Sari Essayah EPP:n valtuustossa: Ilman turvallisuutta meillä ei ole mitään
KD:n puheenjohtaja Sari Essayah piti puheen EPP:n valtuustokokouksessa 9.-10.3. Helsingissä. Kokouksen teemana Euroopan turvallisuus ja puolustus.
Ladies, gentlemen, dear friends,
Security – which includes both internal and external security – is the most important function of the state. Without security we have nothing else.
European defense after the second world war has never been any simple and straightforward issue. The commitment of different NATO and EU countries to defense alliances has varied a lot over decades, depending on the winds of national politics.
The war did indeed change the way many in Europe view the military alliances. The unthinkable happened, so our thinking had to be adjusted.
The Christian Democratic parliamentary group voted for Finland’s NATO application. Finland is located in a strategically important area. As a member of NATO, Finland would have better opportunities to participate in Euro-Atlantic cooperation in order to strengthen the security of Northern Europe. The joining of Finland and Sweden to NATO would mean the formation of a unified Nordic defense area.
The Christian Democrats have also been in favor of deepening security and defense cooperation at the EU level. There is much more we can do together as EU member states – and it is not away from NATO. Close cooperation between NATO and the EU is important.
The common security elements of the EU have been a discussion for decades. The recent European discussion on security policy has focused mostly on external military threats to the EU nations. However, the difference between internal and external security is a thin red line.
What we have learned from the ongoing war – or at least should have learned – is that internal security is just as important than external. As we have seen, no sector of society is protected from attacks. Russia has carried out constant attacks towards energy networks, electricity, gas, and basic information systems – anything and everything.
As we are building a carbon-free Europe we are in the risk of increasing the fragility against such threats. These threats do not even need to be intentional – also the risk of human error grows with technological complexity.
We must remember that the first priority of energy policy is not combatting climate change but providing energy for our citizens. Just a few years ago we saw major European nations willfully shutting down local carbon-free energy production and increasing their dependency on Russian gas. Now we are risking doing the same mistakes: creating a dependency of largely Chinese technology and on more and more complex energy networks technology. And we need energy for survival. That is what is at stake.
Last May, the Commission’s Vice-President Frans Timmermans said in an interview that “The EU cannot turn its back on the future just because this requires dependence on China.” I strongly question this approach!
Soon we will celebrate again the Europe day and commemorate the Schuman declaration. Early European integration – championed by Christian democrats – brought decades of peace to our continent. The European Coal and Steel Community was founded with the thought that technological and economic interdependencies would make wars too costly.
However, we must be realistic, and ask ourselves, does that still completely apply in today’s world. Can global technological and economic interdependencies protect us from another war – even world war? This is a serious question and a key geopolitical question today.
We must prepare for the worse and improve our strategic independence both at all levels: local, national, and European – but not stop trading with China the USA and other global partners.
We must do all we can to prevent the existing global geopolitical conflicts from escalating, but also prepare for the worst.
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