EU Militarisation 2

As the Wikipedia website on Military of the European Union puts it:

“The military of the European Union comprises the several national armed forces of the Union‘s 28 member states, as the policy area of defence has remained primarily the domain of nation states. European integration has however been deepened in this field in recent years, with the framing of a Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) branch for the Union’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) as well as the creation of separate international forces revolving around the EU’s defence. A number of CSDP military operations have been deployed in recent years. The principal military alliance in Europe remains NATO, which includes 21 of all EU member states as well as other non-EU European countries, Turkey, the United States and Canada.”

This is why Sweden’s ruling Moderate Party and its Alliance of Liberal People’s PartyChristian Democrats, and Centre Party are in favour of Sweden joining NATO. The first two of these parties also make up the European People’s Party. Its electoral manifesto shows a photo of the leaders. Frederick Reinfeldt (far left) represents Sweden in the governing Council of Ministers. Three important figures in this photo are Angela Merkel (Germany),  and the two presidents of the Union: Manuel Barosso (President of the European Commission) and Herman Van Rompuy (President of the European Council). If you recognise any others from this picture you can make a mental note of it: it shows, I think, how little we know of how the EU works, even those of us who are well-versed in it.

Barosso and Van Rompuy have had regular meetings with the US President. See Google images for both EU Presidents (Barroso and Van Rompuy) and US President Obama meeting. We do not know what their agendas are but it is likely that at least twice they met during the Ukraine Crisis and an unknown number of times before the crisis broke. Obama, as we know, supports the EU in its work, and so it is not surprising that they meet often and co-operate as they do. This also explains why the EU has not developed its military much – at least as yet.

There is, for example, much talk of creating a free trade area between the USA and the EU, though there are many on both side who are against this. See

All this is just background to the birth of an idea that the EU should begin to develop its own military capacity, as argued in the Military of the European Union:

“Following the Kosovo War in 1999, the European Council agreed that “the Union must have the capacity for autonomous action, backed by credible military forces, the means to decide to use them, and the readiness to do so, in order to respond to international crises without prejudice to actions by NATO”. To that end, a number of efforts were made to increase the EU’s military capability, notably the Helsinki Headline Goal process. After much discussion, the most concrete result was the EU Battle-group initiative, each of which is planned to be able to deploy quickly about 1500 personnel.”

Implications of the Treaty of Lisbon

“The entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon triggered member states of the Western European Union (WEU) to scrap the organisation, which had largely become dormant, but they have kept the mutual defence clause of the Treaty of Brussels as the basis for the EU mutual defence arrangement.”

see also:

“Larger member states will generally contribute their own Battle Groups, while smaller members are expected to create common groups. Each group will have a ‘lead nation’ or ‘framework nation’ which will take operational command, based on the model set up during the EU’s peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Operation Artemis). Each group will also be associated with a headquarters. Two non-EU NATO countries, Norway and Turkey, participate in a group each”



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2 Responses to EU Militarisation 2

  1. Pingback: Sweden and NATO | Ordoliberalism

  2. Pingback: United European Army | EU: Ramshackle Empire

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