Dec. 18, 2013 By Christopher Alessi - spiegel.de
Hopes are high that Thursday's summit will lead to the EU buffing up its defense capabilities and facilitating drone development and other projects.
Hopes are high that Thursday's summit will lead to the EU buffing up its defense capabilities and facilitating drone development and other projects. Pictured: an MQ-1B Predator drone.
EU leaders are gathering in Brussels Thurday in an effort to shore up the bloc's common defense policy, amid growing doubts over whether Europe can bridge divergent national views on the continent's security role.
European leaders are set to meet in Brussels on Dec. 19 for their last meeting of the year. But this European Council summit will differ from most of the other recent quarterly meetings in that its agenda will not focus primarily on the euro-zone debt crisis. Instead, for the first time in five years, EU heads of state will gather to discuss the bloc's beleaguered Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP).
The summit will address a number of objectives that have eluded the European Union in the past, including strengthening joint military capabilities, pooling defense resources, and spurring a more competitive European defense industry. The 28 leaders are expected to outline blueprints for shared policies on cyber defense, maritime security, drones, and air-to-air refueling capacity.
The renewed focus on CSDP comes at a time when the United States -- Europe's traditional security provider -- has begun to shift its strategic focus to Asia, pressuring the EU to strengthen its defense capacity on the Continent and in the neighboring Middle East/North Africa region.