Linkevičius: Challenges of NATO are Greater, the Contribution of Europe - Smaller

Linkevičius: Challenges of NATO are Greater, the Contribution of Europe - Smaller

«Recently in the EU they have claimed  that we can do more with less money. This sounds nice from poetic point of view. From political  - maybe, also nice. But it doesn’t seem nice to those who should do that”, - states former Ambassador to NATO, and now – Advisor of the Prime Minister on the issues of defense and security Linas Linkevičius.

We remind that this summer the President Dalia Grybauskaite declared: “Quality depends rather on how we spend money and how we use it, than on its quantity”.
 
– In the preamble of the Treaty of the European Union there is not a word about security and defense of Europe. Why is it so, to your mind?

– The main organization, assuring security in the EU is NATO. I guess this explains a lot. For sure, European ambitions are also important, as well as the ability to control crises, general security and defense policy. But talking about liabilities and guarantees, NATO is a priority.
 
– Why in this case they don’t consider NATO? Big states as the USA, China do not ignore provisions on defense in preambles to Constitutions.

– During discussions in NATO Council we frequently talk about the EU. Talk positively, although sometimes we are worried about that cooperation goes not the way it should have been. Some EU states, unfortunately, can’t reach an agreement. There is lack of interaction between NATO and the EU. A representative of any country of the EU gives one speech during an event of the EU and absolutely different one during NATO event.

The EU states are also NATO members and should underline their liabilities not only towards the Community but also should strive to promote the dialogue between the EU and NATO. This dialogue still hardly develops at strategic level. Now the situation is not good, and doesn’t intend to improve.
 
– How can we explain a pretty careless attitude of the EU states towards defense, armament? As war is reality of international affairs, even if we want for there would have been no wars at all.

– Lately, the EU has expressed the point that we can do more with less money. This sounds nice only from poetic point of view. From political one it is maybe also nice. But it doesn’t seem nice to those who should do that.

After signing by the EU states of the Lisbon Treaty, the attention to collective defense, the article 5 of North-Atlantic Treaty, transatlantic relations hasn’t reduced. But another two additional objectives have appeared: crises management and partnership. The Alliance in future also is ready to fight back the threats towards the peoples of its states, lands and security. But considering that these threats are unlikely, increases the significance and scope of crises management and partnership.

Now its more than 70 countries constantly maintain dialogue with NATO. This number increases and NATO should treat this sphere of activity extremely seriously. Partnership becomes one of main strategic tasks.

That is why the number of tasks grows, and resources reduce. We face a definite oddity. The politicians of Europe like to declare that they shall improve, strengthen, develop, etc. Declaring it they reduce defense budget.

Let’s call a spade a spade: this is inconsistency between words and deeds. And when 75% of NATO bills are paid by the USA, an issue of self-respect of Europeans arises. And together with that another question bothers: do we treat our own security seriously enough?

The same acute issues exist also in the USA: “How long shall we pay for the security of Europe?” And why do we at all should do this, if Europeans reduce defense budget?”
 
 
Translated by EuroDialogueXXI from rus.DELFI.lt
 
 
07.10.2011
 
 

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