The EU is proposing to create a new co-operative force that will rely on the US and Britain for support as a way of countering a rapidly changing geopolitical landscape. The plan, unveiled on Wednesday by European leaders at the summit of the 28-member bloc, aims to create a new EU security and defence policy separate from Nato. The eurozone’s most powerful economy, Germany, has been pushing for an EU “standby force” in a bid to boost European defences and to counter aggressive Russian actions. “Europe’s security situation has evolved dramatically in recent years,” said the statement, read out by Donald Tusk, president of the European council. “As regards Russia, it cannot be a secret that we are increasingly concerned.”
The summit statement, which followed two days of talks in Brussels between EU leaders and Nato commanders, also saw NATO accept the proposal, saying it wanted to see further expansion of the European Union’s military capacities. It is the latest indication that the 28-member bloc is breaking away from Washington on security policy, as the Trump administration has grown increasingly critical of EU efforts to establish a political role in foreign affairs and economic matters.