11 Aug. — The Italian Defence and Foreign Affairs Ministers, Roberta Pinotti and Paolo Gentiloni, published an article, calling for the creation of “a kind of a Defence Union”. Writing in the Italian and French dailies La Repubblica and Le Monde, they suggested the initiators could be a small group of countries, with others joining later as they wish.
The outcome of the British referendum and the recent terror attacks in Europe require the EU member states to take effective measures, the ministers wrote. They are convinced that restoring the confidence and peace of mind of the people would be helped by joint steps in the area of defence.
Italy proposes two options. The first one is the deepening of cooperation between the member states and the build-up of defence potential within the framework of existing agreements. They refer, in particular, to articles 44 and 46 of the Lisbon Treaty, which stipulate special cooperation between the group of countries for the purposes of resolving military, peacekeeping and related humanitarian objectives.
However, clearly building on these points, the ministers propose launching a new project: “a kind of a Defence Union”, a “Defence Schengen”. Its essence is the unification of military capabilities of individual countries. The aim of the initiative, the authors underSCORE, is not the creation of a “European Army”, but of a “European Multinational Force”. It will have a single command and budget and will not compete with NATO, but rather supplement it.
The project is supposed to be launched by a small group of countries, with particular expectations of founding EU members playing the first fiddle. The other countries will be able to join later on. The ministers especially emphasise that countries will be able to negotiate the terms of their participation in the initiative.