Josep Borrell, the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs, has urged for the establishment of a dedicated European financial mechanism for security and defense. "War is on the horizon,"

he declared on Tuesday, emphasizing that while it may not commence immediately, the reality cannot be denied.

Addressing the New Economy Forum in Brussels, Borrell outlined the escalating competition among superpowers, heightened interstate conflicts, the militarization of economic dependencies, cyber warfare, and disinformation as integral facets of Europe's new reality.

"The war in Ukraine has exposed the world as it truly is, not as we wished it to be... The prospect of a major conventional war in Europe is no longer a distant possibility. We must take all necessary measures to prevent it," Borrell stressed.

He cautioned against Europe's reliance on the United States, especially considering presidential candidate Donald Trump's repeated threats to withdraw the US from NATO. Borrell noted that while the "US umbrella" has shielded Europe since the Cold War, it is not indefinite.

This dependency extends to defense equipment procurement, with eight out of ten arms purchases currently occurring outside Europe, with the US accounting for eighty percent of those acquisitions. "We cannot continue to be so reliant," Borrell asserted.

Entering a New Phase Borrell outlined that the EU has entered a new developmental phase, one with a focus on defense. He anticipates a tug-of-war between European institutions on this matter in the next legislative term. While the European Commission will push for enhanced EU authority, member states are likely to resist relinquishing their sovereignty.

In early March, the European Commission initiated its industrial defense strategy, urging member states to allocate fifty percent of their military procurement budgets to European sources by 2030. Photo by European Parliament from EU, Wikimedia commons.