Speaking to the German Press Agency on Monday, Hans-Peter Bartels, the Germany Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces, called on the 28-nation bloc’s militaries to unite into a single armed force.
“We are currently disorganized, technically fragmented and duplicate structures unnecessarily,” Bartels said, as quoted by the Telegraph. “We do not want to go down the solitary national path anymore. Not in Germany, not in the Netherlands, not in the Czech Republic and not in Italy.”
“In the end, there will be a European army,” he stated.
Since around 2013, Germany has been overseeing efforts towards closer EU defense integration through the Framework Nations Concept, through which it plans to share troops and capabilities with other European countries. Two Dutch brigades have already been integrated into the Bundeswehr’s Rapid Response Forces Division and 1st Armored Division, and there are also plans for Czech and Romanian forces to do the same.
In March, the European Union also announced the opening of a “joint military headquarters.” However, the center employs a mere 30 staff and its remit only extends to training missions in Mali, Somalia and the Central African Republic. EU Foreign Affairs Minister Federica Mogherini said that the joint military headquarters was “not a European army,” and that NATO would remain Europe’s go-to organization for defense and security.