When discussing options for the future of Europe’s military capabilities and policies in 2017, this is happening in the context of an increasingly assertive Russia, increasingly willing to utilise force and threats, as well as a context where the US cannot be relied upon with absolute certainty to stand by our side should push come to shove.
In this context of uncertainty we must remain firm, find our balance and focus our strength: Integration of military capacities is necessary. This is an obvious way to make sure that “one for all, all for one” is not just something that we say, but something that would be impossible to circumvent.
One of the benefits of this integration would be the economies of scale, allowing us as European taxpayers to gain more value for money, or to maintain the same level of defence at a lower cost, thereby creating fiscal space for investments in other areas.
The path towards integration could start with harmonisation of procurement and an increase in common missions and troops, with the end-goal of creating a fully European army. This is not in opposition to NATO either; in JEF we firmly believe that the two can work together and that an EU army would allow the EU to stand on its own legs without necessarily being dependent on NATO.
We need a strong and united Europe, to stand against the tides of uncertainty.
TEXT Kevin Kristiansen
PHOTOS Kevin Kristiansen & Unsplash