Southern European countries want joint defense
Spain, Portugal and Italy have joined the calls from Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen to push forward proposals for a European defense policy. The three countries' defense ministers said the EU needed a more strategic division of investments by military sector between member states.
The ministers addressed the need for a common European defense strategy and redefinition of the relationship between the EU and Nato on that matter.
Italy's Mario Mauro argued that a differentiation of the roles of each of the two organisations would make them both more effective in maintaining security on the world stage.
Currently, the 28 member states spend more on defense than Russia, China and Japan combined, but while these three countries have increased their defense budgets by more than 100% over the last ten years, EU States have been progressively cutting them down.
According to Mr. Mauro, the lack of a common European policy to maximise defense resources from each country, decrease spending, and avoid the duplication of efforts and capabilities are the biggest handicap for Europe in comparison with Asia. Better coordination would also allow more balanced spending and reallocation of funds to areas such as research and employment. ■