“The European Union is set to call for a defence review process on Thursday that could name and shame governments not spending enough at a time of renewed U.S. criticism that Europe does not pay enough for its security.
EU leaders at a summit in Brussels on Thursday will say that they want plans for a Coordinated Annual Review on Defence next year, according to a draft of the final summit statement.
That could mark the start of a review process based on peer pressure to screen and better align national defence budgets and programs, although the subject remains sensitive for governments that say military spending is a sovereign matter.
The ideas are not new but have been given impetus by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, who alarmed Europe by questioning whether Washington should protect allies not spending enough on their own defence during his election campaign.
The European Union, which has relied on the United States to guarantee its security for the past 70 years, is eager to show Trump it is willing to bear more of the costs of managing the conflicts on its borders.
Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, robbing the bloc of one of its biggest military powers, has also spurred EU military planning to maximize assets through cooperation.”