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A European Army ?

The idea to build a European defence goes back to 1950! Yet this project, strictly for political reasons, is still in its embryonic stages. It is noteworthy that the Franco-German Brigade which was established in1989 was disbanded in 2014 for budgetary reasons. Since then, no agreement could be reached to set up a credible common defence policy. Yet, J-C Juncker Pt of the European Commission says again and again that the EU needs its own army in order to be "taken entirely seriously as an international intervention force". Taken together the EU member states (28) deploy around 1.5 million soldiers and spent as much on defence than Russia and China combined. However, the major challenge Europe faces is an impending drop in defence spending. You must add to this alarming situation the fact that European armies are often equipped with incompatible weapons systems and that there has never been a real integrated command centre. You will therefore understand that the European army will not emerge overnight. But we should also point out that many European countries such as the UK, Germany or Italy favour NATO and do not really wish the EU to become an integrated military organisation. Moreover, the UK and France which are the only countries capable to project military forces outside the continent consider that defence is a national responsibility and that this issue touches the very core of national sovereignty. This is why the idea of a European defence has remained stagnant for half a century !

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