Numerous articles from different sources over the last week have claimed that Angela Merkel will expect David Cameron to drop opposition to a unified EU military in exchange for supporting Britain’s renegotiation of its membership in the EU. This is not expected to happen.
Additionally, according to European Union President Jean-Claude Juncker, a European Union army is needed to face up to Russian antagonism. Juncker told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag that an EU army was necessary.
“You would not create a European army to use it immediately,” he told the newspaper in Germany in an interview published on Sunday but a common army among the Europeans would convey to Russia that we are serious about defending the values of the European Union. Such an army would help us design a common foreign and security policy.”
The framework to create a unified military for the European Union comes from Article 42 of the Treaty on European Union, the article provides for substantial military integration within the institutional framework of the union. However it should be noted that complete integration is an option that requires unanimity from the governments of member states. For now it remains politically unfeasible considering the critical stance of the United Kingdom’s government.
Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Julian Brazier said in a written statement on the 22nd September 2015:
“Although we welcome closer co-operation between the armed forces of EU and NATO member states, this needs to be based on improving defence capabilities across Europe, not creating new institutions. We will not support measures which would undermine member states’ competence for their own military forces, or lead to competition and duplication with NATO.”
It would seem then that claims the United Kingdom is about to join an integrated EU military are nothing more than sensationalism.