The European Commission president has praised the “sleeping beauty” of the Lisbon treaty for helping bring about the creation of a “European Defense Force,” or European Union (EU) Army.
The treaty was initially called the “European Constitution,” before being repackaged as the Lisbon treaty after being rejected in referendums in France and the Netherlands in 2005. Ireland later rejected the treaty but was forced to vote again until they accepted it.
Today, president Jean-Claude Junker admitted that the shady document was indeed a vehicle for the creation of institutions needed to move toward a European superstate.
In a statement, he linked the treaty to the Permanent Structured Cooperation deal (PESCO), signed by 23 member states in November, agreeing to kick-start the EU army by committing to integrate armed forces, boost in common defence spending, and establish a joint headquarters.
He wrote “In June I said it was time to wake up the Sleeping Beauty of the Lisbon Treaty: permanent structured cooperation. Six months later, it is happening. I welcome the steps taken today by Member States to lay the foundations of a European Defence Union.
“Europe cannot and should not outsource our security and defence. The European Defence Fund that the European Commission proposed will complement these efforts and act as a further incentive for defence cooperation – including potential funding for some of the projects presented today.”
She is awake, the Sleeping Beauty of the Lisbon Treaty: Permanent Structured Cooperation is happening. I welcome the operational steps taken today by Member States to lay the foundations of a European #DefenceUnion. Our security cannot be outsourced. https://t.co/LNACbCdeWH
— Jean-Claude Juncker (@JunckerEU) December 11, 2017
With the Commission having attempted to keep plans for an EU army secretive before the Brexit vote, after the referendum, in June, Mr. Junker was frank about his ambition in his ‘State of the Union’ speech.
He called for the bloc to rapidly push ahead with the creation of an EU army by 2025. Without Britain’s opposition, his plan is much more likely to succeed.
Last week, Martin Schulz, the former President of the European Parliament and a contender to be German Chancellor, called for a new “European Constitution” and the creation of a “United States of Europe” by 2025.
He said the EU should rapidly expand its power and erode the sovereignty of nation-states, and that any country standing in the way must be ejected from the bloc.
“I want there to be a constitutional treaty to create a federal Europe… This constitutional treaty will then have to be put to the member-states and those that don’t approve it will automatically have to leave the EU,” Mr. Schulz explained.