European Union summit agrees to “historic” military build-up

 

European Union summit agrees to “historic” military build-up

By
Johannes Stern

24 June 2017

Following the beginning of the Brexit talks at the start of this past week, the European Union’s (EU) member states are moving rapidly to transform the bloc into a military and defence union. At the center of the EU summit on Thursday and Friday in Brussels were far-reaching measures aimed at militarisation at home and abroad.

Among other things, it was agreed “to establish comprehensive and ambitious Permanent Security Cooperation (PESCO) for the strengthening of European security and defence.” Within three months, the governments will “finalise a joint list with criteria and obligations, together with concrete capability projects,” according to the European Council’s official website. This would also include “missions with the highest requirements,” meaning military interventions with European “combat units.”

Already at the beginning of the month, the EU agreed to establish a joint command centre for civilian and military operations and provide the European Commission with a multi-billion euro defence fund. A summit paper entitled “Conclusions of the European Council on security and defence” welcomed this step “and expects its swift utilisation.” The goal is to build a “competitive, innovative […] European defence industry.”

The aim of the measures is to develop the EU into an aggressive great power capable, when required, to intervene militarily and wage war independently of NATO and the United States.

A “Reflection Paper on the future of European Defence,” published by the European Commission on 7 June, states, “Europeans themselves are above all responsible for the improvement of European security. The resources are actually…

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