The creation of a new body on managing non-combatant EU missions will mark Europe’s first step toward taking over more responsibility for its defense, Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis said Monday.
Earlier in the day, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that she would offer the EU ministers to take decision on establishing the Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC), aimed at increasing efficiency of military work and managing the non-combatant EU missions.
“Today is an important day for Europe. We will launch the Planning and Conduct Capability for the military non-combatant operations. This is an embryo for the European Union to assume more responsibility in its defense,” Dasis told reporters.
Dastis stressed that EU member states would take actions for Europe to be able to ensure its security and defense autonomously, however, the specific steps would be defined gradually, as they had commitments to NATO and the European Union.
The EU states should seek common policy on migration and refugees, Dastis noted.
The discussions on Europe’s defense have become more active following the victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential election. During the presidential race, Trump repeatedly said that the United States should decrease the support of other NATO member states and protect only those members of the Alliance, who “fulfil their obligations” to Washington.
The European states agreed on a new plan on the EU security and defense on November 14, which excluded the creation of an EU army and two weeks later, the European Commission proposed the creation of a new defense fund for military procurement and collaborative research as part of a wider EU defense strategy.