About 4 000 soldiers from the French army, navy and air force have participated in around 20 activities on NATO’s eastern flank each year since 2014. France and Estonia work together in Africa as they do in the NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence battlegroup in Estonia. ICDS Research Fellow Kalev Stoicescu and Non-Resident Fellow Maxime Lebrun presented their recent analysis on Estonian-French defence cooperation on 20 September 2019.
The ability of armed forces to work together is not simply a mechanical process, nor can it be achieved through political direction alone, the authors find. Interoperability develops on the ground through joint action.
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.
The discussion following the presentation of the analysis touched much upon the concept of European Strategic Autonomy, it’s essence and meaning. NATO does not have standing forces in Europe, so Europe has to have first capacity to act in case of military conflicts.
At the very day of the seminar, France announced that she is determined to continue its operational commitment as part of the Estonian eFP again in 2021.