Finance Minister Orpo backs deeper EU defence cooperation

Petteri Orpo took over as finance minister and NCP chair from Alexander Stubb just over a year ago. Image: Derrick Frilund / Yle

yle uutiset, 2 July 2017

Finance Minister Petteri Orpo says he backs deeper cooperation with other European Union member states, including on developing defence capacities.

In a Yle interview published on Sunday, Orpo said it would benefit Finland to be among the countries spearheading a common defence capability for the EU.

“If we spend one euro on developing a common European defence, we get 10 euros’ worth of security back, to put it simply,” he said. “It’s in Finland’s interest to be in the group that is moving fastest to develop the EU’s defence, even if that group operates at different speeds if need be.”

Outside the NATO club

Orpo admits however that while the Finnish government would probably not have any problem with deepening cooperation, problems might crop on the practical level due to member states’ differing needs.

“European Union countries have different needs. Most EU states are NATO members, and we aren’t. Therefore from Finland’s point of view, whatever we can do together to improve defence capabilities would benefit us,” he noted.

Former interior minister Orpo leads the conservative National Coalition Party, traditionally one of Finland’s most pro-NATO parties.

Source: Yle

4 thoughts on “Finance Minister Orpo backs deeper EU defence cooperation”

  1. I think Orpo unintentionally highlights why I think this idea of a European Army is going to backfire so badly on Germany and France who have been its strongest proponents.

    “If we spend one euro on developing a common European defence, we get 10 euros’ worth of security back”

    Simple mathematics says that this cannot possibly be true for all EU countries which means someone is going to have foot the extra 9 euros. Now on the one hand that much reliance buys Germany and France a lot of influence which we have seen them exercise when dealing with Greece and Portugal during the recession. However it also means that the smaller partners will have to fight politically in Brussels for assistance in matters outside of EU jursidiction. Perhaps most crucially, France and Germany could find themselves feeling like Trump and his supporters with growing resentment of them having to foot the bill especially during financially difficult times.

    The EU is morphing in to something that cannot survive. A small few in Brussels have become hungry on power

    1. I agree completely Tony. Germany and France will pay a heavy price for furnishing the likes of Malta and Luxembourg and the Eastern Flank with troops. The Bundeswehr isn’t exactly in great shape at the moment and sorely needs updating. One can’t help but feel that by incorporating Netherlands, Romanian and Bulgarian brigades into their army, the German’s are trying to shore up their armed forces in the short-term. But this may turn out to be a ‘buy now, pay later’ policy. Thanks Tony.

  2. I also wonder if the EU would commit troops to maintain order during times of civil unrest like in Turkey (who is trying to be a member). NATO has never done that sort of thing.

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