EU foreign and defence ministers agreed a security strategy meant to boost the bloc’s military clout when war has returned to Europe, establishing a rapid reaction force with up to 5,000 of troops to be swiftly deployed in a crisis.
“The threats are rising and the cost of inaction is clear,” the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement, calling the document that sets out European ambitions in defence and security to be reached by 2030 a “guide to action”.
Work on the strategy started in 2020, before the pandemic, a chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Ukraine war. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began on Feb. 24, the EU toughened its language on Moscow.
“The EU needs to be able to protect its citizens and to contribute to international peace and security,” the bloc said in a statement. “This is all the more important at a time when war has returned to Europe, following the unjustified and unprovoked Russian aggression against Ukraine, as well as of major geopolitical shifts.”