LJUBLJANA, Slovenia – The head of the European Union's executive branch is stressing the importance of development aid, saying that the bloc should remain a "soft power" even as members face pressure to ramp up defense spending.
NATO has for years urged members to increase defense spending to reach a target of 2 percent of gross domestic product, and the issue has been seized upon recently by U.S. President Donald Trump.
European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said Thursday he favors European NATO members taking more responsibility. But he added: "I'm still in favor of the European Union being a soft power."
Juncker said: "Don't believe those who are saying that we have to spend more and more and more on defense. There are other means to safeguard the stability."