The European Union’s incoming Commission President spoke in Berlin on Friday and said the EU needs to develop more security power.
Ursula von der Leyen said, “Soft power alone won’t suffice today if we Europeans want to assert ourselves in the world. Europe must also learn the language of power.”
“That means on the one hand developing our own muscles – where for a long time we could lean on others, for example in security policy. On the other hand, it means engaging our available power with more focus,” Von der Leyen added.
Von der Leyen will start her new post as President of the European Commission, the EU’s executive branch, on December 1st. Von der Leyen previously served as Germany’s defense minister and has worked closely with Paris to promote European defense projects.
President Trump has repeatedly asked NATO members, most of which are EU countries, to increase defense spending, something Von der Leyen could be responding to.
Von der Leyen also spoke of expanding the EU and adding North Macedonia and Albania. “We have demanded a lot from North Macedonia and Albania. They complied in full. Now we must honor our word and facilitate accession talks,” she said.