Home FEATURED Manfred Weber MEP Calls for EU Defence Upgrade Amidst Rising Russian Threats

Manfred Weber MEP Calls for EU Defence Upgrade Amidst Rising Russian Threats

The leader of the European People's Party, Manfred Weber, has issued a stark warning, calling for the creation of a ballistic missile defence system and a cyber defence brigade for the EU. His remarks come amidst rising tensions and the looming possibility of the United States withdrawing its protection of Europe against Russian aggression, particularly under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin.

by EUToday Correspondents
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Manfred Weber
In an interview with Politico, Manfred Weber emphasised the urgent need for Europe to significantly bolster its defence capabilities in the coming months.

He highlighted the potential scenario where the US may no longer offer its shield to Europe against Russian threats, citing the unpredictable nature of US foreign policy under former President Donald Trump.

“As a European politician, the first thing that comes to mind when I look at this year is Trump,” Weber remarked, underscoring the need for the EU to prepare for such eventualities.

Weber stressed that the upcoming months will be critical for the EU to prepare for any potential conflict, labelling it as a historical moment that requires decisive action.

He called for the establishment of a “European defence resistance”, advocating for measures such as a missile defence system capable of countering drones and high-tech missiles, similar to those employed by Russia in conflicts like the one in Ukraine.

“We need a cyber defence brigade for the European Union. In the digital world, our only means of defence is by working together to repel hybrid attacks, whether they originate from Russia, China, or elsewhere,” Weber asserted.

Currently, much of the EU relies on the US’s “nuclear umbrella” for protection. However, given the uncertainties surrounding US commitments, Weber argued that Europe must develop its own deterrent capabilities.

He echoed French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal for integrating France’s nuclear arsenal into European defence structures, highlighting France’s significant nuclear stockpile as a crucial asset in this regard.

France remains the only EU member with substantial nuclear capabilities, possessing around 300 nuclear warheads. Macron has repeatedly called for a “strategic dialogue” on the role of French nuclear deterrence in ensuring the collective security of Europe, but Germany has yet to fully embrace this proposition.

Weber’s warnings coincide with recent statements made by Donald Trump, who, during a private meeting with European Commissioners, indicated that the US would not come to the aid of the EU in the event of a military attack.

Trump’s rhetoric, both during his presidency and afterward, has suggested a willingness to abandon traditional alliances and leave Europe to fend for itself in the face of aggression.

In light of these developments, European leaders are facing increasing pressure to take proactive measures to safeguard the continent’s security. The calls for enhanced defence capabilities underscore the growing recognition within the EU of the need to assert greater independence and self-reliance in the realm of defence and security policy.


Read also: Manfred Weber MEP promises “unconditional support for Ukraine and our EU and NATO partners”

“With our visit, we are showing our unconditional support for Ukraine and our EU and NATO partners to protect our allies and our European way of life”.


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