By Ebi Kesiena
European Union (EU) leaders on Tuesday held hard discussions on Europe’s place in the world at a summit, seeking ways on how to face superpowers China and United States.
The 27 heads of state and government met at Brdo Castle in Slovenia, the country that currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency.
While no concrete outcome is expected, it is the first leaders meeting since June, one senior EU Diplomat said that “with everything that has happened, that seems ages ago”.
The dinner takes place on the eve of an EU-Western Balkans summit in which countries to the bloc’s east will seek assurances they will one day be admitted to the European Union.
According to an invitation letter sent out by EU Council Chief Charles Michel, Leaders will have a strategic discussion on the role of the Union on the international stage.
France is still smarting over a decision last month by Australia to cancel a French submarine deal worth tens of billions of dollars in favour of a US offer.
With anger still raw, French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to again warn at the talks that Washington’s close allegiance to Europe is no longer given.
Although some EU nations have backed France, others like Baltic and Nordic countries are reluctant to criticise the US, which they deem their ultimate protector against Russia.
However, US President Joe Biden has disclosed plans to strengthen dialogue with Europe is underway.