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Measures to expedite the creation of a single European army and defence system

Question écrite de M. Lefteris CHRISTOFOROU - Commission européenne

Question de M. Lefteris CHRISTOFOROU,

Diffusée le 21 septembre 2021

Subject: Measures to expedite the creation of a single European army and defence system

In my opinion, the creation of a single European defence and security system and a European army is now a top EU priority, as evidenced first of all in the State of the Union address to the European Parliament delivered by the Commission President.

In addition, daily events are showing this to be a cornerstone of the EU’s very existence. The EU has a duty, as formulated in the Treaties also, to effectively uphold its sovereignty and hence the sovereign rights of its Member States.

In view of this:

1. What is the timetable for implementing the EU single defence and security policy?

2. What will be the contribution of the Member States to this effort?

Réponse - Commission européenne

Diffusée le 23 novembre 2021

Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Borrell on behalf of the European Commission (24 November 2021)

Article 42(1) of the Treaty on European Union states that the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) ‘ shall provide the Union with an operational capacity drawing on civilian and military assets’ which may be used by the EU ‘on missions outside the Union for peace- keeping, conflict prevention and strengthening international security (...)’.

While the CSDP remains limited to actions outside the Union, Article 42(2) clarifies that ‘The common security and defence policy shall include the progressive framing of a common Union defence policy. This will lead to a common defence, when the European Council, acting unanimously, so decides.(...)’. Such a decision has not yet been taken by Member States and no related timetable has been identified.

In line with the Strategic Agenda 2019-2024, the Union and its Member States are committed to pursue a more strategic course of action and increase the EU’s capacity to act autonomously.

The EU financial support, through the European Defence Fund (EDF), is incentivising Member States’ efforts to develop the capabilities needed to provide for their own defence. These capabilities also strengthen their ability to act as a global security provider.

Coherence between the EU defence initiatives (Permanent Structured Cooperation, Coordinated Annual Review on Defence, EDF) is at the core of the EU approach. The capabilities developed in this framework are owned by the EU Member States, which could employ them also in other frameworks.

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