Defense Europe was one of the major campaign themes of candidate Emmanuel Macron during the 2017 presidential elections. He was hardly elected when he set out to give substance to this vision by launching several programs in strategic partnership with Germany. Since then, he has continued to try to convince his European counterparts of the merits of this purely French vision of a Europe sufficiently powerful militarily and industrially to no longer depend on the protection or technologies of an ally to ensure its protection, and the preservation of its interests in the world. Today, the tensions with Ankara highlight conceptual differences so strong between Europeans in defense that they could definitely spell the end of this initiative of the French president.
Indeed, in a few weeks, Ankara has unequivocally demonstrated the weakness of European institutions, whether it is the European Union or NATO, both the positions of Europeans, and of their American allies, may diverge to the point of neutralizing any possibility of a coordinated response or response. Several events that have occurred in recent weeks give substance to this observation. First, unsurprisingly, the deployment of the research vessel Orus Reis and its military escort in the waters separating Cyprus and its Greek ally, highlighted the gulf that can separate Europeans in the field of military assistance to an ally. As Athens put its air and naval forces on alert, and Paris was deploying a combat ship and Rafale planes in the region to show its support for its Greek and Cypriot allies, no other European country deployed military forces in this direction, despite the request of the authorities of the two threatened countries.
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