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Charlotte Wagnsson

This chapter argues that US pressure, as well as contemporary threats and problems, compel Europe to take more responsibility in the sphere of security. Yet, is Europe willing to do so and what does responsibility taking encompass? The chapter examines public opinion in the European Union (EU) Member States, the views of significant Member States, and brings the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) into the analysis. The chapter indicates that threat perceptions are shared to a reasonable degree in Europe, and that the political will exists to handle threats and instabilities in both southern and eastern neighbourhoods and in the Middle East. Yet, most EU states have not yet reached NATO’s goal of spending 2 percent of GDP on defence and in this sense, Europe does not assume enough responsibility. The chapter suggests that European politicians highlight to their electorates that responsibility taking can provide status in international affairs, and that national interests might be served by providing for the collective European interest. Also, it suggests that responsibility should be distributed effectively, including between the EU and NATO, and that leaders take responsibility for security in both short- and long-term- perspectives.

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Charlotte Wagnsson and Arita Holmberg