence budgets. In times like this, it is even more important that we spend taxpayers’ money more efficiently and sustainably. A lot of money is still waisted due to duplications and fragmentations. The Permanent Structured Cooperation is an important instrument to address this problem. The 47 projects of the first phase are currently reviewed. In the future we should focus on those projects that have the highest potential to deliver European strategic autonomy. The participation of like-minded third countries, such as the UK, creates added value and should thus be further encouraged. Another important instrument is the European Defence Fund, that will finance common research and development projects. Member States must make full use of this potential since this is also a great chance to create new jobs in Europe, which must be our primary goal to address the economic and social fallout of the pandemic.