>> After a year that brought Brexit and Trump, Europe is looking to its defenses. EU ministers agreeing to a plan that would see strategic corporation and sending combined rapid response forces abroad. Reuters' Robin Emmott is in Brussels at the talks.>> Ever since Brexit, the EU has been looking at ways to shore up its defenses, given that Britain is the biggest military power in Europe.
But Donald Trump's presidency has now given increased impotence to that plan. During the campaign, Trump suggested that as president he may not come to European allied support in the case of a conflict or an invasion, suggesting that European countries were actually free riding on the United States.>> The 16 page plan lists tasks and aims without increasing funding.
To some, the plan may seem quite modest, a commitment to coordinate rather than creating another NATO or an EU army.>> There's fears that an EU defense plan could undermine NATO simply because there's not enough money to go around for, say, a NATO headquarters and then an EU military headquarters.
Defense spending is at historic lows in some countries, say in Italy and Belgium anyway, and to think that the EU might be diverting funds away from NATO is a real issue for some.>> The plan can only go ahead if EU leaders agree to it at a summit here in December.
If they do, the block could be able to send forces to stabilize a crisis before the UN, and act without the US.