We live in an era of increasing strategic competition between states and complex security threats, where power politics have returned to stay. This is not the world we Europeans have chosen — it is the world we face. The European Union has to be ready to defend our interests and values in this increasingly contested world order.
The new threats are not just related to disputes between militaries or over territories. Hybrid threats, disinformation or cyberattacks have become new frontiers of geopolitical conflict. Interdependence is becoming increasingly conflictual, and even soft power is weaponized. The “vaccine diplomacy” around the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines is a good example.