France and Germany have laid the groundwork for a European defence plan at an informal meeting of defence ministers in Bratislava.
The idea is to agree a coherent strategy that can be backed at a leaders summit in December.
Britain, which has full voting rights until it leaves the EU, is dead set against a European army.
Defence Minister Michael Fallon reiterated the position as he arrived at meeting:“We all agree Europe needs to step up to the challenges of terrorism and of migration, but we are going to continue to oppose any idea of an EU army or an EU army headquarters, which will simply undermine NATO.”
Europe is in search of a formula to act collectively and quickly.
German Defence Minister, Ursula von der Leyen, cited a poor European response to the Ebola outbreak and a disjointed British and French air campaign in Libya.
As Britain prepares to leave the union France, as the the EU’s main military power, sees a chance to advance EU defence policies without interference from.