As usual, the EU is using its “creep” tactics for yet another expansion of EU activities, namely a militarisation of the EU (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_of_the_European_Union). This involves both what were originally non-military elements such as the EU Satellite Centre for surveillance purposes, the better synchronisation of member states’ military resources, and EU military Staff, a process that began with the appointment of Catherine Ashton as High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, made possible by the Lisbon Treaty of 2009. This grey zone of eurocracies make it difficult to be definitive as to how many are involved and to what extent.
Last night on TV I saw a news item on the EU establishing a new umbrella organisation to link together a number of eurocracies, notably the European Defence Agency, the Institute for Security Studies, the Common Foreign and Security Policy, and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. These produce large numbers of working papers on how this might be done, many of which can be downloaded.
I have given the Wikipedia links to all of these but anyone interested would be advised to follow these to the various EU military organisation websites.
The need for this is clearly linked to the EU realisation that the Ukraine crisis in combination with the quite apparent decline in NATO as a military force and early signs of the US unwillingness to use its own military power to defend the EU’s Drang nach Osten. The only direction to significantly expand is eastwards (on Iceland see the 11th May 2014 TEAM post).
I am aware that the Joint Decision Trap makes this unlikely, as it is a major weakness of the EU. There are also no immediate targets apart from Belarus unless the civil war in Ukraine becomes more violent and protracted, or in the unlikely event that Russia joins the EU. In any event the EU, in its usual wasteful way, has created several quangos to consider the idea.