You are currently viewing Securing Europe: France’s Defence Strategy Amidst Rising European Industry Growth and Defence Readiness

Securing Europe: France’s Defence Strategy Amidst Rising European Industry Growth and Defence Readiness

Written by: Eufemia Colucci

Edited by: Clelia Vettori

Supervised by: Syuzanna Kirakosyan

With the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, war returned to Europe threatening European and global security and stability (European Council, 2022). In fact, the ongoing conflict represents a violation of international law, and it is dangerously redesigning the world order that has been established over the last thirty years (Mankoff, 2022). Since Russia unlawfully annexed Crimea in 2014, Ukraine’s right to self-defence and territorial integrity has been fully supported, both politically and militarily. Expressly, the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) have acknowledged the importance of Ukraine’s independence for Euro-Atlantic stability, thus steadily providing the country with economic and military aid (NATO, 2022).

Given the current geopolitical challenges, the EU intends to strengthen its role in security and defence in compliance with the objectives outlined in the Versailles Declaration and the 2022 Strategic Compass (European Commission, 2024). However, the conflict has unveiled limitations in the EU’s defence industry and the challenges it faces in advancing production capacity and spending. The EU defence industry appears to rely excessively on external sources for critical materials and defence capabilities. In this context, in January 2024, French President Emmanuel Macron urged the European defence industry to adopt a “war economy mode, with a faster and stronger production capacity” (Bauer-Babef, 2024). France’s current strategic and military visions originate from its 2017 Strategic Review of Defence and National Security and 2022 National Strategic Review. Moreover, the country has demonstrated its commitment to reinforcing its military capabilities by adopting the latest Military Programming Law (MPL). With the primary purpose of enabling France to confront emerging threats and to maintain its position among the world’s major powers, the MPL allocates significant resources to support new capability efforts while enhancing France’s defence readiness (Machi, 2024).

Based on these premises, this paper examines France’s pivotal role in redefining European security dynamics against the backdrop of current geopolitical challenges. The first section of this work analyses the implications of the ongoing conflict and the initiatives the EU adopted in response, underlying the urgency of strengthening European collective defence mechanisms. The second section retraces the development of France’s defence strategy as outlined in the country’s 2022 National Strategic Review. More specifically, the section addresses President Macron’s call for a “war economy mode” aimed at revitalising European defence readiness through enhanced partnerships and better resource allocation at the European level. Finally, the third section is dedicated to the recently adopted MPL (2024-2030); specifically, it analyses France’s support to Ukraine by assessing France’s defence capabilities and budget allocation.

Leave a Reply