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EU General Calls for Bigger Military Role

Yle Uutisten artikkeliarkisto

The outgoing chair of the EU's Military Committee, General Gustav Hägglund, says the European Union should take over NATO's tasks in Europe. He sees no sense in having two defence organisations duplicating each other.

Hägglund noted that most of the EU's member states also belong to NATO.

He insists that the European Union should gradually take complete control over its own security. He proposes a two-pillar NATO, in which the US and EU would each answer for the defence of their own territory as equal partners.

They would cooperate in crisis management operations elsewhere in the world.

Hägglund points out that Europe is no longer of prime interest to the US military as it was during the Cold War. In his opinion Finland has failed to realize this.

Because of this shift in US military interests, the EU should be prepared to fill the security void this creates in Europe, Hägglund says.

He adds that the Union should also streamline its defence industry and make it more competitive by rooting out overlapping activities. This, he says, would result in afar more effective use of defence funds.

General Hägglund leaves the EU post next week.

Finnish News Agency

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