The French president has been one of the most active supporters of closer European military integration and creating a joint European army. After pronouncing NATO “brain dead”, he is reportedly lobbying to re-write the EU Treaty in order to better protect all member states, the German outlet Welt am Sonntag reports.
France has reportedly called on fellow EU member states to boost the bloc’s defence readiness in order to become more independent from NATO’s protection and improve the so-called assistance clause, Article 42 (7) of the EU Treaty, which obliges other states to provide the utmost support in case of an attack on one of them. Welt am Sonntag reported about the bold move, citing informed EU diplomats.
As an internal paper from Paris, said to have been discussed by EU ambassadors in Brussels twice, says, the French government, said to be pushing for the changes, allegedly insists that “the feasibility of the mutual support clause (Article 42.7) should be improved to ensure that every EU country, regardless of the size of its military or diplomatic network” can use it.
According to Paris, the required measures are intended to provide security for countries like Sweden and Finland, which are not in NATO, as well as Cyprus, Malta, Austria, and Ireland, in case of an attack.
NATO’s European member states should also be able to rely on support if the alliance is unable to defend them under Article 5, for example, in case of a veto by the US or Turkey.