European Democrat Students EDS is the official student organisation of the European People’s Party (EPP). Wed, 05 Apr 2023 06:53:01 +0000 en-GB hourly 1łu-1-150x150.png European Democrat Students 32 32 WE’RE HIRING Tue, 04 Apr 2023 06:51:45 +0000 Read more]]>

The EDS is looking for an Executive Officer (part-time position)

The European Democrat Students (EDS) is currently seeking applications for the position of Executive Officer. This is a fantastic opportunity for a motivated and enthusiastic individual to join our team and help us achieve our goals.

As an Executive Officer, you will be responsible for the following:

  • Supporting the day-to-day operations of EDS;
  • Organising events;
  • Managing social media accounts;
  • Liaising with our member organisations;
  • Providing administrative support to the Executive Committee;
  • Developing and implementing strategies to increase EDS’s visibility and engagement among our target audience;
  • Book-keeping;
  • Establishment and maintenance of good relations with MEPs.

Typically, these tasks require 4 hours
per day, so this is a part-time position.

To be considered for this position, you must be:

  • A member of a Member Organisation of EDS;
  • Possess a high level of organisational and communication skills;
  • Able to be in Brussels for the majority of the month
  • You should have a proven track record of working independently, managing competing priorities, and delivering high-quality results within tight deadlines.

What we offer:

  • A dynamic environment.
  • Travel to different EU countries.
  • Communication and networking with young and ambitious people from all over Europe.

If you are interested in applying for this position, please submit the following documents:

  • CV highlighting your relevant work experience, educational background, and any other relevant qualifications or certifications.
  • A motivation letter outlining why you are interested in the role and what skills and experience you can bring to the position.
  • A reference letter signed by an Executive Member of a Member Organisation of EDS.

Please submit your application until Wednesday, April 12th, 2023, 23:59 CET to

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HAZ XIII General Assembly Mon, 03 Apr 2023 13:35:08 +0000 Read more]]>

Our member organisation HAZ Croatia🇭🇷 held its XIII. General Assembly and elected its new national board who will lead HAZ in the next 3-years. Active EDS representatives Karlo Kolesar and Dora Miketek have been re-elected as HAZ national president and vice president.👏🏻

The General Assembly in Zagreb was attended by HAZ delegates across the country, both students and alumni members, in a historically important venue – the Faculty of Economy at the University of Zagreb🧑‍🎓, a place where HAZ was founded in the year 1990. The event also welcomed esteemed guests such as the 🇪🇺MEP Karlo Ressler, members of the Croatian government and the ruling party Croatian Democratin Union, representatives from the regional authorities, professional state institutions and the director of Hanns-Seidel Stiftung office in Zagreb. 

HAZ hosted several EDS events, and we’re looking forward to the ones in the future.📆

Congrats to @Hrvatska akademska zajednica and the new leadership! 🇭🇷👏🏻

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EDS Winter University Tirana 2023 Wed, 29 Mar 2023 07:04:18 +0000 Read more]]>

Exciting news from
the EDS Winter University!

The European Democrat Students (EDS) held their Winter University in Tirana, Albania, from the 23rd to the 26th of March, focusing on youth rights and democracy. During the event, we met with the Mayor of Shköder, Bardh Spahia, and visited the Partia Demokratike headquarters, discussing the role of young generations and EU integration of the Balkans. EDS Council approved full memberships for PAS (Moldova) and Les Jeunes Républicains (France), and we welcomed the grant from the European Commission through the Erasmus+.

Working groups adopted motions related to European education, new technologies, trade, human rights, and the political and social situation in the Balkans. The new BullsEye magazine edition featured interviews with European Parliament President Roberta Metsola and EPP Secretary General Thanasis Bakolas.

Winter University gave us new momentum

’’As the Chairman of European Democrat Students I am hopeful more than ever after this event. I saw so many of our young and ambitious delegates from all over Europe give us many new ideas and energy to make Europe better and better for students. Now we have a lot of new projects and initiatives in our pipeline as well. We are an inspiration for other organisations to join and work with us for a better future.’’ – Beppe Galea, Chairman of EDS

Meet up with Mayor of Shköder

During this past Winter University in Tirana, under the title “Democracy? A Youth Right!”, we had the opportunity to meet the mayor of Shkodër, one of the oldest and most historic cities in Albania. The mayor, Bardh Spahia, outlined new initiatives designed to attract young people to the city.

Youth involvement in Albanian politics

Furthermore, we visited the headquarters of the Democratic Party, where we were pleased to see a large number of young Albanian politicians eager to defend freedom in their country. We discussed the role of younger generations and the EU integration of the Balkans, with a particular focus on Albania’s integration. Additionally, we extended our complete support to Belind Kellici, a promising young Albanian politician and long-time friend of EDS, who is running for mayor of Tirana.

EDS family is growing

During the Council Meeting, we had some fantastic news. We approved the full membership of PAS (Moldova) and Les Jeunes Républicains (France). This is a sign of the daily effort of EDS to be the shared home of European liberal, conservative, and Christian democratic student organisations. In the coming months, we plan on maintaining this trajectory, and we will undoubtedly be able to announce new partnerships and memberships within the Council.

New motions for a better future

Following discussions in the working groups, we adopted several motions related to European education and new technologies, trade and human rights, and the Balkans’ political and social situation. Motions will be submitted to the relevant European officials for their knowledge, to receive advice on how best to take the initiative on the relevant issue, or to ask that they make specific decisions.

The new BullsEye is out

The new BullsEye magazine edition has exciting articles and interviews. It includes interviews with the European Parliament’s President and EDS alumni, Roberta Metsola, and the Secretary General of the EPP, Thanasis Bakolas.

EPP continues to invest in EDS Future

’’EDS will once more play an important role in the 2024 campaign. As the largest students” organisation in Europe, I expect you to come up with new ideas and a fresh perspective.” Watch President’s of the EPP Manfred Weber’s message to EDS for the Winter University here.

Vladimir Kljajic in now acting Secretary General of EDS

EDS Council approved the appointment of a new Secretary General after the resignation of Ivan Botoucharov due to his latest work in the European parliament. Vladimir Kljajic was holding a deputy position before the new role.

Conference resolution “Enhancing the Role of Youth in European Elections”

European youth is at a critical juncture for their future, amid the aftermath of the pandemic, Russia’s hybrid warfare across Europe, and its unlawful conflict in Ukraine. It is essential that we play a significant role in these European elections and support parties that champion freedom over socialism. This is why we have adopted the conference resolution “Enhancing the Role of Youth in European Elections“, which outlines its significance. Furthermore, we have collaborated with the European People’s Party group in the Committee of the Regions, YEPP, and the network of Young Elected Politicians to establish a shared policy framework for young Europeans, wherever they may be.

Time for a new approach

To consolidate our aim to be that common home for liberal, conservative, and Christian Democrat students, we have set up a taskforce consisting of some representatives of member organisations with different profiles and backgrounds and EDS alums to identify and foster collaboration with more organisations. Let’s continue our joint effors!

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EPP Secretary General’s Letter To EDS Tue, 28 Mar 2023 09:20:20 +0000 Read more]]>

Dear European Democrat Students,

It is my honour to contribute to this edition of BullsEye Magazine of 2023, a year that marks the beginning of an important time for our political family as we prepare for a number of national elections and the European elections that will take place in 2024.

The past few years have been turbulent, geopolitically, economically and societally. From a global pandemic to Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine, an energy crisis that has hit our citizens and businesses hard to sky-high inflation rates, the European Union has been confronted with many challenges. But this has also given us the chance to show solidarity and unity when confronted with difficulties. Once more the European Union has shown that in the face of crises, we stand together. 2023 is another opportunity to show that the EPP remains committed to providing European solutions for common European problems. The EPP campaign for the European elections in 2024 will ensure that we remain the biggest pan-European political party and the EU’s driving political force, delivering answers on the issues that matter to our citizens.

2022 was the European Year of the Youth, a project which proved vital in identifying the needs of the younger generations today and gave us the chance to listen to young voices on the political stage. Now the task is to show that we heard their calls for improvement and show willingness to make the necessary effort and changes in the run up to the next elections. The European People’s Party remains committed to incorporating new and innovative ideas on the European agenda, making our economy and societies more inclusive for all.

2023 is a year in which the collaboration between the EPP and EDS is of crucial importance in preparing the ground for 2024. We must listen to the voices of students across Europe, their ideas and their concerns so that our policies reflect their realities. With the rising cost of living, many Europeans are under financial pressure. Students in particular are struggling to perform well academically and pay for their studies, while also navigating the uncertain future and employment prospects. It is therefore more important than ever that political parties in Europe take into account the opinions of those students. EDS has always been a valued organisation within the EPP family and we count on their ongoing engagement and contributions this year.

As we approach the next European elections, we must work together to bring with us the centre-right, EPP values that make us unique – putting people at the heart of our policies and offering real solutions, instead of empty promises and slogans. The involvement and perspective of EDS and its network are essential in this process. As the future of our political family, I put great hope in our student organisation and I look forward to continuing our work together over the course of this year.

Thanasis Bakolas

EPP Secretary General.

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EDS STATEMENT: SUPPORTING ARMENIA Mon, 27 Mar 2023 11:15:26 +0000 Read more]]>

The European Democrat Students strongly condemns the blockade of the Lachin corridor by state-sponsored environmentalists from Azerbaijan since December 2022. This action has caused a severe humanitarian crisis and is a blatant violation of the fundamental human rights and the ceasefire statement of 9 November 2020.

We stand in solidarity with the people of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) who are being held hostage and are deprived of basic necessities such as food, electricity, gas and medication. We demand Azerbaijan to immediately reopen the Lachin corridor and respect the statement of 9 November 2020.

The continuous aggressive actions of Azerbaijan, the rhetoric of hatred and threats of force against Nagorno-Karabakh are unacceptable.

We urge Azerbaijan to resume negotiations on the settlement of the conflict and re-engage in the process of the OSCE Minsk Group, based on the Helsinki Final Act principles including the self-determination of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh). Furthermore, we call on the member states of the European Union to consider sanctioning Azerbaijan to address the repeated military aggressions by Azerbaijan on the territory of the Republic of Armenia, in violation of its sovereignty.

The European Democrat Students will continue to stand with the people of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) and demand justice for their rights and security.

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EDS condemns Georgia’s ‘foreign agents’ law Thu, 09 Mar 2023 16:04:57 +0000 Read more]]>

The Georgian authorities are taking Georgia and its society backwards by adopting the law “On transparency of foreign influence.” It will enable the suppression of civic organisations and media, which serve as pillars of every democracy and deprive the Georgian youth of their European future. We call upon the Georgian authorities to ensure that any legislation aligns with the Council of Europe standards on human rights, democracyand the rule of law.

We recognise the coercive tactics of Russia and its aims to reverse Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic foreign policy aspirations. We think the EU should support Tbilisi without reserve, but much-needed reforms must be secured. We, the European Democrat Students (EDS), the official student organisation of the European People’s Party (EPP), support pro-democracy protests, and we do believe that Georgia’s place is in the EU as a young and promising democracy. We urge the international community to pressure the government to give up on such an anti-democratic law.

📸 credit:

EU condemns Georgia’s ‘foreign agents’ law as protest continue
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EDS Bureau Meeting Brussels 2023 Mon, 30 Jan 2023 14:38:51 +0000 Read more]]>

            The EDS Bureau Meeting was held in Brussels between 25th and 27th of January, 2023. Considering it was held in the European capital, we used the opportunity to meet members of the European Parliament, expert from the Committee of the Regions, and Brussels’ local central right sister party.

The event started with a dinner with a representative of the KAS Europe Office, Mr. Kai Gläser, who shared his thoughts about the current situation in Brussels, hot topics, and trends.

On the first day, we had the pleasure of meeting Andrey Novakov, MEP, and Kalin Zahariev, APA. Mr. Novakov gave us advice regarding youth involvement in politics. He shared his personal story as a member and Vice-chair of EDS, and his first steps after being elected as an MEP. He also explained to us how policies are made and why patience is essential.

After that, we spoke with Mr. György Hölvényi MEP. He talked to us about the implications of the war in Ukraine and why the EU must stay united at this difficult time. He raised the question of arming Ukraine being controversial for some stakeholders.

We had a Working lunch with Mr. Andrey Kovatchev, MEP, Head of the Bulgarian Delegation in the EPP Group in the European Parliament. With him we had a fruitful discussion on the situation in the Western Balkans, the enlargement of the European Union and the role of the young political leaders and EDS particularly in this process.

During the second part of the day, we were honoured to speak with Mr. Tibor Navracsics, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth, and Sport from 2014-2019 and the Vice-Chair of the EP Committee on Culture and Education Michaela Šojdrová. We had a discussion with them about the Erasmus+ program and its benefits for young people across Europe. Mr. Navracsics shared his story about his role and his advocacy for the budget increase for the program in the next decade.

We also had a great meet-up with Mr. Andrius Kubilius, MEP. Mr. Kubilius served as Prime Minister of Lithuania for two terms. He shared his long career in politics, from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the current support of Ukraine.

The last meeting we organized was with Mr. Karl Agius, Director of Communications in the EPP Group in the Committee of the Regions. He explained to us on how the Committee works, its activities in connecting Europe, and the potential for cooperation between the EDS and the institution. 

We finished the day with our fantastic partner Les Engages, the EPP Member Party in Belgium. They welcomed us at their headquarters and organized a party where we met many party members.

Photos from the event here.

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The Western Balkans in the context of the current security and economic challenges since the start of the Russian war in Ukraine. Mon, 05 Dec 2022 13:08:02 +0000 Read more]]>

EDS Council Meeting Skopje 2022

Location: Skopje, North Macedonia

Date: 01st-04th December

Organization: EDS- YFU of VMRO-DPMNE

EDS has held a successful Council Meeting and Youth Political Academy in Skopje, North Macedonia, 01-04 December, hosted by YFU of VMRO-DPMNE and supported by KAS. The event was opened with welcome addresses by the main organizers of the event. Daniel Braun, the representative of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung gave an address where he emphasized the unity of the youth of the European People’s Party during the great geopolitical challenges facing Europe. The vice-presidents of VMRO-DPMNE, Aleksandar Nikoloski and Timcho Mucunski, the Secretary General of the European Democrat Students, Ivan Botoucharov, as well as the President of the Youth Forces Union, Sergej Popov, gave introductory speeches, where they welcomed the delegates to Skopje and wished them a successful council meeting.

The working part started with a panel discussion where the speakers were the vice-presidents Nikoloski and Mucunski, the international secretary of VMRO-DPMNE, Stefan Andonovski and the member of the Executive Committee of the Youth Forces Union of VMRO-DPMNE, Todor Koneski. The panel was focused on the topic of the expansion of the European Union in the Western Balkans during the war in Ukraine. The panelists focused on the geopolitical effect of the conflict on the Western Balkans and how the countries’ actions could be more effective in order to speed up the process of integration. The panel discussion was followed by a large number of questions from the delegates, but also from the guests from the Youth Forces Union. After the panel, there was a cocktail opening of the event where the participants together with the panelists informally opened the event.

The second day began with a visit to the Assembly of the Republic of North Macedonia, where the participants first took part in the parliamentary tour of the assembly where they got to know the working areas of the people’s representatives in North Macedonia.

After the tour, the group had a meeting with the representatives of the Club of Young Deputies, Jovan Jauleski, Marija Petrushevska and Bojan Stojanoski, and the President of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, Antonio Miloshoski. The representatives from the Assembly held their presentations where they explained in detail what it is like to be part of the assembly and from a personal capacity presented their efforts towards the European integration of Macedonia.

A panel discussion was held in the central headquarters of VMRO-DPMNE, where the speakers were the President of EDS, Beppe Galea and the President of VMRO-DPMNE, Hristijan Mickoski. As the leaders of the two host organizations of the event, they commented on the direction in which their organizations are moving in order to guarantee the stability of the Western Balkans and Europe in times of challenges, the role of young people in making important decisions, and the expansion of the European Union.

After the end of the panel in which the president of VMRO-DPMNE, Hristijan Mickoski, participated, a panel discussion was organized on the topic: “The political, economic and energetic effects of the war in Ukraine on Europe”. The participants in this panel discussion were: Gordana Dimitrieska Kochoska, vice president of VMRO – DPMNE, Aleksandar Spasenovski, professor at the “Justinian First” Faculty of Law, Elena Markova Velinova, expert in the field of energetics, as well as Ivan Botoucharov, Secretary General of EDS. The panelists addressed the effects of the war in Ukraine in their areas of expertise. The panel discussion was followed by great interest, and the participants asked a number of questions for which they received substantial answers.

During the working day, EDS working groups were also organized. The organization itself consists of 4 working groups, i.e. working group for Gender Equality, Higher Education, Policies for Europe and Economy and Trade. Depending on their area, these working groups prepare the motions that are later voted on at the Council Meeting. After voting, the passed motions are submitted to the European Institutions.

The third day of the event was dedicated to the EDS Council Meeting. At the event itself, the motions were presented and voted by the working groups of EDS. The Youth Forces Union of VMRO-DPMNE presented an urgent motion that referred to the inhumane conditions faced by the Macedonian students, improvement of the student standard as well as the law on student meals. During the presentation of the urgent motion, the members of the council were shown a video, which referred to the inhumane conditions in the student dormitories in the Republic of Macedonia. The members of the council expressed strong disappointment regarding the conditions in which the Macedonian students are placed. The urgent motion was voted with unanimous support by the EDS council. The rest of the working day was spent reviewing the financial report of the organization, the technical details related to the next activities of the organization itself, as well as the presentation of the situations in their countries by the members of the council.

After the end of the EDS council meeting, a panel discussion was organized on the topic: “Politics in times of war, the role of the countries of the Western Balkans in the war in Ukraine”. The participants of the panel discussion were: Vladimir Gjorchev, former deputy in the assembly of the Republic of Macedonia, Vladimir Bozhinovski, professor at the “Justinian First” Faculty of Law, Victoria Trajkov, professor at the Faculty of Tourism and Management, as well as Irina Shahotina, VIce-Chair of EDS. The panelists condemned the Russian aggression in Ukraine and expressed the unreserved support that Macedonia gives to Ukraine. The panel discussion itself was followed with great interest by the members of the EDS council, a discussion that started a large number of questions and answers.

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EDS Study Mission in Tunisia Tue, 15 Nov 2022 10:39:01 +0000 Read more]]> Study mission in Tunisia
/ 2nd – 5th November 2022 /

The EDS delegation was pleased to be on a study mission to Tunisia from 2nd to 5th November, thanks to the Regional KAS office for Euro-Mediterranean cooperation. The delegation was accompanied by Mr. Patrick Voller, Foreign Policy Adviser, European People ́s Party.

Our team had the extraordinary opportunity to speak with experts, opposition leaders, ambassadors and young leaders about this amazing North African country and its future.

Tunisia is now undergoing important and defining moments, elections are approaching in December and the International Monetary Fund has just completed their visit to aid the government’s finance’s which are on the verge of collapse.

We heard from opposition leaders and their views on why they have decided to boycott the upcoming elections. As we understood, the main reasons are the constitutional changes that occurred during the summer and the dissolution of the Parliament by the President’s decree.

New constitutional changes limit political parties from taking part in the election. In the beginning, it was explained by the president’s office that only non-members of Political parties could run for parliament. However, recent interpretations have begun to change now that elections are approaching. On the other hand, the IMF proposed much-needed reforms to the government, including rationalization of the public sector, reducing subsidies of various goods but also increasing government efficiency.

These measures could lead to better and much needed economic development and growth. The high unemployment rate is resulting in increased emigration, and many are risking their lives with illegal migration across the Mediterranean Sea. Without a doubt, improved living conditions would provide better opportunities for Tunisians and avoid the brain drain. Furthermore, it would also have a positive impact on the stability of the newly established democracy.

Our southern neighbor, ten years on from the revolution, is going through challenging times; financial difficulties and inflation are putting pressure on everyone, while the international community is worried about democracy and the direction which it has taken. During our discussions with young leaders, we stressed the importance of not becoming cynical regarding democracy and that even with the changes we are all facing, there is no better system for now. We, as part of the EPP, are standing firmly with them if they continue to aspire to democracy for their country. We discussed civic education and concepts of active citizenship, bearing in mind the low participation of Tunisians in recent elections.

In addition to discussions regarding Tunisia, our delegation had the unique opportunity to speak with experts from Libya who gave us insights regarding the current situation in their country. They presented their cooperation with the KAS office in drafting a monthly Libya briefing, which is distributed among the international partners, considering that most of them don’t have representation in Tripoli because of the ongoing conflict. The briefing proved to be significant. Unfortunately, warlords, tribes and foreign interference, for now, leave us without optimism regarding the unification of Libya and the stabilization of the country.

Tunisia has the opportunity to become a major leader in the African continent, which requires time and patience, while also becoming a developed and stable democracy that other African countries could follow. The other option is to go back to the era of dictatorship. The situation is far from perfect, and very challenging times lie ahead, but after this study mission, we believe in the resilience of the Tunisian people and its young leaders. It would be unfortunate to give up on democracy and freedom of speech. They fought so hard. We will start advocating for more cooperation with Tunisia and drafting more policies regarding the Mediterranean region and potential collaboration between universities.

During the study mission, we got familiar with migrations across Europe from Africa with experts from the International Centre for Migration Policy Development. Latest surveys show that a vast number of young people want to leave Tunisia, around 90% in age from 18 to 29 years old. Also, the Maltese Ambassador to Tunisia shared his thoughts on the situation and expressed his concerns about the trends.

We, as partners, want to help them to aspire to more, to lift them up after they might become tired and frustrated of trying. We sincerely believe that human rights are universal and by implementing them through institutions, the Tunisian people will be more prosperous than in any dictatorship.

The final evening in Tunisia was reserved for discussion with the Ukrainian ambassador, who was explaining the complex situation and Russian propaganda that exists in Tunisia.

Once again, we are thankful to the KAS office and its director, Dr Thomas Volk, for this opportunity and the speakers they provided us with during the event. We are sure it is just the beginning of our cooperation.

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EDS statement regarding the increase of Member States’ budget in defence Tue, 08 Nov 2022 11:41:48 +0000 Read more]]>

We, the European Democrat Students (EDS), after a detailed analysis of the evolution and characteristics of the budget of Member States, have observed a need to strengthen their military investment. Not only is the Russian invasion of Ukraine a wake-up call for EU security and defence policy makers and experts, but it is also a call for a stronger and more coordinated European defence policy. For instance, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borell stated that “the military capabilities we have do not match the ones we need for the threat we face. We need to spend together, more and better.[1]

The new security and defence environment demonstrates that the EU needs to take on more responsibility for its own security, the continuous dependency on the United States’ defence budget, through NATO, is no longer a possibility due to the new and larger threats that we face towards our democracies and Western values. In 2020, only 11% of investments were spent collaboratively, which is below the 35% benchmark agreed by member states in the European Defence Agency framework. Also, only a few European countries comply with the 2% target set by NATO to all their members. Consequently, there is currently an underinvestment problem that directly affects our military capabilities. Not only is this budget necessary to strengthen our defense against conventional wars such as the war in Ukraine, but also against the hybrid wars promoted by the enemies of the Western world, which include cyber-attacks against critical infrastructure.

The fact that the European countries that have a close border or history with Russia are the ones that spend higher per cent in defence shows that they are aware of the risk of an underinvestment in the relevant military branches. In this sense, it is worth noting that due to the austerity policies imposed budget cuts have been imposed in the security of European Countries, something that cannot be repeated during these years in which we are experiencing very uncertain and volatile economic and financial circumstances. The only way to protect our democracy is to increase (and not lower) our defence capabilities in a joint and coordinated effort among EU countries.

It is time to protect our democracies by ourselves, it is time to reconsider and invest more in European defence.


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