The leaders of the two countries appealed to Angela Merkel and their colleagues from the EU to work together for the creation of united European military forces.
Originally appeared at A-specto, translated by Valentina Tzoneva exclusively for SouthFront
The revival of the idea for a united European army was discussed at a meeting of the Vishegrad Group with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, on Friday, the 26th of August in Warsaw. ”It is our duty to hold a strict budget policy whose object is economic growth. At the same time, we must make the question of our security our main priority. That is why we have to start the creation of a united European army,” Victor Orban, the Prime Minister of Hungary said at a press conference after the meeting, as quoted by local media. The talks about building a united European armed forces were initiated by the Hungarian Prime Minister, Victor Orban, and the Czech Prime Minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, who believe that the idea is relevant to the necessity to provide protection of the Schengen space and to fight terrorism efficiently.
“The defense of the Schengen borders is not only a question of better cooperation in the fight against terrorism, but a reason to start discussing the creation of a common European army,” Prime Minister, Sobotka, said.
The Vishegrad Group – which unites Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary – is becoming more established as an alternative pole in the European debate, which is currently dominated by German theses. The central European group of four is skeptical about Brussels’ ability to make adequate decisions and, after the beginning of the migrant crisis, has refused to follow the ideas of the EC for a division of the migrants in terms of quotas.
The idea of a common European army revives the debate from the beginning of the new century, when it was on the agenda. The war in Iraq in 2003 brought division among members of the EU, as some of the countries supported the USA in the so-called “coalition of the willing,” while others like France and Germany, chose to distance themselves. The disagreements in the Union made the idea of a common European army pointless, which in the USA, is considered an unwanted competitor of the Washington-dominated military and political pact, NATO. This is the reason for Berlin – a traditional ally of the USA in post-war Europe where several American military bases are located – to be skeptical of the idea. Merkel’s comment after the Warsaw meeting was limited to “security is the main question.”
It has to be noted that according to Sobotka and Orban, the common European armed forces are called to protect the Schengen zone and not the whole territory of the EU. Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus and Croatia are full members of the EU, however, they are not a part of the Schengen zone due to unfulfilled criteria.