After Paris: What price European defence?

Following France’s call for European solidarity under Article 42.7, European states should rekindle defence cooperation and aid France’s deployments in Africa

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Following the terrorist attacks in Paris and France’s call for European solidarity under Article 42.7, European states should rekindle defence cooperation and aid France’s deployments in Africa, according to a new paper from ECFR.

Anand Menon and Nick Witney argue that even though France has asked its EU partners to share in some of its overseas military deployments, the EU’s common defence policy has broken down, with most Europeans having ceased to take defence seriously.

Witney and Menon say that with the EU in danger of tearing itself apart over responses the migrant crisis, an adequate response to France’s appeal is vital for European solidarity. While they acknowledge that few EU states will want to bomb Syria, they assert that aiding France’s deployments in Africa would show solidarity – and help to address some of the root causes of the migrant crisis.

The authors contend that population growth and unresolved conflicts in Africa mean that, even if Syria found peace tomorrow, migratory flows across the Mediterranean would continue for a generation in the absence of greater security and prosperity in Africa. 

The European Council on Foreign Relations does not take collective positions. ECFR publications only represent the views of their individual authors.

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