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How the EU army is already ‘taking shape’ as military threat RISES

How the EU army is already ‘taking shape’ as military threat RISES

THE “EU army” is stronger than ever as European nations take action to enhance military cooperation between members states, as tensions escalate across the region, German media reports.

By LATIFA YEDROUDJ. PUBLISHED: 22:49, Tue, Nov 20, 2018 | UPDATED: 23:01, Tue, Nov 20, 2018

The European Union has improved efforts of cross-country military initiatives over the years, giving rise to the probability of a counteractive “EU army”, developing warfare tactics with shared intelligence across borders.

German newspaper Zeit said: “The EU army is already taking on shape.

“While the vision of a European army is being debated over and over again, it is already being created. Military co-operation in the EU has never been as strong as it is now.” This comes after German chancellor Angela Merkel, last week supported French President Emmanuel Macron’s call for a “real European army” to reduce Europe’s dependence on US defence.

Over the years, the EU has joined forces to share military intelligence, research and plans to create a “common structure” which has developed and strengthened Europe’s military forces.

The Zeit article added: “To classify this, a specification helps. What is meant by the term European army or EU army?  “Certainly not a new army, which sends hundreds of thousands of new soldiers into worldwide war zones under the EU flag. There is no EU state.

“But there certainly is the EU as the sum of its individual member states. Bundling their knowledge, sharing military research and plans and creating a common structure, creates a new force: the army of all EU states.”

Europe has collaborated in a series of joint military operations over the years.

In 2008, the European Union Naval Forces deployed military personnel in Somalia and 8 years later, started a military training mission the Central African Republic.

European Union soldiers have also been deployed across Europe, including Bosnia-Herzegovina, a mission led by Austrian major general to ensure the stability of the young state.

According to the 2009 Treaty of Lisbon, there is a legal basis for cross-military collaboration between EU states, as stated in Article 46 for military cooperation and Article 42 for an EU internal alliance case.

The German newspaper added: “Given Russia’s violations of international law, Donald Trump’s unpredictability and China’s military build-up, it could well be that Angela Merkel is still seeing important parts of the vision of a European army being implemented.”

However, Ulrike Franke, a defence analyst at the European Council on Foreign Relations downplayed the idea of a full-fledged EU army, insisting the term used was “imprecise”.

He told the Financial Times: “The term European army is very imprecise. It is a bit like talking about the United States of Europe: you can talk about it but it is clearly not meant to happen tomorrow.

“A real European army would mean a genuine fusion of Europe’s armed forces. And that is not something that we want to do or can do in the next few decades.”

Under the Pesco co-operation initiative announced last year, EU ministers are planning to bolster the continent’s capabilities without cutting Nato’s responsibility for European defence against Russia.

German officials have declared a stark difference between a “European army” and establishing an “army of Europeans” – a coalition between EU member states.

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.

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