World’s Second Largest Economy, EU Lacks of an Official Army

The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 28-member states that are located primarily in Europe. It has an area of 4,475,757 km2 and an estimated population of about 513 million. The European Union is the second largest economy, GDP was estimated to be $18.8 trillion (nominal) in 2018 representing ~22% of the global economy (Nominal global GDP). Despite its political and economic power, The European Union still does not have an official army.

A few weeks ago, Emmanuel Macron called for the creation of a “true European army” to allow the EU to defend itself from threats ranging from Donald Trump to Vladimir Putin.

“We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America,” Mr. Macron told in a radio interview. The French president continued: “We will not protect the Europeans unless we decide to have a true European army. “We need a Europe which defends itself better alone, without just depending on the United States, in a more sovereign manner.”

After this interview, President Trump targeted President Emmanuel Macron in a tweet “President Macron of France has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the US, China, and Russia. Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the US subsidizes greatly!”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel supported the creation of an EU army, siding with French President Emmanuel Macron. “Jean-Claude Juncker already said that a common European army would show the world that there would never again be war in Europe,” Merkel said, referring to the European Commission president, who was in the Parliament chamber. “This is not an army against NATO, it can be a good complement to NATO,” Merkel said. “This means nothing less than for us Europeans to take our destiny in our own hands if we want to survive as a Union. This means, in the long run, Europe has to become more capable to act. We have to reconsider our ways of deciding and to renounce the principle of unanimity where the European treaties allow and wherever this is necessary. I proposed a European security council, in which important decisions can be prepared faster.”

But Trump, in a series of furious tweets, targeted again Macron. He scornfully suggested that the French would be speaking German today if not for U.S. support during the two World Wars.   It is still an idea that creates disaccord between NATO members, but it has important supporters. We will see whether it is going to be real or not.

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