New initiative for security and defence of the European Union

The security and defence capabilities of the EU should be strengthened. There is a growing Europe wide support for a more effective defence and better cooperation. However, multilateral defence cooperation in past decades was difficult. To give new impetus to strengthening the security and defence of the EU, the EURODEFENSE Network, represented in 15 countries, has sent a practical proposal to the president of the European Commission, the president of the European Council and the president of the European Parliament.

European security is no longer just about military threats and the defence of territory of a member state. There are many new threats and developments that most individual Member States are unable to cope with. These involve various, often hybrid, threats such as cyberattacks, des-information, human trafficking, illegal immigration, terrorism, trade restrictions and conflicts in border regions. The last decades, Europe also has grown to be a major global player. Therefore, it is only logical to step up efforts to protect and defend the European standards and values as well as its territory and citizens.

What is the policy proposal about?

1. Setting up a permanent, limited, but high-quality EU intervention capacity for direct action in case of crisis. Also to bridge the gap until member state capabilities become available. This intervention capacity can comprise armed forces, but for instance also cyber units. The staff of these permanent EU units is complementary to national capabilities and paid by the EU.

2. Developing additional capabilities beyond the capacity of most countries. Both in new technology areas as well as for capital-intensive conventional capabilities.

3. Improving fast EU decision-making in crisis situations by a EU security council.

4. Strengthening the EU command structure to effectively lead EU units the EU contribution to NATO.

Nations will have to accept that “being capable to do everything yourself” is no longer always possible and necessary. Nowadays, most European countries are unable to do that anyway. The point of departure is strictly voluntary participation: Each member state can still determine which defence capabilities it deems necessary for its own defence. Once established, a relatively small European defence organization could act quickly in crisis situations. It could do so in a future oriented manner, proportionally and effectively supplementing the capacities of Member State and hence also be an effective contribution to NATO. This does not affect a Member state’s own sovereignty nor their NATO obligations.

For more information please contact Mr. Jan Wind: E: or T: +31 6 2350 2003

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Summary (English)      Summary (Dutch)       Full report (English)        Full report (French)

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