[DIPLOMACY] European Armed Forces Treaty

After discussions at the 2031 European Council Summit and thereafter, 16 countries agreed to integrating their armed forces:

Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria
Map!

This is the single largest step ever made in the realm of common European defence, and the largest and most comprehensive international defence integration project on the planet. Effects will be significant improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of European defence, thus saving billions every year while also making the continent stronger.

The details of the process have been worked out over the past months and years, and will now be inscribed in the European Armed Forces Treaty, which we invite all willing nations to sign and ratify.

Organization of the European Armed Forces

Dimensions of Integration

  • The European Armed Forces will be created as a new military organization, with the responsibility of defending the European Union in general and the parties of the treaty in specific. This includes the defence of the land borders against armed attacks, defence and supervision of the shared airspace, and defence of the shared territorial waters and EEZs. Another responsibility is to provide assistance to civil agencies in the case of disasters and emergencies, if requested.

  • Almost the entire armed forces of the participating countries will be integrated. Exceptions are special branches like gendarmerie/military police forces (Carabinieri, Koninklijke Marechaussee, etc), whose activities are coordinated in the European Gendarmerie Force; executive protection branches like the Spanish Royal Guard and Prague Castle Guard, who are specifically dedicated to a single country's government/monarchs; and militia/paramility forces like the Territorial Defence Force of Poland and Latvian National Guard.

  • Existing EU military structures like the Eurocorps, EATC, Euromarfor and others will be converted into cooperation centres between the European Armed Forces and non-participating EU member states.

  • The European Armed Forces will take over all military bases and installations from the integrated forces. Decisions on the closure or reduction of these facilities will be made jointly.

  • Funding will come directly from the participating nations, roughly relative to economic size. Every year, each country's contribution will be determined.

  • All future procurement will be standardized. That will greatly save on development and maintenance costs for equipment.

  • English will be the working language of the armed forces, as it is the working language of NATO and generally widely known across Europe. English language classes will be part of every soldier's training, with special emphasis on military terminology.

  • No country will be forced to integrate their military, but all EU members will be invited and strongly encouraged to do so.

Command Structure

  • The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy will be the formal commander-in-chief of the European Armed Forces.

  • The European Defence Council will be formed, which will include the defence ministers of all participating countries to represent their governments and the High Representative to represent the EU. It will have a rotating chair between the 16 countries (1-year terms). This council will make many political decisions about the integrated military, like assigning the budget and proposing procurement projects. It will be based in Brussels.

  • The High Representative and the Chairperson of the Defence Council will together politically represent the armed forces to the outside, for example to NATO and other international organizations.

  • The European Parliament will serve as the controlling organ of the European Armed Forces. It will approve budgets and procurement programmes, and will have to approve any deployments outside of the EU territory. Only MEPs from the participating countries will be allowed to vote on matters regarding the armed forces. The EP will establish committees to coordinate these functions.

  • A Chief of Defence (CHODE) will be appointed as highest-ranking commissioned officer with the typical functions of that role. For example, the CHODE will be the primary adviser and point of contact for the Defence Council.

Branches

There will be the three classical combat branches with appropriate sub-groups:

  • European Land Forces, as the land-based component

    • Rapid Forces Corps, containing forces with rapid reaction capabilities: 1 Airborne Division, 1 Special Forces Division
    • 4 regional commands/districts (Central, Northeast, Southeast, South), each containing several divisions (Map)
  • European Air Force, as aerial component

  • European Navy, as the naval component

    • Marine Corps
    • Naval Aviation

In addition to these, there will be three supporting branches that will not be directly involved in combat, but rather provide background functions to the three combat branches. This is modeled after the proven Bundeswehr organization and other international examples.

  • General Support Service, handling tasks like logistics and strategic support

    • Provost (internal military police)
    • CBRN defence troops
  • Joint Medical Service, unified medical corps

  • Information Support Service, responsible for IT services, cyber security, electronic warfare, and strategic reconnaissance (incl. recon satellite operations)


Integration Timeline

  • By 2035, the command structures of the participating armed forces will be harmonized and gradually put under a common command.

  • In 2036, the full new European Armed Forces structure will be put in place as detailed above. The old armed forces will at that point finally cease to exist, at least in their current form. Even then it will still take more time to complete harmonize all details though.

  • Starting immediately year, a major equipment standardization/upgrade project will begin. Old equipment will be replaced with latest-generation armaments. That means that in a few years, instead of a dozen of different and outdated models, there will only be around 1-3 different types of equipment per category. With an initial investment of a few ten billion dollars, massive sums can be saved in the long term.

Once the process is completed, the European Armed Forces will have an estimated active personnel strength of around 870,000:

Branch Land Forces Air Force Navy GSS JMS ISS
Personnel 350,000 150,000 100,000 110,000 100,000 60,000

By that metric, it will be the 6th largest military force in the world (after China, India, USA, North Korea, Russia), and the largest that is not nuclear-armed.

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