A little more than a week ago, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called for the creation of an EU army in an interview to the Welt am Sonntag newspaper. According to him a common EU army would send a clear message to the world in general, and to EU neighbours in particular.
This, together with the “Grexit” question, has been without a doubt the most commented news in the eurobubble and also in most EU Member States (and many other countries) during the last week. Most likely, the think tank community will also sink its teeth into the question in the near future.
Juncker’s remarks very timely corresponded to the Brussels’ presentation of the Task force report More Union in European Defence, a joint effort of the Centre for European Policy Studies and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.
The Task Force on Security and Defence was chaired by Javier Solana, former EU High Representative for CFSP, and the report that resulted is a record of the deliberations over several months between high-level experts in the field of European security and defence. The rapporteurs were Steven Blockmans and Giovanni Faleg, both working at CEPS.
The report, rather than calling for the creation of an EU army, recommends an improved cooperation and integration in European defence. To achieve this, experts suggest working on three main aspects: 1) one relating to a strategic update; 2) an institutional one that would require some reforms, together with a review of procedures and financing; and, 3) capabilities and industrial harmonisation, that could include something like a European Semester for defence capabilities and spending, as well as creating a ‘truly European’ defence industry.
During next weeks, the group of experts will do a tour of main European capitals presenting the report, with the objective of widening the debate.
More recent literature on the subject of European defence, produced by think tanks is available via our library catalogue.