- EU to Formally Move on Creation of European Intervention Force, UK Included
After agreeing on military cooperation in 2017 when 25 bloc members signed a defense pact, a smaller circle of EU members are going to take formal steps to create the European Intervention Initiative. This force is designed for responding to natural disasters, crisis intervention or the evacuation of Europeans.
France’s Defense Minister Florence Parly has told the French newspaper Figaro that her country, Germany, Belgium, Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands, Estonia, Spain and Portugal are to sign a letter of intent for the creation of a joint military intervention force on June 25.
According to a source close to a French top official, cited by the AFP, the goal of the initiative is “joint planning work on crisis scenarios that could potentially threaten European security.” While some EU tactical interventional groups exist in principle, so far they have never been used.
Since the proposed force, known as the European Intervention Initiative, would stay separate from other EU defense cooperation programs, Britain, which has always resisted the idea of an “EU army,” will be able to take part even after it has left the bloc.
“This is clearly an initiative that allows for the association of some non-EU states. The UK has been very keen because it wants to maintain cooperation with Europe beyond bilateral ties,” the French top military official told the newspaper. According to Parly, Italy, which presently remains outside the Intervention Force group, was “also considering the possibility of joining.”
Path to European Army
The initiative to set up a European military intervention force, which could be rapidly deployed in the event of a crisis, were introduced by France’s President Emmanuel Macron in September 2017.