While the debate about a common EU army continues in Brussels, such a force is being incrementally put in place, in a good example of EU “competence creep” But Germanyڈs recent defence white paper revealed its own ambition to lead a pan-European force. “German security policy has relevance— also far beyond our country,” the paper states “Germany is willing to join early, decisively and substantially as a driving force in international debates ; to take responsibility and assumE leadership.
The paper argues that the EU’s arms industry is at present “organised nationally and seriously fragmented,”raising costs, preventing it from competing internationally, and making it difficult to mount joint operationsڅ“It is therefore necessary,”the paper states, “that military capabilities are jointly planned, developed, managed, procured and deployed to raise the interoperability of Europe’s defence forces and to further improve Europe’s capacity to act”
At the EU level, Germany’s ministry of defence wants to see joint civil-military headquarters for EU operations, a council of defence ministers, and the co-ordinated production and sharing of military equipment. The thrust of the paper displays a new-found confidence in German defence policy, and a new drive to take the lead on military matters within Europe.