Commissioner Gentiloni to the EU Military after the conclusion of Afghanistan

Paolo Gentiloni, EU Commissioner for Economic Affairs, will speak at The European House – Ambrosetti forum in September 2020.

Michael Green | CNBC

Commissioner for Economy and Taxation Paolo Gentiloni spoke to CNBC about the need to develop the bloc on the geopolitical stage as the US and other Western allies step back.

“We are an economic superpower, but we cannot be completely absent in the geopolitical role,” he told CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick at the European House Ambrosetti Forum on Saturday.

Gentiloni called what he called the “terrible” end of the war in Afghanistan in recent weeks as an example of the US and others reducing their commitments on a global scale. His comments reinforce the argument that the EU should develop a common defense policy, seen by many as the forerunner of an EU army.

“No, I think we can coexist very well,” said Gentiloni when asked whether this was a threat to NATO, whose members include some EU countries.

“NATO was primarily born and shaped to deter Russia’s presence in Europe. These roles remain absolutely crucial. And personally, I am also a strong supporter of NATO,” he said.

“What I want to say is that if the role of the European Union grows, if we have a good economic recovery, if we try to be at the forefront on climate change, and many other aspects of our ambitions, we cannot be completely irrelevant and silent about this geopolitical dynamic. “

When asked about the Chinese antagonism and whether the EU would try to fight the superpower as a bloc in the future, Gentiloni said that this would ultimately benefit the US

“There is economic cooperation [with China], Trade cooperation, but we are different systems. It is inevitable that the model of a different capitalism, a capitalism that is not linked to democracy and freedom, is an alternative to the European model, ”he said.

“And so in this type of confrontation we will emphatically be a partner of the USA, but also in the interests of the USA, if this European partner is also geopolitically stronger and [has] more influence. I find that very practical. We always describe Europe as a silent superpower, Venus and Mars. OK, now is the time to give geopolitical power to Venus too. “

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