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Portuguese Foreign Minister Tells Harvard Students to ‘Dream Big’ at CES

February 29, 2024

Portuguese Foreign Minister Tells Harvard Students to ‘Dream Big’ at CES

February 29, 2024

Author: Francesco Efrem Bonetti, Crimson Staff Writer

Photo credit: Ike J. Park, Crimson Staff Writer

Portuguese Foreign Minister João Gomes Cravinho discussed the European Union’s defense strategies during an event at Harvard’s Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies on Tuesday.

In an interview with The Crimson, Gomes Cravinho also pointed to the importance of responsible activism in academic settings and encouraged students interested in international relations to lean into the power of ideas.

Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, public concern around Europe’s military security has grown. In years prior, NATO — the defensive alliance between 31 European and North-American countries — occasionally had internal disagreement over how much of their GDP each country should be required to invest in defense.

During the event, Gomes Cravinho explained the entangled history of U.S.-E.U. military relations, from the Cold War to the War on Terror.

In particular, Gomes Cravinho said “the European safety net is becoming more and more tenuous” in the wake of changing security needs and shifting American attitudes toward NATO.

Gomes Cravinho also spoke about the EU’s response to the Russian invasion, highlighting that the European energetic decoupling from Russia has “happened much more quickly than anybody imagined.” While sanctions haven’t forced Russia to halt the war, Gomes Cravinho said he believes that, combined with the costs of military operation, they have definitely harmed the country’s economic progress.

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