Are Nordic nations are making new security efforts responding to Angela Merkel?
Donald Trump’s visit to Europe has been all over the news. Pundits have questioned his severe words toward the NATO nations and their failure to meet their treaty obligation. Trump was clear that these nations should spend their own money on security and stop expecting the American taxpayer to carry NATO. But you would never know that Trump’s speech might have caused changes in the policies of European nations from this Bloomberg headline: “Merkel’s European Wake Up Call Is Being Answered in the Nordics.”
With Vladimir Putin in the east and Donald Trump to the west, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is now telling Europe it has to stand up for itself. It’s a call that’s already being answered by the continent’s richest region.
Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway have over the past two years been deepening their military cooperation to counter a deteriorating security situation in the Baltic and the Arctic. They are also forging closer ties on softer issues, presenting this week a joint initiative to meet sustainability goals, promoting the 20 million-person region’s shared values on social equality, and discussing joint interaction with China.
“There’s no doubt that Europe needs to take bigger responsibility, we have to spend more on defense and security,” Erna Solberg, Norway’s prime minister, said in an interview on Monday as Nordic leaders start a two-day summit in Bergen. Norway will ensure good cooperation “with its closest allies, and some are in the EU and some are on the other side of the Atlantic,” she said.
So, the Nordic shift in behavior is all about Merkel’s wake up call. Who woke up Merkel?
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