JEF Europe welcomes President Macron and Chancellor Merkel’s proposal for the creation of a European army and calls for leaders to make decisive steps towards its realisation now

As long advocates for the creation of European armed forces, JEF Europe welcomes and supports the ambitious positions taken by the French President and the German Chancellor within the recent weeks and praises this symbolic act of unity. We are also pleased to see that European leaders are continuing to put defence cooperation on the European agenda. However, JEF Europe is weary of the fact that this proposal comes with very little substantive details on how joint military mobility would work in practice.

“As the two most influential pro-European leaders, it is high time that the Franco-German alliance start practising what they preach and taking responsibility to secure the continued peace for our future generations by creating a more sovereign European Union. With illiberal movements on the continuous rise, there is simply no more time to discuss the possibilities of “one day” – real and bold steps must be decisively taken to start discussing the creation of a truly European army now” says Emma Farrugia, board member of JEF Europe.

On the anniversary of the first armistice centenary, French President Macron reflected on the “leprosy” of nationalism and populism and the real threat that these have on the future of continued peace within the European Union. He underlined the responsibility that leaders have to safeguard peace within the Union, which has undoubtedly been one of the most successful outcomes of the European project, and which can be rendered permanent by creating a true European army. In her speech in front of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on the 14th November 2018, German Chancellor Merkel then made an important step towards further unity with Paris by supporting President Macron in saying that she too one day sees the establishment of a real and true European army. However like President Macron, she falls short of giving solid proposals and instead continues by supporting the creation of a European rapid reaction force and a common arms acquisition policy.

On the 18th November 2018, President Macron and Chancellor Merkel met again in Berlin for a series of events to commemorate the the Volkstrauertag (People’s Day of Mourning) in which there were further discussions on the most prominent issues notably those relating to migration, defence cooperation and the eurozone. In his inspiring speech in front of the German Bundestag, President Macron yet again called for the need of a more democratic and more sovereign European Union which can only be achieved through further European integration and proclaimed that “our real strength is our unity”.


More information on JEF Europe
The Young European Federalists (JEF) Europe is a non-partisan youth NGO active with 13.000  members active in more than 35 countries. The organisation strives towards a federal Europe based on the principles of democracy and subsidiarity as well as respect for human rights. While the umbrella organisation JEF Europe was founded in 1972, its sections have been operating continuously since the end of the Second World War, making it the oldest pro-European and only federalist youth organisation.


JEF Europe Secretariat
+32 2 512 00 53