This was reported yesterday by EUobserver.com:
The EU’s “civilian” border mission in Libya is in fact training paramilitary forces, amid a wider European and US effort to stop Libya becoming a “failed state.” According to an internal EU paper – a blueprint for the border mission, Eubam Libya, dated 18 April and seen by EUobserver – its “main effort” is to build up the “operational level” of Libya’s “Border Guards (BG)” and “Naval Coast Guard (NCG).” Both units are part of Libya’s defence ministry.
This might alarm some people in the UK as the EU is not supposed to be anything more than a free trade bloc, or so we are told. But it should not be surprising that the EU is hell-bent on having its own military capabilities.
As America retreated from Europe following the end of the Cold War, former Communist countries joined the EU in order to protect themselves from a resurgent Russia by tying themselves to the European military heavyweights, the UK, France and Germany. The St Malo Declaration in 1998, followed by the establishment of the Common European Security and Defence Policy led in turn to the Helsinki Headline Goal, which was set to achieve a functioning European Rapid Reaction Force, in other works for the last fifteen plus years, the EU has been developing its own army. This was central to the initial Irish rejection of the Nice Treaty because such an army would overturn the Irish constitutional neutrality, and remains a very sensitive issue to other member states so proves very difficult to formalise without alarming people. So the EU uses salami tactics.
Firstly, the EU established its External Action Service (EAS) to set its own foreign policy, which is the first essential tool in creating a legitimate army. Secondly, it established its own intelligence service, INTCEN. Thirdly, the member states will create ‘islands of cooperation’ to entwine militaries together, like the proposed combined German, Dutch and Czech air force. The final stage will be a formal merger of the ‘islands’ under EAS direction. It will happen, you just will not notice it unless you take care to read the coverage of the EU’s military creep, like their involvement with the Libyan paramilitaries.