Busuttil calls for common EU defence, security policies

Opposition leader urges EU countries to pool to military resources to defend external borders, warns Brexit will lead to "existential crisis" for EU

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil with PN MEP Roberta Metsola at a reception at the PN headquarters
Opposition leader Simon Busuttil with PN MEP Roberta Metsola at a reception at the PN headquarters

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil urged EU member states to adopt common security and defence policies to deal with problems related to migration and terrorism.

"By standing alone, we will simply render ourselves even more vulnerable," Busuttil told members of the diplomatic corps in a speech during a reception at the PN headquarters. "No EU member state on its own is more able to influence foreign policy than the collective EU does."

He urged EU member states to pool in their armed forces as "foreign policy can only be effective if backed up with military muscle".

"The EU has the military capability to truly impact foreign policy, but only if it foes so as a unit," he said.  

Busuttil insisted that the EU's security will not be increased by abolishing the Schengen Zone, but rather by improving cooperation amongst EU security forces so as to defend Europe's external borders.

"Internal borders were originally removed so that Europe’s external borders will be reinforced," he said, while calling for a system of EU border guards and coast guards and reiterating his long-standing call for a common EU migration policy.

The PN leader warned that the EU’s lack of common migration, foreign affairs and security policies is starving it of the powers it needs to act where its citizens expects it to.

“The EU is in an unenviable situation: people expect it to act, but it has little or no powers to do so,” he said. “This unpopularity is manifesting itself in the increasing anti-European public discourse of politicians and political parties across Europe, even of some European Governments, such as the Polish Government.

“It may well soon lead to Brexit, the exit of the United Kingdom, which would deal a devastating blow to the European Union and - I dare say - call into question its very future. 

"In the twenty-first century, we should be able to say that we have advanced and matured enough to be able to live together on this planet in peace,” he said. “But we cannot and it is deeply disturbing to have to say this.

“ISIS has regrettably become a household name and we have experienced some of the most vicious and cold-blooded terrorists on our home soil, continued civil strife in a number of countries and endless streams of migrants fleeing their country in search of security. In Europe, Paris has been the most noteworthy, but the truth is that we are all prone to being attacked right at home and this is what people find very unsettling.” 

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