French President Emmanuel Macron will take a major step toward his grand plan of a European military intervention force next week.
EU foreign ministers will on Monday unveil a list of projects they want to form part of a new military pact, of which France has been the driving force alongside Germany.
The list, obtained by POLITICO, contains 17 projects covering areas such as training, capability development and operational readiness.
An essential element of the pact is that it promotes a two-speed approach, in that only groups of member countries support certain projects. For example, a European Medical Command has been pushed by Germany with the support of the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Romania, Sweden and Slovakia.
The project that has the most support is a Dutch plan for increased military mobility. Twenty-one other countries back the idea and the Commission has already put forward a proposal.
Also on the list is a “crisis response operation core,” which is described by diplomats as a project to “pre-identify forces that you could deploy in case of need.”
Diplomats have long been concerned about the tension between Germany and France
According to the list, Germany is the lead country on the crisis response project, but “it’s a game between the French and the Germans,” said a diplomat closely involved in the discussions. “It’s actually more of a French thing and it has an ultimate link with Macron’s idea to create an intervention force.”
“French officials are using it as an example of what Pesco [as the military pact is known in EU jargon] is…