2017 was an important year for EU Defence cooperation. In June, the Commission launched the European Defence Fund and in December EU member states established Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), which had laid dormant in the Lisbon Treaty since 2009. The Commission also published a reflection paper on the future of European Defence that includes ambitious proposals for a ‘common defence and security’.
In his paper For a True European Defence Union – published as part of the Martens Centre ‘Future of Europe’ series – Prof. Jolyon Howorth assesses these recent developments but goes well beyond them. He illustrates the concrete steps EU policy makers should take if they are serious about achieving ‘strategic autonomy’, the goal proclaimed in the European Global Strategy. How would a European Defence Union look like? How can it be achieved? What would it mean for EU-NATO cooperation? Is a European nuclear deterrent feasible?