Zovko on European strategic autonomy and the impact on Central and Eastern Europe

Brussels, 25 February 2021

In an online conference hosted by GLOBSEC, Members of the European Parliament shared their views on the idea to create European strategic autonomy and the role for the countries in Central and Eastern Europe. The speakers discussed what strategic autonomy means for sectors such as security, technology, health and economy.

Željana Zovko, Vice-Chair of the Committee for Foreign Affairs focused her intervention on the implications of the actions by other international actors in the European neighbourhood. “The balance of power has shifted over the last decades. Leading countries attempt to expand their sphere of influence and gradually, more and more actors are claiming their space on the world stage,” Zovko said.

She emphasized that the European Union should be able to defend itself and that we need to aspire to a leading role at the international level. According to Zovko, European strategic autonomy should be compatible and complementary with NATO. The latter remains the cornerstone for security on the European continent.

Zovko also stressed that European strategic autonomy goes beyond the question of security and defence. As an example where the EU became significantly stronger, Zovko highlighted the European crisis response after the Covid-19 pandemic. “By upgrading the capacities of the RescEU mechanism and by stockpiling medical equipment at the European level, we increased our resilience and preparedness for future crises,” Zovko said. 

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