Tagged EU army

A European army? But first a Defence Union

By Andrés Ortega Klein

Jean-Claude Juncker can sometimes be very daring. But words count, and should be used with precision. Speaking to a German newspaper, the President of the European Commission has called for a ‘European army’ to help cope with the challenge posed by Russia, to defend European ‘values’ and for the EU to take up its ‘responsibility in the world’ and be able ‘to react to a threat to peace in a Member State or neighbour’. He even said that ‘it would have been useful during the crisis in Ukraine’. But how?

Europe’s security, just like its economy, should be integrated for greater efficiency and impact. United, Europe’s defence mechanism could deter any potential outside threat. The idea is not to merge all national armies or replace them by a pan-European one, rather to create a force that will complement and assist them in case of emergency. Hopefully Mr. Juncker’s call will find strong support from the majority of EU members. We should not wait for a crisis to come to our door to try to tackle such important issues under duress. Now is the time to lay the foundations for the future continent that we would like our children to live in.

A joint army for the EU?

Among the core symbols of sovereignty and independence of a country are a flag, a national anthem and armed forces that carry the flag and march in the sounds of the anthem. The EU has up to now had only the first two elements, that is the 12-star flag and Beethoven’s Ode to Joy that doubles at its anthem. If one takes seriously the statement made by the European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, to the Welt am Sonntag newspaper during last weekend the EU may well get its own army too, at least in the long run.

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