France Calls for Joint European Funding for Defense, Security

  • EU considers ways to strengthen cohesion after U.K. exit
  • Border control, immigration integration possible fund uses

French Finance Minister Michel Sapin called for a common European Union defense fund for providing internal and external security as the bloc mulls how it will strengthen cohesion among its remaining 27 nations as the U.K. prepares to exit.

Improved border control, defense and integration of immigrants are among the possible uses of such common financing, Sapin told fellow finance ministers at a meeting in Bratislava.

“Spending is increasing in these areas and there is a definite need there,” Sapin said late Friday. “This is a real subject on the table.”

The U.K. and France are the only countries with nuclear weapons among the EU’s 28 current members.  

France is one of seven European countries backing a doubling of the EU’s investment plan that at the moment stands at 315 billion euros ($354 billion) over the space of three years. European leaders meet in Bratislava Sept. 16 to discuss such matters after the U.K. voted on June 23 to leave the bloc.