Pro-EU lawmakers have submitted a resolution for the European Parliament, hoping to convince EU leaders that the bloc should build its own military force.
The plan is the EU Commission’s roadmap for creating a European rapid-reaction force that would be coordinated by the EU defense organization, the EU Defence Agency.
The European Commission created the agency nearly a decade ago to prepare and oversee EU investment in the defense and security field.
But apart from monitoring various military exercises, the agency has not taken a key role in planning, recruiting and organizing forces and missions.
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The Spanish MEPs believe that being part of the EU creates a “shared sense of responsibility” among European governments to react and have a role in the field.
The statement says the EU must recognize that using force does not happen automatically in a global world of wars and crises.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said more cooperation and support should be given to European defense.
The new defense roadmap, endorsed by the EU’s foreign and security commissioner Federica Mogherini, recommends establishing a permanent body, with the right to place missions on standby and holding full-scale joint exercises.
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It should also accelerate procurement of equipment, develop joint training exercises and create experts groups.
The European Parliament has not yet passed a resolution to amend the 2008 Lisbon Treaty, so many European states still have a veto over whether to create a new bloc.
The 2017 Brussels Summit explicitly stated the EU could not operate alone on the defense and security field, but left it up to individual member states to determine how they would structure their own own military effort.
In October, Netherlands Defence Minister Ank Bijleveld said that the new European defense body should have the right to intervene on the ground.
“I also don’t see any reason why it cannot be deployed,” she told FOX’s “Hannity.”
In October 2017, the Dutch parliament passed a resolution to increase military cooperation with NATO to ensure its citizens were safe in the face of attacks.
The election of Jean-Claude Juncker as the new head of the EU Commission has also been the impetus for moving ahead with better defense cooperation.
Juncker has called for a common EU military operations command to respond to crises, adding that the organization could work “even more closely” with NATO to support global security.
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