“EU foreign and defence ministers meeting jointly today all gave a very clear message: we are progressing steadily towards strengthened defence cooperation and we will continue to do more. This is about protecting our citizens. The European Union has unique tools to help Europeans to take more responsibility for their own security, and to do more effectively. This is what we are doing with our work in security and defence,” – said High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federcia Mogherini (pictured).
On 6 March the Council adopted conclusions setting out the progress achieved in implementing the EU global strategy in the area of security and defence. The conclusions assess what has been done to implement the various lines of action agreed by the European Council on 15 December 2016. They form the basis of a report for the European Council of 9 and 10 March 2017.
Initially the plan proposed for a creation of a European army, with the eventual involvement of German units, to be placed under a single military and political European authority was promoted by Jean Monnet, sought to organise European defence on a supranational basis. Jean Monnet put his proposal to René Pleven, French Premier and former Defence Minister, who in turn submitted it to the French National Assembly on 24 October 1950.
This proposal sparked fierce debate in France. Although it was accepted by most Western countries, the plan for a European Defence Community (EDC) was rejected by the French National Assembly in August 1954.