Merkel calls for ‘real, true’ EU army

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Merkel received a standing ovation – but also boos from some MEPs (Photo: European Parliament)

 

German chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday backed the idea of creating a “real, true” army for the European Union as the geopolitical alliances are redrawn all over the world.

Merkel spoke to MEPs in Strasbourg on Tuesday (13 November) backing up France’s Emmanuel Macron’s call last week for a European army, and rebuking US president Donald Trump, who has tweeted that the idea was “insulting”.

The German chancellor, who has already announced this is her last term in office, also called for a European security council with a rotating presidency of each EU member state, “where decisions can be made more rapidly”.

“The time when we can rely on others have passed, we have to take our fate into our own hands if we want to defend our community,” Merkel told the European Parliament.

She said EU countries have to coordinate more on foreign policy and stand united in the world.

EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker in September said the EU executive would propose new rules to shape some foreign policy issues by majority decisions, rather than unanimity among member states to avoid EU countries blocking common positions.

Merkel called for an EU rapid reaction force that would be turned into a “real, true” EU army, which would be a “supplement” to Nato, the military alliance with the US and Canada.

“What is really important, if we look at the developments of the past year, is that we have to work on a vision of one day creating a real, true European army,” Merkel said drawing applause – and some boos – in the chamber.

While Merkel, in her concise speech of just under 30 minutes, on Tuesday, backed Macron on defence, she did not call for deeper eurozone integration, something the French president hoped previously he could secure from the German chancellor.

Instead, Merkel joined in the chorus of EU leaders calling for innovative technologies in Europe.

Merkel stressed that solidarity among member states is needed, and only a united Europe can survive. She described Brexit as a “deep wound”.

Full article: Merkel calls for ‘real, true’ EU army (euobserver)

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