What is the “Eurobomb” and why are European politicians talking about it?


Nuclear bombs based in Europe are meant to bomb targets in Europe. Between the UK and French arsenals and the US’ nuclear sharing arrangements under NATO, there are already 600 nuclear weapons ready to deploy in Western Europe, Russia also has an unknown number of nuclear weapons intended for use in Europe, as well as its weapons stationed in Belarus. Together these are enough to wage nuclear war on  a catastrophic scale that could kill billions in mere hours. These weapons make European cities prime targets for a nuclear attack and, based on the range of the aircraft that would carry them, are intended for use in Europe.  

Yet, following Russia’s decision to station nuclear weapons in Belarus in 2023 and European concern about the possible return of Donald Trump to the White House in this year’s US election, there have been increased calls by prominent European politicians for more US nuclear weapons to be stationed in Europe, or for Europe to further develop a nuclear sharing practice of its own. Polish President, Andrzej Duda,has said  that Poland is ready to host US nuclear Weapons, although Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski have said there are no plans to do so. In Germany, senior figures in both the opposition CDU and governing SPD parties  have suggested the EU should acquire its own nuclear weapons or should be protected by France’s (and possibly the UK’s) existing nuclear arsenal, although German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, has said this is not needed. In response, President Macron has reiterated his offer to discuss using France’s nuclear weapons to protect fellow EU states by providing a French version of the nuclear umbrella .

Yet any new nuclear sharing arrangements in Europe would be a dangerous and escalatory move that could provoke a further response from Russia. This would undermine the security of European countries rather than enhance it, would weaken the NPT, and would be  illegal under international law. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons explicitly bans countries from hosting the nuclear weapons of another state, and the NPT is very clear that transfer of control or accepting control over the nuclear weapons of a nuclear weapons state is prohibited under articles 1&2. For more about the (il)legalities around nuclear sharing, click here.