Changes in the birth, development and scale of conflicts today call for a new insight of Europe’s place within the global security environment. Today it is more vulnerable than ever because asymmetries in social and cultural development, living standards, security, perspectives, technology and communications are giving rise to a new generation of asymmetric violence that we unfortunately witnessed.

In this respect, the European Union needs a professional army – this is the position of the EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogerini.

She stressed the need to combine “soft and hard power”. The preservation of peace requires diplomacy, dialogue, soft power, but also you hard power when the situation requires so, Mogherini explained to the conference “Union Status” in Florence. According to her words, the world is in chaos.

In 2017, twenty-three EU Member States signed a document setting out the foundations of a European defence union in Brussels. The Agreement on permanent structured cooperation in the field of defence (PESCO) provides for increased coordination in the military field, as well as the establishment of joint rapid response forces. Britain, which has the third largest NATO army – after the US and Turkey, will not be involved in the project as it leaves the Union. Denmark and Malta are also not part of PESCO.

According to the EU, the new structure does not duplicate NATO, but strengthens its European flag. The agreement will give greater strategic autonomy to the EU if its partners are not available.

The last attemps for the creation of a European defence union dates back to the early 1950 s. In 1952, at the initiative of French Prime Minister Rene Pleven, the historic agreement on a common European army was signed. The Pleven Plan foresees the establishment of a single, supranational European Army at the location of existing national armies. The plan was not implemented due to UK objections.