Macron and the European Intervention Initiative: Erasmus for soldiers?

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Series Details 22.05.18
Publication Date 22/05/2018
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The author in this commentary feature asked what has become of the European Intervention Initiative proposed by President Emmanuel Macron of France in his Sorbonne speech in November 2017?

Author suggested that the cultivation of a shared strategic European defence culture must encompass the possibility – the likelihood, in fact – of autonomous European action.


In his 26 September 2017 address on Europe and the newly released Strategic Review of Defence and National Security, French President Emmanuel Macron outlined his ambitions for the European Union in the field of defence. With the objective of developing a common strategic culture, Macron suggested that by the next decade, 'Europe' should develop a European Intervention Initiative (E2I), with a common doctrine, and common budgetary instruments.

A number of sources suggested in May 2018 that France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Denmark and Estonia would sign a letter of intent in Paris in June 2018, pledging to develop a common strategic culture, share analysis and foresight on trouble spots that might require intervention and work to coordinate their forces for future operations.

One reason for the French-inspired project was to allow non-EU countries to take part in European security initiatives - and especially to allow the UK to be involved once it had left the EU. The UK had decided to support the European Intervention Initiative concept as part of its Security Partnership aspirations. The UK had agreed to support the Initiative at the 35th UK-France Summit, Sandhurst, United Kingdom, 18 January 2018.

Ministers from France, Germany, Belgium, Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands, Estonia, Spain and Portugal signed a letter of intent in Luxembourg on the 25 June 2018 to launch the initiative.

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Related Links
EurActiv, 25.06.18: Nine European countries to formalise EU defence force plan
German Foreign, 26.06.18: Coalition of Those Willing to Go to War
UK Defence Journal, 08.05.18: UK ‘very keen’ to support European intervention force
Politico, 02-12.05.18: Emmanuel Macron’s coalition of the willing
The, 05.05.18: Britain backs French plan for European defence force
Reuters, 04.04.18: France plots new European military crisis force outside EU
Carnegie Europe: Strategic Europe, 07.12.17: France Moves From EU Defense to European Defense
Sputnik International, 05.05.18: UK Gives Nod to Macron's Military Intervention Force Initiative - Minister
ESO: Find more information in ESO on the European Intervention Initiative
Politico, 25.06.18: Nine EU states, including UK, sign off on joint military intervention force
The Guardian, 25.06.18: Nine EU states sign off on joint military intervention force
Berlin Policy Journal, 30.10.18: A Military Workshop
German Foreign, 08.11.18: Coalition of Those Willing to Go to War (II)
CAPX, 08.11.18: Why Macron’s EU army wouldn’t keep Europe safe
Berlin Policy Journal, 15.10.18: European Intervention Initiative: The Big Easy

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