Europe’s armed forces are rightfully being applauded for their efforts in limiting the disastrous effects of COVID-19, but the test of whether European militaries are truly valued will be measured over the next few years as pressure on defence budgets mount, write Daniel Fiott, Torben Schütz and Marcin Terlikowski.
Washington has talked for some time of relocating US troops from Germany because of its annoyance with Berlin's military spending shortfalls. But President Donald Trump's upcoming visit to Poland in September could give it another twist.
CDU party chief Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has been sworn in as the new German defence minister before the Bundestag on Wednesday (24 July). In her first government statement, she emphasised Germany's reliability as a member of NATO.
The EU responded on Thursday (16 May) to US accusations that a new European military pact risks shutting out American companies of European defence projects and undermine NATO.
Germany restated its commitment to higher defence spending on Wednesday (3 April), seeking to defuse tensions between Berlin and Washington after a storm of criticism from the Trump administration over Germany's shortfalls in NATO contributions.
"It’s good to have friends," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told the US Congress in Washington on Wednesday (3 April), making a case for the survival of the transatlantic alliance.
European Union governments that refuse to host refugees could instead pay to be excused from the bloc's system of sharing out migrants, France and Germany proposed on Thursday (6 December) as they sought to end a long-running EU feud over migration.
The dominance of the US in NATO is strategically wanted by Washington. Europeans can therefore stay calm in the face of Trump's threats to withdraw from the Alliance and devote themselves to their own priorities instead, Johannes Thimm explains.