The six-page Franco-German paper says that "in the context of a deteriorating security environment … it is high time to reinforce our solidarity and European defense capabilities in order to more effectively protect the citizens and borders of Europe," as cited by French daily Le Figaro.
According to the submitted manual, the UK had in the past opposed steps toward the creation of an EU army or duplication of NATO structures.
The Franco-German paper now says that "taking into account the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the EU, we have to henceforth act as 27 [member states]".
Russian newspaper Izvestiya has asked the Subcommittee on Security and Defense of the European People's Party (EPP), the largest faction in the European parliament, to comment on the proposal.
"Brexit will not become the reason for disunity within the EU, contrariwise, we should all work together," a source in EPP's press service told the newspaper.
"The proposal of the French and German defense ministers is aimed at strengthening the cooperation within the block and at setting up the union not only as a strong political and economic body but also as a military one," he further added.
One of the key points of the proposal is aimed at preventing the mass purchase of US-made arms and equipment by EU member states, the newspaper says.
Hence it proposes to expand the European production of tanker aircraft, satellite communication systems, cybersecurity equipment and to finally complete the construction of MALE-class medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), jointly designed by France, Italy and Germany.
The European Defense Agency (EDA), an EU offshoot in Brussels, will coordinate the above proposed initiatives.
The document also calls for a single EU budget for military research and for joint procurement of air-lift, satellite, cyber-defense assets and surveillance drones.
EU states should also create a new command center for coordinating medical assistance, a logistics center for sharing “strategic” assets, such as air-lift capacities, and should share satellite reconnaissance data.
Besides, the Eurocorps in Strasbourg, an existing military club between Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy and Poland, could in future help the EU Council to plan missions in order to speed up deployment.
EU "tactical groups", also known as "battle groups" — joint battalions created by small groups of EU states — should be made operationally ready.
It also says the EU should foster a European esprit de corps by creating a new military academy or by having European courses at national military schools.
EDA will seek to avoid duplicating NATO's functions, but rather to become an alternative to the alliance, trying to complement one another, a representative of EDA told Izvestiya.
It will be in constant dialogue with the alliance while offering support to the EU member states.
In a separate analysis on the proposed initiative, German newspaper Die Welt however noted that although the US will remain "conjectural world power" for a long time, it already "lacks power and willingness to defend the Europeans from their self-imposed weakness and geopolitical dependency."