The first EU unified defense strategy and the benefits for Cyprus


The war in Ukraine, the financing of military aid to Kyiv, the possible re-election of Trump in the US, and the ongoing international scene in general, which triggers clouds of insecurity and increased competition, have led the EU to take steps toward the difficult task of building a single common defense, which will also strengthen its strategic autonomy.

In particular, in early March the Commission presented for the first time a European Defense Industrial Strategy, while last Thursday the leaders of the 27 Member States at the European Council Summit expressed their intention to further access public and private funding. The road, however, is expected to be fraught with difficulties, with the most sensitive issue being the future financing of more defense investment.

Dr. Fotini Asderaki, Professor of European Integration Theory and European Education Policy at the Department of International and European Studies, University of Piraeus and elected President of the Doctoral School of the European College of Security and Defence stressed that Greece, with its strained defense budget, and Cyprus would benefit significantly from European funding to strengthen their defense.

Asked whether she believes that Cyprus and Greece could take some initiatives to highlight their role in the Common Defence, the Professor answered in the affirmative, specifying that any initiatives should be linked to the wider interests and threats to the EU and not limited to the issue of the danger with Turkey. It is worth mentioning here that a recent initiative by Cyprus, which gained support from major powers because it added value to other states and not only to the proposing country, is the ‘Amalthea’ project for the transfer of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Cyprus could, therefore, in the context of the common defense policy, further highlight its geostrategic role as a bridge between Europe and the Middle East and, above all, as an outpost of the West, i.e. as a guardian of the gates of Europe, located at the south-easternmost end of the Mediterranean.

As a semi-involved country, facing the Turkish threat and a strong military inequality with Turkey, Cyprus cannot but advocate the strengthening of the EU’s defense armor and its strategic autonomy.