In an unanticipated development, Germany has proposed that the European Union (EU) adopt a shared EU aircraft carrier. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the successor of Angela Merkel in the leadership of the governing Christian Democratic Union and the next chancellor of Germany, said that, concerning European defense, “The next step could be to start on the symbolic project of building a common European aircraft carrier.” She argued that this is a logical step following the Future Combat Air System (FCAS), a shared EU project aimed at producing a common European fighter (think of it as the EU’s F-35 program).

Chancellor Merkel supported the proposition by stating, “It’s right and good that we have such equipment on the European side, and I’m happy to work on it.”

Their statements came in the wake of French President Emmanuel Macron’s repeated urgings for a more united EU in defense and foreign policy issues.

The leading German politicians didn’t specify if their proposal refers to a single aircraft carrier to be operated jointly by European nations or a new class of aircraft carrier to be adopted for use by different EU navies (similar to how the U.S. Navy has different classes of aircraft carriers such as the Ford class or the Nimitz class).