EU official calls for Europe’s own aircraft carrier and missile defense shield

EU aircraft carrier European
United States Navy / Creative Commons

A European Union (EU) Commissioner believes discussions surrounding a European owned aircraft carrier will become “unavoidable” and the Russian invasion of Ukraine has exposed the need to protect the continent.  

Thierry Breton, a French EU Internal Market Commissioner, spoke at the 3rd European Defense & Security Conference, on October 10, 2023, where he stated that Europe had a single priority to “increase its ‘defense readiness’ as a strong guarantee of our collective security”. 

“[the conference] comes at a specific moment when we see increasing geopolitical tensions in the world, in Israel, in Armenia and of course with the war of aggression of Russia in Ukraine which is changing the security paradigm in Europe. With the return of high-intensity conflict on the European continent, we have no other choice than urgently drawing the full consequences of this paradigm change,” Breton said. 

He told conference attendees that Europeans need to become “less dependent” on their allies. 

However, it was Breton’s message on a European aircraft carrier and a missile defense shield that were of note.  

“In the medium to long term, it will be unavoidable to ask ourselves the question of a European aircraft carrier,” Breton said.  

The French currently own the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and the Italians have Cavour.

While the Commissioner praised European capabilities missile defenses being used to protect Ukrainians, in the future more investment would be necessary.  

“The European Defense Fund is investing heavily in the technological development of two hypersonic interceptor solutions. These are all bricks that could constitute, when the time comes, the bases of a real European air and missile defense shield – a Eurodome,” Breton concluded.  

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