Gesine Weber is a fellow on GMF’s Geostrategy team. She works on European security and defense issues, and leads the annual Transatlantic Trends study. Based in Paris, she focuses on Europe’s role as a geopolitical actor, EU defense initiatives, and security and defense policy of the E3 (France, Germany, and the United Kingdom).

Prior to joining GMF, Weber worked as a defense policy adviser in the German parliament and as a consultant for the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation in Shanghai. Weber is pursuing PhD research on European defense cooperation at the Defence Studies Department of King’s College London, where she is part of the European Foreign Policy Research Group. She contributes to the work of the Centre for Grand Strategy and is an associate researcher for the European Council on Foreign Relations.

Weber holds a master’s degree in European affairs from Sciences Po in Paris and another master’s degree in political science from the Freie Universität Berlin. She studied Mandarin at the Beijing Foreign Studies University. She is regularly published in English, French, and German on European security and defense issues, and is a frequent commentator on European and international media, including BBC, France24, and Deutsche Welle

Media Mentions

So when Ukraine applied for NATO membership a few months after the outbreak of war, he reacted cautiously. "Ukraine's accession would be perceived by Russia as a confrontation," he told Le Monde newspaper in December. "Macron has long been convinced that you have to shape European security with Russia and not against Russia," says Gesine Weber. She is a France expert at the Paris office of the German Marshall Fund. "France therefore rejected Ukrainian accession for a long time because they feared it could be perceived as a threat by Moscow."
This has led to a huge outcry among France's allies and shown Macron that he is not getting any closer to his goal of a sovereign Europe by telling the press his uncoordinated, abstract ideas," said France expert Weber. "He realized that he can show leadership at the same time and get closer to his goal of a sovereign Europe by speaking out in favor of Ukraine joining NATO."
"Giving Ukraine security guarantees outside of NATO in the long term would also be damn expensive for France," Weber says. At the same time, Macron's confidence in NATO as a guarantor of security has grown. While he declared it "brain dead" in 2017, he said in May that Article Five is having its full effect. "It keeps Russia in check," Macron said. Letting Kiev share in it is thus the more favorable alternative for Paris.
Translated from German