Twenty-three member states of the European Union signed a deal agreeing to integrate the financial, research, and placement aspects of the military on November 13th, 2017. Though the deal does not create one unified European military, it is a major step towards a more centralized Europe.
Military integration was consistently opposed and blocked by Britain within the EU but with the victory of Brexit in Britain, the deal was implemented without major opposition. The treaty is the only major step towards military integration since the inception of the European Union.
“The real problem is not how much we spend, it is the fact that we spend in a fragmented manner” said EU chief foreign policy official Federica Mogherini.
The deal will result in a closer framework for European defense and a more powerful presence as a more centralized entity. Financially, the European nations have agreed to jointly coordinate funding for military research with oversight from EU officials and under the authority of the EU. Additionally, the agreement increased a binding commitment from each member state for the research and development of weapons.
The agreement also facilitated easier military access across borders and loosened restrictions on the movement of military vehicles and personnel through the territory of other member states. The steps taken in the treaty undoubtedly strengthen the military might of the European Union as a whole, but the measures also centralize the EU and reduces the sovereignty of the member states by delegating powers that formerly belonged to the individual member states to the federal European Union.
Although the treaty is a step towards a unified and coordinated European defense, the European Union is still far from creating a European army. Creating such an army would require a degree of centralization that would not be possible without a powerful federal state that could intervene in the affairs of its individual members. However, the treaty signals that the European Union has the capacity to gain a major military presence on the continent. Going forwards, the treaty has also motioned that the EU will continue to centralize the federation.
Credit to Quartz(qz.com)