ICDS Research Fellow Kalev Stoicescu and Non-Resident Fellow Maxime Lebrun made a thorough analysis of the defence cooperation and partnership between Estonia and France.
They concluded that this successful relationship, which evolved in a short time literally starting from mutual neglect, is based both on pragmatism and political vision. It also serves as a very good example of fruitful cooperation between rather different European partners in terms of size, military capabilities, history and culture, geography etc. France contributes to NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence, a vital deterrence measure for the Baltic states and Poland, and Estonia participates actively in French, EU and UN operations in sub-Saharan Africa. In this context, France promotes the European Intervention Initiative (in which Estonia participates) and the concept of European Strategic Autonomy (Estonia, as well as other Allies, are not yet convinced of its aims and utility). The analysis offers a comprehensive overview on the matter for those who are interested in the defence policy of Estonia and France, and the development of the defence dimension of the European Union.