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German defence minister von der Leyen published this piece on the European Army/ #EuropeanDefence a few days ago. I didn’t tweet it out then because I found it so strange… [thread]

English article here:
Her piece focuses on the advances Europe has made to create a common European defence (of course, the idea is to show that von der Leyen has been doing great work). She claims “Europe’s army is already taking shape.” [2]

German version: handelsblatt.com/meinung/gastbe…
The German government had decided not to use the term ‘European Army’ anymore, but rather ‘Army of the Europeans’, as it says in the coalition agreement, but this has clearly changed since Macron’s support of a “real European Army”... [3]
But what vdL then talks about isn't about building a European Army (if you understand it as united European armed forces as I believe most people do), but about European defence – here, she mentions #PESCO, hardly a first step towards common European armed forces. [4]
She thus continues to add to the confusion around the #EuropeanArmy, which I find increasingly annoying and unhelpful (see my comments on this here:
ecfr.eu/article/commen…) [5]
VdL then talks about the new Elysee treaty (#AachenerVertrag). This I found particularly confusing, as here she specifically underlines the fact that the treaty speaks of mutual assistance in case of an armed attack. Yes, that’s reiterated in the treat, but not new: [6]
Namely, the mutual assistance is enshrined both in NATO article 5 and in EU treaty article 42.7. Hence the fact that she calls this “a novelty” (weaker in the English version) is… weird? [7]
Then there is this strange side blow against the UK on Brexit. Which is also badly translated; in the German original it’s not about “more democratic involvement” but about more involvement of the *representatives* of the people, i.e. the parliament. Weirdly misplaced either way.
So overall, this article leaves me confused. It’s an odd mix of points and I still don’t get where she/Germany stands on the European Army idea. Maybe someone here can explain? [9/9]
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