On 11 September, Handelsblatt (2023) reported that Germany was moving away from the Main Ground Combat System (MGCS), a Franco-German joint venture for the development of a next-generation main battle tank (MBT). On 22 September, however, a new meeting between the French and German MoDs rebuilt hope for the project, although postponing its delivery up to 2045 (Kayali et al., 2023).
The Belgian Armed Forces will be supplied with 761 AKERON MP missiles. They will be integrated into Jaguar EBRC vehicles procured by Belgium under the Capacités Motorisée (CaMo) partnership. Delivery will begin in 2025 and is expected to continue until 2029. The new missiles are intended to replace SPIKE missiles, which will probably remain in service until 2030 (Army Recognition, 2023).
The European Union is preparing itself to hold its first live crisis management exercise as part of the incremental operationalisation of its Rapid Deployment Capacity (RDC) by 2025, aiming to enhance the designated EU Headquarters’ ability to plan, execute and oversee a Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) military operation by incorporating a live Battle Group-sized element (EEAS, 2023). In the long haul, the RDC should allow the deployment of a 5,000-troop modular force at different stages of an operation (entry, reinforcement or as reserve force) in a non-permissive environment (Cyber Risk, n.d.).
On 27 July, seven NATO warships from the UK, Italy, Türkiye and the United States took part in a mine countermeasures exercise in the Central Mediterranean Sea. The drill was under the combined leadership of NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 (SNMCMG2).
On 21 March 2023, the European Commission brought an action before the Court of Justice of the EU, claiming that the republic of Malta is in violation of article 20 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and article 4(3) of the Treaty on European Union and compromises the integrity of EU citizenship. This action is a consequence of the Maltese practices of issuing passports to non-EU citizens for which the government receives financial compensation instead. This lucrative business is made possible by national laws; however, the problem lies in the fact that European citizenship is acquired automatically when acquiring national citizenship and, thus, the holder of the national citizenship has access to the entire EU. Moreover, not only the Maltese government uses this practice, but also the Bulgarian and Cypriot governments offered their passports for the right price, although the latter two officially stopped doing so in 2022 and 2020, respectively. With the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the question must be asked: how desirable it is that access is offered by individual member states to citizens of nations EU member states have sanctions drawn up? Can the EU prevent the issuance of passports and, furthermore, impose a revocation?