00:17 GMT +320 March 2019
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    Members of Eurocorps military contingent hold the Europeen flag during a ceremony for Croatia's accession to the European Union on July 1, 2013, in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France

    EU Needs Army to Protect Common European Interests – German Defence Minister

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The European Union needs its own army in order to expand the bloc’s opportunities to protect the common European interests in case of crisis situations, German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said.

    "The European army, which protects the population of the European community, needs not only well-equipped military personnel, who conduct joint exercises but also the political will to resolutely defend European interests if a crisis arises," the German defence minister said.

    Von der Leyen told the Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper that the decision-making system in the possible future EU army must ensure the bloc’s ability to "quickly act in case of possible anti-crisis military operations."

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

    NATO would always play a crucial role in ensuring European security, according to Von der Leyen.

    On November 6, French President Emmanuel Macron said that the European Union should have a "real European army" independent of the United States to be able to defend itself. In addition, he noted that the bloc must defend itself against China, Russia and even the United States. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also supported the idea of creating a European army while US President Donald Trump criticized the concept.


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