Some of my military friends recently insisted that there would never be a European Armed Force. I would like to bring Eurocorps — effectively founded in 1963 — to their attention.
From a speech by Lieutenant-General Pedro Pitarch, Commander Eurocorps:
Now a future truly European military structure will require Eurocorps-alike headquarters. Believing that Europe naturally thinks or aims for its defence to rest on national headquarters belonging to the largest countries is wrong. Similarly, those who assert that national headquarters shall have the supremacy over their multinational equivalents truly do not master the foundations of the European Union. The current system of rotation among the headquarters for the conduct of the Union’s operations is of clearly and for the moment only an inevitable stopgap. This rotation leads to a lack of continuity in the planning, to the scattering of know-how, to the loss of lessons learned, as well as to the suspicion that priority is given to national agendas. The Union will undoubtedly have to equip itself with its own tools for the planning and conduct of operations.
To sum up, Eurocorps is certainly the multinational headquarters that is the nearest to the principle of permanent structured cooperation, as it had been imagined in the Lisbon Treaty.