Military of the European Union


Military of the European Union
Military of the European Union
Coat of arms of the European Union Military Staff.svg
The coat of arms of the EU military staff
Service branches EUMS
Leadership
Commander-in-Chief 27 EU heads of state
High Representative Catherine Ashton
Director General of EUMS Lt.Gen. Ton van Osch [1]
Manpower
Military age 17-45
Active personnel 1,695,122
Reserve personnel 2,614,491
755,034 paramilitary
Expenditures
Budget $299.7 billion
Percent of GDP 1.63%

The military of the European Union today comprises the several national armed forces of the Union's 27 member states, as the policy area of defence has remained primarily the domain of nation states. European integration has however been deepened in this field in recent years, with the framing of a Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) branch for the Union's Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) as well as the creation of separate international forces revolving around the EU's defence. A number of CSDP military operations have been deployed in recent years.

Several prominent leaders, including French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini and former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, have voiced support for a common defence for the Union.[2][3][4] This possibility, requiring unanimous support among the member states, was formally laid down in Article 42 of the Treaty on European Union upon the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon on 1 December 2009.[5]

Additionally, the Treaty of Lisbon extended the enhanced co-operation provision to become available for application in the area of defence. This mechanism enables a minimum number of member states to deepen integration within the EUs institutional framework, without the necessity of participation for reluctant member states. The Polish government has announced its intention of examining the possibility of applying this provision in the area of defence during its Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2011.[6] This move has as of December 2010 been publicly supported by several national governments.[7]

Contents

History

Map showing European membership of the EU and NATO
  EU member only
  NATO member only
  member of both

Following the end of World War II and the defeat of Nazi Germany, the Dunkirk Treaty was signed by France and the United Kingdom on 4 March 1947 as a Treaty of Alliance and Mutual Assistance against a possible German attack in the aftermath of World War II. The Dunkirk Treaty entered into force on 8 September 1947. The 1948 Treaty of Brussels established the military Western Union Defence Organization with an allied European command structure under Field Marshal Montgomery. Western European powers, except for Ireland, Sweden, Finland and Austria, signed the North Atlantic Treaty alongside the United States and Canada which only created a passive defence association until 1951 when, during the Korean War, the existing and fully functioning Western Union Defence Organization was augmented to form the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO.

In the early 1950s, France, Germany, Italy and the Benelux countries made an attempt to integrate the militaries of mainland Western Europe, through the treaty establishing the European Defence Community (EDC). This scheme did however not enter into force, as it failed to obtain approval for ratification in the French National Assembly, where Gaullists feared for national sovereignty and Communists opposed a European military consolidation that could rival the Soviet Union.

The failure to establish the EDC resulted in the 1954 amendment of the Treaty of Brussels at the London and Paris Conferences which in replacement of EDC established the political Western European Union (WEU) out of the earlier established military Western Union Defence Organization and included West Germany and Italy in both WEU and NATO as the conference ended the occupation of West Germany and the defence aims had shifted from Germany to the Soviet Union.

Out of the 27 EU member states, 21 are also members of NATO. Another 3 NATO members are EU Applicants and 1 is solely a member of the European Economic Area. In 1996, the Western European Union (WEU) was tasked by NATO to implement a European Security and Defence Identity within NATO, which later was passed over to the EU Common Security and Defence Policy as all Western European Union functions were transferred to the European Union through the Lisbon Treaty. The memberships of the EU and NATO are distinct, and some EU member states are traditionally neutral on defence issues. Several of the new EU member states were formerly members of the Warsaw Pact.

The EU currently has a limited mandate over defence issues, with a role to explore the issue of European defence agreed to in the Amsterdam Treaty, as well as oversight of the Helsinki Headline Goal Force Catalogue (the 'European Rapid Reaction Force') processes. However, some EU states may and do make multilateral agreements about defence issues outside of the EU structures.

On 20 February 2009 the European Parliament voted in favour of the creation of Synchronized Armed Forces Europe (SAFE) as a first step towards a true European military force. SAFE will be directed by an EU directorate, with its own training standards and operational doctrine. There are also plans to create an EU "Council of Defence Ministers" and "a European statute for soldiers within the framework of Safe governing training standards, operational doctrine and freedom of operational action".[8]

Implications of the Treaty of Lisbon

The entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon triggered member states of the Western European Union (WEU) to scrap the organisation, which had largely become dormant, but they have kept the mutual defence clause of the Treaty of Brussels as a basis for a possible EU mutual defence arrangement.

The Treaty of Lisbon also states that:

The common security and defence policy shall include the progressive framing of a common defence policy. This will lead to a common defence, when the European Council, acting unanimously, so decides. (TEU, Article 42) [9]


Militaries of Member States

France(blue) and the United Kingdom(red).

France and the United Kingdom

France and the United Kingdom represent the EU's two most dominant global military powers and are also Europe's only two nuclear powers. Together, France and the United Kingdom account for 45 per cent of Europe's defence budget, 50 per cent of its military capacity and 70 per cent of all spending in military research and development.[10] The 2010 Anglo French defence treaty will "pool resources" of these two nations' armed forces to maintain their status as major "global defence powers". France and the United Kingdom will also work jointly with nuclear weapons, "testing will be carried out in France and the technology will be developed in the UK." [11]

Defence Spending

The combined defence budgets of the 27 EU member states in 2010 amounted to $299.7 billion.[12] This represents 1.63% of European Union GDP, second only to the US military's $698.1 billion 2010 defence budget, which represents 4.5% of United States GDP. The EU figures include the spending for joint projects such as the Eurofighter and joint procurement of equipment.

The hypothetically combined EU military
budget compared to other military powers in 2010
Figures sourced from SIPRI and EDA.
Country Defence Budget[13] ($ Dollars)  % of GDP Date (2010)
European Union European Union $299,768,000,000 1.63% 2010
France France $61,285,000,000 2.32% 2010
United Kingdom United Kingdom $57,424,000,000 2.32% 2010
Germany Germany $46,848,000,000 1.27% 2010
Italy Italy $38,303,000,000 1.44% 2010
Spain Spain $25,507,000,000 1.16% 2010
Netherlands Netherlands $11,604,000,000 1.43% 2010
Poland Poland $10,800,000,000 1.66% 2010
Greece Greece $10,398,000,000 3.3% 2010
Sweden Sweden $5,500,000,000 1.23% 2010
Belgium Belgium $4,440,000,000 1.24% 2010
Denmark Denmark $4,330,000,000 1.32% 2010
Finland Finland $4,051,000,000 1.32% 2010
Austria Austria $3,650,000,000 0.94% 2010
Portugal Portugal $3,825,000,000 1.53% 2010
Czech Republic Czech Republic $2,529,000,000 1.44% 2010
Romania Romania $2,164,000,000 1.24% 2010
Republic of Ireland Ireland $1,354,,000,000 0.58% 2010
Hungary Hungary $1,323,000,000 1.22% 2010
Slovakia Slovakia $1,010,000,000 1.53% 2010
Slovenia Slovenia $788,000,000 1.48% 2010
Bulgaria Bulgaria $698,000,000 2.34% 2010
Cyprus Cyprus $550,000,000 1.78% 2010
Lithuania Lithuania $427,000,000 1.12% 2010
Estonia Estonia $336,000,000 1.85% 2010
Luxembourg Luxembourg $301,000,000 0.53% 2010
Latvia Latvia $268,000,000 1.60% 2010
Malta Malta $51,600,000 0.50% 2010

Active Military Forces

Combined European Military Personnel

The European Union's combined active military forces in 2009 totaled 1,668,537 personnel. As of 2009, The 26 European Defence Agency member states had an average of 67,767 land force personnel deployed around the world. In a major operation the EU could readily deploy 443,103 land force personnel and of those can sustain 106,754 in an enduring operation.[14]

Denmark is not an EDA member, but is a member state of the European Union, thus bringing the total manpower of the combined EU military to 1,695,122 personnel.

Figures for the EU's reserve personnel and paramilitary forces are provided by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (a British research institute). Figures are provided for the year 2010.

A chart showing the the combined strength
of the EU's active duty personnel compared
to other military powers. EU figures sourced
from the EDA. (Note: 100 = 1 million)
Country Active military personnel Reserve personnel Paramilitary Total military personnel
European Union European
Union
1,695,122 2,614,491 755,034 5,064,647
Germany Germany[14][15][16] 246,982 200,812 447,794
France France[14][17][18][19] 243,000 70,300 151,779 465,079
United Kingdom United Kingdom[14][20] 197,780 212,400 410,180
Italy Italy[14][21] 192,168 41,867 244,273 478,308
Spain Spain[14][22] 136,000 319,000 80,210 535,210
Greece Greece[14][23][24] 133,385 237,500 4,000 374,885
Poland Poland[14][25] 98,840 10,000 28,100 136,940
Romania Romania[14][26][27] 74,790 45,000 79,900 199,690
Netherlands Netherlands[14][28] 48,639 3,339 3,000 54,978
Portugal Portugal[14][29] 39,568 210,900 47,700 298,168
Belgium Belgium[14][30] 35,720 2,040 37,760
Finland Finland[14][31] 35,328 351,500 7,550 394,378
Bulgaria Bulgaria[14][32] 32,445 302,500 34,000 368,945
Austria Austria[14][33] 28,065 195,000 9,400 232,465
Czech Republic Czech Republic[14][34] 24,418 10,998 35,416
Denmark Denmark[35] 26,585 53,507 80,092
Hungary Hungary[14][36] 21,060 44,000 12,000 77,060
Sweden Sweden[14][37] 16,958 242,000 800 259,758
Slovakia Slovakia[14][38] 14,413 14,413
Cyprus Cyprus[14][39] 12,937 50,000 750 63,687
Republic of Ireland Ireland[14][40] 9,950 14,500 24,450
Lithuania Lithuania[14][41] 8,108 6,700 14,600 29,408
Slovenia Slovenia[14][42] 6,964 3,800 4,500 15,264
Latvia Latvia[14][43] 4,937 10,866 10,096 25,899
Estonia Estonia[14][44] 3,002 25,000 10,766 38,768
Malta Malta[14] 2,120 2,120
Luxembourg Luxembourg[14][45] 882 612 1,494
A chart showing the the combined strength
of the EU's Destroyer and Frigate forces
compared to other military powers.

Combined European Naval Forces

The European Union's combined naval force consists of over 600 commissioned warships, this number does not include auxiliary, survey or support ships.

The EU possesses 5 Fleet carriers, (the largest of which is the 40,000 ton Charles de Gaulle) and a large number of amphibious assault ships. This gives the EU significant power projection capabilities. The United Kingdom is currently building 2 (65,000 ton) Supercarriers of the Queen Elizabeth class.

Of the EU's 62 submarines, 21 are Nuclear submarines (11 UK and 10 French) while 41 are conventional attack submarines.

Country Submarines Destroyers Frigates Corvettes Fleet
carriers
Amphibious
warfare
ships
Guided
missile
boats
Mine
warfare
vessels
Patrol
&
Gunboats
European Union European Union 62 34 93 58 5 19 61 159 166
France France[46] 10 12 11 9 1 5 11 17
United Kingdom United Kingdom[47] 11 6 13 7 15 24
Germany Germany[48] 6 3 12 5 10 20
Italy Italy[49] 6 4 12 8 2 3 12 14
Spain Spain[50] 4 5 6 5 2 2 4 6 19
Greece Greece[51] 8 14 17 9 16
Poland Poland[52] 5 2 3 4 19
Romania Romania[53] 3 7 6 5 8
Netherlands Netherlands[54] 4 4 2 2 10
Portugal Portugal[55] 2 5 7 22
Belgium Belgium[56] 2 6 1
Finland Finland 8 19 2
Bulgaria Bulgaria 1 4 3 3 5
Denmark Denmark[57] 6 5 6
Sweden Sweden[58] 5 11 11 13
Republic of Ireland Ireland[59] 8
Lithuania Lithuania[60] 4 4
Slovenia Slovenia[61] 2
Latvia Latvia 4 4
Estonia Estonia 1 3 2
Malta Malta[62] 8

Combined European Land and Air Forces

According to figures available from the United Kingdoms Defence Analytical Services Agency (DASA), the European Union has holdings of up to 9,959 Main Battle Tanks.[63] However, many of these are purely kept in storage and do not equip front-line units or formations. Figures are also given for;

The (DASA) provides professional analytical, economic and statistical services and advice to the Ministry of Defence (MOD), and defence-related statistics to Parliament, other Government Departments and the public.

A chart showing the the combined number
of the EU's Fighter aircraft compared
to other military powers. EU figures sourced
from Flightglobal. (Note: 100 = 1 thousand)
Country Main Battle Tanks Armoured fighting
vehicles
Artillery units Attack helicopters Strike aircraft Fighter aircraft
European Union European
Union
9,595 20,050 11,073 1,087 762 1,423
France France[63][64] 809 2,646 704 246 156 142
United Kingdom United Kingdom[63][64] 357 1,735 356 233 136 71
Germany Germany[63][64] 1,201 2,214 1,070 163 177 95
Italy Italy[63][64] 1,168 3,097 1,424 119 146 65
Spain Spain[63][64] 532 992 896 32 144
Greece Greece[63][64] 1,614 2,179 1,723 31 59 227
Poland Poland[63][64] 900 1,480 1,046 90 42 80
Romania Romania[63][64] 1,280 1,699 1,335 23 36
Netherlands Netherlands[63][64] 139 715 252 16 99
Portugal Portugal[63][64] 216 424 381 34
Belgium Belgium[63][64] 106 245 133 31 69
Finland Finland[64] 62
Bulgaria Bulgaria[63][64] 564 738 1,176 19 22 14
Austria Austria[64] 15
Czech Republic Czech Republic[63][64] 174 513 258 26 24 14
Denmark Denmark[63][64] 147 321 42 12 50
Hungary Hungary[63][64] 156 622 115 30 19
Sweden Sweden[64] 175
Slovakia Slovakia[63][64] 232 430 162 16 12

Forces and frameworks

Common Security and Defence Policy

The defence arrangements which have been established under the EU institutions are part of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), a branch of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). It should be noted that Denmark has an opt-out from the CSDP.

Deployments

In 2004, EU countries took over leadership of the mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina from NATO through the European Union Force (EUFOR). The mission was given the branding of an EU initiative as the EU sponsored the force to further the force's image of legitimacy. There have been other deployments such as in Gaza and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2007, the then European High Representative for Foreign Policy, Javier Solana indicated the EU could send troops to Georgia, perhaps alongside Russian forces.[65]

Separate initiatives

Separate initiatives by Member States that revolve around the defence of the European Union in some way or another, or acting as a European standing army.

See also

References

European Union
Flag of the European Union

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
the European Union

v · d · e

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