According to Ursula von der Leyen, this concerns, in particular, security policy.
BERLIN – Europe must learn to speak the language of force, including in the field of security policy. This opinion was expressed on Friday by the future President of the European Commission (EC) Ursula von der Leyen, speaking at a forum organized by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
“Europe must also learn to speak the language of power,” she argued. “First, it means building our muscles – where we have long been able to count on others, for example in security policy,” von der Leyen said. She urged the West to rely on NATO as, in her opinion, the guarantor of security in Europe.
“Secondly, to direct the available forces more purposefully where it comes to European interests,” she said. She cited trade policy as an example. “We can influence the conditions under which we do business,” von der Leyen believes.
The future head of the EC said that this is already happening and that the EU is glad to any foreign company that takes part in tenders for the construction of highways or electricity networks. “But in the future, we must be more careful to ensure that these companies also adhere to our standards,” she said.
Von der Leyen argued that “today Europe is more attractive than it is often considered in itself.” “But we have something invaluable – a rule-of-law state, freedom, democracy, openness about plans for how to live – something that young people in China or Russia do not find,” she said.
The former German defense minister believes that the EU should pursue a “strategic policy of expansion,” including in the Western Balkans. “If we, the Europeans, on our side do not give prospects to the Western Balkans, then others will fill these gaps, whether it be China or Russia, Turkey or Saudi Arabia,” she said.