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Reform European defence – sharply – from top-down, says EuroDefense

The European Union requires a radical top-down overhaul to its approach to defence – including a permanent EU command for operational and defence planning – if it is going to protect itself against future threats, says EuroDefense in its new set of recommendations to the EU leadership.

        Eurodefense calls for a top-down reform of European defence in a report seen by Janes
        . (Getty Images)

Eurodefense calls for a top-down reform of European defence in a report seen by Janes . (Getty Images)

EU defence policy decisions in Brussels should shift away from unanimity, accompanied by a solid alignment of national military capabilities to EU defence requirements and, moreover, the voluntary placing on permanent standby of the national assets needed to support EU defence, argues the group. EuroDefense is a pan-European network of 14 national associations, the members of which are drawn from industry, military, research, and academic circles.

“Pooling and sharing of national capabilities are not enough for the credibility of EU defence,” it states in its Recommendations on EU Defence. “In order to implement this concept, political, legal, organisational and operational aspects will have to be dealt with.”

The 12-page document, seen by Janes , will soon be transmitted to the office of Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, and other European leaders.

The document’s elaboration fell to EuroDefense’s Working Group 27, which spent the past 18 months refining the recommendations to gain the support of all of its national associations, some of which wanted greater stress on capability development versus policy reform. It was a challenge to ensure that the latter emphasis prevailed, said Iric van Doorn, the working group’s Dutch chairperson.

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