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    Soldiers of a Eurocorps detachment carry the European Union flag to mark the inaugural European Parliament session on June 30, 2014, in front of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France

    German Politician: We Don't Need EU Army, We Need a 'European Home' With Russia

    © AFP 2018 / PATRICK HERTZOG
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    Following years of floating within the bloc, the idea of Europe creating joint military forces is on the agenda after the French President and German Chancellor called on their EU allies to unite. While the EU leadership backed the initiative, it got a mixed response among European politicians.

    Deputy Chair of left-wing Die Linke’s parliamentary group Heike Haensel has lambasted the idea of creating a European army, which was backed by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. In his article for the German outlet Der Tagesspiegel, the left-wing politician insists that European policy needs a radical new beginning.

    “People in Germany and Europe do not need armoured roads, weapons and armies, but crisis-proof jobs, stable social systems and decent pensions. Instead of a "European army" we need a common "European home" with Russia. That would be a true vision of a peaceful union,” he wrote.

    He stated that the EU and its members have more acute challenges to spend the taxpayers’ money resolving, which “will have catastrophic consequences,  not only for Europeans.”  The politician pointed at problems within the Union and its member states, including growing employment and utter futility, child poverty, housing shortages and welfare problems, which are successfully exploited. He lambasted the EU leadership for focusing on more deregulation, welfare cuts and militarization instead of solving these issues.

    READ MORE: Why Does EU Need an Army – France at Risk of Downgrading Its Int'l Status

    According to him, the militarization is prompting the EU states to increase their military spending. In addition to the NATO-prescribed target of 2 percent of GDP for military budgets, up to 5.5 billion euros of taxpayers' money is to be spent annually by the "European Defence Fund" for arms technology.

    “As if this was not enough, French President Emmanuel Macron, Chancellor Angela Merkel and German coalition politicians are pushing the creation of an EU army. According to Macron, the project is to withstand Russia, China and the United States. But it must be clear that military Eurochauvinism is not an alternative, or a reforming force in the existing world order. On the contrary, the upgrade of a "military-centred EU" around France and Germany wastes resources and increases the danger of conflict,” Haensel says.

    He insists that billions of euros have flown into a senseless and dangerous arms race, and should be spent on social and ecological investments as well as fighting the causes of mass migration.

    In early November, French President Emmanuel Macron called for creating a European army that would be independent of the US. The German Chancellor has backed his proposal, stressing recently that "Europe must take its fate in its own hands." She also proposed the establishment of a "European security council" in order to coordinate the process. According to her, it could be a "good supplement to NATO." Supported by the European Commission, the idea was branded “insulting” by Donald Trump.

    However, the idea of a single EU army has been floated for at least several years. Since 2013, Berlin has overseen efforts towards closer EU defence integration through the Framework Nations Concept, which envisages that Germany should share its troops and capabilities with other European countries.

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    Tags:
    diplomacy, military, EU army, NATO, Die Linke, Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, EU, Russia, France, Germany
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