On March 28, the European Union unveiled a plan to enhance NATO defense capabilities, particularly in view of increasing Russian aggression. The plan, which envisions the establishment of a European Defense Union by the year 2025, is aimed at easing current restrictions on the deployment of troops and the movement of military materiel across Europe, in the same way that the Schengen Area agreement has enabled passport-free travel between 26 states, most of which belong to the EU.
Explaining the necessity for a “military Schengen zone,” EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said:
“By facilitating military mobility within the EU, we can be more effective in preventing crises, more efficient in deploying our missions, and quicker in reacting when challenges arise.”
The EU Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, emphasized another aspect of the proposed zone: