Within just a few months, the context has drastically changed for the European Union (EU). The Brexit which the British people voted for in June 2016 has yet to be activated using Article 50, however this move may prove even more consequential for the EU now that in the meantime Donald Trump has become president of the United States.
Indeed, the UK’s exit from the EU may constitute a final definitive blow to any future chance of upgrading the EU from a deep economic union to a complete political union. Given that the Trump administration will likely seek “readjustment” as for the United States’ participation in the collective defense of Europe and in NATO, the Brexit takes place at the very moment when Europe would need to strengthen its military capabilities in order to deal effectively with possible US disengagement.
Actually, despite significant increase in Germany’s military spending, France will remain the EU’s sole experienced military force equipped with advanced nuclear deterrence once the UK is out. Considering that almost nobody in Brussels, Paris or Berlin neither saw both the Brexit and Trump coming nor anticipated them as a result, the EU could find itself weakened in face of serious fast-growing threats to its security.
With an EU on the brink of collapse in its present shape, Europe has to actively reinvent itself or undergo the fallout of its decade-long dependence on the US military.
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