For the last decade, anti-EU politicians and activists have been warning that the European Union has been planning to create its own military that would combine the forces of each EU member state under one central command (the command being, of course, the EU Commission). Such assertions were met with scorn and derided; newspapers and media agencies mocked those who made the claims, and the vast majority of the public disbelieved such claims. But it has now happened.
Even in recent politics, in the run-up to the 2015 election, the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, went head to head in a debate with former UKIP leader Nigel Farage on this issue. Farage claimed that the EU planned to create its own military, and Clegg stated that this was nothing but a “dangerous fantasy.”
This month, 23 member states signed up to a treaty that will combine the nations’ militaries into one structure under the leadership of the EU. The architect of this legislation, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini described it as a “historic moment in European defense,” and said that “23 member states engaging both on capabilities and on operational steps is something big.”
But the reality is that this was always going to happen, and the world leaders knew it. In fact, the EU has had military capabilities for almost 20 years under a guise of cooperation. It was never a secret except to the population of the countries who are paying for this “protection.”
The EU Navy has ships on active duty around Africa today, and has had their ships for quite some time; this is not a conspiracy theory, they even have their own website extolling the virtues of their missions. The EU states that the purpose of “Operation Atlanta” is to:
- Protect vessels of the World Food Programme (WFP) and other vulnerable shipping.
- Deter and disrupts piracy and armed robbery at sea.
- Monitor fishing activities off the coast of Somalia.
- Support other EU missions and international organisations working to strengthen maritime security and capacity in the region.
And this is the rub. Point four clearly states that they have the legitimacy to support “other EU missions,” which are unnamed and unregulated by anyone other than themselves.
Under the European Union treaties, the ability of the Commission to take control of nations’ military capabilities has long been in place with the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) which is part of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).
The military structure would have been put in place many years before through Article 42 of the Treaty on European Union, but Britain was always opposed to the idea, thus stopping it from being fully implemented. Now that Britain is about to leave the EU, they have pushed full steam ahead.
“Article 42.6 enables the armed forces of a subset of member states to establish permanent structured cooperation(PESCO) between themselves.”
It is PESCO that is now solidifying the EU Commission’s grip on sovereign militaries. The Lisbon Treaty provided the legal framework stating "those Member States whose military capabilities fulfill higher criteria and which have made more binding commitments to one another in this area with a view to the most demanding missions [to] establish permanent structured cooperation within the Union framework." It is the word “permanent” that has the most implications. Once nations have ceded their power, they will be unable to take it back. And with QMV (Qualified Majority Voting) being in place, the nations who don’t wish to participate will be forced to do so under agreements they have signed in the past.
A hindrance towards the full EU army has been NATO. With many Eastern EU member states having long-standing cooperation in NATO, and Britain being a permanent, high-ranking member, NATO’s strength has given nations who may not want to be involved with PESCO another choice. The EU has been making noise to denigrate the job of NATO in the area and is using President Trump’s criticisms as an excuse to move away from it. The EU claims that the EU itself is responsible for peace in Europe despite NATO being a controlling force for several decades.
Ever since the European Union was first envisaged, it was designed to eventually become a United States of Europe in which sovereign nations were just states (in much the same way Hawaii is to America). It was never a secret during the early years; and only from 1973 to 1975 as Britain began the process of joining was the idea that sovereignty would have to be ceded hidden from the electorate.
One of the key “founding fathers” of the EU project, Jean Monnet, was the very same man who set up the “United States of Europe” committee and said that, “There will be no peace in Europe, if the states are reconstituted on the basis of national sovereignty... The countries of Europe are too small to guarantee their peoples the necessary prosperity and social development. The European states must constitute themselves into a federation...”
The EU army is here. It was always planned, it is not new, and it is one step further in decimating sovereignty of European nations.