. ..The recent remarks by the US ambassador to Athens, Thomas Miller, to the effect that issues such as the relations between the EU’s Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) and NATO should be discussed behind closed doors revealed Washington’s intention of discouraging a broader debate on the EU’s much-heralded defense policy. The reason, of course, was not that the USA desires to subject Greece to Turkey’s hegemonic aspirations. Rather, a broader dialogue within the framework of the EU would prove that the Union’s defense body is merely a cosmetic exercise and that European defense is deliberately – and rightfully – based on NATO and the USA. An open debate would neither bolster the image of EU leaders nor strengthen the independent role claimed by the Union on foreign policy and security issues. Furthermore, an open discussion could have an unpredictable impact on the European public. Austria and Sweden, for example, which are countries with a long tradition of neutrality have endorsed the idea of an autonomous ESDP but, in contrast to countries of the ex-Communist bloc, they have no wish to become NATO members.

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