Parliamentary Defence Committee Chief Sees No Reason to Talk of Common European Armed Force Now
November 7 (BTA) - The Chair of the parliamentary defence
committee, Konstantin Popov, believes that there is no
particular reason now to talk of common European Armed Forces.
He was speaking at an international conference on European
defence held Thursday in Sofia. "This means that the national
armies will remain the backbone of European defence," he said.
He also argued that the more modern and combat-worthy armies
there are in the EU, the better it will deal with the risks and
Popov was a keynote speaker at the conference which was
co-organized by the Sofia Security Forum, the Konrad Adenauer
Foundation and the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies.
He warned of the risk of ending up with a two-speed Europe in
the area of defence and security. "On the one hand, all
countries should participate in building the common [defence]
system and, on the other, they should receive the common and
full security guarantees," Popov said.
He singled out as the biggest risks instability and armed
conflicts in Europe's neighbourhood, organized crime, terrorism,
radicalization and uncontrolled migration. "Security is our
common concern and we Europeans have to seek a common answer,"
Popov said adding that nothing is more natural than the EU
trying to build common capacities and acting like a global
player to make sure European citizens have more security.
He also argued that European defence cannot be built separately
from - or as an alternative to - the NATO collective security,
and that the Alliance will remain a pillar of European security
and defence. "It is important to develop capacities that will
allow the EU to address issues where NATO is not involved."
The chair of the parliamentary defence committee believes that
the countries in the Western Balkans should be integrated in the
common European security and defence system.
The head of the Sofia Security Forum, Yordan Bozhilov, spoke of
the risks of penetration of new technologies, artificial
intelligence and autonomous systems. He underscored the
indivisibility of security and defence in the EU: all countries
should have the same level of security that the EU can provide,
and all countries should participate fairly and proportionately.