EU Army military core could be German as defence chief offers troops within three years

Germany set to become 'Military leader' in Europe

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Calls for the creation of an EU quick reaction force first began after the disastrous allied retreat from Kabul, Afghanistan, in August 2021. French President Emmanuel Macron then backed an EU army after Vladimir Putin’s aggression in eastern Europe “changed the era” in February. Now Germany, which broke with tradition in recent weeks by agreeing to supply weapons to Ukraine, say they could form the core of a bloc-wide military.

Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht said that Germany is ready to provide a military quick reaction force for the EU in 2025.

Arriving in Brussels to meet EU and foreign minister, Ms Lambrecht said on Monday, March 21: “I will offer that Germany can provide the military core (of the EU’s ramped-up defence cooperation), the quick reaction force, for the year 2025.”

The bloc’s new security strategy has been named the “Strategic Compass”.

EU leaders are expected to sign off on the move at a summit starting on Thursday, March 24, in Brussels.

Part of this strategy includes the creation of a rapid reaction force of up to 5,000 troops.

Austrian Defence Minister Klaudia Tanner said: “We need to become faster, in particular as we are faced with such a challenging situation at the moment.”

However, not everyone has been so supportive of the idea of an EU army.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Deputy Prime Minister of Poland Piotr Glinski warned that an EU army would risk destabilising Europe and noted that political associations are less equipped to fight aggression than the nation state.

However, Mr Glinski declared his opposition to the proposed change saying: “We even suggested that the European Union Army could be a good solution, but it doesn’t happen.

“It didn’t happen for years, so I do not believe in the European army. It’s not a good idea.”

Mr Glinski added: “I prefer NATO. The role of the USA and Great Britain is more important to me, so it’s [talk of a European army] not stabilising the situation.”

Germany was originally mocked for their support to Ukraine, which at first consisted only of sending 5,000 helmets.

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This was due to a historic policy which banned the country from sending weapons.

However, the severe threat of Russia’s invasion proved sufficient to overturn this policy. The German government sent 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 Stinger anti-aircraft defense systems to Ukraine.

The government also authorised the Netherlands to send Ukraine 400 rocket-propelled grenade launchers and told Estonia to ship over its nine howitzers.

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