Brussels, my love? Can EU capitals club together to defend defence?

Méabh Mc Mahon with guests Maria João Rodrigues, Marta Mucznik and Sandra Pasaric
Méabh Mc Mahon with guests Maria João Rodrigues, Marta Mucznik and Sandra Pasaric Copyright Euronews
By Méabh Mc Mahon
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In this edition, panelists ponder strengthening militaries, and discuss elections in Russia and Portugal.

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This week we are joined by Maria João Rodrigues, president of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies, Marta Mucznik from the International Crisis Group and Sandra Pasaric from the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies.

Panelists break down the recent chatter about a European defence industry plan and discuss the 2024 Russian elections.

"We'll have this weekend's election of a president, which, in fact, will remain a weak president: because who can be strong if he is elected on the basis of total absence of debate?", Maria João Rodrigues said of likely winner Vladimir Putin.

She warned the panel of the uncertainty of today's multi-polar world and welcomed a focus on boosting defence to protect democracy.

But Sandra Pasaric says the European People's Party wants to go further. 

"We are also talking and calling for a commissioner for defence and security, and a Council on defence and security" as well as common procurement, she said.

But Marta Mucznik reckons a proper defence policy will depend on public support.

"I think there's a clear understanding that there's an existential threat in Central and Eastern European countries. I'm not sure the extent to which this is an existential threat in Western Europe," Mucznik said. 

"I think European leaders will need to do a lot to convince their own populations of the gravity of the situation, if that's how they perceive it", she told the panel.

The panel mulled the outcome of elections in Portugal, where two of them are from, and what the poll portends for upcoming European Parliamentary elections.

Watch "Brussels, my love?" all weekend on Euronews.

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