A Europe that defends: Commission opens debate on moving towards a security and defence union

Author (Corporate)
Series Title
Series Details IP/17/1516 (07.06.17)
Publication Date 07/06/2017
Content Type


On 1 March 2017 the European Commission presented a White Paper on the Future of Europe, which formed the Commission's contribution to the debate and reflection leading up to the Rome Summit of 25 March 2017Rome Summit of 25 March 2017 marking the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaties of Rome.

The White Paper was part of a process involving all the EU Institutions and wider civil society and stakeholders to decide how the European Union of twenty seven member states should develop.

The European Commission said it would further contribute to the debate in the months to come with a series of reflection papers. The paper published on the 7 June 2017, which opened a public debate on the future direction of defence in an EU of 27, was the fourth of these reflection papers.On 7 June 2017 the European Commission opened a public debate on the future direction of defence in an EU of 27 by issuing a reflection paper on the future of European Defence. It addressed the growing security and defence threats facing Europe and how to enhance Europe's own abilities in defence by 2025.

The Reflection Paper outlined the main trends and challenges that would shape the future of the security and defence of the EU27 and set out options in three different scenarios for moving towards a Security and Defence Union. While not mutually exclusive, these scenarios were underpinned by different levels of ambition for the EU in doing things together in this field.

The three different scenarios were:

+ Security and Defence Cooperation: the EU27 Member States would cooperate on security and defence more frequently, on a largely voluntary basis, depending on ad-hoc decisions when need arises, and rely on initial economies of scale.

+ Shared Security and Defence: the EU27 Member States would move towards shared security and defence, showing greater financial and operational solidarity and would enhance their ability to project military power, fully engaging in external crisis management and building partners' security and defence capacities. Considerable economies of scale in the defence market at European scale would be in place, with favourable financing conditions across the defence supply chain.

+ Common Defence and Security: the EU27 Member States would deepen cooperation and integration towards a common defence and security. Solidarity and mutual assistance would become the norm, underpinned by a certain level of integration of Member States' defence forces. Member States would have more efficient defence spending through more economies of scale, specialisation, sharing of expensive military assets and technological innovation aimed at reducing defence costs, and would be better equipped to face international competition.

Enhancing European security was a must. Member States would be in the driving seat, defining and implementing the European level of ambition with the support of EU institutions. Looking towards the future, they would decide the path they want to take and the speed they want to go at to protect its citizens.

Published on the same day was a related paper:
+ Communication ... Launching the European Defence Fund

Source Link http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-17-1516_en.htm
Related Links
European Commission: DG Communication: MEMO/17/1517, 07.06.17: Questions and Answers: the Future of European Defence http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-17-1517_en.htm
ESO: Background information: A European Defence Fund: €5.5 billion per year to boost Europe's defence capabilities http://www.europeansources.info/record/communication-launching-the-european-defence-fund/
ESO: Background information: EU presents its strategy for more resilient states and societies around the world http://www.europeansources.info/record/eu-presents-its-strategy-for-more-resilient-states-and-societies-around-the-world/
EUObserver, 07.06.17: EU to spend €1.5bn a year on joint defence https://euobserver.com/foreign/138147
EurActiv, 07.06.17: Commission to mobilise €40 billion to beef up defence cooperation http://www.euractiv.com/section/defence-policy/news/commission-to-mobilise-e40-billion-to-beef-up-defence-cooperation/
ESO: Background information: Commission debates future of European defence, May 2017 http://www.europeansources.info/record/commission-debates-future-of-european-defence/
ESO: Background information: At last, the stars are aligned for European defence (ECFR: Commentary 26.05.17, et al) http://www.europeansources.info/record/at-last-the-stars-are-aligned-for-european-defence/
ESO: Background information: Security Autonomy for Europe? (ELN Commentary, April 2017) http://www.europeansources.info/record/security-autonomy-for-europe/
European Commission: DG Communication: SPEECH/17/1589, 09.06.17: Remarks by President Juncker at the joint press conference with Bohuslav Sobotka, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, and Rose Gottemoeller, NATO Deputy Secretary-General http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-17-1589_en.htm
European Commission: DG Communication: SPEECH/17/1581, 09.06.17: Speech by President Jean-Claude Juncker at the Defence and Security Conference Prague: In defence of Europe http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-17-1581_en.htm

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Record URL https://www.europeansources.info/record/?p=505124