Ten European states have created a new defense coalition. It was launched on June 25 and held its first historic meeting in Paris on Nov.7 to start thrashing out details of how the force will operate and welcome Finland as the tenth participant.
All founding nations are EU members, including Great Britain, which is to leave the bloc in March, 2019.
Led by France, the European Initiative Intervention (EII) comprises the UK, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and Finland to cooperate in the planning, analysis of new military and humanitarian crises, and possible joint activities in response to contingencies. It is planned to have a common budget.
The EI2 members will maintain readiness to carry out missions together independently from the USA, the EU or NATO. A streamlined decision-making process will permit a quick reaction time while the smaller number of members will give more flexibility in comparison with the North Atlantic Alliance.
Emmanuel Macron believes that “Europe can ensure its own protection against Russia and even, under an unpredictable President Donald Trump.”That’s how the USA is viewed in Europe now. Not a defender but rather a threat.
An independent military bloc will weaken NATO and reduce the Europe’s dependence on the USA. New smaller alliances are gradually being formed inside NATO and the EU, making the blocs facing the threat of partition.
Finland has found the EI2 preferable to NATO. But having joined the officially inaugurated new military alliance, it won’t be a neutral state anymore. It has become a member of the military organization, which openly says that Russia, its neighbor, is a threat to counter.
However, the tensions and divisions between Europe and Russia are not forever and the EI2 and Russia don’t have to be adversaries, looking at each other through cross hairs.
After all, they face common security threats. Sooner or later, cooperation in the field of security will be back on the agenda.
New waves of asylum seekers from Libya are a potential danger for Europe. Russia has influence in that country- it can help to prevent it. Joining together to restore Syria is another potential area of cooperation.
Strategic Culture / ABC Flash Point EU News 2018.