European Council


Rémi Carton

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Topic 1: The question of the creation of a European army

About the idea of a European army:

The project of a European Defense Community was brought forward roughly at the same time as the project of a European Coal and Steel Community, at the end of the 1940's and the beginning of the 1950's. But where the ECSC was eventually created, starting the great adventure of European cooperation that now continues with the European Union, the project of a EDC was abandoned after France's decision, in 1954, to withdraw its support from a project the country first introduced and advocated as the second pillar for uniting the old continent. The idea of a European defense, furthermore the idea of a European army, has since been deeply buried. In the meantime the North-Atlantic Treaty Organization emerged as the main international structure for defense cooperation amongst European Countries.

Since the end of the Cold War, the fall of the USSR and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, the idea as resurfaced and has been reintroduced in the public debate, but it's only since the beginning of the 2010's that this debate has gained public support from Member State's national opinions and political leaders. First is the failing leadership of the United States over NATO and the growing isolationist trend adopted by the world's last superpower under the two terms of Barack Obama's presidency, a trend now matched with Donald Trump's hesitation over the US NATO involvement, especially the cost of an organization mainly funded by the USA. Second is the reemerging threat of Russia under Vladimir Putin's leadership, at first a diffuse threat made very concrete on Eu...