German and French officials meet to plan EU military cooperation

German and French officials meet to plan EU military cooperation

The defence ministers of France and Germany will deliberate a proposed $1.1 billion European Union defence fund today. Amid Brexit, EU leaders hope to use defence cooperation as a mechanism to enhance integration among member states by fostering security interdependence. The fund could be put towards stabilisation efforts in the African Sahel. Similarly, it could help reduce

Photo: EC

Photo: EC

The defence ministers of France and Germany will deliberate a proposed $1.1 billion European Union defence fund today.

Amid Brexit, EU leaders hope to use defence cooperation as a mechanism to enhance integration among member states by fostering security interdependence. The fund could be put towards stabilisation efforts in the African Sahel. Similarly, it could help reduce the exorbitantly high costs of military spending in Europe by standardising equipment. Currently, 178 different weapons systems are used across Europe; comparatively, the US only uses 30.

The question remains whether this project will solely be used to enhance capabilities or if it will also play a role in interstate combat operations. While it is unlikely that an “EU army” will arise from the proposal, as NATO has stressed that any EU defence action should complement the Treaty’s goals, it could provide greater leniency regarding joint military operations conducted by EU members.