A Union or the sex of angels

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On 15 November last, Die Welt reported on the initiative of SPD members of the Bundestag for the creation of a 28th European army: a Common European Army.

Contrary to others who believe that the “Europe of Defence, which we thought unthinkable, we have done it”, Fritz Felgentreu and his colleagues consider that Europe still has a lot to do, and they provide a concrete outline of a way forward. The first merit of their proposal is doubtless that it shows unambiguously how the Union might achieve a real sharing of sovereignty in a particularly sensitive area, that of the common security of the 27. Their scenario proposes that this army should be common and “community-based”, meaning that it should come under the authority of the Union’s institutions and comprise European soldiers and not contingents from national armies. Another undeniable merit of their proposal is that it is both compatible with, and complementary to, an approach to European defence based on national armies and NATO membership, an idea brilliantly restated by German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer in her recent speech at the Bundeswehr University in Hamburg. Lire la suite