Let's take concrete steps for our common defence


“Since Putin attacked a free European country, we are living in a new world. And our duty is to make this world safer, and Europe stronger. The EU's planned Strategic Compass with 5000 soldiers is not enough to achieve this goal. We need both an urgent plan together with our transatlantic partners and a long-term European plan in order to create a strong security system in Europe in the future”, said Rasa Juknevičienė MEP in today's plenary debate on the EU's role in a changing world and the security situation of Europe following the Russian aggression in Ukraine.

Juknevičienė, who is Vice-Chairwoman of the EPP Group, insists that the Group has always been in favour of strengthening the EU’s capacity to decide and act if needed. The current situation requires a "breakthrough starting from cutting net EU Member States’ dependency on third states, including Russia. We must come up with a more ambitious strategy than quick reaction, force-generated ad hoc.”

"First of all we have to evaluate the mistakes that we have made and understand the words addressed to us by Pope Francis 'No compromises with evil!'. We also need to urgently stop financing the Russian military with our money that we spend on oil and gas. We must provide all kinds of military support to Ukrainians. Ukraine also needs political protection. Therefore it is necessary to work towards granting Ukraine EU candidate status. Ukrainians have signed their EU membership request with their blood. They are defending us all”, Juknevičienė continued.

"In addition to the economic sanctions against the aggressor, we must now take concrete steps on our own defence policy: allocate adequate defence budgets in the Member States, create a functioning European territorial defence system. We should come up with a European missile defence shield, conceived together with NATO and integrated into its structures. This would relieve the US and make Europeans more responsible for their own defence", Juknevičienė concluded.

She also welcomed that a majority of people in Finland and Sweden now strive for membership of NATO.

Note to editors

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 177 Members from all EU Member States

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