France and the Future of European Defence

IIEA19th April 20172min
In his address, Mr Keohane discussed the possible implications of the French Presidential Elections for French defence policy, and the future of European defence policy. Mr Keohane argued that France has been the most militarily active European member of NATO in recent years, which includes a large domestic deployment because of an ongoing state of emergency. He contended that if France wishes to maintain its ambition to be a “European power with global reach”, the next French President will have to make some major defense policy choices - ranging from military operations and spending, to capabilities and international partnerships. He also set out the perimeters in which these decisions will be taken, namely the uncertainty created for the EU by Brexit, the policies of the new US Administration, international terrorism and the challenges posed by Russia.

Podcast: Download the keynote audio podcast from here.

About the Speech:

In his address, Mr Keohane discussed the possible implications of the French Presidential Elections for French defence policy, and the future of European defence policy. Mr Keohane argued that France has been the most militarily active European member of NATO in recent years, which includes a large domestic deployment because of an ongoing state of emergency. He contended that if France wishes to maintain its ambition to be a “European power with global reach”, the next French President will have to make some major defense policy choices – ranging from military operations and spending, to capabilities and international partnerships. He also set out the perimeters in which these decisions will be taken, namely the uncertainty created for the EU by Brexit, the policies of the new US Administration, international terrorism and the challenges posed by Russia.

About the Speaker:

Daniel Keohane is a security specialist at the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zürich, where he works on national defense policies in Europe, EU military cooperation, and NATO. He writes a monthly column for Carnegie Europe’s Strategic Europe blog. He previously worked at think tanks in Europe and the US, including; the Foundation for International Relations (FRIDE) in Brussels and Madrid (2012-2015), the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) in Paris (2007-2012), the Centre for European Reform (CER) in London (2001-2007), the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) at the National Defense University (NDU) in Washington DC (1999-2000), and the Aspen Institute in Berlin (1998).