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France, Germany to launch joint military headquarters: Report

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A file photo of a French solider

France and Germany are reportedly planning to launch a joint military headquarters aimed at the eventual unification of all the European Union’s armies.

According to a report recently published by the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and his German counterpart, Ursula von der Leyen, have prepared a six-page document on the subject, which will probably be presented at an upcoming EU summit in Bratislava, RT reported on Saturday.

French defense minister Jean Yves Le Drian (L) talks with German defense minister Ursula von der Leyen (R) during a Nato Defense Council meeting at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels on June 14, 2016. (AFP)

The document proposes the establishment of a “joint and permanent EU military headquarters” tasked with the overseas deployment of EU troops. It also outlines the establishment of EU logistics and medical commands and setting up a common satellite surveillance system.

The proposal also refers to the establishment of a “a tighter circle” within EU countries for certain military operations when achieving unanimous agreement from all members is not possible. A European officer school or at least forming a unified European military curriculum to boost “corporate spirit” is also proposed. 

The document is also aimed at laying the ground work for “a relaunch of European defense,” said a French Defense Ministry source.

Its primary objective is making EU military policy “more active and more useful without substituting it for national defense bodies which remain, by definition, the key to the security of EU member states,” he added.

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen (R) congratulates soldiers of the 33rd Panzergrenadier battalion following a drill which involved the new Puma Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle (background), at their headquarters in Neustadt am Ruebenberge on June 29, 2016. (AFP)

He stressed that the document is not just “grand ideas” and holds “concrete” proposals. “What we are looking for is to trigger EU operations more easily."

In June, the EU released a strategy document that suggests the bloc can no more rely on NATO for the provision of security, stressing the need for a “more credible European defense.”

The 60-page document, titled “Shared Vision, Common Action: A Stronger Europe,” was reportedly drafted by Federica Mogherini, the EU’s security and foreign policy chief, and seeks to lay out a new global strategy for the bloc at a time when the “purpose, even existence” of the EU “is being questioned.”

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