European leaders are discussing “far-reaching proposals” to build a pan-European military, according to a French defense ministry document leaked to the German newspaper, theSüddeutsche Zeitung.
The efforts are part of plans to relaunch the European Union at celebrations in Rome next March marking the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, which established the European Community.
The document confirms rumors that European officials are rushing ahead with defense integration now that Britain — the leading military power in Europe — will be exiting the 28-member European Union.
British leaders have repeatedly blocked efforts to create a European army because of concerns that it would undermine the NATO alliance, the primary defense structure in Europe since 1949.
Proponents of European defense integration argue that it is needed to counter growing security threats and would save billions of euros in duplication between countries.
Critics say that the creation of a European army, a long-held goal (see Appendix below) of European federalists, would entail an unprecedented transfer of sovereignty from European nation states to unelected bureaucrats in Brussels, the de facto capital of the EU.
Others say that efforts to move forward on European defense integration show that European leaders have learned little from Brexit — the June 23 decision by British voters to leave the EU — and are determined to continue their quest to build a European superstate regardless of opposition from large segments of the European public.
The Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that it had obtained a copy of a six-page position paper, jointly written by French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and his German counterpart, Ursula von der Leyen. The document calls for the establishment of a “common and permanent” European military headquarters, as well as the creation of EU military structures, including an EU Logistics Command and an EU Medical Command.
The document calls on EU member states to integrate logistics and procurement, coordinate military R&D and synchronize policies in matters of financing and military planning. EU intelligence gathering would be improved through the use of European satellites; a common EU military academy would “promote a common esprit de corps.”
According to the newspaper, the document will be distributed to European leaders at an informal summit in Bratislava, Slovakia, on September 16. France and Germany will ask the leaders of the other EU member states not only to approve the measures, but also to “discuss a fast implementation.”
Specifically, France and Germany will for the first time activate Article 44 of the Lisbon Treaty (also known as the European Constitution). This clause allows certain EU member states “which are willing and have the necessary capability” to proceed with the “task” of defense integration, even if other EU member states disapprove.
full article at source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/8935/european-army