Opinion & Analysis

Audience question: What is needed for a European army?

What will it take to have a European army?
In the run-up to the European Parliament elections, Clingendael experts answer questions from our online audience. In this second episode, Amy Verdun asks: What will it take to have a European army? Dick Zandee answers her.

Dick, before you get to the answer, you’d like to make clear that the term European ‘army’ is actually incorrect. Why is that?

An army means forces on the ground, but of course there are also the domains of sea and air. So a better term would be European armed forces.

What is your definition of European armed forces?

That’s a very good question, because multiple definitions circulate. If you ask me, I’d say it would be simular to the US armed forces. That means everyone speaks the same language, there is one political leadership, in case of the US the White House, there is one commander-in-chief and one command structure. In Europe all these things lack.

About the Author:

Dick Zandee is Head of the Security & Defence Programme and Senior Research Fellow of the Research department of the Clingendael Institute. His research focuses on security and defence issues, including strategies, policies, military operations, capability development, research and technology, armaments cooperation and industrial aspects. 

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