The end of NATO? NINE countries to sign EU military plan

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In quite exciting news, Nine EU countries will sign a plan today – Monday June 25th, to create a European military intervention force, a French minister said, with Britain supporting the measure as a way of maintaining strong ties with the bloc after Brexit.

The force, known as the European Initiative for Intervention and advocated by French President Emmanuel Macron, aims to be able to quickly position itself to deal with crises, according to an AFP report.

As far as the formalities, a letter of intent is due to be signed in Luxembourg on Monday by France, Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Denmark, the Netherlands, Estonia, Spain and Portugal, French Defense Minister Florence Parly told Le Figaro newspaper.

The initiative involves “joint planning work on crisis scenarios that could potentially threaten European security,” according to a source close to the minister, including natural disasters, intervention in a crisis or evacuation of citizens.

The initiative would be separate from other EU defense cooperation, which means that there would be no obstacle for the UK to take part after leaving the bloc.

“This is clearly an initiative that allows the association of some non-EU countries,” the French minister said.

“The United Kingdom has been very interested because it wants to maintain cooperation with Europe beyond bilateral ties,” he added.

This is not the first attempt to launch a similar initiative. 25 EU countries signed a major defense pact in December, agreeing to cooperate on a number of military projects, but it is unclear whether the UK could join any of them after leaving the European bloc.

The EU has had four multinational military “fighting groups” since 2007, but political disagreements have meant that the troops have never been mobilized. This was also the period in which the EU began to push its never-ending austerity the longest, and when the EU banks adopted the same programs as US banks in the derivatives market, in fact in order to buy them. This was a bubble that finally burst, and the EU has been scrambling to push those costs onto the middle-class, small businesses, workers, and savers. This has increased Euroscepticism.

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Paris hopes that by focusing on a smaller group of countries, its new initiative will be able to act more decisively, free of the burdens that sometimes make it difficult for 28-member EU and 29-member NATO members to act.

Italy had originally shown interest in the proposal. The new government in Rome “is considering joining” the initiative but has not made a final decision, Parly said. This represents the problem of growing Euroscepticism.

The contradiction here is that separate from individual EU members states dominating or seeking to dominate the union, it has been the economic practices of the EU mirroring those of the US which have brought the EU to its present orientation.

But the development of an EU armed force outside of NATO represents a growing node of independent European capital, and a fracturing of the ‘west’, and in fact the end of transatlanticism.

Therefore, structural reforms in the EU are possible and the EU’s policy towards Russia can warm, given the trade war with the US and the growing rift in the nominally transaltlantic alliance.

On Friday, the NATO leadership, Jens Stoltenberg, ruled out the possibility that the European initiative will compete with the alliance. According to him, the initiative will complement NATO, but made it a point to remember after the Brexit, 80% of the funding of the organization will come from outside the European Union.

NATO increasingly appears to the public as a US led or dominated initiative, and its missions mean little more than coalitions of the willing.

A growing EU consensus around a type of EU based fighting force that can be successfully mobilized would mean that such could only be possible in the long run after a series of major and deep reaching reforms to present EU structures and practices.


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