European perspectives on the Franco-German motor and the future of European defence


On Wednesday 28th February, the European Leadership Network (ELN) and Salamanca Group co-hosted the latest breakfast briefing part of the Strategic Insight series on “European perspectives on the Franco-German motor and the future of European defence”

The event was chaired by Des Browne, Chair of the ELN and Former Secretary of State for Defence, who introduced the discussion before passing over to key note speakers: George Robertson, former Secretary General of NATO and UK Secretary of State for defence, and Elisabeth Braw, Senior Associate Fellow at the ELN.

With the exit of the UK from the European Union in March 2019, France and Germany must take the reigns as the motor for defence in the EU, but how aligned are these allies when it comes to strategy moving forward? The discussion drew on questions surrounding what to expect from the forthcoming changes in Germany following the creation of its new coalition, and how far France will go to promote its own defence ambitions under the assertions of Macron. Of course, one must also question the EU’s position in relation to the leadership (or lack there of) from Trump and his administration. Finally the group considered how the UK, spearheaded by Theresa May, can continue to have a voice within the discussions on European defence policy without sitting at the table, but driving ahead through alternate channels.

The next Strategic Insight breakfast focuses on the Russian general-election. If you are interested in attending please contact