Eurocorps as a pilot project for the European Defence Union
Discussion Paper on
the basis of a meeting of the Kangaroo Group
with General Ramirez
Strasbourg, 7 July 2016
The decision of the United Kingdom to
leave the European Union makes it necessary to rethink the European
Union from the beginning. We have to ask ourselves what the citizens
really expect from the European Union. In the past seventy years the
European Union has made a major contribution to the security and
prosperity of the European nations.
The European Internal Market is a
success story. We now have to build a European Internal Market
without GB. Major adaptations will be necessary with an external
customs border towards Great Britain and a European Financial Market
of the 27 Member States.
The Euro has become
second most important currency of the world. In the present turmoil
it has shown a remarkable stability. However, on the long run
Monetary Union will not be possible without a Political Union, since
it cannot exist without a high degree of solidarity and security.
Therefore, a Common Foreign and Security Policy is a centre piece of
any Political Union.
The global strategy of Frederica
Mogherini is an excellent analysis where we stand on the way towards
a European Defence Union. It also contains useful proposals for the
next steps to be taken. If we want to make a stronger contribution to
our own security we need a permanent headquarter for planning and
conducting European operations.
We also have to make sure that the
soldiers who are sent into dangerous operations have adequate
equipment, especially for situational awareness, navigation,
telecommunication and transport.
We also have to
analyse the differences in the social situation of soldiers who are
engaged in the same missions.
On this path we need
a strong symbol. The strongest possible symbol for a Common Security
and Defence Policy is the Eurocorps in Strasbourg. We therefore
propose to make the Eurocorps a pilot project for the future European
Defence Union, while keeping its close connection with Nato.
the past, Europe was often in the position to start new projects in a
smaller group. It is therefore a fortunate coincidence that the
Eurocorps is run by the framework nations France, Germany, Spain,
Belgium, Luxembourg and later on Poland. A very good combination of
large, medium and small countries, which is well suited for a pilot
should put the Eurocorps at the permanent disposal of the European
Union. At the same time the capabilities of the Eurocorps should be
improved in order to make sure that they can carry out successful
operations in the geographical neighbourhood of the European Union.
The Eurocorps should
become the preferred Headquarter for operations of the European
Union. Its capabilities for situational awareness, navigation,
protected telecommunications and transport should be strengthened.
Pilot projects concerning these capabilities could be financed from
the means available in the European Budget for Security and Defence