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#EUelections 2019 – Defense in the European Union

« We need a strong European Union like never before. This is what our citizens deserve and what the world expects. The European project that has brought unprecedented peace, prosperity and democracy is in question « , Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said.

1.What is defense in the European Union?

The term  » defense  » refers to protecting  » someone  » from  » something  ». At European level, it means the protection of the citizens and its integrity against any form of attack or cross-border crime against it.
Notably, since the 1992 Maastricht Treaty, there has been a Common European Defense Policy (CEDP). With the Lisbon Treaty, the latter is replaced by the European Common Security Policy (CFSP), which obviously includes the defense dimension. The European defense evolved and thus the competences of the Union have largely developed, despite the fact that defense was a MS’ proper competence.
The current defense policy framework is provided by the legal basis in Art.42 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU). The Treaty stresses the need to ensure peace and security within the European borders..

The army front of the European Parliament in Brussels

2.The necessity for a common defense policy

In recent years, the Union suffered many threats and new measures were adopted in order to avoid weakening its balance. This was particularly highlighted by terrorist attacks in Madrid in 2005, Paris in 2015, Brussels in 2016, etc.
Cross-border crimes increased also thanks to networking facilities. The EU has to face new challenges and only action at Union level will be effective.

3.Defense tools

Thus, several policy actions followed. First of all, a European Defense Agency was created in 2004. The Agency brings together the defense ministers of the member states beside Denmark. The EDA will strengthen military forces and defense policies, and will draw common lines at European level to strengthen cooperation. This agency is chaired by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini.
Federica Mogherini has been head of European diplomacy since 2014. Thus, the High Representative has a great role as she must promote and ensure defense in Europe.
In 2016, HR/VP Mogherini presented to EU leaders a comprehensive strategy « Shared Vision, Joint Action: A Stronger Europe ». “Similarly, a few months later, the European Commission presented an action plan. The aim is to strengthen the security of European citizens and help Member States to organize defense spending. Concretely the Commission wanted to present a draft ‘European Defense Fund’ in order to give more capacity action to the Union.
Finally, the Council in 2017 adopted conclusions on security and defense as part of the strategy proposed by the High Representative. The HR/VP noted the progress made and encouraged the Union in this direction. They also mention the need for permanent cooperation to make European defense policy even more effective.
We can therefore see that there is a multitude of tools in the framework of this Europe of defense.

Federica Morgherini, actual chief of European diplomacy


Defense policy, to be considered in development, needs more coordination among MS. Brexit is playing an important role since the United Kingdom has a relevant military force. Defense policy, to be considered in development, needs more coordination among MS.

Agathe Cabaret

For more informations :

⦁ Official site to European Union :
⦁ Site to European Council :
⦁ Robert Schuman’s fondation :
⦁ Actuality site to European Union :

Adeline Silva Pereira

Après avoir effectué la deuxième année du master Sécurité Globale analyste politique trilingue à l'Université de Bordeaux, j'effectue un stage au sein d'EU Logos afin de pouvoir mettre en pratique mes compétences d'analyste concernant l'actualité européenne sur la défense, la sécurité et plus largement la coopération judiciaire et policière.

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