Berlin : Although the concept of ‘United Army’ proposed by the European Union has not been supported by all member nations, Germany has begun taking solid and fast steps towards it. Since past few years, Germany has started to enhance the military cooperation with nations such as France, Netherlands, Romania and Czech Republic. It has been recently announced that one ‘Brigade’ each from the Romanian and Czech Republican Army would be operating as a part of the German Army.
In 1989, Germany together with France had formed the ‘Franco-German’ Brigade. Later in 2013, German government had put forth a plan named ‘Framework Nations Concept’. Under this plan, it was proposed that the military squads of European nations would operate as a part of the German army. Netherlands was the first nation to respond to this proposal. Presently two ‘Brigades’ of Netherlands army are operating as a part of the German Army.
Following it, nations like Romania and Czech Republic have now shown their preparedness to be a part of the German Army. As per the agreement amongst these nations, Romania’s ‘81st Mechanised Brigade’ and Czech Republic’s ‘Forth Rapid Deployment Brigade’ have already been incorporated into the German Army. Romania’s ‘81st Mechanised Brigade’ will operate as a part of the ‘Rapid Response Forces Division’ of the German Army, while the Czech Republic’s ‘Forth Rapid Deployment Brigade’ will function as a part of Germany’s ‘10th Armored Division’.
Although the concept of United European Army has been consistently put forth during the past decade, the UK and some other member nations are against it. These nations claim that the United European Army would prove to be a competition to ‘NATO’. Germany and France, who have taken a firm stand in favour of the European Army, have rejected this allegation in clear words. Since the exit of the UK from the European Union is certain after the ‘Brexit’ decision, Germany hopes that the opposition to the European Army would subside.
Hence, without getting entangled in any political or other arguments, the preparations for the European Army is ongoing by formalizing agreements with the member nations on individual level. The agreement with France last year and the inclusion of four ‘Brigades’ of three European nations in the German Army, are proving to give clear indications of same. The moves to enhance the military cooperation in future with a few North European nations, which are close to Germany, have begun. As per the information coming forth, Norway is also said to be a part of this.
It is claimed that this decision of Germany to include the military squads of other nations into its army has financial reasons as well. Since 1989, Germany has consistently reduced its defense expenses and presently its expenses are at 1.2% of their GDP. German Government has already made it clear that it is not possible to adhere to the expense norm of 2% prescribed by NATO. Hence in future, to exhibit its military strength on an international level, German government is seeking the support of military squads of other European nations, claim German analysts.
France also has taken a firm stand over the issue of the military cooperation in Europe and President Macron recently had appealed to Germany to increase its participation in the missions in Africa. The Defense Minister of France had claimed that France is eager to increase the defense cooperation with other European nations including Germany. As per the agreement made last year between the two nations, Germany would be able to use the Orleans Air base in central France and also the heavy-duty military transport aircraft ‘C-130J Super Hercules’ of the French Airforce.