CSDP, CFSP, European Forces, Military Industry, Peacekeeping...
PSDC, PESC, forces européennes, industrie militaire, maintien de la paix...

You are here

The European Intervention Initiative (EI2)

The European Intervention Initiative (Initiative européenne d'intervention, EI2/IEI) was first proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron in his Sorbonne keynote in September 2017 and nine members signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) to begin work on 25 June 2018. France's motivation to establish this, and other European military projects, is to support its operations in the Sahel which it is struggling to maintain alone.

The ultimate aim of the EI2 is a shared strategic culture that would enhance the ability of its members to act together on missions as part of NATO, the EU, UN or other ad-hoc coalitions. The project is intented to be resource neutral and makes use of existing assets and other joint forces available to members. EI2 seeks for enhanced interaction on intelligence sharing, scenario planning, support operations and doctrine.

The starting point of the EI2 is the speech on Europe delivered on September 26, 2017 at the Sorbonne by President Macron during which in the field of defense, he "proposes now to try to build this culture. in common, by proposing a European intervention initiative aimed at developing this shared strategic culture. [...] At the beginning of the next decade, Europe will have to have a common intervention force, a common defense budget and a common doctrine to act ". The French will was to constitute a "hard core" ready to act very quickly in case of need as was the case in Mali where France mounted Operation Serval. in a few days. Not all IEI Member States will necessarily participate in each operation.

It is not a matter of creating a new rapid response force prepositioned as it already exists in the framework of NATO (with the NRF) or the CSDP (with the Battlegroups), or bilaterally for example between France and the United Kingdom (with CJEF (in). The means provided will be composed to specifically meet the needs of a crisis.
According to the LoI, the initiative will focus on enhanced interaction in four key areas: strategic foresight and intelligence sharing, scenario development and planning, operations support, and fourth. feedback and doctrine. To this end, the armed forces of the signatory countries will notably carry out exchanges of officers, joint exercises of anticipation and planning, the sharing of doctrines and the writing of joint scenarios of intervention.

The French Armed Forces Staff is responsible for organizing the effective launch of the IEI by holding the first Military European Strategic Talks (MEST) and developing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) here the end of the year 2018.

France's long-term ambition is to create a "common strategic culture". The French Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, specifies that it is about "developing between countries at the same time militarily capable and politically voluntary" habits "to work together, to be able to prepare, if necessary to be in capacity to intervene, where they decide, at the moment of their decision, on extremely varied scenarios ". German Federal Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen adds that "the aim is to create a forum, with like-minded states, who will analyze situations, who will have discussions early, when crises will manifest themselves in a region, and which, together, will be able to develop a political will".

Participating States
The signatory states on June 25, 2018 of the letter of intent are Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom. Germany is initially reluctant for fear that this new initiative will weaken those taken since 2016 under the CSDP (notably the European Defense Action Plan and Permanent Structured Cooperation). The meeting of the Franco-German Council of Ministers on 19 June at Meseberg Castle, near Berlin, offers a positive response.

Italy participated in the preparatory meetings but the new government formed on 1 June 2018 asked for a reflection period. The participation of the United Kingdom, in the process of withdrawal from the European Union, illustrates the willingness of the British to remain leading partners in European security. Their participation, like that of Danes who are not part of the CSDP, is made possible by the fact that the EI2 is outside the institutional framework of the European Union. Finland confirmed, during the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron in Helsinki on 30 August 2018, its decision taken a few days earlier to join the European intervention initiative and its accession was validated on 7 November 2018 by the nine defense ministers of IEI member countries.

Relationship with PeSCo
The EI2 is the creation of a set of European states as prerequisites for joint operational commitments in various predefined military intervention scenarios. EI2 operationally complements Permanent Structured Cooperation (CSP or PeSCo) focused on the capability area. Based on Article 42.6 and Protocol 10 of the Treaty on European Union, PeSCp was introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009, and first initiated in 2017.

EI2 seeks some synergies with the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) that has newly been established within the European Union's (EU) Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), and PESCO projects are intended to be integrated into the EI2 where feasible. France's concern is that developing the EI2 within PESCO would result in lengthy decision times or watered down ambition. This led to some tensions regarding the project between France and Germany, with the latter concerned that it would harm the EU's political cohesion. Including the EI2 within PESCO is also seen as problematic as it prevents the participation of the UK and Denmark.

The minimum number of participating states for cooperation under PESCO, according to the Lisbon Treaty, is nine. As the IEI does not fit within the institutional framework of the CSDP the number of participants is not limited.

NATO does not need such a structure anymore. Moreover it is very anacronistic at the moment or by the BREXIT one of the most powerful European armies will leave the Union. The participation of states, member of the EU but not member of the CSDP (Denmark) shows how this initiative can be considered serious.
The need for the establishment of the EI2 is highly questionable. One more idea of the political leaders (especially French) who instead of realizing and ensuring the conditions sine qua non of the programs already launched, the strengthening and modernization of the army. Everyone tinkers with his own new initiative, promises roaring never or little done. Why the battle groups do not work have never engaged? Instead of meeting this challenge rather another program with very nebulous goals, confused with lots of bullshits.
"A common doctrine to act" should be preceded by a "common strategy", but that of the EU is far from being a real strategy.