Why is Britain Against the Creation of the EU Command Center?
Britain is not against the development of military cooperation between EU member states and in that context to the creation of the joint command center of the EU. This was announced by Boris Johnson, British Foreign Minister, who, by the way, blocked the decision to establish the center.
It should be noted, that the decision to establish such a center was made in early March in 2017 at a meeting of foreign and defense ministers of the EU member states in Brussels. At that time, London was in favor of this initiative. Some analysts say that blocking the creation of the center by the British authorities is conditioned by the parliamentary elections in the country in June and aim to provide political dividends for the authorities.
Therefore, Brussels believes that this decision will be implemented after the British elections. It is considered that the command center of the EU will coordinate “non-executive military missions”. This include the three military training missions the bloc now has in Mali, Somalia and Central African Republic. While symbolically significant, the MPCC would in practice consist of some 30 people and sit within the bloc’s foreign policy service in Brussels, Reuters reports. London is principly opposed to the idea of creating a European army, which was put into circulation in 2015 by Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the European Commission and supported by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The United Kingdom, which will soon leave the European Union, is concerned about establishing a common EU army. In particular, the British authorities fear that the deepening of cooperation between EU member states will reduce their involvement in NATO.
The EU countries have thought about the deepening of the military cooperation for the long time. This idea became the subject of substantial debate after the Crimea was reunited to Russia in 2014 and in the parallel of the increase of the Islamist terrorist threat. US President Donald Trump’s statement that the United States reduces the responsibility for the security of its European allies in NATO, became a clear signal for the European countries to strengthen the cooperation in this direction.