October 9, 2019
The EU’s incoming security chief has said the bloc needs a standing army of 60,000 soldiers that Brussels can deploy around the world.
Josep Borrell said at a European Parliament hearing into his candidacy as vice president for foreign affairs and security on Monday: “The European Union has to learn to use the language of power.”
The 72-year-old Spanish socialist continued that the European lawmakers should “reinforce the EU’s international role and further our military capacity to act”.
He called for Brussels to raise the number of troops to at least 55,000 to 60,000. Such a force would be larger than the standing armies of Portugal (35,000) or the Netherlands (43,000).
“We should pull our national sovereignties together to multiply the power of individual member states. And I am convinced that if we don’t act together, Europe will become irrelevant in the new coming world,” he added.
Brussels currently has “battlegroups” of 3,000 soldiers from across militaries of EU Member States, according to The Telegraph. The battlegroups are on standby every six months but have not, to date, been used. To increase those forces by twenty-fold and make them permanent, Brussels would need the unanimous support of Member States.
This article was posted: Wednesday, October 9, 2019 at 5:42 am