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Afghanistan: Wake-up call for a stronger EU?

Europe - a giant in economic policy, but small in foreign and security policy? The American rejection of European demands for the continued operation of Kabul airport beyond August 31 (to allow for further evacuations) has made clear that Europe's military capacity to act is dependent on other major powers. Nowhere in European politics do wish and reality diverge as much as in foreign and security policy. For example, the EU has never made use of the so-called EU-Battlegroups, which are intended for initial missions in a crisis region. Moreover, as I explained in the Tagesschau, during the crisis in Afghanistan, the EU's joint evacuation force was not activated - instead, member states mainly acted alone. It does not help when EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner Josep Borrell now calls for a European rapid military reaction force, which would not be deployed in case of doubt anyway.

Even in the current situation, ambassadors and foreign ministers travel to Afghanistan, each with their own agenda. As stressed by me in an interview with Deutsche Welle, we will only make progress in small steps as long as member states are not prepared to transfer sovereignty and decision-making powers in the field of defence as well to the EU level.

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