DEBATE: What are the real prospects for strengthened European defence?
Two experts debate the significance of the conclusions of the European Council meeting on 15 December 2016.
European leaders agreed that Europeans must do more to strengthen Europe's security and defence in a challenging geopolitical environment.
They discussed proposals to implement the EU Global Strategy in the area of Security and Defence, which sets the level of ambition of the European Union. They welcomed the Commission's proposed European Defence Action Plan and looked forward to the establishment of a European Defence Fund and the joint development of capabilities commonly agreed by EU member states. They also urged swift action to implement EU-NATO cooperation in jointly agreed areas.
“Today we agreed to step up our work on security and defence, in partnership with NATO.” – Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, 15 December 2016, Brussels. © European Union
Can there be a Franco-German axis in defence? Since 1989, a Franco-German Brigade has formed part of the EU’s Eurocorps and has been deployed to Kosovo. © Marie-Lan Nguyen