In a 369-255 vote, the European Parliament today agreed to deepen military cooperation across the European Union. The vote urges member nations to increase military spending to “rely less on the United States” for military defense.
Former Estonian FM Urmas Paet warned that the EU is too heavily reliant on NATO, and by extension the United States, to face “overwhelming defense challenges.” The effort is centered on further building up the military for a war against Russia.
The call for increased military spending is ultimately non-binding on individual nations, and indeed it isn’t clear how many nations intend to do anything in the course of the plan. With the overwhelming majority of EU nations also in NATO, there is a lot of overlap in these plans.
The EU interests in more joint military operations is a long-standing ambition for several nations, and one which seems to be picking up pace with the upcoming Brexit. At the same time, it’s unclear when this alliance would be called on to operate independently from NATO, and a lot of this new push seems to be a big show of doing something anti-Russia.
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