Katainen reflects on the future of European defence


CEPS was pleased to welcome Jyrki Katainen, Commission Vice-President responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, as the guest speaker at the third meeting of the Future of Europe project at CEPS on January 19th. In a wide-ranging discussion chaired by CEPS Director Daniel Gros, Vice-President Katainen spoke about the future of European defence. Referring to the results of the latest public opinion polls, he stressed that security has become the number one concern of EU citizens, although member states have little capacity to effectively respond to current global security threats such as terrorism and cyber-attacks. Therefore, despite the fact that defence and security policy is not an EU competence but rather a prerogative of the member states, cooperation in this field has recently been raised to an unprecedented level. A good example has been the launch of PESCO (Permanent Structured Cooperation). According to Katainen, a common EU defence policy would further eliminate the many instances of overlapping or duplicated efforts among the member states and create synergistic effects, thereby accentuating the EU’s added value in this field. At this meeting, Vice-President Katainen also endorsed the creation of a new CEPS Task Force dedicated to the topic of cyber security, which will be launched later in the spring.