European People's Party Urges Creation of EU Military Unit
14:15 GMT 08.09.2021 (Updated: 17:15 GMT 12.04.2023)
The idea of the European Union creating its own defence unit has been in the air for a while, but it has recently been brought into focus again by European lawmakers such as European Council President Charles Michel and EU Foreign Affairs chief Josep Borrell.
European People's Party (EPP) has pushed for the creation of a European Union military unit, calling to "defend Europe together".
"The #EU must work closer together when it comes to defence", the Group of the European People's Party (EPP Group) tweeted on Tuesday. "We should take it one step further and establish the EU's own Military Unit. Let’s defend Europe together".
The group has advocated for the creation of such a unit, expressing belief that "individual countries alone will never be able to guarantee their own security faced with 21st Century threats". According to the EPP Group, Europe needs stop relying on NATO and the United States when it comes to defence capabilities and "be able to put in place credible strength to provide for its own security".
The EPP Group is not the only one mulling the idea of the EU's own military unit. Following the hectic US departure from Afghanistan, European lawmakers, among them Charles Michel and Josep Borrell, renewed calls for discussing the possibility of the bloc establishing its own defence capabilities.
However, not everyone is enthusiastic about the idea. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg expressed concerns over a hypothetical EU military unit, while swiftly noting that he was not opposed “more European efforts on defence", despite his stance on a European army.
“I welcome more European efforts on defence but that can never replace NATO and we need to make sure that Europe and North America band together", Stolenberg told The Telegraph in an interview, noting that he thinks the separation of Europe and North America would both weaken NATO and leave Europe divided.