Defence cooperation in the EU is growing, reflecting the European citizens’ view of the EU as a security enhancer. This policy paper takes stock of current developments and analyses the positions of seven EU member-states on defence integration (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, Portugal, and Greece). The ‘Magnificent Seven’ are key players in this process, not least because of their large defence budgets and their engagement in the existing forms of cooperation. We examine the defence budget of the seven countries and their breakdown, as well as their participation in Battlegroups, EU military operations and missions, and PESCO projects. The analysis provides significant insights on the national defence priorities. The seven countries form overlapping clusters, according to their political status and aspirations in the European integration process, their economic condition, their geographical location, and their relations with the US and NATO. All of them are facing significant dilemmas and engage in subtle balancing acts, which explains the slow and arduous path of European defence integration.

You may read here in pdf the Policy Paper by Spyros Blavoukos, Research Fellow, ELIAMEP; Associate Professor, Athens University of Economics and Business and Panos Politis-Lamprou, BSc, Athens University of Economics and Business.