German defense commissioner: ‘There will be a European army’

German defense commissioner: ‘There will be a European army’
European Commission HQ, Brussels. (Image: Am9io Cajander via Wikimedia Commons, Flickr: https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18295545)

[Ed. – We’ve come a long way in 8 years.  Although the EU plans for a defense force have been quietly coalescing for some time, it was as little as 2-3 years ago that the plans had no press, no real vision, and no overt support from the national governments.  Before the Brexit vote last year, there was a sudden upsurge in open acknowledgment of the plans, and in media coverage.  Now German officials — of course — are going around making categorical assertions.  The trend of this is not good, and the dropping of pretense about it is significant.  The EU was never supposed to be an armed actor.  Forcing that point means forcing many in Europe to choose their own exits — or perhaps a form of coup against the current EU leadership.]

As negotiations between Britain and the EU over Brexit get underway, a senior German politician has declared that a “European Army” is inevitable.

Hans-Peter Bartels, the parliamentary commissioner for the Armed Forces, insisted: “In the end, there will be a European Army.”

Bartels alleged the age-old system of national armies accountable to national governments was “disorganised, technically fragmented and duplicate structures unnecessarily”.

He claimed Europe’s peoples “do not want to go down the solitary national path anymore. Not in Germany, not in the Netherlands, not in the Czech Republic and not in Italy.”

He added: “Every step in the right direction [towards an EU army] is important.”

Bartels’ comments follow European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announcing a European Defence Action Plan, amongst other measures to deepen EU military integration.

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