European Defence

Position paper

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Two years have passed since Russia re-launched its unprovoked, unjustified and illegal war of aggression against Ukraine on 24 February 2022, fundamentally changing the geopolitical situation and threatening the security architecture in Europe with far-reaching implications for the European Union itself. Since the first day of the Russian invasion, Renew Europe has been at the forefront of supporting Ukraine and we have spearheaded calls for taking decisive actions to ensure Europe’s security and defence.

We fully endorse the decisions outlined in the Versailles declaration on March 11, 2022, which emphasised the European Union's commitment to assuming greater responsibility for its own security, enhancing its ability to act strategically and autonomously, reinforcing the European pillar of NATO, and supporting Ukraine in its pursuit of a European future. We fully reaffirm our determination to continue supporting Ukraine until full restoration and control of its internationally recognised borders and throughout the process of Ukraine’s recovery and reconstruction.

However, the threats to Europe extend beyond Europe. The rise and increasing assertiveness of China presents significant security challenges to Europe, not only in the Indo-Pacific region. The spread of instability and terrorism across the Sahel raises serious questions about our approach to this area. Furthermore, the horrendous terrorist attacks by Hamas against Israel, and the subsequent responses by the Israeli Defence Forces, have underscored the flammable security situation in the Middle East. Russia is already multiplying hybrid attacks against Moldova. Additionally, factors such as climate change, terrorism, and various forms of hybrid threats pose significant challenges to Europe, transcending the traditional security paradigm. With a potential return of Donald Trump to the White House, and uncertainty surrounding US support for Ukraine and even NATO on the horizon, it is time for Europeans to take a leap forward on collective defence. Renew Europe’s priorities are clear: to protect and defend our citizens, territory, interests and values, to ensure that we supply Ukraine with all it needs to defend itself, and to enhance the strategic autonomy of the European Union. Reaching this ambitious goal will demand numerous minor and major initiatives, such as creating a Rapid Deployment Capacity to enable quick responses to crises outside our borders, or launching new tools to strengthen the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base.


  1. Strengthening the EUs defence industrial base to support Ukraine
  2. Increasing EU and national defence spending and aiming to buy more European
  3. Drastically enhancing joint procurement
  4. Reinforce the defence capacity of EU border states, who are especially exposed to
  5. potential foreign aggression
  6. Strengthening enforcement of sanctions and the fight against their circumventions
  7. Ending unanimity in EU foreign policy decisions
  8. Addressing hybrid threats and technological dependence
  9. Swiftly and fully implementing the Strategic Compass
  10. Strengthening innovation and technological sovereignty

In this perspective, the time has come to demonstrate political will and leadership among Europeans towards a real European Defence Union. It should be noted that any such measures do not prejudice the right of every Member State to determine their own security and defence policies. Therefore, progress towards a strategically autonomous European Union does not undermine or threaten the rights of these member states, nor presuppose their involvement.

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