European politicians are interested in a “EU army” that could be activated up to 5,000 troops with no support from the member states

  • EU chief for foreign policy stated that troops could be sent to war zones without support
  • Josep Borrell thinks that smaller countries need to take actions
  • Britain would oppose any plans during its membership because it would threaten Nato

Eurocrats are planning a 5,000-strong ‘EU army’ that could be activated without unanimous support from member states.

Draft documents contain controversial proposals that outline the creation, by 2025, of a force military capable of going to war without approval from all 27 EU countries.

Officials would be able to ‘swiftly deploy a modular force of up to 5,000 troops, including land, air and maritime components’, said a document seen by the Daily Mail.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said soldiers could be sent into war zones without the backing of all member states

Josep Borrell, EU chief of foreign policy, said that soldiers can be deployed to war zones with or without all members’ backing

It said the force could ‘respond to imminent threats or quickly react to a crisis situation, for example, a rescue and evacuation mission or a stabilisation operation in a hostile environment’.

But in a move likely to spark a backlash today, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said soldiers could be sent into war zones without the backing of all member states, potentially breaching the bloc’s own founding treaty.

Mr Borrell said smaller groups of countries could choose to take action because ‘we cannot decide by unanimity every step of the process’.

He said he was not asking to abolish the unanimity rule but added: ‘What I believe is that this institutional setting can be “flexibilised” in order to act quicker and better.’

The plan would give EU members the power to ‘enable willing and capable European-led coalitions’.

Brexit opens up possibilities for Brussels to create an EU army.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, left, and European High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell pose for a photograph during the G7 foreign ministers meeting in London in May this year

Dominic Raab from Britain is the Foreign Secretary. Josep Borrell the European High Representative for Foreign Affairs poses for a photo during G7’s May meeting in London.

Britain opposed such a plan as a member, saying it would be detrimental to NATO.

The EU’s draft documents for the ‘Strategic Compass’ plan were produced after European nations were humiliated by the hasty US pullout from Afghanistan this summer, which they said left them incapable of acting alone.

French President Emmanuel Macron wants to make Europe less reliant on US firepower, with ‘a stronger and more capable European defence’.

Mr Borrell wrote in the briefing document that the bloc must start ‘learning the language of power’.

Monday will see the presentation of the draft plan to both defence and foreign ministries. The plan is unlikely to be approved in its entirety until 2023.