In early November 2018, French President Emmanuel Macron called for the creation of what he touted as a “true European army” which he said would protect the interests of the bloc. The proposal was supported by German Chancellor Angela Merkel but criticised by British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson.
German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen has claimed that a European army is “already taking shape”, adding that Germany and France remain the “driving forces” of the continent’s defence.
“Reforms over the past months and years have brought our armed forces closer together. We’re working quickly,” Minister von der Leyen pointed out in her article published by German newspaper Handelsblatt.
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In the article, she also upheld the idea of the EU’s Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) defence scheme, which stipulates the bloc’s national armies cooperating on joint military projects. PESCO was first mentioned in the Lisbon Treaty of 13 December, 2007.
Additionally, von der Leyen responded to an article by former German Economics Minister Wolfgang Clement on European defence by insisting that reforms should bring national armies closer together.
“We are making good progress. Despite Brexit, and the controversial debates us Europeans have among ourselves, Europe remains a unique creation, uniting half a billion citizens in the name…