Today, in a statement published by the European Leadership Network (ELN), 70 former European Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers, Defence Ministers, diplomats and military figures urge current leaders to get beyond recent divisions on Ukraine – and the zero-sum Cold War logic they reflect – and to start a new process of Euro-Atlantic trust-building and politically mandated security dialogue.
The statement is published in time for this week’s EU Council meeting. At that meeting, the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) will be discussed by national leaders for the first time since 2008 but there will be little or no discussion of the remaining deep security tensions and divisions within Europe itself. This is a missed opportunity. The status quo increases security risks on the continent, reduces the ability of all Europeans to work together to meet common external threats, fosters mistrust, and costs European tax-payers heavily in extra spending on defence at a time when economic and social pressures are huge.
British signatories include James Arbuthnot, Margaret Beckett, Des Browne, Alistair Burt, Menzies Campbell, David Hannay, Nick Harvey, Geoffrey Howe, Douglas Hurd, John Kerr, John McColl, David Owen, John Stanley, Tom King, Alan West, and Shirley Williams.
The statement is available to download here: European Leaders Call for a New Approach to Security
The statement is also available in German, French, Italian, Russian, Spanish and Turkish here.