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German foreign minister backs idea of European army

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2010-02-06

Germany's foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, backed the idea of a permanent European army Saturday. While speaking to the Munich Security Conference, Westerwelle said a parliamentary run army would help the EU in its role as a "global player".

AFP - Germany supports the creation of a European army in the long term so that the EU can be a "global player," Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told the Munich Security Conference on Saturday.

"The long-term goal is the establishment of a European army under full parliamentary control. The European Union must live up to its political role as a global player. It must be able to manage crises independently. It must be able to respond quickly, flexibly and to take a united stand," he said.

"We want strong European crisis management. This is not intended to replace other security structures. More Europe is not a strategy directed against anyone. No one has any reason to fear Europe, but everyone should be able to depend on Europe," he added.

He said however that this would require a pooling of resources and distribution of responsibility "even in times of ever scarcer means."

The concept of a European army was set out in the 27-nation EU's reforming Lisbon Treaty," he said.

"United Europe will only be secure if my generation, which has never experienced war, suffering or hunger, is strongly committed to European integration," Westerwelle said.

"And my generation has a chance to extend this cooperation model far beyond Western Europe, perhaps even to the whole of the European continent."
 

Date created : 2010-02-06

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