For Europe the next logical extension of “Ever Closer Union” is an entirely European military alliance. This could be, and logically should be, based on NATO but excluding the non EU member states. This does not mean that the likes of the United States, Canada, Turkey or Britain should withdraw from commitments in respect of Europe’s defence. But those commitments would be founded on separately negotiated military treaties.
The problem with NATO today is that the collective is democratically unaccountable – and is not unquestionably European in character . An EU military would be accountable to the European Parliament and to the European Commission. It would be a Defence alliance founded on the Union’s historic and unwavering commitment to peace across the continent. At present the absence of democratic debate in NATO means that its actions are largely unchallenged politically.
The 27 nations of the EU is effectively Europe and to confirm its accountability for the defence of Europe is no great step. The few European nations not in the union – e.g. Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom – could benefit from the EU military alliance if they contribute troops and money to it. Similarly Non European nations, especially the US, Canada and Turkey, have interests in ensuring peace in Europe and would be welcomed contributors of personnel and resources.
Europe has no reason to be militarily aggressive and few if any significant defence commitments outside of the continent. But Russia is a threat and one that Europe has no choice but to address collectively. Part of this crucially is diplomacy – Jaw Jaw is always better than War War. The EU is the obvious way to further this diplomacy.