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Does the EU Want to Create an Alternative to NATO?


Talks on the creation of the EU army intensified again after NATO summit in Brussels in May, when the difference between the stances of EU countries and the United States on Russia became more obvious. After the summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Europe can no longer rely on others in the defense issues and needs to take its fate into its own hands. The French newly elected president Emanuel Macron also announced about the necessity of the creation of the EU joint defense system. Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the European Commission also reaffirmed his position on the issue.  

It should be noted, that the idea of creation of the joint EU army has long been circulated, but Britain was blocking that for a long time, fearing that closer integration in the defense field within the EU can jeopardize national sovereignty. After Brexit London will no longer be able to block the creation of the joint European army, but will continue to do everything to prevent it. In that case London will be concerned with something completely different: the creation of an EU army will push the cooperation in NATO out, and in fact it can stay out of close cooperation in the defense field in Europe.

However, it should be noted that the joint European army in the near future does not claim to take NATO’s place, even in Europe: EU countries currently lack resources to create a military structure rival for NATO.

At the same time the creation of the joint EU army would be a serious blow to the authority of NATO, which has recently suffered from the US President Donald Trump's statements about inefficiency of the structure. At the same time, European leaders still do not have a clear vision of an EU army: there is the sense of the need to deepen defense cooperation between the EU member states.



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