France and EU Defense

In the aftermath of the French-British defense cooperation treaty, I'd mentioned that EU defense seemed to be the deal's big loser. So it's worth noting that France, along with Germany and Poland, called on EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to trigger the Lisbon Treaty's Permanent Structured Cooperation Clause to allow for more robust military cooperation among a core group of EU member states.

At the same time, the three also called for more-structured cooperation between EU defense and the NATO alliance. That further raises the possibility, as I also suggested at the time of the France-U.K. deal, that EU defense could slowly morph into European defense, as a pillar within NATO.

The letter is apparently the outcome of a 2009 meeting between French former Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski, which I flagged at the time. So it's a stretch to draw too many conclusions about whether it represents new thinking, or the input of newly appointed French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie, who signed the letter on France's behalf.

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