Countering Radicalisation and Soft Security

#WomenAreNATO: Security and defence used to be a man's world.

13 December 2018

A quick look through the military history doesn’t reveal many women’s names, but things are changing.

There’s more to defence and security than charging the enemy or tackling a violent offender. The complex threats we face and the multifaceted response they require have created roles for women both, in the front line and in developing the systems and technology to combat them.

If you are looking for evidence that women are taking more prominent roles, then you only have to look at the numerous defence ministers who are women (Florance Parly in France, Ursula Von der Leyen in Germany, Margarita Robles in Spain, Elisabetta Trenta in Italy and Ank Bijleveld in the Netherlands). At the EU level, there is my colleague Federica Mogherini and me. Together we have taken the lead in establishing the new European defence agenda.

In particular, I proposed the new €13 billion European Defence Fund, which will help Europe to develop its own defence capabilities and ensure its strategic autonomy. Moreover, we have developed the Commission’s proposals for defence funding over the next seven years. At the operational level, one of the two managers responsible for our defence programme is a woman.

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Elżbieta Bieńkowska

European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (2014 - present), and previously, the Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Development 2013 - 2014.

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