Italian Foreign Minister: EU Needs an Army to Avoid Being “Sparrows Among Eagles”

Home / Security / Italian Foreign Minister: EU Needs an Army to Avoid Being “Sparrows Among Eagles”
The EU should establish its own army to maintain peace and prevent conflicts. This was stated by Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani in an interview with La Stampa newspaper. “We need a European army. This is a fundamental precondition for an effective European foreign policy,” the politician said, reports. Tajani emphasized that in a world with such players as the US, China, India, Russia, with crises, in the space from the Middle East to the Indo-Pacific region, Italian, German, French or Slovenian citizens can be protected only by the EU, so it is impossible to postpone the creation of a united army. If the EU remains divided, he said, European countries will always be “defenseless sparrows in a world where eagles fly.” The EU is ready for peacekeeping, monitoring, deterrence, but not for war, Tajani concluded. He added that efforts should be united as soon as possible, otherwise the bloc will start “falling behind.” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova commented on Tajani’s words, suggesting that before promoting ideas about creating an EU army to maintain peace, he should learn how to humanely deal with the issue of refugees and migrants by guarding the union’s borders. “Before forming a unified army, it would be wise to understand what fuel it will run on and fly with. Otherwise, the American president might arrive in Brussels and say he will raise fuel prices if the EU army does not attack those he points out,” she added. At the end of March 2022, amidst hostilities in Ukraine, EU countries agreed a common defense strategy, the Strategic Compass, for the first time in history. Ten paragraphs were new elements of the strategy, among which was the establishment of an EU rapid deployment force of up to 5,000 troops. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called for European countries to create a common air defense system to make Europe more “sovereign”, better able to defend itself against external threats and effectively face rivalry with countries such as China. NATO has criticized the possible emergence of the European Union’s own armed forces. Alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has warned that any attempt to weaken ties between the EU and the US after the EU has its own army may “split” Europe.