European Intervention Initiative
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The European Intervention Initiative (E2I) is a joint military project between 10 European countries outside of existing structures, such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union's (EU) defence arm. E2I is planned to operate a "light" permanent secretariat based on the network of military liaison officers with the French defence ministry.
The Initiative was first proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron in his Sorbonne keynote in September 2017. 9 members signed a Letter of Intent to begin work on 25 June 2018. France's motivation to establish this, and other European military projects, is to support its operations in the Sahel which it is struggling to maintain alone.[opinion] Finland joined the military project on the 7th of November 2018.
The ultimate aim of the E2I is a shared strategic culture that would enhance the ability of its members to act together on missions as part of NATO, the EU, UN or other ad-hoc coalitions. The project is intented to be resource neutral and makes use of existing assets and other joint forces available to members. E2I seeks for enhanced interaction on intelligence sharing, scenario planning, support operations and doctrine.
The participating countries is built around 10 current EU members;
The UK, which is leaving the EU, was keen to join in order to “maintain cooperation with Europe beyond bilateral ties.” Italy initially was supportive but declined to sign the Letter of Intent with the other 9 members in July 2018.
There are no specific criteria to a state participating in E2I, but it is built around;
- Compatibility with the EU and NATO
- Common vision regarding security concerns
- Ability to deploy liaison officers
- Long term efforts in defence
- Commitment to European security operations
- Ability to deploy effective capabilities.
Relationship with PESCO
E2I seeks some synergies with the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) that has newly been established within the European Union's (EU) Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), and PESCO projects are intended to be integrated into the E2I where feasible. France's concern is that developing the E2I within PESCO would result in lengthy decision times or watered down ambition. This led to some tensions regarding the project between France and Germany, with the latter concerned that it would harm the EU's political cohesion. Including the E2I within PESCO is also seen as problematic as it prevents the participation of the UK and Denmark.
- Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union
- Western Union
- Western European Union
- Lancaster House Treaties
- Letter of Intent between the defence ministers of Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom concerning the development of the European Internvention Initiative (EI2), French Government
- Nine EU states sign off on joint military intervention force, Guardian 25 June 2018
- Why joining France’s European Intervention Initiative is the right decision for Germany, Egmont Institute 15 June 2018
- Nicolas, Clément (2018-11-09). "Finland becomes tenth participant country in European Intervention Initiative". EURACTIV. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
- Nine EU states, including UK, sign off on joint military intervention force, Politico 25 June 2018
- European intervention initiative , French Government
- Macron and the European Intervention Initiative: Erasmus for soldiers? ECFR 22 May 2018