France and Germany plan ‘more active’ EU defence

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Paper by country's defence ministers proposes setting up a European defence headquarters, a common surveillance system and sharing logistics.

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France and Germany are preparing joint proposals for a “more active and more useful” European defence policy, the French defence ministry said on Friday, reports The Guardian.

The document, by French defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and his German counterpart Ursula von der Leyen, will serve as a “basis for considering a relaunch of European defence”, the ministry said and comes before a European Union summit to discuss plans to boost the bloc’s security and defence mechanisms.

The objective is to make European defence “more active and more useful without substituting it for national defence bodies which remain, by definition, the key to the security of EU member states,” a member of Le Drian’s entourage said.

“What we are looking for is to trigger EU operations more easily,” he added, without revealing details of the plans.

He did say, however, that these were “concrete” proposals and not just “grand ideas”.

The Franco-German document proposes the establishment of a European defence headquarters, a common satellite surveillance system and the sharing of logistics and military medical resources, according to the Saturday edition of the German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

There would be a tighter circle of EU members for some defence projects where it proves impossible to gain agreement from all, the paper added, citing the document.

There is also a suggestion for better use of Eurocorps, an intergovernmental military body that has France and Germany at its centre.

Read more of this report from The Guardian.

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