Defence spending, fiscal stimulus and European integration
European defence and security spending is a thread that connects several disparate themes: the refugee crisis and the need to better secure EU borders; US criticism of Europe’s NATO spending; and the move towards closer European integration. A Macron-Merkel alliance promises to push European integration. Strengthening the single currency area will take time. Progress towards a common treasury, stabilization funds and safe bonds is unlikely before 2020 – after the next European Parliamentary elections. These ideas are controversial, complex and not guaranteed to materialize. Defence and security issues, on the other hand, are more immediate and are starting to be addressed by policy with the recent European Defence Action Plan (EDAP). How far Europe is willing to go in this area could signal the appetite for progress in other areas too.

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