Initially pushed by Eastern European members, particularly Poland, as another way to challenge Russia, the European Union is now seen warming to the idea of establishing its own alliance-wide nuclear weapons program placed under common European command.
This plan appears to fall well short of Poland’s call for a Russia-sized nuclear arsenal, and would start with France, the one EU member nation with an existing nuclear arsenal, handing over its arsenal to the union to be placed under the union’s command.
Those in favor of the scheme initially envisioned merging the British and French arsenals, though with Britain withdrawing from the EU, France is essentially all that’s left. From France’s perspective, this may be a good way to get the rest of the alliance to pay for their costly arsenal’s upkeep.
The plan is being sold as a response to the risk of President Trump dialing back support for the EU, though it doesn’t appear that the arsenal will actually be growing with this move, but rather be shifting to a different command.