View Full Version : EU defences must not double up on NATO tasks: Schroeder

05 Nov 03,, 19:23
EU defences must not double up on NATO tasks: Schroeder

BERLIN (AFP) Nov 05, 2003

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder expressed support Wednesday for a European Union defence structure but said that it should be built within NATO and not double up on tasks carried out by the alliance.
The EU must be able to act "in terms of foreign and security policies, and that could and must happen within the transatlantic alliance," he told a European forum in Berlin.

"It's about establishing a European pole inside NATO and not a competitor for NATO," Schroeder said, adding that there should be no duplication of tasks.

Germany, Belgium, France, and Luxembourg -- which sparked an unprecedented crisis at NATO just before the Iraq war by blocking help for partner Turkey -- in April proposed a separate EU defence planning headquarters outside Brussels.

Other EU countries reacted coolly to the idea, saying that NATO remained a cornerstone of defence and should not be weakened, while the United States has been particularly critical.

British Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon said earlier Wednesday that Britain will not participate in a proposed autonomous EU military planning and command centre which will be separate from the NATO headquarters.