WSJ: Juncker and Sobotka think that the EU should pay more attention to defence
NEW YORK, June 6. /Offset. TASS Ivan sawyers/. The EU should show greater independence in matters relating to defence and security. This view is contained in a joint article of the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Bohuslav Sobotka, published Monday in the newspaper The Wall Street Journal.
“The time has come for Europe to take in hand the issues of defense and security. Nobody else will do, — is emphasized in the article. — This week will be another step in this direction, when EU leaders will meet in Prague at the International conference on defence and security to outline a plan of action.”
“Our partnership with NATO still plays a vital role for our future”, — stated in the publication. However, Juncker, and Klein indicates: “the EU should not only complement NATO, but also to respond to external threats independently and adequately.”
“For too long, Europe was to blame for the fact that you have relied on foreign military power”, — wrote the head of the European Commission and the Czech Prime Minister. They state: “EU, except the UK, in 2016, has spent only 1.32% of their total spending on defense.” “We should not forget that Russia has sent more than 5% of its GDP on defense last year, while China increased its defense spending more than doubled over the last decade,” noted Junker and Sobotka.
International conference on defence and security will start in Prague on 9 June. As stated earlier Sobotka, the forum is organised by the Czech government together with the European Commission.
The conference will be attended by the representatives of the governing bodies of the EU and NATO, the military-industrial complex, politicians, scientists and entrepreneurs of the countries of Europe. The main topic is expected to be coordination of efforts of member countries of the EU in the defense sphere.