The People’s Movement organised a protest today Wednesday 8th December against the Irish state’s participation in the EU’s Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) military initiative and the creation of an EU army. The Communist Party has opposed the Role of the Imperialist nature of the EU since Ireland joined the EEC in 1973. Hence activists were involved in today’s protest.
The European Union is proposing a joint military force of up to 5,000 troops to intervene in a range of crises. Here are some of the main points in the leaked draft plan, the “Strategic Compass”, which must be agreed by EU leaders at a summit in March. Will the government stand by its policy of neutrality and oppose this development? By 2025, the EU should develop a joint “Rapid Deployment Capacity” – an EU Army – made up of land, sea and air components.
By next year, the bloc wants to agree on scenarios in which such a rapid reaction force might be used, and then from 2023 begin regular military exercises, including naval drills – will Ireland’s new naval vessels be involved?
To prevent cyber attacks, the EU aims to agree by next year to make its special Joint Cyber Unit fully operational.The bloc aims to have developed new battle tanks and “future combat air systems” by a date to be set in agreement with EU states.
The plan aims to “substantially fill by 2025 critical capability gaps”. Long-range military air transport, space communication technology, and intelligence capacity – “strategic enablers” in military parlance – are all lacking in the EU.
As part of a Western strategy to counter China’s military rise, the bloc plans more coordination of EU naval presence in the Indo-Pacific region, as well as maritime exercises and patrols by 2023.