By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
She told the European Parliament that EU military forces would be “part of the solution.”
After the Afghan pull-out, the EU needed the “political will” to intervene militarily outside the US-led NATO-military alliance, she said.
France will host an EU defense summit next year to discuss the issue, Von der Leyen added.
“It is time for Europe to step up to the next level,” she stressed. “Europe can – and clearly should – be able and willing to do more on its own.”
In her annual “State of the Union,” she “complained that “What has held us back until now is not just a shortfall of capacity – it is the lack of political will.”
Her comments came amid mounting concerns that the rapid collapse of Afghanistan’s government and the take-over by the Islamist Taliban underscored the EU’s defense weaknesses.
German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said earlier this month the EU should become “a strategic player to be reckoned with.”
French President Emmanuel Macron has in the past backed the idea of a European army.
That gave additional ammunition to those backing Brexit, Britain’s withdrawal from the EU. The British government opposes an EU army fearing duplication with NATO.
Britain is also a strategic ally of the United States.
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