The European Commission launched on Wednesday (28 March) a plan to improve military mobility between member states, as part of a wider effort to step up its defence capacities.

The debate over Europe’s ability to project troops on and across its territory was launched by the US and Nato in 2014 after Russia’s invasion of Crimea.

“We must be able to quickly deploy troops,” EU transport commissioner Violeta Bulc said at a press conference, adding that the plan was “one of very practical steps towards a fully-fledged defence union by 2025.”

“I really hope this will never happen,” she said about the need to move troops across Europe in response to a threat.

“But I don’t want to be surprised,” she added. “We try to ensure that in case things need to be activated, we can do it.”