05:44 GMT23 January 2021
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    The defense ministers of Germany, France, Italy and Spain sent a letter to other EU counterparts, in which they called to invest in the autonomous EU defense capabilities, media reported Wednesday.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — According to the European edition of the Politico magazine, which obtained the letter, the four ministers stressed the necessity of an expansion of military capacity to ensure the bloc can cope with demands for intervention that go beyond the scope of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

    In particular, the ministers asked for "more capable forces, modern capabilities and an efficient defense industry," which they believed would provide for a stronger European defense technological and industrial base, according to the letter.

    In September, France and Germany laid out their vision of EU defense, with an emphasis on a joint EU military headquarters managing overseas crisis missions.

    Later that month, Italy presented a defense initiative, under which the EU counties should unite in a coalition to share forces, data and capabilities and, eventually, establish a joint military force. The Italian proposal also stressed that such efforts should not detract resources from EU states' commitments within NATO.

    As the proposal was made, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that the EU states should concentrate on relative steps that can be made within the framework of the existing treaties and agreements.

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    European Union, defense, NATO, Italy, Germany, France
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