The discussion of the European army is a subject that has been present in the public debate since the beginning of the creation of a common Europe. The answers to the question of whether it is crucial to create a European army to ensure the security of the European Union (EU) and its borders vary greatly. According to some experts, creating an army is an urgent necessity because the continent is not secure anymore. Therefore, Europe must have its joint army, which will respond to any security challenges. Another argument is that if the EU aims to become a global power, it cannot achieve it without its own military force.
On the other hand, for other people discussing this matter, the idea of a European army is a pure fantasy. The reason for this is the fact that military integration in the European Union has been discussed on various occasions, yet so far without success. This policy field still remains a sensitive area when it comes to national sovereignty of member states. Moreover, the militarization of the EU is also described as a challenge to its role of ‘civilian power’
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Nevertheless, considering the threat that Europe is now facing in light of the current war in the eastern part of Europe, namely the Russian invasion of Ukraine, this topic is becoming more critical than ever. Therefore, security challenges for Europe, the general views among the societies and political officials of the European Union about the possibility of creating a joint army, the obstacles preventing much closer integration in the military field shall be addressed.
The European Security Strategy published by the European Union in 2003, starts as follows:
“Europe has never been so prosperous, so secure nor so free. The violence of the first half of the 20th century has given way to a period of peace and stability unprecedented in European history.” This statement has, however, been recently rendered obsolete.
The security environment compared with the time of drafting the document became far more complicated, and the situation on the European continent has deteriorated in terms of a peaceful coexistence. A range of challenges to security, in both civil and military spheres, appeared since the end of the Cold War. Moreover, the scope of the emerging and existing threats has also diversified.