March 27, 2023

“Eastern countries are not big fans of EU defense – they want the US and NATO,” Ms Puglierin said. Germany, too, wants to strengthen transatlantic relations and is dependent on Washington, even as it tries to rebuild its own paltry military. “So France will lose some allies and be outnumbered,” she said.

Weakened within Europe, at least for now, France will also be less influential in a more active and aggressive NATO. The alliance is more dependent on American arms and leadership than it was before the war, and it is expected to expand soon with the new membership of Sweden and Finland.

The new German government, led by Mr. Scholz, was unprepared for war, let alone a sudden cut in Russian energy and trade. With growing concern over a similar reliance on China, Germany faces the need to reshape its export-driven economy based on cheap Russian gas and unfettered trade with China. .

In the longer term, “the prospect of a larger and more Eastern Europe will be a source of great strength for the German economy,” said Garton Ash, with Ukraine representing vast development potential.

Yet France and Germany are on the back foot in Europe for the foreseeable future, at least.

European Union historian Luuk van Middelaar notes that since the start of the war, Poland and Hungary have been treated more gently by Brussels in the ongoing struggle with them for the rule of law. “Politically and morally, Poland is off the hook because of the role it plays as a frontline state, delivering weapons and hosting refugees,” he said.

“Poland’s new importance for NATO also makes it more important for” the European Union, said Wojciech Przybylski of Res Publica, a Warsaw-based research institution. “The volume of purchases of new equipment and the upgrading of defense systems make it a country you need to talk to when discussing guarantees of security and peace. »

Central and Eastern Europe, he said, “offers a lot of attitude, even if the substance is still in the hands of the bigger players”. The war, he added, “has confirmed the reality that Europe can no longer be governed from Paris and Berlin”.

Not all news on the site expresses the views of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.

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