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December 3, 2022
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Hard power: Europe’s military drift causes alarm

Critics are asking why, if the EU’s mission is to promote peace, it wants to use public money to fund the supply of weapons to foreign armies

The EU was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 2012 in recognition of “six decades of promoting peace and reconciliation” in Europe. In his acceptance speech in Oslo, the then president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, said the world could “count on our efforts to fight for lasting peace, freedom and justice”.

Yet less than a decade on, the EU is taking two big steps to bolster its defence capacity and engage in military conflicts through training and equipping governments outside the bloc. In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic these developments have slipped under the radar, but they represent a significant expansion in security policy with wide-ranging consequences.

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