In the area of defence, our aim needs to be ensuring Europe’s autonomous operating capabilities, in complement to NATO. The basis for this autonomy has been laid, with historic progress in recent months. In June, we laid the foundations of Defence Europe: Permanent Structured Cooperation, enabling us to make enhanced commitments, to progress together and to better coordinate ourselves; and also a European Defence Fund to fund our capacities and research. We are in the process of giving this essential framework content, through discussions between the various member states who wish to move forward in this area.
But we need to go further. What Europe, Defence Europe, lacks most today is a common strategic culture. Our inability to work together convincingly undermines our credibility as Europeans. We do not have the same cultures, be they parliamentary, historical or political, or the same sensitivities. And that cannot be changed in one day. But I propose trying, straight away, to build that common culture, by proposing a European intervention initiative aimed at developing a shared strategic culture.
To create this convergence, we need deep rooted change. I thus propose to our partners that we host in our national armed forces — and I am opening this initiative in the French forces — service members from all European countries desiring to participate, as far upstream as possible, in our operational anticipation, intelligence, planning and support. At the beginning of the next decade, Europe needs to establish a common intervention force, a common defence budget and a common doctrine for action.
I want this common culture to be expanded, in the fight against terrorism, to our intelligence services. I thus want a European Intelligence Academy to be created, to strengthen the ties between our countries through training and exchanges.
In the face of global terrorism, security Europe needs to be our shield. Terrorists are infiltrating all Europe, and their networks are there. So we must act together, from prevention through to suppression. That is why we need to create a European Public Prosecutor’s Office for organized crime and terrorism, above and beyond the current competences that have just been established.
As we have seen tragically in recent days, security is not just a matter of bombs and assault rifles. Climate change too is threatening our security like never before, and is taking lives every week in Europe. That is why I want us to create a European civil protection force, pooling our resources for rescue and intervention, thus enabling us to respond to disasters that are less and less natural: from fires to hurricanes, from floods to earthquakes.
A Europe that unites to protect, intervene and save lives is a Europe that has rediscovered the meaning of this fraternity that we placed at its heart. It is a Europe that moves beyond words to act tangibly and show the strength of collective action.
The second key is ensuring our sovereignty, at European level, controlling our borders and preserving our values. The migration crisis is not really a crisis but a longlasting challenge. It has emerged from the profound inequalities of globalization. And Europe is not an island. We are here, and our destiny is bound to that of the Middle East and of Africa. Faced with this challenge, it is once again at European level that we need to act. Only with Europe can we effectively protect our borders, take in those eligible for asylum decently, truly integrate them, and at the same time quickly return those not eligible for such protection.