Leaders of Belgium, France, Germany and Luxembourg called for a stronger role of the European Union (EU) in common defense, in a joint declaration issued following a summit meeting on Tuesday.
Europe must be able to speak with one voice and fully play its role on the international arena by reinforcing the construction of a Europe of security and defense, they said.
"The European Union must indeed have a credible security and defense policy. Diplomatic action is only credible -- and thus efficient -- if it can also be based on real civilian and military capabilities," said the declaration.
The four leaders proposed that the European Convention, which will guide the future development of the union, include clauses on enhanced defense cooperation, solidarity and common security binding all member states of the EU, creation of a European Agency for Development and Acquisition of Military Capabilities and a defense college.
They also proposed the convention should accept the concept of a European Security and Defense Union (ESDU).
They decided to implement concrete measures to bring their national defense instruments further together.
Under the ESDU plan, the four countries will set up a European Command for Strategic Air Transport, a Joint European NBC (nuclear, biological and chemical) capability, a European Training Center, and a Multinational Deployable Force Headquarters.
They agreed to strengthen their planning and conducting operations. A nucleus collective capability for the EU is needed, the declaration said.
At a press conference after the summit, the leaders said that the strengthening of EU defense capability is designed to reinforce the European role in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and that it is not against the trans-Atlantic alliance.
The initiatives they proposed at the summit would be presented to the EU summit in June in Greece, they said, adding that they welcomed other EU states to join in because the whole defense issue should be discussed by Europe and for Europe.