Monday

27th May 2019

Berlin backs defence plans outside the EU

Controversial statements made by leading EU figures recently over the idea of a group of European countries forming a defence alliance, are begining to take shape - ahead of a mini defence summit on 29 April.

Germany says it supports the idea of developing a defence Union outside the EU, German newspaper Die Welt writes on Thursday.

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According to the newspaper, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder hopes for closer co-operation on defence between four EU countries - Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and France.

Such co-operation would have to be established outside the EU though as for the moment, the treaties do not allow for such co-operation inside the block.

The German leader expects to gain support for the idea at the mini defence summit on 29 April when the leaders of all four countries will meet to discuss the issue.

Die Welt writes that enhanced defence co-operation between a small number of countries could become a rival group to NATO since France wants to have a defence Union with several military units parallel to the ones in NATO.

Berlin and Paris also propose a stronger integration between the armies of the four countries. A rapid reaction force could be formed on the basis of German and French troops.

Mini defence Summit in April

France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg will hold their mini summit on defence on 29 April. Their aim is to give a boost to the European defence project currently put on hold by the Iraqi war. Also, as opposed to UK ambitions, these countries want to promote a EU defence policy independent from the US.

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