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EU Launches Military HQ Despite Concerns It Undermines NATO

REUTERS/Yves Herman

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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The European Union will launch a joint military headquarters next week despite concerns that it will undermine NATO.

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The Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC) facility will employ 30 people to coordinate EU countries’ military structures. MPCC will initially oversee three missions to train government forces in Africa.

The U.K. remains skeptical of the developments, as it fears it will undermine the role of NATO in the future. British Defense Minister Michael Fallon has promised to veto any plans to form a European army as long as the country remains a member of the EU.

“This is inevitably part of a wider ambition to really create a separate defense capability, an EU army in short,” Geoffrey Van Orden, a former British Army brigadier and Conservative Party member of the European Parliament, told The Telegraph Saturday. “That would be detrimental to NATO because it would be a complete distraction and would create divisions between Europeans and North Americans among others.”

Sylvie Goulard, France’s new armed forces minister, said Saturday that closer military cooperation within the EU is a priority moving forward.

“I am attached to making European defense projects move forward,” she said in her first address to military and civilian personnel Saturday, according to Reuters. “Some elements already exist, but others still need to be conceived and developed to better ensure our security in these times of interdependence. To achieve this effort, work with Germany will be decisive.”

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