Britain drops opposition to new EU military command centre
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"The European Union approved a new military command centre for foreign training missions on Thursday after Britain dropped its opposition, the latest step in EU efforts to integrate its militaries and defence industries.
A day after the European Commission offered 1.5 billion euros ($1.68 billion) a year in support of Franco-German plans for greater EU defence cooperation, all 28 EU governments agreed for the command centre in Brussels to run training missions in Somalia, the Central African Republic and Mali.
Britain, still a member of the European Union until it leaves in 2019, resisted the creation of the command centre because London has long feared what it sees as the creation of an EU army that would weaken national sovereignty.
But less than two weeks before Britain is set to start its EU exit negotiations, London agreed to the so-called Military Planning and Conduct Capability on the basis it was not called a military headquarters.
The European Union has 15 military missions abroad, which are run out of separate headquarters. The bloc has said it is not seeking to rival NATO's headquarters in Mons, Belgium. "
See: Britain drops opposition to new EU military command centre (Reuters, link)
- EU defence cooperation: Council establishes a Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC) (Council press release, pdf)
- Factsheet: The Military Planning and Conduct Capability - MPCC (pdf)
- Council conclusions on Security and Defence in the context of the EU Global Strategy (9178/17, pdf)
- The European Defence Fund: Questions and Answers (European Commission press release, pdf): "The European Defence Fund is linked and complementary to the implementation of the EU Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy on security and defence. The Fund will contribute the implementation of the EU level of ambition in security and defence agreed by the Council in November 2016. It will also contribute to the implementation of the EU-NATO Joint Declaration signed in Warsaw in July 2016."
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