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Italian FM: EU should have common army

by Nate Ostiller January 7, 2024 6:58 PM 1 min read
Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani in Paris, France on Jan. 5, 2023. (Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu via Getty Images)
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The EU should have its own army, Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said in an interview with the Italian media outlet La Stampa published on Jan. 7.

Calls for an EU army have been floated as far back as 1950 but have never come to fruition. Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine has forced defense issues back onto the agenda and seen public opinion shift, as well as the expansion of NATO.

Tajani said the proposed EU army could be involved in peacekeeping and preventing conflict. When asked if the EU was ready to go to war, Tajani said the focus should rather be on "peacekeeping, monitoring, deterrence."

At the same time, Tajani said, "If we want to be bearers of peace in the world, we need a European army. And this is a fundamental precondition for having an effective European foreign policy."

A YouGov poll released in May 2022, shortly after the beginning of the invasion, found that countries throughout Europe increasingly supported the idea of creating a common EU army.

Out of all 17 countries polled, all but three saw an increase from 2021.

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