Defense CDU politicians reject possible EU nuclear weapons

Trump would not grant protection from Russia to NATO partners who do not meet their financial obligations. Does Europe need to protect itself better? Does the EU need its own nuclear bombs?

There is a lack of understanding and rejection from the Union for the statements made by the SPD’s top candidate in the European elections, Katarina Barley, about possible EU nuclear weapons. “The discussion about a European nuclear deterrent is currently taking place completely in a vacuum,” said the deputy chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, Johann Wadephul (CDU), to the editorial network Germany. “There is currently no political, strategic, technical and financial basis for such a goal.”

In an interview, Barley questioned the reliability of the US nuclear weapons shield because of recent statements by US presidential candidate Donald Trump. On the question of whether the EU needs its own nuclear bombs, she told the “Tagesspiegel”: “On the way to a European army, this can also become an issue. Trump, who is currently campaigning for a second term in office, made an appearance at the weekend made it clear that he would not provide American support to allies with low defense spending in the event of a Russian attack. Trump is therefore accused of inflicting serious damage on NATO, which is based on the principle of deterrence.

Wadephul now replied to Barley: “Anyone who simply talks about a European nuclear power like Ms. Barley completely overlooks what a unique, trusting offer nuclear participation within NATO by the USA is to its allies. Maintaining it must be the top priority of any German federal government be.” It is right to prove to the USA – no matter under which president – “that we want to be a partner on an equal level through fair burden sharing in the conventional area.”

Sigmar Gabriel: Europe needs credible deterrence

Former Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) sees the situation differently. “I never thought I would have to think about it. But Europe needs a credible deterrent. This includes a common nuclear component,” wrote Gabriel in a guest article for “stern”. American protection will end in the foreseeable future; the debate about where the replacement should come from must begin now. “If we don’t answer this question, others will. For example Turkey. That cannot be our interest.”

The CDU foreign expert Norbert Röttgen did not even want to get involved in a substantive debate about Barley’s statements. He told the editorial network Germany: “This proposal is out of this world in every respect, legally, European and security policy. Any further sentence of commentary would be too much.”