After Britain voted in favour of exiting the EU, the demand for an independent European army seems to be gaining renewed strength. This demand, clearly mentioned in the document presented at the summit in Brussels, refers to the fact that for the purpose of security, the EU cannot depend on NATO alone. The need for an EU army stems from matters of security, of investment in the defence sector and from those of growing co-operation over defence, so it was declared.
A special two day summit was held in Brussels to discuss the Brexit issue. A policy by the name ‘European Union Global Strategy’ presented at this summit, draws out an autonomous strategy and contains an appeal to make more comprehensive, the foreign policy as well as the security and defence policies of Europe. A collective defence capable of acting autonomously, among the many proposals contained in the document, could serve the purpose referred above.
The explicit demand for an EU army is illustrated in the following words: ‘The EU cannot now depend solely on NATO for its security. The EU must, should the need arise, develop the capacity to act autonomously. European nations have to shoulder greater responsibility of their own security. For the purpose, they have to be equipped to deter, respond to and protect against external threats. Although NATO exists to defend its members, the European nations ought to be better equipped, trained and organised to contribute towards a collective effort of defence.’
An appropriate level of ambition along with strategic autonomy is essential for Europe’s security and peace, says the ‘European Union Global Strategy’ document. Also, a credible European defence would go a long way in improving relations with the US. European nations must channel adequate expenditure to defence in order to create a powerful defence industry. The ‘European Union Global Strategy’ assures that the increased expenditure in the defence domain and the establishment of independent industry would prove an important contribution towards the autonomy of the European army. Frederica Mogherini, the EU foreign Policy chief has drawn up the strategy document. The document makes reference to Russia’s aggression, the conflict in Ukraine and that in the Gulf and Africa which constitute challenges for the security of the European nations underlining also thereby, the need for a well-equipped defence. Investments in the defence and security sectors are a necessity making co-operation on the defence front, inevitable for the European nations.
Over the past few years, several leaders and officials of the EU have, from time to time, put forth proposals of the EU army. Contending that an autonomous EU army would knock down NATO, Britain had vehemently opposed the proposition. But now that Britain has stepped out of the EU, the demand for EU army has surfaced all over again and in all probability will end up in realization considering Britain’s absence, so suggest European sources.