The Strategist

Will Macron be able to create pan-European military force?

07/03/2018 - 14:46

At least nine members of the European Union agreed to create a European military response force within the framework of European Intervention Initiative (EII). The initiator of the creation of the European mini-army is President of France Emmanuel Macron. He is taking advantage of the major internal problems of Angela Merkel, and it looks like he clearly seeks to dismount the German Chancellor from her position of the unofficial leader of the united Europe. The French initiative was supported by Germany, Belgium, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Denmark, Estonia, Spain and Portugal.

Ryan Crane
Ryan Crane
It is assumed that the military response forces will operate outside the framework of the basic structure of the EU. Curiously, London, which in March 2019 will officially leave the European Union, has also signed in. Besides, there’s the position of Italy. Initially, the country supported the idea of creating a new European force, but the current populist government, headed by Giuseppe Conte, is doubting feasibility of Italy's participation in the new military structure.

Many analysts believe that creation of a new military force of the European Union is caused by Europe's discontent with the North Atlantic alliance or, rather, by a sharp weakening of its credibility. Of course, Europeans have not forgotten the bitter criticism of American President Donald Trump about NATO and the reluctance of the White House to support it. At least 90% of NATO belongs to the US, if you can say so. Thus, it is quite rightfully to say that Europe, creating a parallel structure, shows that it has lost confidence not only in NATO, but in America.

There are fears that the EII and the Crisis Response Force will be influenced of their "Godfather" Macron. In general, there are very few details at this stage, therefore, it is premature to say what exactly the new military structure will do and who will control it.

Emmanuel Macron spoke about the European military response forces for the first time in September 2017.

"The macroeconomic proposal clearly shows the deficit of Cartesian clarity," said Nick Whitney, senior analyst at the European Council on Foreign Relations. " He also added:" At the beginning of the next decade, Europe will need to create European response forces with a common budget and a common doctrine of action ".

The European Intervention Initiative calls for a pan-European response at the military level, both within the EU and within NATO. At the same time, Brussels formulated the Common European Security and Defense Policy.

In general, the European Union is now quite energetically moving towards the creation of European armed forces. Yet, it is still unclear whether they will be created at all. Ultimately, this goal - the creation of European armed forces - is also pursued by the numerous EU programs and projects: Permanent structured cooperation on security and defense issues (PESCO) aimed at deepening cooperation between the EU members in the military sphere; the European Defense Fund (EDF), from which joint research and other works will be financed; the annual Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), the purpose of which is synchronization of planning in the military sphere.