The Minister of defence of Germany announced the country’s readiness to play a more important military role
Germany is ready to play a greater military role than previously, for closer cooperation of European countries in the defense sphere. On Monday, October 17, said at the ongoing biennial conference with the participation of 200 officials of the highest ranks of the Bundeswehr, defense Minister of Germany Ursula von der Leyen, reports Reuters.
“Changes are necessary. Isolation and self-restraint will not solve the problems that we face in the world, in Europe and here in our country,” – said the Minister. However, she referred to the “growing aggression by Russia, the devastating war in Syria and escalating conflicts in Africa,” the Agency said.
“Germany is ready to participate, (…) to take on more responsibility”, – said the Minister. She added that “this is the right way, but it will require a huge investment of time and money”.
Von der Leyen recalled that the Ministry of Finance of Germany agreed to increase defense spending in total 10 billion euros until 2020. These funds will be spent on the purchase of weapons and the increase in the number of military personnel.
This decision still needs parliamentary approval. It is also only a step on the way to the goal of von der Leyen: to ensure the allocation of 130 billion Euro investment programme to 2030.
Germany and France insist on the strengthening of European cooperation in the field of defense. They claim that these efforts are not aimed at the creation of a European army idea, opposed by the UK. London fears that such actions could weaken NATO. The direction of Berlin and Paris to support Spain and Italy.
According to von der Lyayen, the strengthening of European cooperation in the field of security aimed at competition with NATO. According to her, in matters of European security, the EU with its 500 million citizens, 1.5 million soldiers and the total annual military budget more than 200 billion euros, still far from realising its potential in this area.
Europe needs a new structure able to respond quickly to various challenges such as the Ebola epidemic in Africa and the other, the head of the Ministry of defense of Germany. “We must be able to respond quickly,” she said, noting that currently, European countries often takes months to respond to certain events.
Reuters notes that in recent decades Germany has shown a strong reluctance to engage in major military operations. The reason for this was the catastrophic events of the last century.
Recently, however, Berlin’s position has changed. Currently, the country actively participates in the actions of the US-led international coalition that is fighting terrorist group “Islamic state” (banned in Russia) in Iraq.
In may it became known that after 25 years of systematic reduction of military personnel to Germany for the first time since the cold war is preparing to increase the size of your army. Then Ursula von der Leyen said that by 2020 the country’s military spending will grow from 34.3 to 39.2 billion euros, wrote The Financial Times.
Ursula von der Leyen – the first woman to head the Ministry of defense of Germany. It is also considered a potential successor to Chancellor Angela Merkel, if she did not participate in the elections in 2017, says Handelsblatt. Merkel has still not announced his decision.