Written by Vasiliki Charitaki
The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine has reintroduced the debate concerning a common European defence, forcing Europeans to recognise the return of conflict to a previously peaceful continent. The military pillar of the Eu-ropean integration process has long been an aspect of European politics that has attracted little attention, owing to the belief that NATO protection would be sufficient to face contemporary threats and challenges. However, the current geopolitical reshuffle and many theatres of confrontation highlight the importance of renewed attention to European defence. This paper will shed light on the historical evolution of the conceptualization of a European Army, and will then analyse institutions and policies in place, as well as ways in which NATO and the EU can cooperate in the defence sector. Finally, the obstacles to the creation of a European Army are assessed against the backdrop of the current Russian war with Ukraine and the recent adoption of the EU Strategic Compass.