DW – June 9, 2017
In a speech at a EU security and defense conference in Prague, the European Commission’s president said on Friday that European countries need to spend more on defense as “the deference to NATO can no longer be used as a convenient alibi to argue against greater European efforts.”
US President Donald Trump has previously urged for NATO’s 22 EU members to boost their defense spending to 2 percent of gross domestic product.
EU member states currently spend only 1.3 percent of their overall budget on defense, much less than the United States, Russia and China, Juncker said.
“We have no other choice than to defend our own interests in the Middle East, in climate change, in our trade agreements,” he said in the Czech capital. Juncker said the EU must “invest more, and invest in a more efficient way.”
“The protection of Europe can no longer be outsourced,” Juncker underlined.