EU should move toward common army, Germany says

Reuters
Mar. 24, 2007

BERLIN (Reuters) - The European Union should move toward forming a common army, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a newspaper interview published on Friday.

Asked how she saw the EU developing in the next 50 years, Merkel told daily newspaper Bild: "In the EU itself we must come closer to a common European army."

Germany holds the EU's rotating presidency for the first half of this year.

Last year, Polish President Lech Kaczynski said his country wanted a new 100,000-strong European Union army created to work with NATO in trouble spots in the world or to defend Europe.

Merkel is hosting a summit this weekend in Berlin where the bloc will celebrate its 50th anniversary and unveil a declaration setting out its values and achievements.

Merkel hopes the so-called "Berlin Declaration" will be a springboard for her revival of the European constitution, rejected by French and Dutch voters in 2005.

Merkel told Bild the EU's 27 member states often spent too long grappling with issues under the bloc's existing structure.

"To change that, we need the EU constitution, which suits the decision mechanism of the larger EU," she said.

Germany has vowed to present a "road map" for relaunching the constitution at a June EU summit in Brussels, with a view to getting a new document ratified by mid-2009.







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