EU military headquarters is first step in defense plan,

Approval for a military headquarters in Brussels marks progress for efforts toward closer EU military coordination. But it is also a mere first step in an effort that has failed in the past. The EU is finally getting a military headquarters – in everything but name.

Approved by members of the European Council on Monday, the Military Planning and Conduct Capability is Brussels-speak for a setting where members can jointly plan and coordinate EU operations abroad, a first in the bloc’s history. Although the current plan applies only to missions focused on training local forces – operations that currently include Mali, Somaliaand the Central African Republic– the European Union has ambitions to create a framework for crisis response and stability operations overseas.

Several EU members, Germany among them, have long viewed a military headquarters as a practical and symbolic goal of that effort, but the idea remains controversial for others. Monday’s decision marks progress after years of discussions, although the path ahead remains complicated. Läs artikel