TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- In a historic moment for the continent of Europe, 23 member nations of the European Unions have signed a preliminary pact to fund and integrate the military forces of the signatory states.
The pact was signed on Nov.13 in Brussels, by foreign and defense ministers acting as representatives for all of the states involved. A finalized version of the military agreement is expected to be approved by EU leadership in December.
The agreement, once successfully implemented will forever change the political future of Europe, creating a federated military force and further establishing the centralization of European political power in Brussels.
With a unified military force commanded by EU leaders in Brussels, it is argued that Europe will be able to eschew reliance on NATO and the leadership of the United States. Defense and weapons industries in Europe are also expected to benefit from the new agreement.
Disjointed policies on immigration and border control, as well as the ostensible threat from Russia have been touted as reasons that the military pact is necessary.
Proponents of the federated European military argue it will increase effectiveness and cooperation in the face of international security threats. Meanwhile, detractors are certain to view the development as a further forfeiture of national sovereignty demanded by bureaucrats in Brussels.
The French Foreign Minister Jean Yves-Drian said the pact "comes at a time of significant tension" in Europe, with many viewing Russia's annex of Crimea in 2014 as a major event that stimulated security fears in Europe.
Others see the Brexit vote of 2016 as a major factor in the desire to expedite the unification of Europe's military forces under European Union leadership.
The European Union was formally established on Nov. 1 1993 with implementation of the Maastricht Treaty for the establishment of a common market and customs union to facilitate trade between European nations.
A unified currency was introduced at the turn of the millennium with 19 states since adopting it to form a single integrated domestic European market. Over the following years, the legal framework governing the economic union has increasingly incorporated centralized political controls, which are binding to all member states.
With the preliminary agreement for a unified military, the European Union moves one step closer towards becoming a de facto super state. The German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel remarked that it was a "historic step" and a "milestone in European development," according to Business Insider.
Ministers from all of the member states of European Union have agreed to the new measure, with the exception of Denmark, Ireland, Portugal and Malta.
The initial stage of developing the integrated armed forces will be supported by a proposed 5 billion euro defense fund for buying weapons, financing operations, and defense research.
Unlike previous suggestions and motions for developing a joint European military, the leadership of the US-led NATO alliance is in full support of the pact.
European Military Staff Insignia