The United Kingdom has blocked the creation of the EU military, objecting to the word “operational HQ” in the text of the proposal. The planned institution has been dismissed as a “call center” that will be staffed by “eight to nine people” that have other jobs. Head of EU diplomacy, Federica Mogherini, confirmed that the so-called Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC) facility would finally be launched in a couple of days.
An EU source commented that “the so-called ‘HQ’ amounts to eight or nine people all of whom have existing jobs and will come together to work with the existing general who heads EU military. It’s about as low-ambition as you can get away with. It’s definitely not an operational headquarters. It’s not allowed to command operations, it can only oversee missions.”
London began to worry about the plans for an EU army after new French President Emmanuel Macron had appointed a pro-Europe defense chief Sylvie Goulard with very close ties to Germany, which was a surprising move even in his own party. Her predecessor Jean-Yves Le Drian has been promoted to head France’s newly named Europe and Foreign Affairs Ministry.
Mr. Macron also promised to strengthen EU defense during his first foreign trip to Berlin when he met Chancellor Merkel. A few days later, European leaders announced they would move forward with plans for an EU defense fund, with a planned annual budget of more than 4 billion euros as well as the launch of the EU military headquarters. Great Britain has always been against the EU defense integration due to the fears that an EU army could overlap with the activities of the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO).