media legend Ursula von der Leyen said the EU must develop the political will to act
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU should seek to strengthen its capacitiesmilitary forces to deal with security threats and global crises.
She told the European Parliament that she believes EU military forces will be "part of the solution ".
After the Afghan withdrawal, the EU needed the " political will "to intervene militarily without the US-led NATO.
France will host an EU defense summit next year, she added.
"It's time for Europe to take it to the next level, "Ms von der Leyen said in her annual State of the Union address.
The EU has historically depended on the NATO alliance for ' military action.
The rapid collapse of the government in Kabul has raised questions about the ability of the EU to conduct its own defense policy.
German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said earlier this month that the EU should become "a strategic player withc which must be reckoned with ".
French President Emmanuel Macron has in the past supported the idea of a European army. This was given additional impetus by the departure of the United Kingdom from the EU because he feared duplication with NATO.
'Lack of political will '
The President of the Commission said that the EU should ensure greater stability in his own neighborhood and elsewhere, by participating in missions that did not include NATO and the UN. He was also to share intelligence and become a leader in cybersecurity.
What had held the EU back so far was "not just a lack of capacity - it is a lack of political will," she explained.
"You may have the most advanced forces in the world - but if you're never ready to use them, what are they for? declared in Strasbourg parliament .
An EU diplomat described the notion of an active EU defense force as a "non-starter " , Hfrance.fr Report by Brussels correspondent Jessica Parker. She says there is enormous skepticism, even exasperation, in some quarters about an idea that has long been discussed.
Proposals for an EU rapid reaction force first emerged in the 1990s. In 2007, battle groups of 1,500 men from each member state were formed. created.
Battlegroups were declared operational readiness but never used due to funding disputes and reluctance to deploy.
Most of the EU countries are also members of NATO and some, especially states neighboring Russia, do not want to undermine ties with the United States.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said this month that he supports the EU's plans to establish a common defense policy, but warned against creating a new military force.
A joint declaration would be made with NATO by the end of the year, Ms von der Leyen added.
The president of the Commission also said:
- The EU "would stand by the Afghan people " and increase humanitarian aid for the ' Afghanistan 100 million euros (£ 85 million; $ 118 million)
- The next COP26 climate summit in Glasgow would be "a moment of truth for the world community". She called on the United States and China - the world's biggest polluters - to step up their commitments to tackle climate change
- The Covid-19 pandemic was "a marathon, not a sprint ". She announced more funds and donations of vaccines to pays low income to make sure "this does not turn into a pandemic of unvaccinated
- The Belarusian government had "instrumentalized " the migrants by sending them to the s of EU countries. She accused Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of "a hybrid attack to destabilize Europe
- The European Commission would develop a new chipmaking "ecosystem , to keep the EU competitive and autonomous.