Why the cutbacks are necessary?

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of the EU budget the UK has agreed should be apportioned to defence and military operations. [200381]

Mr. Hoon [holding answer 29 November 2004]: None. Expenditure arising from EU operations having military or defence implications is not charged to the EU budget, as set out in Article 28.3 of the Treaty on the European Union.
So we will be paying for taking part in the military adventures of both Washington and Brussels?


When was the last time we sent our boys out under the command of the EU?

Besides, imagine if every country was given money from the EU. It'd be worked out in a very "fair" way, so France and Germany would get the most money, and then you'd have British taxpayers paying for extra French and German soldiers...which isn't exactly better, is it?
Surely if the decision to become involved in the Euro Army is from the EU relations side of the government, they should foot the bill. It doesn't seem as if the Army is getting enough of a say about this. We should either have our budget increased or the money for joint European ops should come from elsewhere. I believe the mentioned article of said treaty only specifies that an amount of the military budget be earmarked exclusively for such ops and training so adding to the army coffers would still fall within the terms of the treaty.

As a nation we spend around 2.5% of GDP on defence which is ludicrous considering how much we use the Armed Forces, particularly the Army of late. To make things worse, it is forecasted that this will fall to less than 2% by 2015. I understand that as a country we need to spend money on NHS, education etc but a greater priority needs to be assigned to defence. An interesting page to see is

Petermtm - answer to your question I think that the Balkans now has an EU command and we certainly deployed an Engineer squadron and some staff officers to Bunia in the Congo last year on what was an EU mission (their first outside Europe) albeit French led and with France providing the majority of the personnel (OP ARTEMIS to the EU, OP CORAL to us and OP MAMBA to the French if I remember correctly).


cuchulain said:
Petermtm - answer to your question I think that the Balkans now has an EU command
You are right. Command changed last week. The EUFOR commander is from UK (Maj Gen Leakey), and we have people on the staff in Sarajevo, and a troop deployment up in the north west of the country as before.
What are the financial arrangements in NATO? I'm fairly sure the costs of BAOR came directly out of the defence budget (except for the German contributions), but I have the vague idea that NATO also has a central kitty the members pay into.

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