A new generation of EU leaders is grappling with the shipping crisis in the Arabian Gulf in a way that could determine the future military posture of individual countries, and perhaps even of the European Union, writes Faisal Al Yafai.
The EU responded on Thursday (16 May) to US accusations that a new European military pact risks shutting out American companies of European defence projects and undermine NATO.
In an eagerly awaited speech on the future of Europe before what she called 'the biggest democratic parliament of the world', German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday (13 November) for a "real, true European army" and a common asylum framework.
Nine EU nations will on Monday (25 June) formalise a plan to create a European military intervention force, a French minister said, with Britain backing the measure as a way to maintain strong defence ties with the bloc after Brexit.
The EU on Wednesday (2 May) announced plans to spend nearly 20 billion euros on defence over its next long-term budget, as the bloc seeks to boost its resilience to the perceived threat from Russia.
The UK has always had a tortured relationship with the EU’s defence policy ambitions. In 2010, David Cameron’s Conservative party promised to withdraw the UK from the European Defence Agency (EDA), only to backtrack two years later.
Britain wants to agree a defence and security treaty with the EU before its leaves the bloc in March 2019, Theresa May has said.
Flanked by soldiers in combat dress, European leaders inaugurated on Thursday (14 December) a landmark defence cooperation pact that EU Council President Donald Tusk said was "bad news for our enemies".
EU President Donald Tusk on Tuesday (17 October) proposed an ambitious timeline of 13 summits over the next two years to reboot the European Union after the shock of Brexit and other setbacks.