A European rapid intervention force of 5,000 soldiers. It is the goal that the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, has set for himself and that, after the fiasco in Afghanistan, is gaining weight among the 27. Not only has it not been achieved after two decades and billions of dollars to build a new State, but it has not even been possible to evacuate the people who needed it from the country due to the military walk of the Taliban in the last days of the US and NATO withdrawal from the country.
“We have to increase our capacity to act autonomously when and where it is necessary, and not be dependent on the decisions of others, even if they are friends and allies,” said the head of European diplomacy after an informal meeting with the ministers of Defense of the EU this Thursday in Kranj (Slovenia).
The European intervention force is part of the Strategic Compass (the strategic compass) that Borrell aspires to be approved on November 16 by the 27.
“We have to develop our own capabilities,” Borrell said, “and I think we are going to agree to it. We have the armies and the resources, but we lack the coordination and the desire to mobilize it.” Indeed, there is no unanimity among the 27 yet, and for this matter, as for so many others, unanimity is necessary.
The German Government has suggested activating the Article 44 of the EU Operating Treaty, which foresees that the 27 unanimously make a decision that is later carried out by some of those 27, as a way to speed up decision-making.
“Article 44 has never been used,” Borrell said, “and neither has the 2001 directive that would allow Afghan refugees to be accommodated. Some, the Germans, have put the idea of Article 44 on the table. I agree, I agree. We will explore, but we must not forget that Article 44 requires a unanimous decision of the Council. And then, some Member States are in charge of implementing that decision. Not all participate, but all must approve. It specifies fewer implementation requirements, but still requiring unanimity in the decision to do so. It is an idea that must be taken into consideration. ”