MOSCOW (Sputnik) — At Friday's EU Bratislava summit, French President Hollande, whose country after Brexit will become the bloc's top military power along with Germany, reiterated his call on other EU member-states to joined forces for more active defense policy.
"Since the Brexit vote, political and economic elites, particularly, in France and Germany are looking for new EU-integration elements. The common security and defense policy seems to be the best answer for a new integration measure. The final goal is an EU Army. However, I doubt that small EU states are interested in this type of military integration. They do not want to serve France's or Germany's interests," lawmaker with Die Linke Alexander Neu said.
Last week, Le Figaro reported that French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and his German counterpart Leyen sent a letter to EU leader Federica Mogherini urging her "to take measures in the field of defense of European citizens" and calling for the EU military headquarters, a single EU military budget and a surveillance system.
Neu questioned the need for a single command center and surveillance. "Indeed, nobody needs an EU army for imperial activities. Even a joint military HQ or surveillance systems are not necessary because their only purpose is to act militarily outside of the EU area," he said.
According to the lawmaker, there is cooperation between the EU military and intelligence institutions and NATO and the joint EU army, if established, is unlikely to replace the Alliance. "They try to act in a complementary way. EU and NATO do not go in competition. They act in cooperation," he concluded.
The plans to merge the existing defense structures of the EU member states into a single army have been under discussion for years but never came to existence, partly due to the opposition from the United Kingdom. The country's decision to exit the European Union has revived the talks.