Integration in European Defence: Some Legal Considerations

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Table of Contents: I. Introduction. – II. Reasons for the inclusion of EDU provisions in the Lisbon Treaty and their rationale. – III. Legal considerations. – III.1. The options. – III.2. Establishment of Permanent Structured Cooperation. – III.3. Functioning. – III.4. Purpose. – III.5. Funding. – IV. Conclusion.

Abstract: The perceived surge in external threats such as hybrid and cyber warfare, the instability in EU neighbourhood, and deadly attacks on the very EU territory, jointly with the pending process of the UK leaving the European Union, recently renewed political and academic interest in the establishment of a European Defence Union (EDU). EDU is foreseen in Art. 42, para. 2, TEU, as part of Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), but only with Resolution of 22 November 2016 on the European Defence Union the European Parliament called for its establishment. This is now taking concrete shape: by Decision of 11 December 2011, the Council of the European Union has established a Permanent Structured Cooperation, and in June 2017 the Commission proposed the adoption of an ad hoc fund. The permanent structured cooperation is a mechanism for Member States to combine their military efforts provided for in the TEU, but never implemented or used until now. The opportunity to use a start-up fund is also foreseen in Art. 41, para. 3, TEU. This Article devotes attention to the legal foundations of EDU. It discusses issues related to its establishment, functioning, aims, and funding; in addition, it explores the relationship between EDU and other options available to policy-makers for providing a European defence: the mutual defence clause of Art. 42, para. 7, TEU and the mutual assistance clause of Art. 222 TFEU.

Keywords: European Defence Union – European army – Common Foreign and Security Policy – Common Security and Defence Policy – EU external relations law – international relations.

European Papers, Vol. 2, 2017, No 3, pp. 887-903
2499-8249 - doi: 10.15166/2499-8249/181

* PhD Candidate, King’s College London,


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