EU single Army: Is Europe still from Venus?

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Security and defence are once again high on the European agenda. Increasing security threats at the EU borders, and the result of the UK referendum and the US elections, have prompted a number of initiatives to advance European defence, particularly its military aspects. The European Commission has presented a European Defence Action Plan, with a European Defence Fund as its corner stone. The European Parliament is contributing to such debate, in particular with the adoption, last month, of a resolution on the European Defence Union and a report in preparation on the possibilities of the Common Security and Defence Policy within the Lisbon Treaty. While these initiatives remain still in the logic of inter-governmental cooperation, they include many elements of novelty which are positive from a federalist perspective and are in line with recent UEF demands. Their implementation would be an important step forward in this sector and would strengthen EU political cohesion. Needless to say, given the political implications of security choices, we can expect that such proposals will progress and will be implemented at the right level of ambition only if, in parallel, there is progress towards closer political integration.

Bogdan Birnbaum (

Union of European Federalists