Written by Domenico Farinelli
At the 48th edition of the Forum of Cernobbio, which took place from 2 to 4 September 2022, the Ambrosetti Club came out with a fresh study about the EU’s common foreign and defence policy. Their main proposals can be divided into three thematic groups:
foreign policy proposals include the development of a single European geopolitical strategy with clearly defined and achievable objectives, the appointment of a “European Minister for Foreign Policy and Defence” in the place of the current High Representative, and the creation of a well-structured and financially supported cooperative development programme in Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East;
defence proposals, implying the creation of a new European pillar of security cooperation that is “beside and close” to the North Atlantic one, the establishment of an European Armed Force that might involve private individuals in some non-strategic activities, an increase of the EU military spending along with the creation of a single European defence market, and the creation of an unprecedented European Space Force Command;
public opinion proposals, meaning the launch of a constructive debate on foreign policy and defence issues, the push for a process of cultural and linguistic review on foreign policy and defence, and the creation of an European Culture Promotion Program, with the double aim to promote the role of the European Union in the world and to reinforce the sense of belonging of its citizens.
The research of the Ambrosetti Club also includes an estimate of the potential benefits that the European economy could obtain from the institution of a common foreign and defence policy. For the defence industry alone, they have calculated an overall economic impact ranging between 115 billion euro/year and 357 billion euros/year. Moreover, they assume an incredible loss, amounting to almost a trillion euros, in terms of lost opportunities in trade due to the absence of a coherent EU common foreign policy over the last 10 years. All these findings provide strong arguments in favour of having more integration at the European level in the field of foreign policy and defence.
Ambrosetti – The European House (2022), Perché politica estera e difesa comune europea sono un’opportunità per l’Italia e l’UE
Marco Battaglia (07/09/2022), Un comando spaziale e forze armate comuni. Dodici idee per la Difesa Ue, Formiche