Europe’s Demosthenes moment: putting defence at the centre of EU policies

Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission has posted a new article in his blog: “Europe’s Demosthenes moment: putting defence at the centre of EU policies“.

The article discusses how power politics and various forms of warfare, including traditional conflicts and hybrid threats like cyberattacks, are reshaping the global landscape, posing significant risks to Europe. The EU has responded by placing defense at the core of its strategy, as outlined in the Strategic Compass introduced in 2022. This strategy was formulated in response to the increasing security challenges in Europe’s environment, drawing parallels to historical moments of mobilization against threats.

The EU is also enhancing its crisis response capabilities, with plans to operationalize a new EU Rapid Deployment Capacity for quick, autonomous reactions to crises. Investment in defense and support for the EU defense industry are also highlighted as crucial steps, with a call for increased, efficient spending on defense to meet current and future threats. The article concludes by acknowledging the progress made in EU defense and security but recognizes that much work remains to effectively counter the magnitude of the threats faced, calling for a significant advancement in European defense and defense industry.

However, the EU’s strategic pivot towards defense occurs against the backdrop of a significant demographic challenge: an ageing population. This demographic shift poses potential risks to the EU’s economic sustainability and its capacity to maintain a dynamic workforce. As the continent grapples with a decreasing birth rate and an increasing proportion of elderly citizens, the need for a younger, vibrant workforce becomes ever more critical.

In this context, the southern Mediterranean countries emerge as vital partners. These nations, characterized by their younger populations, could play a key role in addressing the EU’s demographic shortfall. The migration from these countries to the EU, if managed judiciously and humanely, represents not only a solution to the workforce challenge but also an opportunity to foster greater cultural diversity and economic dynamism within the EU.

Therefore, while the EU strengthens its defense mechanisms to tackle immediate threats, it must also look towards sustainable, long-term strategies that address its demographic challenges. Collaboration with SMCs in managing migration flows could serve as a crucial component of such strategies, benefiting both the EU and the nations of the Mediterranean basin. This dual approach—bolstering defense capabilities while simultaneously embracing the potential of migration—illustrates the complexity of modern governance, where security and demographic sustainability are intertwined.

Inspired by the latest article written by Josep Borell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission


Ghazi Ben Ahmed

Founder and President

Ghazi Ben Ahmed

Founder and President

A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary